Off The Court

Toronto Raptors unveil alternate uniforms

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — On the heels of their trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Toronto Raptors are heading into the new season with equally high expectations. And today they announced a couple of on-court changes that should keep attention high. The Raptors unveiled two uniforms they’ll occasionally wear on court this season. First, a Toronto Huskies uniform which is referencing the 70th anniversary of the team that played in the Basketball Association of America. They also introduced a jersey commemorating the Chinese New Year. Here are some quick looks at the new uniforms, and for more images and information, click here.

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Chandler Parsons really likes Adele

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night in Los Angeles, Memphis forward Chandler Parsons joined many other music fans and attended the Adele concert at the Staples Center.

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We meet again. #bringonthetears

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Unlike most of the other fans, however, this wasn’t Parsons’ first attempt to attend the Adele concert at the Staples Center, as he noted with the “We meet again” caption on the photo above.

When was the previous meeting? Last week, when Parsons showed up at the Staples Center for the Adele concert…one week early.

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Came downtown for the Adele concert…its next Sunday.

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(via SBNation)

Wilson Chandler didn’t let the big one get away

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — There are several NBA players who have been vocal about their love of fishing. But I’m not sure we’ve ever seen anyone haul in as big a catch as the Denver Nuggets’ Wilson Chandler recently hauled in. Check out this huge grouper Chandler landed…

That time Kris Humphries beat Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — United States Olympians Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have spent the last week proving that they are two of the world’s greatest swimmers, and in Phelps’ case probably the greatest swimmer of all time.

But as KL Chouinard uncovered on Hawks.com, this wasn’t always the case. Before embarking on his NBA career, Atlanta Hawks forward Kris Humphries was a swimmer as a kid. And not just any swimmer: Back in 1995, Humphries recorded the fastest time in the world for his age bracket, in six different events. If I’m Phelps I’m asking for a rematch. Anyway, the results are below and there’s plenty more here on Hawks.com.

Lang and the Rookies: Olympic Spirit

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The last three years, we have attended the NBA Rookie Photoshoot in Tarrytown, NY, and asked the NBA’s incoming rookie class some non-traditional questions. This year was no exception, as we caught up with dozens of incoming rookies…

For today’s video we asked the rooks a simple question: What Olympic sport, other than basketball, would you like to try?

Steph Curry perfects halfcourt seated shot

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the most impressive things about Stephen Curry these last few seasons as he’s shot his way to MVP awards and championships is he way he’s improved his game by leaps and bounds every summer. And while he’s not playing with Team USA this summer, Curry is clearly putting in work, as this video that turned up this week shows. From halfcourt? Seated? No problem…

Myles Turner surprises family with new car

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s apparently always the season of giving if you’re an NBA player. We just saw Troy Daniels give his mother a new car, and now another NBA player has gifted wheels to a family member. Pacers center Myles Turner had a terrific rookie year, and while back home in Texas, Turner decided to make life a little brighter for his grandmother and aunt.

As Turner says in the video below, “My grandma and aunt are really responsible for why I’m here. My aunt really was very loving. She did a lot for me when I was playing AAU basketball, as far as getting me places, being there for support. My grandma was at every game.”

Here’s the Facebook Live stream of Turner giving them their new car…

USA Basketball cheers on Phelps, Ledecky

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With a night off last night in Rio, what should the members of Team USA do? For a group of guys like Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green, DeAndre Jordan, Klay Thompson and Kyle Lowry, they took advantage of the downtime by attending one of the night’s biggest events, swimming, which featured a couple of the biggest stars of the Olympics, Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky. Not only did the USA Basketball guys have a chance to cheer Phelps and Ledecky on toward gold medals, they got to spend some time with them post-race, as well…

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Witnessed greatness tonight🏅 #20 #21

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Draymond Green learns how to stand out

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green plays alongside some of the NBA’s biggest stars, including Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. So it’s no surprise that from time to time Green might get overshadowed by some of his better-known teammates. But in this new commercial from Foot Locker, Green gets some advice from a couple of other people who may understand what it might be like to be overlooked…

Be Like Mike turns 25

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTERMichael Jordan is one of the most popular athletes of all-time, and while that’s largely because of his dominance on the basketball court, there are other factors as well. Jordan was also involved in several advertising campaigns and off-court projects that, even years later, remain iconic.

According to ESPN.com, yesterday was the 25th anniversary of one of Jordan’s most memorable ads of all-time, Gatorade’s “Be Like Mike” commercial. As Darren Rovell writes, Gatorade came up with the memorable jingle in just a few days…

[Ad exec Bernie] Pitzel wanted a chance to do something iconic. OK, the Gatorade execs said. So the ad went from idea to final version in three days.

Pitzel’s original idea was to show kids looking up to Jordan while playing the song “I Wan’na Be Like You” from the 1967 film “The Jungle Book” that Disney had recently rereleased. But Pitzel said Disney wanted Gatorade to pay $350,000 for a five-week run. At the time, the cost was too much.

So Pitzel went back to the drawing board, sat down at his favorite Italian restaurant, and came up with the “Be Like Mike” lyrics on a napkin in four hours. Pitzel put the lyrics to four local music houses and quickly settled on jingle specialists Ira Antelis and Steve Shafer.

The result was the commercial song that the world came to love, which was then paired with Jordan and kids, and the spot was quickly shot. The rest is history.

And ever since, people have wanted to be like Mike…