Off The Court

Stephen Curry has come a long way

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The newest member of the MVP club is Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who today was named the 2014-15 KIA NBA Most Valuable Player. But as great as Curry has been this season, it’s worth remembering that Curry wasn’t always one of the the best players in the world.

Check out this tweet below, which is a screenshot of Curry’s recruiting rating when he was finishing high school. Curry was rated as a three-star recruit, probably because he was 6-2 and just 165 pounds. He grew a little, sure, but he’s also put in a ton of work and transformed himself into one of the greats.

Not long after, Curry was among the top prospects in the 2009 Draft. For what’s it’s worth, as you can see in the video below, he may have been a three-star recruit, but even in college at Davidson, Curry could always shoot the rock…


VIDEO: Curry Davidson

Tony Allen joins children’s dance routine

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Playing in an NBA playoff game is an all-consuming event. Players have to be focused, with their attention fully invested in what’s happening during the game. So I’m willing to forgive Memphis’s Tony Allen, who accidentally joined a children’s dance group during yesterday’s Grizzlies/Warriors game. Warriors fans were a little more upset about it — they booed Allen every time he touched the ball after this happened. Draymond Green‘s mother showed her displeasure on Twitter…

I think it was more of a case of Allen being focused on the game, then looking up and realizing he was in the middle of dance routine. I mean, once he realizes what’s happening he does give the kid a pound…

After the game, a Warriors win, the kids were able to put on an uninterrupted performance…

STEVE BALLMER JUST CAN’T TAKE IT

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Maybe the most fun part of this Clippers run has been getting to see their always intense owner Steve Ballmer sitting courtside, where he is pretty much constantly FIRED UP. LIKE, REALLY FIRED UP.

Last night in San Antonio, the Clippers hung on to win a close Game 6, 102-96. But it was a close game throughout, which meant it wasn’t easy for Steve Ballmer…

Happy Birthday Isiah Thomas

ISIAH THOMAS

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Welcome to an occasionally recurring feature here on All Ball, in which we celebrate the birthday of an NBA great by delving into the highlight vaults. And today we recognize the birthday of one of the greatest point guards in NBA history, Isiah Thomas.

Born in Chicago, Thomas played college basketball at the University of Indiana, winning the 1981 National Title. A 6-1 point guard, Thomas’s competitive drive was unmatched. He was drafted second overall by the Detroit Pistons, with whom he played his entire professional career. By the late ’80s, the Pistons had adopted their “Bad Boys” identity, and they went on to win back-to-back NBA championships in 1989 and 1990. Thomas retired in 1994 as a 12-time All-Star and was enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.

To celebrate Isiah’s big day, let’s go to the video…


VIDEO: Isiah In Focus


VIDEO: NBA Superstars Isiah

Flop or Not? with Vlade Divac

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — These days, flopping during an NBA game will get you a fine and a public rebuke from the NBA. But a few decades ago, it was a different world, when flopping wasn’t as reviled and was instead looked at more often with a wink and a smile. And there was nobody better at it then Sacramento center Vlade Divac. But now that Vlade is in the Kings front office, he’s pulling back the curtain and admitting which plays were flops and which plays were actual fouls. (Spoiler alert: They’re all flops.)


VIDEO: Vlade flops

Benny the Bull wears a GoPro camera

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Being an NBA mascot is like belonging to an elite fraternity, where you and a few dozen furry friends are responsible for the happiness and joy of tens of thousands of fans. But what is it like inside the costume? Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull wore a GoPro camera recently and filmed what it’s like inside the costume for a night. The coolest part might be how many people smile at you. Also, how easy it seems to be to scare people.


VIDEO: Benny GoPro

Charles Barkley’s bird imitation needs some work

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — He’s like a bird, he’s gonna fly away…

The NBA meets Game of Thrones

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I only started watching “Game of Thrones” a few years ago, but I managed to plow my way through every episode and catch up quickly. And one thing you notice is each house, or family, has their own sigil, or logo. Well, Reddit user ninetythrees did the logical thing and created a series of NBA-related sigils, as if each NBA team was involved in Westeros or somewhere over there. Cool stuff.

Here are a few to check out, and the entire collection is here. And don’t forget, Winter is coming…

f3G4on1 HZpFO6u jXpaESk

(via r/NBA)

Kevin Durant stars in new commercials for Sonic

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the annual traditions of postseason basketball is companies rolling out new commercials starring various NBA players. The drive-in restaurant chain Sonic just dropped a couple of new commercials starring Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. I’m guessing they assumed these would air during Thunder playoff games, but injuries brought the Thunder’s season to an early end. Still, funny stuff from KD…


VIDEO: Durant Sonic one-on-one


VIDEO: Durant slush dunk

(via TNLP)

Paul Pierce is on a taunting spree

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERPaul Pierce is on a roll. The Washington Wizards may have underwhelmed in the regular season, but Pierce and the Wiz swept the Toronto Raptors in four games in their first round series, which gave Pierce the chance to troll our neighbors to the north.

And now, with some time on their hands before the next round of the playoffs, Pierce and his Wizards teammates went to last night’s Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders hockey game. And since they were in the front row, when given the chance to taunt the visiting Caps Islanders, Pierce couldn’t help himself…

And whether it was Pierce’s influence or not, the Caps won and advanced to round two, the first time the Caps and Wiz have both been in the second round in the same season.