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.


Newspaper hiring a LeBron James beat reporter

By Joe Boozell

People who say LeBron James does wonders for the Cleveland economy aren’t kidding. That even applies to the newspaper business now as the Northeast Ohio Media Group (which represents the Cleveland Plain Dealer) is searching for a reporter that will exclusively cover King James. Love writing? Love LeBron? Apply today!

The job description in its entirety can be seen on the Northeast Ohio Media Group’s website, but here is a quick snippet:

Bring your sports, news and investigative reporting experience to one of the most challenging reporting jobs in the country, covering the sports performance, business dealings and community leadership of basketball star LeBron James. You’ll cover all aspects of his roles in Northeast Ohio and nationally as he returns to the Cleveland Cavaliers, writing, creating videos, and posting across multiple platforms including all relevant types of social media. You’ll also participate in broadcasts where you discuss James, working closely with reporters assigned to cover the Cavaliers and the NBA.

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

Michael Jordan’s last Bulls contract up for auction

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Everything Michael Jordan touches seems to turn to gold…even something as simple as a piece of paper.

An auction house in Dallas, Texas, got their hands on the last contract Michael Jordan signed with the Chicago Bulls, for the 1997-98 season. The one-year contract is 26 pages long and by signing it, Jordan earned $33 million, the largest single-season salary in NBA history. Was it worth it? Well, the Bulls won the title that season, Jordan’s sixth (and final) championship.

You can bid on the contract here, but it ain’t cheap: According to ESPN, bidding is already over $28,000.


(via ESPN)

Will Paul George wear number 13 next season?

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 6

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Jersey numbers, while mostly trivial, can hold much meaning for the athletes who wear them. I know NBA players who have their jersey numbers incorporated into everything from their Twitter handles to their email address to their phone numbers.

Pacers guard Paul George has worn number 24 throughout his NBA career, but via a series of tweets, George hints that he may be switching to number 13…

As the Indy Star points out, “trece” is Spanish for 13. This would allow George to be known as PG-13, which I guess is a catchy nickname if you’re into movie ratings. Also, 13 was the number worn by Mark Jackson when he played in Indiana, so I guess that isn’t being retired anytime soon.

What do you think? Should Paul George change his number? Or was 24 working well as it was?

(via Indy Star)

Throwback Thursday: Best teams of the 1960s

VIDEO: Wilt Chamberlain became a dominant NBA force in the 1960s

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball.

Today’s Topic: Best Teams of 1960s

This week we continue our Throwback Thursday: Best Teams of Each Decade series by looking at the best teams to play in the 1960s.

Make sure to check back next week for our look at the best teams of the 1970s!

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)

Gallery: TBT: Best Teams of 1960s

Which of these teams do you think would do best in today’s NBA? Leave your comments below!

NBA Rooks: Diaries … Aaron Craft

Aaron Craft (Jack Arent/NBAE)

Aaron Craft (Jack Arent/NBAE)

By Aaron Craft, for NBA.com

I was really excited heading in to summer league, just to have a chance to play some 5-v-5 again.  You are always a little bit nervous going in to new situations, but practicing really helped me calm my nerves and gave all of us a chance to get to know each other.  After that, it was just getting back to playing basketball, trusting in the work and the practice and just enjoying the game.

I was lucky enough to be able to play with two different teams – the Philadelphia 76ers in Orlando and the Golden State Warriors in Las Vegas.  I didn’t have specific goals going in to summer league, just to get back to playing and let my competitive natures take over.  I wanted to win.

Playing in Orlando definitely helped prepare for Vegas, which is much more of an event, with spectators and announcers, even a hype man to get the crowd going.  Orlando was similar to an open gym type atmosphere where as Vegas was more like a college game.  There was a lot of energy in the arena which is always helpful in giving you a little extra oompf or adrenaline when you’re playing.  There was one game in particular, when we played the Lakers, where the fans were crazy — cheering during free throws and everything.

The most challenging part is the free time.  Basketball is so natural and practice was great, but at 3 pm you’re on your way back to the hotel with nowhere to be until 10:30 the following morning. Of course it’s Vegas, so there is plenty to do, but there is a big difference between what you can do and what you should do!  I mostly went to dinner with some friends – lots of good places to eat in Vegas.

My experience at summer league was a little different from some of the guys who were draft picks.  Playing with two different teams meant two different coaching styles and two different systems to learn.  The other guys know what team they’re playing for and have an added level of comfort in that sense.  I was fortunate enough to get on two great teams with a lot of young players who were unselfish, energetic and really committed to making the team the best, so that made it really enjoyable.

Overall I am very proud of how I played.  I am learning that there is a whole lot more than just basketball that goes in to how NBA teams assemble their rosters, but that is the only part I can control and I know I made the most of the opportunity.  I am hopeful that it transforms into something bigger, but right now even more excited to see my fiancée and my brother who is home on leave from the army.  Every once in a while it’s good to put the ball down, but never for too long!

Aaron Craft is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Ohio State. Look for more “NBA Rooks: Diaries …” all season long on the All Ball blog.

VIDEO: Prospect Profile: Ohio State’s Aaron Craft

What if Morgan Freeman read LeBron’s “coming home” story?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When LeBron James announced he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he did so by writing a first-person story in Sports Illustrated explaining his decision. I read it and imagined it in LeBron James’ voice.

But what if it was read by one of the great voices of our time, Morgan Freeman? Comedian/impersonator Frank Caliendo was on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” this morning, and he showed off his pitch-perfect Morgan Freeman impression by reading LeBron’s letter in Freeman’s voice…

VIDEO: LeBron Morgan Freeman

(via TBL)

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?