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Atlanta Hawks bring back ‘Pac-Man’ logo

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just hours before the Atlanta Hawks host a Game 6 against the Indiana Pacers with a chance to eliminate the Pacers, the Hawks are attempting to rally their fan base by re-introducing a classic logo. The new logo is known as the Pac-Man, because the silhouette of a Hawks head also looks a bit like the old Pac-Man video game character swallowing a dot.

More than a cool logo, it’s a logo that for Atlanta fans is evocative of the 1980s, when that was the team’s primary logo and the Hawks were consistently among the best teams in the Eastern Conference. And while the Hawks will officially reintroduce the logo as an alternate logo for next season, they rolled it out a little bit early in order to get people even more pumped up for tonight’s big game.

As someone who grew up in Atlanta and has seen many iterations of the Hawks logos through the years, I thought I’d select my three favorite Hawks logos of all-time…

1. Atlanta Hawks Primary Logo 1972-95

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The classic. When I was a really young kid I remember staring at this logo for like a year or two before I realized exactly what it was. They changed it in 1995 and we entered a stretch of about a decade where the uniforms looked as though they had been designed inside a video game.

2. Atlanta Hawks Alternate Logo 1970-72

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Remember when the Hawks wore green and blue? Me neither. This logo looks like something a character in a Wes Anderson film would come up with. I love how spare it is.

3. Atlanta Hawks Primary Logo 1968-69

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I guess this is what a Hawk would look like if it actually played basketball. I mean, also if it didn’t have wings and instead had those hand-like things. Nice kneepads.

(logos via Sportslogos.net)

NBA Journal: Raptors make a run

Patrick Patterson, left, against Andray Blatche in Game 1, is in the NBA playoffs. (Ron Turenne/NBAE)

Patrick Patterson, left, against Andray Blatche in Game 1, is in the NBA playoffs. (Ron Turenne/NBAE)

By Patrick Patterson, for NBA.com

This is the most excited I’ve been to write a blog post since I started — the Toronto Raptors are in the Playoffs!  This is what I have wanted ever since I was a rookie and I am so proud to be part of this team.

When we clinched our spot, there was a feeling of relief, but we were also so proud of ourselves and one another.  We worked so hard for this all season, to finally achieve it is a great feeling.  We all celebrated with a team dinner, just having fun and enjoying the moment.

What makes it so much better is that our success this year was really a team effort.  Whether everyone’s unselfishness and willingness to move and share the ball, or DeMar and Kyle’s ability to become those leaders and star-caliber players we needed, every single person on this team contributed. We all knew individually what we had to do for this team in order for us to be successful, and all bought into what the coaching staff was telling us. We work hard and play hard, with lots of energy and young guys on the team.

Prepping for the Playoffs has been all about watching film, correcting previous mistakes against our opponent, knowing what they like to do and how they took advantage of us as far as plays on the court, mismatches and areas of the game we have to get better at.  Practices and workouts are short and sweet, a few reps, a few contact plays.  It’s all mental and all based on what we see on film, just trying to memorize game situations.

My personal goal for the Playoffs is to get to the Eastern Conference Finals. I want to make sure I work hard every single game so I don’t ever wonder, “What if I had given more?” I want to always be satisfied at the end of every game knowing that I gave it my all.

An added benefit of having my first Playoff series with this team is that I’m alongside two guys that were there my first year in Houston when we finished 9th – Kyle Lowry and Chuck Hayes. These guys have always treated me like a younger brother, watching out for me, so being able to have this experience with them is great, and hopefully there will be more to come!

It is not going to be an easy road to the Finals.  First up is Brooklyn, a team full of veterans with Playoff and Championship experience.  After that, we would face the winner of the Miami and Charlotte matchup.  LeBron and his basketball IQ alongside D Wade and Bosh, all returning champs, all extremely tough to beat.  Charlotte can slow down the game and have Al Jefferson who will punish you inside and get rebounds, in addition to Kemba Walker’s one-on-one ability.

Whatever matchups come our way, I am so confident in our team and know that we will leave everything we have on the floor every single game.  We the North!

Before the Playoffs started I had a chance to see Oculus, my next #patspicks movie review.  The plot of this movie made it one of the best I have seen in a long time.  It was able to jump from flashbacks to present day in a way that was intriguing instead of confusing.  You were on the edge of your seat trying to guess what happened next, but there were so many twists that threw you off.  Overall I give it an eight out of 10.  I originally thought this was a horror movie, which is one of my favorite genres, so I was expecting a little more gore, but this was definitely more of a thriller that messed with your mind.

Baron Davis: Friends In High Places

By Nick Margiasso IV

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week, we saw Baron Davis head for the glitz and glamor of Los Angeles on his comeback trail only to get blinded by the lights of reality.

In the latest edition of the ongoing saga on his comeback attempt to the NBA, Baron’s latest taste of being back in the big time comes from friends (and foes) Spike Lee and Reggie Miller

VIDEO: Baron Davis hits N.Y. on comeback trail

Miami Heat’s ‘Bane James’ Has Some Fun At Own Expense

By Nick Margiasso IV

The sports world, and especially the South Beach faithful, held their collective breath momentarily Thursday night for Mr. Miami Heat. After taking a hard shot to the face on a drive (WHICH HE STILL FINISHED WITH A HIGHLIGHT DUNK DESPITE GETTING WHACKED!!!), LeBron James lay writhing in pain amidst a puddle of his own blood.

It was so bad that he left the game, heading for the locker room during the biggest game of the Heat’s season so far — done for the night. Uh oh.

Or not.

Fans, King James wants you to exhale … and laugh a bit while doing it.

Follow LeBron James on Twitter and on Instagram.

Knicks’ Smith makes Twitter, own head explode with output vs. Bucks

By Nick Margiasso IV

Much-maligned Knicks guard J.R. Smith continued his zany season, aka 2013-14: A Shooting Odyssey, by scoring two more points than he had 3-point attempts. This is not necessarily weird unless you are informed that he took 17 attempts from the arc (!!!).

Now is it weird? No, you’re right, it’s something other than weird.

Hoops writers agreed on Twitter…

You know who else thinks it’s crazy? J.R. does…

Not To Be Outdone, D-Wade Has Own Twitter Fan Session

By Nick Margiasso IV

It’s been said before, but if you can’t beat a good idea why not join in on it? This is especially a good rule when it comes to fan interaction between NBA players and their followers. After all, in this hyper-social, virtual reality in which we live online, fans just want to chat with their favorite players. So, following LeBron James’ extensive fan Q&A the other day, Dwyane Wade got in on the action on football Sunday. So many highlights here, some of the keys being the chatter about his fellow players, one random call-out of ESPN’s resident Jonah Hill look-alike and hoops writer Brian Windhorst and some unfortunate Twitter monikers :

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Gridiron Tribute To Late Lakers’ Owner

By Nick Margiasso IV

At this time of year, it seems like everyone’s minds are collectively on football — especially in the NBA world (with still well more than a month left until regular-season action).

So, it’s nice to see the football world give a nod back to The Association, as the USC Trojans did at halftime of their Saturday showdown at the famed Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum . And definitely when it’s to honor a legendary NBA figure like the late Dr. Jerry Buss and his beloved Lakers.

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Via the Laker Girls on Twitter (@LakerGirls)

Nate Robinson Recounts Classic Bulls-Nets Game Via Twitter

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Check out some of Nate Robinson’s best tweets as he recounts his huge triple-overtime Game 4 performance against Brooklyn in the first round of last season’s playoffs.

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NFL Madness Continues: You OK KD?

By Nick Margiasso IV

The only thing more entertaining than the first week of the NFL so far has been NBA players’ reaction to it. And what better way to cap an extended weekend of madness than the NBA brotherhood taking out the Redskins Monday night meltdown/Eagles ascension on renowned Washington fan Kevin Durant.

Teammate Russell Westbrook, busy this weekend at New York Fashion Week and celebrating his Cowboys’ big win, took time out to rub it in on pal KD…

Durant wasn’t happy…

And LeBron James, well, just thought it was pretty funny…

Westbrook Goes Fashion Forward-er

By Nick Margiasso IV

What happens when the worlds of the NBA and New York Fashion Week collide? Something with explosive patterns, random accessories and odd lil’ hats … worn by a guy like Russell Westbrook, of course.

But, you see, New York Fashion Week is no place to make tongue-in-cheek quips at the outfits worn by NBA players like R-Wes in the obligatory postgame presser fashion show. Just the opposite — it’s where NBA fashion fits like a glove (check out NBA Style correspondent @LanceFresh for all your NYFW-NBA happenings).

Case-in-point, Westbrook has been spotted sitting with one of the most powerful faces in fashion — Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour.

See for yourself … if it’s a little blurry, that’s just because you stylishly took the lenses out of your frames:

And again at another NYFW (the kids’ll wanna throw a “hashtag” in front of that) event:

What does this all mean for the OKC man runnin’ the point on posh style? All signs point to a little love in the pages of that aforementioned very famous fashion mag. Keep your lense-less eyes peeled …

Follow Russell Westbrook on Twitter @russwest44 and on Instagram here.