In Case You Missed It …

Cavs unveil an on-court arcade

By Jeff Case

Video games and basketball are pretty closely intertwined these days, what with all the excitement that bubbles up with the latest version of NBA 2K and the trash talk it inspires among fans and NBA players, too.

A select number of NBA teams, too, have taken to unveiling and using fancy on-court pregame introductions. The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of the first to do it and the Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks have done it, too.

So with those two ideas in mind, the Cavs combined them (sorta) by allowing fans to “play” a video game on the Quicken Loans Arena court during timeouts. Check it out …


VIDEO: Cavs on-court video game

Kyrie Irving is ready for bigger roles

By Jeff Case

The Hollywood Reporter has a big story in its Feb. 20 edition about how Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James hopes to one day hopes to build an empire in Hollywood after his playing days are done.

Surely, James is going to go the traditional route in finding roles for himself and aligning with other actors. His teammate, Kyrie Irving, may have hopes of finding his way into a TV show or movie someday, too, especially if you believe his latest bit of “acting” in his new Foot Locker commercial.


VIDEO: Kyrie Irving, actor

Reggie Jackson almost balances shot on rim

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Our friends The Starters enjoy pointing out “wedgies,” where a shot gets caught between the rim and backboard. If a shot ends up sitting on the rim, they call it “a pigeon.”

Last night against Orlando, we almost got a pigeon. Oklahoma City’s Reggie Jackson got to the basket and flipped up a shot that rolled around and…almost just stopped on the back rim. The ball stayed on the rim so long you can see players standing up from the bench in the background.

Eventually the ball fell from glory, as after a while it spun wide and became just another ho-hum NBA rebound. I guess the ball just didn’t want it enough. SMH.


VIDEO: Jackson shot

Sacramento Kings (accidentally) play 4-on-5

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When the Sacramento Kings fired coach Mike Malone a few weeks ago, there was talk that under new coach Ty Corbin, they might attempt something rather bold: Attempting to play 4-on-5. This has been buzzed about for a while, and it would certainly be something to see. It also would probably not work very well against NBA offenses, but hey, it showed an owner and a franchise willing to think outside the box, to zig where everyone else zags.

Last night against Brooklyn, however, they actually ran the 4-on-5 defense…by accident. After a turnover in the second quarter, Sacramento’s Reggie Evans walked to the bench and appeared to take a seat, thinking that play was stopping for a timeout. But play continued, and the Nets had a 5-on-4 possession. They ended up missing the shot, and the Kings pushed the ball back and got it an open Evans under the basket. Sure, he missed the shot, and it was accidental instead of planned, but for one shining moment, we had 4-on-5 hoops.


VIDEO: 4-ON-5

(via The Brooklyn Game)

Meet Don Stockton (and the State Farm assist team)

By Jeff Case

Chris Paul and his alter ego, Cliff Paul, the State Farm Insurance agent, just got a bunch of backup.

In a must-see commercial that  first aired during the Wizards-Knicks game on ESPN, the Pauls join the National Bureau of Assists, a team made up of the alter egos of Stephen Curry (Sebastian Curry), Sue Bird (Summer Bird), Damian Lillard (Darius Lillard) and the scene-stealer of the commercial, John Stockton (Don Stockton).

And here’s a bonus Don Stockton scene:

(H/T FTW)

The New York Knicks play Secret Santa

By Jeff Case

The 2014-15 season hasn’t gone how anyone in New York has wanted or expected, but, hey, it’s the holiday season and let’s not get all glum. After a recent practice, the team (with an assist from Jonah Ballow) played a round of Secret Santa — or if you’re Jewish like Amar’e Stoudemire, it was called Secret Holiday.

Anyway, the guys who took part had a good sense of humor about what they’d by their teammates and/or bosses and the video is worth a look:


VIDEO: The Knicks play Secret Santa

You can’t leave Vlade Divac open from outside

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night in Los Angeles, while hosting the red-hot Golden State Warriors, the Lakers had one of those nights. Kobe Bryant may have missed the game to get some rest, but the rest of the Lakers didn’t miss a beat, shooting over 50-percent from the floor and beating the Warriors, 115-105.

But the most surprising moment of the night may have been when former Lakers center Vlade Divac took to the court to attempt a halfcourt shot for charity. And with the way things were going for the Lakers last night, of course Divac nailed it. The best part? The shot was worth $90,000, split between Divac’s and the Lakers’ charities…


VIDEO: Divac Halfcourt

Brook Lopez really wants to be in the new ‘Star Wars’ movie

By Jeff Case

Among NBA players who are in-tune with comic book culture and things some might consider nerdy, Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez is considered a go-to source (as he’s proven over in naming The Avengers, playing a round of Nerdsketball and more).

But, don’t overlook his twin brother, Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets, on having strong opinions on pop culture/comic book-type stuff, too.

According to Fred Katz of Bleacher Report, Brook Lopez said he wants to play a wookie in the next Star Wars movie:

Only one of the Lopez brothers could spend an extended period of time debating the merits of Bane as well as launching into an in-depth discussion about Darth Vader.

Please give Wesley Matthews his space

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When an NBA player is waiting to check into an NBA game, they’re usually asked to take a seat in front of the scorer’s table, so that the timekeeper can remember to blow the horn and let the refs know there’s a sub waiting to check in. During Wednesday night’s Portland/Milwaukee game, while Wesley Matthews was waiting to check in, a referee stopped by the scorer’s table to ask a question, and from Matthews’ reaction, the ref may have gotten a bit too close for comfort.

Wesley Matthews did not appreciate how close this ref got. (h/t Guy Haberman)

A video posted by Bleacher Report (@bleacherreport) on

After the game, Matthews confirmed his incredulous reaction…

(via B/R)

Brooklyn Nets fire up truly epic air ball

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you haven’t noticed, one big trend in the NBA right now is for teams to find “stretch fours,” which is to say power forwards — the “4” position — who can step outside and make three-point baskets. Having a stretch four is not only helpful with spacing on offense, but it also scrambles the opponent’s defense, forcing their big men to play away from the basket.

Notice that I said stretch fours are players who can step outside and “make” three-point baskets; just being able to go to the three-point line and shoot the shot doesn’t do anything for anyone if you can’t actually make the shot.

So on that end, if last night’s Chicago/Brooklyn game was any indication, we’d say Nets big man Cory Jefferson probably has some work to do. Because this three-point jumper wasn’t just short, it wasn’t even close. On the plus side, while he didn’t make the shot, he probably made Shaqtin’ A Fool…


VIDEO: Epic Air