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Relaxation: New Zealand Draft Pick Style

By Nick Margiasso IV

The Oklahoma City Thunder veterans would like to collectively thank new draft pick Steven Adams for answering the “Who will be the easiest rookie to haze” question…

Follow Steven Adams of the Thunder on Twitter at @RealStevenAdams.

NBA 2K14 To Include 14 Euroleague Teams

The upcoming edition of the NBA 2K video game series will include 14 Euroleague teams, according to a press release from Euroleague basketball.

Here’s a full list of the teams:

  • Alba Berlin
  • FC Barcelona
  • Real Madrid
  • CSKA Moscow
  • EA7 Emporio Armani Milano
  • Montepaschi Siena
  • Fenerbahçe Ülker Istanbul
  • Anadolu Efes Istanbul
  • Olympiacos Piraeus
  • Panathinaikos Athens
  • Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
  • Zalgiris Kaunas
  • Unicaja Málaga
  • Laboral Kutxa Vitoria

This news, in addition to the NBA’s announcement earlier last week of regular season games being played in Mexico City and London next year, signals the continuing globalization of the NBA brand. NBA 2K14 should also allow unprecedented exposure for the 14 Euroleague teams.

NBA 2K14 hits the shelves on October 1.

Draft Diaries: Brandon Paul

By Brandon Paul, for NBA.com

portland offense

Getting in some work just before Draft night. (Courtesy Brandon Paul)

Wow, this experience has been unbelievable! Thought I was done and then I got calls from the Bulls for a second workout, that was great! Always grown up a Bulls fan, and my mentor, Dickey Simpkins, won 3 NBA Championships with them. I met him my freshman year of high school and that’s when the very first Team NLP (AAU Program) was created. Those were some of the funniest times when I was younger. Playing for the Bulls would be a dream come true, but wherever I end up, I would be completely grateful.

Such a humbling experience. I’m not sure where I will end up, but I am excited about all of the opportunities that were presented to me since this whole thing started, and the ones ahead. I’ve been to Chicago for the NBA Combine, and then both group workouts at Brooklyn & Minnesota. I’ve also worked out for the Spurs, Pistons, Bulls (twice), Thunder, Knicks, Trailblazers, Suns, Rockets, Clippers, Jazz, Timberwolves & now the 76ers! This is, wow! Truly blessed for these opportunities.

The draft is right around the corner, I’m not sure what’s going to be going through my head. I’m going to have a couple friends over to watch the draft with me along with my family. Or maybe I’ll freak out and make everybody watch it somewhere else while I watch it alone…I don’t even know! This is pretty nerve racking, but whatever happens, it’s in Gods hands. He has put me in a position to be successful and I have Faith that I’ll end up in the right spot! Until then…

BP3

Copa de Kobe: Lakers’ Bryant Kicks Around In Brazil On Vacation

By Nick Margiasso IV

Los Angeles Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant knows the best way to unwind after a season of hanging around big-time athletes playing a game followed by fans around the world that revolves around a little ol’ 29-inch ball.

Hang around big-time athletes playing a game followed by fans around the world that revolves around a little ol’ 28-inch ball, of course.

That’s right, Kobe “Footy” Bryant took his love for The Beautiful Game on the road for his latest vacation. He is currently in Brazil for the Confederations Cup rooting on world football/futbol/futbal/calcio/futebol/whatever-you-call-it powers like the aforementioned host country and his beloved Italian squad (who he grew up watching as a youngster in the country of calzones).

Here’s a look at the Soccer, err, Futebol Mamba on his sojourn:

Kickin’ it with all-time great Ronaldinho:

Starry-eyed in Soccerland with top players like Neymar, Dani Alves and Mario Balotelli:

Hangin with Brazil’s Mr. Damiao in a pair of his new soccer-inspired Nike joints:

As for his Achilles injury? Well, he’s been chatting on and off with the recently retired soccer brand David Beckham on that one. Kobe probably hopes that at this time next year, instead of kicking around at the fun and frenetic world party that the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be, a ticker-tape parade will be on his calendar. Fun and frenzy is much more a Dwight Howard thing, anyway.

Follow Kobe Bryant, recent winner of the NBA’s first Social Media MVP Award, on Twitter @kobebryant.

NBA Style: Sideline Style Pt. 2

NBA Style

by Baron Davis –

What’s up?! It’s BD again with my second installment of Sideline Style. Last week I looked at the early days of the NBA coaches’ style. Some really nailed it, others not so much. If you missed it, go back and read it here.

Call me Captain Obvious, but I think it’s fair to say that most of the coaches nowadays keep it pretty conservative.  Let’s take a look:

Byron Scott

Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers  (more…)

NBA Style: Riley Vs. Spoelstra

NBA Style

by The NBA.com Style Crew

As we’ve explored NBA style this postseason, we’ve focused mainly on the players. Which means we’ve looked past some of the NBA’s most fashionable — well, occasionally — people: NBA coaches. Some coaches make an obvious effort — we always appreciate Scott Brooks‘ tie game in Oklahoma City — yet there are also coaches who dress as though style is totally unimportant (and here we will avoid naming names in order to preserve friendships).

The Miami Heat have had six head coaches in their 25 year history, but their last two coaches are two of the most fashionable in recent NBA memory. Pat Riley, coach from 2005-2008 and currently team president, became known for his slicked-back hair and Armani suits while presiding over Showtime in Los Angeles and later with the Knicks in New York City. Meanwhile, current coach Erik Spoelstra is always well-tailored, frequently wearing dark suits and fashionable skinny ties.

Our question to you is, which coach wins style match-up, Pat Riley or Erik Spoelstra? Vote in the poll at the bottom, and don’t forget to continue the conversation on Twitter using #NBAStyle.

PAT RILEY

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Four

ERIK SPOELSTRA

Houston Rockets v Miami Heat

Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game Three

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Five

The Nine Worst Shooting Motions In The NBA


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of my favorite descriptions of all time came a few years ago, back when NBA TV’s Steve Smith was calling Hawks games on Atlanta-area TV. The Hawks were playing the Chicago Bulls, and Bulls center Joakim Noah got fouled and sent to the free throw line.

Noah stepped to the stripe, took a deep breath and then … well, he didn’t shoot the ball so much as he kind of launched it, with both hands, with sideways spin, toward the rim. The Hawks’ announcers were taken aback, and then Smitty said Noah shot like he had a charley horse in his chest.

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The thing is, Smitty was correct. Noah shoots the ball in such a way that if you displayed similar form at basketball camp, they would promptly refund your money and send you home. But it works for Noah, and he’s managed to be effective enough with it that no coach has seen the need to fundamentally change it.

Noah, however, is not the only NBA player with nontraditional form. Shawn Marion immediately comes to mind — I once asked Marion where he developed his strange release, and he said it was because he jumped so high that he was basically shooting down at the rim.

My main man Kevin Lincoln over at Buzzfeed.com compiled a list of the 9 Ugliest Shooting Motions in the NBA, and he makes a compelling argument for a lot of these guys. Check it out, and let us know who gets your vote for the worst shooting motion.

(gif via BuzzFeed)

Allow Me To Introduce Myself…

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Well, hello there. My name is Lang Whitaker, and up until this point, I’ve been something of an interloper around these parts the last few years, popping in irregularly to speak on the NBA on podcasts or in video clips. But now I’m here to stay. So we better get used to each other.

A little about me? I was born in Atlanta. I went to elementary, middle and high school in Atlanta. I went to college at UGA. I worked in Atlanta for a while after that. I moved to New York City in the fall of 2000, and I’ve lived here in NYC ever since. I root hard for the Atlanta Hawks, the Atlanta Braves, the Georgia Bulldogs, Manchester United and the Atlanta Falcons.

For the last 13 years, I worked for SLAM magazine. From about 2001-09, I wrote five days a week on SLAMonline.com for a column called “The Links.” I also wrote about a hundred features on various NBA players. In 2011, I left my full-time gig at SLAM and started doing other stuff alongside limited SLAM duties. I wrote a book. I wrote for newspapers and magazines and web sites. I took a few deep breaths.

And now I’m here. I’ll be writing here on the All Ball Blog every day. Once a week I’ll be podcasting with Sekou Smith and Rick Fox. I chat with folks on TNT Overtime during some of the TNT games. And from time to time you might even see my mug pop up on NBA TV.

For now, I’ve got to get settled in here. So while I figure out how to check my email on my phone, here are some other things you might want to know about me: I like to cook. I like to eat. I like to put soy sauce and sriracha on just about everything. My favorite restaurants include, but are not limited to: Red Rooster Harlem, Ma Peche, and Waffle House (any location). I have been married for nine years. I have a dog named Starbury. I have a son who is four months old, whose main objective in life right now is to make sure I don’t sleep more than a few hours at a time. I love sneakers and sportswear. I like to play golf. I like to watch TV and movies. If I had to pick a character on “Duck Dynasty” that I would most like to hang out with, it would be Uncle Si.

My favorite director is Wes Anderson. I think a billion dollar idea might be disposable tissues that clean your eyeglasses without leaving any streaks. I believe in the sovereignty of the SEC. I enjoy playing video games so much that I have to try and avoid playing them. I’m going to start working out again pretty soon, I swear. My favorite writers include, but are not limited to, Truman Capote, John Irving, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nick Hornby, David Sedaris and Mike Sager. I read the New Yorker cover-to-cover every week. I feel like anyone who serves unsweetened iced tea has some nerve. I believe that OutKast is the greatest hip-hop group of all-time, and I also believe that Big Boi is perpetually underrated. Branford is my favorite Marsalis. Tyrion is my favorite Lannister. Khloe is my favorite Kardashian. Finally, I believe that above all else, basketball is a game, and it should be fun to follow.

The last point is the most relevant to who I am, and to this blog. I love this game, and this blog will hopefully reflect that and celebrate that, every day. I’m sure I’ll reveal more about myself (and learn more about myself) as we go along here, and I’d like to learn more about you guys, too. If you have thoughts, ideas, links, whatever, leave a comment down below, or email me using the link up top in the header, or tweet via the link up above.

And just so I don’t leave you with nothing to chew on, here’s my favorite NBA-related YouTube video of all-time. This video explains my NBA fandom in many ways, from celebration of the game itself to the blind, ultimately misguided optimism. I’m old enough that I remember when this song was released, and I remain hopeful that one of these days the Atlanta Hawks will recycle this both as a marketing slogan and a theme song.

NBA Rooks: Diaries … Khris Middleton




By Khris Middleton, Detroit Pistons

That’s A Wrap
The season is over for the Detroit Pistons, and I’m happy to say that I have completed my first NBA season. I’m definitely looking forward to many more. Since our team is not in the playoffs, I am going to take this down time to look ahead to next year and how our team can get better and become a winning team.

I’m glad that I was able to finish the season on a strong note, and hopefully that will run into next year as well. In the beginning, I wasn’t playing, but I told myself to stay focused and keep working hard. My confidence has always been high, but when I got the chance to play and I was proud of the level it was at I became even more confident in myself. It is important to not let anything or anybody break your confidence, and I try and live by that motto.
Looking back on my rookie season, there was a lot of learning to be had on my end. You absorb the most in your rookie year, and I tried to take it all in. Now, I plan to take everything I learned from this year and enhance those lessons this summer to come back even stronger for my second year.

Offseason Game Plan
I’ll probably watch some of the NBA playoff games, but I won’t be glued to the TV like I have in past years. I just want to take some time to relax and get my mind off of basketball for a little bit.

This weekend, I’m going to visit my old roommate from Texas A&M who now plays basketball at University of Colorado in Boulder. We don’t have any set plans yet, I am just looking forward to hanging out and having a fun time with friends. From there, I’m going back to my old school, Texas A&M, to see more friends, coaches and teammates. A lot of the guys I played with still go there, and they are great friends who are more like family.

After I take a couple of weeks off, I’m going to get back into working out and training. I’ll be spending most of the summer in Detroit working with our strength coach, trying to get stronger.

I will also be going home to Charleston, South Carolina as much as I can to visit my family and friends. Some of my friends are in other places during the year, but they all come home for the summer, so hopefully we’ll all be able to meet up. I really miss my Mom’s home cooked meals. She actually came to visit me in Detroit last week and she cooked me all kinds of things, including cinnamon rolls made from scratch! Thankfully she made a lot of food, so I had plenty of leftovers! She is a great cook, and makes all different kinds of fish, chicken and pastas. My home cooked meals are definitely the main thing I miss from home other than my family itself of course.

In June, I’m going to have a three-day basketball camp for the local kids in Charleston. I always went to basketball camps as a kid, and I know how much they helped me, so now I want to help the kids from my hometown. I’ll always remember going to camps, making friends there and learning the fundamentals of the game, which I use to this day.

Suit and Tiephoto
I recently had the cool experience of getting my first custom suit. I got fitted at Alton Lane when we were in town playing the Knicks, and then I received my suits when we were back in the area to play Brooklyn. I got two new suits; they fit real nicely and make me look sharp! It was my first experience with being able to hand pick everything from the fabric of the suit, the lining inside the jacket and the small customizations like having my initials on the shirt cuff and inside the my jacket. I ended up getting a charcoal suit with a blue shirt that has pink trim. I also went with a straight formal black suit. I didn’t have a plain black suit before, and I felt like I needed one for formal occasions. I’m not normally a fashion guy, but I like my new suits and they fit great!

That’s about all from me. I want to thank the fans for all of their support throughout the season! I really appreciated it and am already excited for next year. Have a great summer, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Khris22m and instagram at k_mid32

Khris Middleton is a 6-foot-7 forward from Texas A&M. He was selected by the Pistons with the ninth pick of the second round in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Follow All Ball all season for more from NBA Rooks: Diaries …

LeBron Gives Assist To Weather Service

by Zettler Clay IV

When LeBron James isn’t busy wrapping up another probable MVP season, he spreads his talents elsewhere (figured we can give the verb “take” a break for now). In his latest off-court dime, he lamented — or revered — Mother Nature’s omnipotence to the tune of four well-flooded shots from his car in his Coral Gables neighborhood.

james-weather-tweet

“Miami ain’t always sunshine! Mother nature ain’t nothing to mess with. Rain rain go away, come back another day,” posted the Heat’s No. 6 on Instagram. The National Weather Service, being social media hip and all, responded with an alert, citing ‘Bron as a source in the new info:

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It’s always great to see social media being mined for relevant events like floods. It’s even better when an athlete of a reigning NBA MVP’s stature takes time to send the world a view from his gloomy (relatively speaking) neighborhood. The National Weather Report tends to pay attention to these things. The nexus between social media, athletes and the world is being strengthened by one “despondent”  king of the world athlete’s  resident’s post at a time.