In Case You Missed It …

Hawks’ Bazemore tries hand at pro tennis

By Nick Margiasso IV, NBA.com

So, the NBA offseason means downtime away from the court, right? Not exactly for the Hawks’ Kent Bazemore.

The Atlanta guard headed across town to the BB&T Atlanta Open, a top-tier professional tennis tournament in midtown Atlanta, to try his hand at the sport with a fuzzier ball.

Bazemore took on top U.S. tennis star and four-time NCAA champion Steve Johnson on a mini court to test his mettle in a sport he’s apparently started to take up. It wasn’t a total rigged playing field for Bazemore, though, as he also challenged the former USC Trojans tennis star to a best-of-three horse competition on a mini-mobile court set up at the tournament in Atlanta’s Atlantic Station.

Outside an early string of nice shooting by Johnson, Bazemore pulled away in the end though because, well, he plays in the NBA.

“I had to bring my ‘A’ game, he was pretty good,” Bazemore said of Johnson and his hoops stroke. “He got out here and shot so well that I had to turn it on and lock in to take him.”

 

 

2015 NBA Summer League Marathon

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER
7:02 a.m. ET — Here we go again. It’s that time of year when the stars are aligned, when the moon is in its proper season, and when, for one glorious day, we get a full day of live NBA action. That’s right, it’s the day when the Orlando Summer League and Las Vegas Summer League overlap, when we get almost 17 consecutive hours of live NBA action. Like we’ve done a few times in the past, I’ll be here live-blogging along all day. Well, almost all day.

First up! We get the final games of the Orlando Summer League, and the day’s action will build to something of a crescendo tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET with what should be a great primetime match-up of 2015 lottery picks, as D’Angelo Russell and the Los Angeles Lakers will take on Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Just for the heck of it, after that game we get an NBA Finals rematch, as the Cavs’ and Warriors’ summer league teams will square off at 10:30 PM ET.

So settle in, get your popcorn ready (or your oatmeal or cereal or whatever appropriate breakfast foods you prefer) and let’s watch some basketball! I’ll be checking in throughout the day, up until tonight, when my shift ends at 5 p.m. and I’m replaced by some fresh fingers here on the live blog to carry you through the evening hours.

Leading off the morning, we have the Clippers against the Thunder at 8 a.m. ET on NBA TV, in is the battle for fifth place in Orlando. You have questions? Comments? Thoughts? Drop them in the comments below and let’s talk. Either way, we’ve got a marathon ahead of us. Let’s watch some NBA Summer League action. See ya again here in about an hour or so …

7:28 a.m. ET — So what should you be watching for when Summer League play gets rolling in Las Vegas tonight? We’re glad you asked …
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Shumpert switches it up for the summer

By Jeff Case

Few players in the NBA have as recognizable of a hairstyle as Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert. For several seasons now, he’s been rocking the “Gumby” haircut (shown below), which is basically a really big flat top.

Iman Shumpert

Shumpert is/was a free agent this summer, but reportedly reached a deal with the Cavs to the tune of four years and $40 million. So, it is understandable he’s living it up a little bit this summer and decided why not change the hairdo, too. TMZSPorts caught up with Shumpert, who has a decidedly new look …

 

Jason Williams (still) making defenders look just plain silly

By Jeff Case

Last time we wrote about former NBA lottery pick, NBA champion and ball-handling phenom Jason Williams in this space, it was two years ago when he was making guys look silly in a league in China. He’s back this time thanks to a highlight reel of his moves at a pro-am in Orlando, where he’s once again diming, dribbling and scoring like he did during his NBA glory days (and doing so at 39 years old, mind you) …

Just Nerlens Noel dunking on a kid

By Jeff Case

Philadelphia 76ers big man Nerlens Noel had a fantastic first season in the NBA, leading all rookies in rebounds (8.1 rpg), blocks (1.9 bpg) and double-doubles (18). He also was a pretty good offensive performer, averaging 9.9 ppg and showing off athleticism around the bucket time and again.

But, it’s the offseason for Noel, so he’s just chilling, playing basketball when he can and, oh yeah, dunking on little kids. Noel was one of the featured instructors at a Camp One in Louisville, Ky., and after things settled down for the day, he went one-on-one with a youngster.

It didn’t go well for that kid that day …

 

Clippers unveil new logo for 2015-16


VIDEO: Owner Steve Ballmer unveils the Clippers’ new look unis on ‘Conan’

By Nick Margiasso IV, NBA.com

In the NBA world, it’s time to already start turning toward next season. And while prospect and player news begins trickling in as both the 2015 NBA Draft and free agency period are, respectively, on their way, the summer also means new logo season is here.

Rejoice!

So — although the Milwaukee Bucks already got a jump start on revamping their gear — the Los Angeles Clippers decided to use the first day after The Finals to show the world their own big makeover. Oddly enough, Conan is where owner Steve Ballmer showed off the new wears … with an official announcement to follow shortly thereafter.


VIDEO: Clippers unveil their new logo and unis

 

Jimmy Kimmel pranks fans in Cleveland

By Jeff Case

When The Finals were out in Oakland for Games 1 and 2, Jimmy Kimmel sent a camera crew around town to talk to Golden State Warriors fans and, unfortunately, out some of them as not being to knowledgeable about their team. With the series having just left Cleveland for Games 3 and 4, he did a similar stunt in Ohio and, well, stop making fun of those Warriors fans, Cavs people …


VIDEO: Kimmel Finals, Part 2

Dwyane Wade goes Ivy League

By Jeff Case

For the first time in four postseasons, Dwyane Wade isn’t playing in The Finals. Although his Miami Heat are home for the summer (and missed the playoffs entirely), Wade is staying in The Finals limelight. He served as a pregame and halftime analyst during ABC’s broadcast of Games 2 and 3 of the series and will do the same for Games 6 and 7 (should the series go to a Game 7).

Aside from those duties, he found time to surprise a loyal Heat/Wade fan by attending her high school graduation and also, has made his way up to Harvard University in Massachusetts to take some classes.

In the past week, Wade took a program at Harvard called “The Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports” and posted photos of his completion of the course to his Instagram account. Wade attended Marquette University back in his college days, but proved you’re never too old to branch out and learn something new.

Big Business minus the Business suit..2015 Harvard Business School Grad. #higherlearning #AllergictoNo

A photo posted by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on

About last night….1AM. #higherlearning #Harvard

A photo posted by Lisa Joseph Metelus (@lisjoseph) on

(h/t CBSSports & The Score)

Rockets’ Howard Waits Out Storm With Fans After Game 4

By Nick Margiasso IV

Was it that the win was so sweet one Rockets big man hung around the arena to take it all in? No, but he was at the Toyota Center until all hours anyway.

Awful weather in the Houston area caused many fans caught up in the glee of a Game 4 win to get smacked right in the face with arena authorities advising them to stay inside the stadium due to safety concerns related to bad thunderstorms and the like. The thing is, their pal Dwight Howard stayed, too. (It could be just that he was looking for some extra court time in case his Flagrant I on Andrew Bogut is upgraded by the league)

EJ, Shaq featured on Hawks’ kiss cam

By Jeff Case

The Atlanta Hawks are in the Eastern Conference finals and the series is being broadcast on TNT, which makes for an in-town jaunt to cover the Hawks’ home games in the series for the “Inside the NBA” crew of Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. That quartet had a perch in Philips Arena to watch and broadcast the game and, as is tradition at Hawks games between quarters or during timeouts, the “Kiss Cam” was had its moment in the sun.

The Hawks had a great Kiss Cam moment in the East semifinals against the Wizards, but they may have one-upped it when they got Johnson and O’Neal on there last night and, well, just watch below …

(h/t SI’s Extra Mustard)