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Zach LaVine is an impressive dunker

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — During Las Vegas Summer League, the Hang Time Podcast crew (myself, Sekou Smith and Rick Fox) had the chance to announce a couple of games live on NBA TV. In all, we called three games in one day, and by the time the third game rolled around we were starting to get a little weary.

Luckily, the final game we called was New Orleans against Minnesota, which meant we got to see Timberwolves rookie Zach LaVine, who was everything he was billed as being. LaVine was by no means the most polished player at Summer League, but the 6-5 guard may have been the most athletic, time and again flying through the sky for crazy dunks or blocks.

LaVine showed off that athleticism again yesterday at the Seattle Pro-Am, where he competed in a dunk contest (emcee’d by Jamal Crawford) and was rather impressive. Let’s hope he gives it a shot in this year’s NBA Slam Dunk contest…


VIDEO: LaVine Dunks

(via BIL)

Touchdown, Dwyane Wade

By Jeff Case

Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade is a Chicago native and was in his hometown last week to host a sports camp with Chicago Bears superstar receiver Brandon Marshall. Before the camp started, Wade jokingly told a tale of how a camper asked him why he flops.

Although the camp ended on Wednesday and Wade was there to help with the basketball side of things, he couldn’t help showing off some gridiron skills with an impressive one-handed snag of a pass:

(h/t TNLP)

Rihanna following Embiid on Twitter

By Jeff Case

Injured Philadelphia 76ers rookie center Joel Embiid has been busy on Twitter since the Draft, trying to first get LeBron James to sign with Philly, then trying to get the attention of Kim Kardashian and, lately, has been trying to get Rihanna‘s attention, too.

Well, at least his efforts with his latest Twitter target appears to have paid off as the pop star is apparently doing what LeBron and Kim K. wouldn’t do: follow him back on Twitter.

 

Dirk Nowitzki plays baseball

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With some free time on his hands this summer, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki organized a celebrity baseball game to raise money for the Heroes Foundation and the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation. Dirk managed to draw in some iconic athletes from the Dallas area, from Terrell Owens to Tony Romo to Jason Terry. In the video below you can see Dirk beat out an infield grounder, score from second on a base hit, and lay down a bunt during the home run derby, among other things. As a baseball player, Dirk’s a pretty good basketball player.


VIDEO: Dirk plays baseball

(via TNLP)

Shaq auditions for Pharrell

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERShaquille O’Neal is not only a Hall of Fame basketball player, he also has historically had a variety of interests off the court, from acting to investing to rapping. As a rapper, he’s released six albums, and his first record, Shaq Diesel, actually went platinum. (He once told me, with a laugh, “Two went platinum, two went gold, two went wood.”)

And now that Shaq’s a member of the “Inside the NBA” crew, he’s apparently not quite ready to leave to leave rapping behind. In the video below, Shaq asks Pharrell to consider him for inclusion on the soundtrack of NBA2K15. I’m not sure this is the strongest audition, but it’s a start…


VIDEO: Shaq rap

Camper asks Dwyane Wade why he flops

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One thing pro athletes get involved with in their off-season are camps for kids — just recently we saw Damian Lillard throwing down dunks at his camp in Portland.

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade hails from Chicago, so he returned home this week to co-sponsor a camp with Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall. And in a press conference at the camp, Wade shared what happened when he took questions from the campers. And you know, kids say the darndest things…


VIDEO: Wade flops?

That time Kobe scored 36 points in Summer League

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I spent the last week in Las Vegas at the Samsung NBA Summer League, watching some of the best and brightest young players in the NBA out there trying to make names for themselves. From the more known players, such as Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, to guys who maybe weren’t as well known but played great, like Glen Rice Jr. and Ray McCallum, there were plenty of terrific performances this summer.

This continues a long-running tradition of NBA players on the rise showing out in summer league. Yesterday, someone uncovered this video of Kobe Bryant back in 1996, before he’d played in an actual NBA game, dropping 36 points against the Phoenix summer league team while wearing number 32. Funny how similar his game looks then to the way he still plays now…


VIDEO: Kobe scores 36

LeBron gives sweet apology to his Ohio neighbors

By Jeff Case

In the days before LeBron James eventually made his decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, many, many, MANY, cars and on-lookers lined the street in Bath Township, Ohio. That’s where James has a residence off Idlebrook Drive in a high-end community and all of that foot traffic — from fans others awaiting some kind of sign at James’ home about his free-agent choice — no doubt bothered at least some of James’ neighbors.

Like any good neighbor, though, James did what he could to right that wrong by having an upscale bakery in Ohio deliver cupcakes to the other homeowners. The Akron Beacon Journal has more:

Employees from Baker Blvd. Decadent Desserts in Fairlawn dropped off cupcakes Tuesday night to James’ Bath Township neighbors. Included with the dozen cupcakes was an apology note from James for the “chaos” that surrounded his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When James announced his decision to return to the Cavs earlier this month, fans and the media crowded his Idlebrook Drive home.

“We know things have been hectic in the neighborhood these past few weeks and we are sorry for the chaos,” the note reads. “We are so thankful to live in this wonderful community and we are so blessed to have understanding neighbors like you.

“As a gesture of our gratitude and appreciation, our family wants to give you something that is meaningful to us, our foundation’s cupcakes. We hope you enjoy the treat!”

The note was addressed from James, his wife and two children.

James’ neighbors received six “Just a Kid from Akron Cherry Cola” cupcakes and six “Homecourt Chocolate Chunk” cupcakes. Both cupcakes were designed for James.

And here’s a tweet from David Galehouse, who home is just miles from James’ home, writes ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell.

Kobe’s secrets to success? Cold-calling

By Jeff Case

Some of the funniest shoe commercials of the last few years were the ones Kobe Bryant did in 2012 billed as the “Kobe System”. In those spots, Bryant plays the role of motivational speaker/coach to a cast of Hollywood celebrities and other famous athletes.

But how has Kobe seeks to transition from NBA superstar to the next phase of his life in a few seasons, Bryant recently shared with Bloomberg how he often cold-calls business leaders and other people he’s interested in learning about cold.

That’s right, the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history will just call up business leaders when the inkling strikes him. Granted, that’s not something all of us can do, but Bryant’s advice about not being afraid to learn and/or ask stupid questions of others is worth storing away …

(h/t Los Angeles Daily News)

Why NBA players shouldn’t bowl …

By Jeff Case

We like Andre Drummond around these parts because he reflects a lot of what the All Ball Blog is all about — fun off the court, a flair for social media and a general sense of not taking oneself too seriously.

A frequent user of Vine, Drummond showed off in his latest video just why NBA players should steer clear of the bowling lanes (bonus points for including Sweet Georgia Brown, there, Andre) …

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