The Pacers take Lance Stephenson to the movies

Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards: Game Six

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When the clock struck midnight last night on the East Coast, NBA free agency kicked off. For many teams, at least at that initial moment, this means putting in a call to a player’s agent to register some level of interest.

But the Indiana Pacers were apparently not messing around. With their do-everything swingman Lance Stephenson hitting free agency, the Pacers decided to go all out and let him know how important keeping him is to their future plans. So, according to the Indy Star, the Pacers rented out a movie theater. Really.

Sometime shortly after midnight Tuesday, Lance Stephenson will be seated with his family and friends in a movie theater. The lights will go down and the ‘Born Ready’ life story will flash before Stephenson’s eyes on the big screen.

Inside the entertainment complex based in suburban Indianapolis, the Pacers’ commitment begins in earnest where a private party will be held and a love letter set to moving pictures will play with the hopes of keeping Stephenson. The movie will feature moments from when Stephenson arrived in Indiana to the point he is now, a potential Eastern Conference All-Star and a key figure in a core that can compete for a title. After midnight, however, the real picture of Stephenson’s future will take shape.

Will it be enough to keep Born Ready in Indianapolis? That remains to be seen…

Memphis Grizzlies owner slam dunks

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I’m pretty sure that Memphis Grizzlies majority owner Robert Pera is the youngest majority owner in the NBA — he was born in 1978, making him just 36 years old. Which also means Pera is within the top tier in terms of physical shape of the NBA majority owners. We already know Pera loves playing basketball — remember last season when he challenged Tony Allen to a one-on-one match that ended up never happening? And last week upon joining Instagram, Pera posted a video of him throwing down a rather powerful two-handed dunk. (The only question from me: Is that a 10-foot goal? until proven otherwise I feel like we have to give Pera the benefit of the doubt.)

A video posted by Robert Pera (@__rjp__) on

Shaqtin’ A Fool MVP: And the winner is …

All season, it’s been a tight battle between Kendrick Perkins and Swaggy P for the coveted title of Shaqtin’ A Fool MVP. Watch Shaq count down the Top 20 Shaqtin’ A Fool moments from the second half of the season, culminating in the No. 1 moment and the unveiling of the Shaqtin’ A Fool MVP.


No. 14 – Cage wins ’88 rebound crown


The countdown is on! We’re offering 84 facts on the ’84 Draft – one every hour — in advance of the June 9 premiere of “The84Draft” on NBA TV.

Michael Cage

Michael Cage was in a rebounding zone during the 1987-88 season.

Name: Michael Cage

Position: Center/Forward

Vitals: 6-foot-9, 224 pounds

Birthday: Jan. 28, 1962

College: San Diego State

Drafted in 1984: 14th overall by Los Angeles Clippers

Draft fact: When the 14th pick of the 1984 NBA Draft, Michael Cage, grabbed 30 rebounds in the last game of the 1987-88 season, it proved to be the difference and led to his lone rebounding crown. He averaged 13.03 rpg (938 rebounds in 72 games) to best Charles Oakley of the Chicago Bulls, who averaged 13.0 rpg (1066 rebounds in 82 games) in one of the closest rebounding crown races of all time.

We’re just 14 hours away from “The84Draft” on NBA TV! Tune in for the captivating story on one of the NBA’s most talent-filled and unique classes ever.

No. 64 – Jordan breaks foot in 1985


The countdown is on! We’re offering 84 facts on the ’84 Draft – one every hour — in advance of the June 9 premiere of “The84Draft” on NBA TV.

Name: Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Injuries limited Michael Jordan in the 1985-86 season.

Position: Guard

Vitals: 6-foot-6, 195 pounds

Birthday: Feb. 17, 1963

College: North Carolina

Drafted in 1984: 3rd overall by Chicago Bulls

Draft fact: After a solid rookie season in the NBA in 1984-85, Michael Jordan – the 3rd pick of the 1984 Draft – would miss 64 games in 1985-86 because of a broken foot. However, Jordan did return in time for the 1986 playoffs, where he would score 63 points in Game 2 against the Boston Celtics. After that foot injury, though, Jordan never missed more than four games in any season as a member of the Bulls.

VIDEO: Michael Jordan torches the Celtics for 63 points during the 1986 playoffs

We’re just 64 hours away from “The84Draft” on NBA TV! Tune in for the captivating story on one of the NBA’s most talent-filled and unique classes ever.

Zach LaVine Ups His Stock

By Joe Boozell

Former Kansas standout Andrew Wiggins wowed fans, scouts and executives when he registered a 44-inch vertical leap prior to the NBA Draft Combine.

But refusing to be outdone, former UCLA guard Zach Lavine went airborne to the tune of 46 inches in his pre-draft workout with the Los Angeles Lakers today.

For those out there wondering, the 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest is 254 short days away.

Nick Young volunteers to coach the Lakers

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Los Angeles Lakers need a new coach. Their swaggy shooting guard, Nick Young, who is always up to something interesting and could become a free agent this summer, could possibly need a new job.

So in some ways it makes perfect sense that Young would volunteer to coach the Lakers. After all, who is more Hollywood than Swaggy P? Let’s make this happen, Lake Show…

Atlanta Hawks bring back ‘Pac-Man’ logo

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com


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


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


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


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