LeBron hangs with future NBA players in 2007

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It doesn’t seem like all that long ago, but 2007 was seven years ago, and a lot of players who are in the NBA now were still in high school or college back then. That point was reiterated yesterday when former college basketball player Wesley Witherspoon celebrated Throwback Thursday by posting a pic taken in 2007 at the LeBron James Skills Academy. And while LeBron looks a bit younger then than he does today, what’s really neat is all the guys around him who will eventually make it to the NBA.

See if you can spot Kemba Walker, Greg Monroe, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan and Lance Stephenson

Meet Giannis Antetokounmpo, your friendly neighborhood fire chief

Bucks Fire Safety

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Being really tall has benefits if you’re an NBA player, but it also comes in handy if you’re doing things that require you being near the ceiling. So perhaps it makes sense that Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo was recently named honorary fire chief in Milwaukee, where he went home to home installing smoke detectors. Here’s a video of Chief Antetokounmpo (and some of his Bucks teammates) doing good work…


VIDEO: Chief Giannis

Amar’e Stoudemire has innovative workout recovery routine

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In almost every NBA locker room after every game, the media enters the room to find the players sitting with their feet buried in buckets of ice water. They do this as an anti-inflammatory, to help reduce stress and swelling immediately after the rigors of an NBA game.

Ice water, I’ve seen a number of times. But yesterday on Instagram, Amar’e Stoudemire posted a photo of himself utilizing a recovery method that I’ve never seen. Below is a picture of Amar’e soaking in a tub filled with…red wine? As Amar’e said in the comment, “Recovery Day! Red Wine Bath!!”

Just because I’ve never heard of it doesn’t mean it’s not real. After doing some extensive research on the topic — a.k.a. one Google search — I learned that this is called “vinotherapy,” and it “can boost circulation, shift cellulite and make you feel invigorated thanks to grapeseed oil — its key ingredient. This is because, they say, polyphenols extracted from grape seeds are a powerful antioxidant – our body’s defenses against highly-reactive molecules that can lead to premature aging.”

You learn something new every day. And here all this time I thought water worked pretty well.

Wizards to give out Marcin Gortat action figure

Washington Wizards Media Day

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERMarcin Gortat has only been a member of the Washington Wizards for a little over a year, but already he’s made a mark and become something of a fan favorite in D.C. for some of his off court work, such as teaching his teammates how to speak Polish.

(Also, check out this interview where he says the first thing he bought after signing a $60 million contract extension was a $150 fish.)

So, it makes sense that the Wizards would organize a giveaway for their fans involving Gortat. But it may be a bit of a surprise that the item they will be giving away, according to the Washington Post, will be a Gortat action figure!

Besides noting that we need a few of these action figures around the All Ball Nerve Center, let’s add this to the list of innovative giveaways this season, including replica rings and flip-flops, so we can have a swag-off at the end of the season.

Throwback Thursday: Hall-of-Fame Debuts


VIDEO: Best Small Forwards: Billy Cunningham

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. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Hall-of-Fame Debuts

October 16 marks the date of debut for three of the NBA’s all-time greatest players: Jerry Lucas in 1963, Billy Cunningham in 1965 and Wes Unseld in 1968.

All three players won NBA championships, made multiple appearances on All-Star and All-NBA teams and each were named to The 50 Greatest Players in NBA History list in 1997.

This Throwback Thursday, learn more about the remarkable careers of these three NBA standouts.


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Hall-Of-Fame Debuts

Which of these stars do you think would be best in the modern NBA? Leave your comments below!

Wiggins and LaVine to go by “Bounce Brothers”

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — These days it’s nearly as important to have a cool nickname as it is to actually have great production on the court. Kobe is the Mamba, LeBron is the King, and in Golden State we have the Splash Brothers. And with Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine teaming up this season in Minnesota, it was clear they were going to need a nickname as well, since they’re all about the highlight plays. But before waiting for someone to give them a nickname they may or may not have liked, they decided to take things into their own hands and give themselves a moniker they could roll with: The Bounce Brothers.

Someone (Underdog?) put that on a t-shirt…


VIDEO: Meet Minnesota’s ‘Bounce Brothers’

Harrison Barnes tests Klay Thompson’s Iowa knowledge

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Earlier this year I spent a weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, with the D-League’s Iowa Energy. This was my first trip to Des Moines, and I had a lovely time there. Part of the reason I enjoyed my time so much was that before I got there, I got some sightseeing tips from Warriors forward Harrison Barnes, an Iowa native.

So with the Barnes and the Warriors in Iowa to play an exhibition game, it only made sense to have Barnes quiz a teammate — in this case Klay Thompson — and see just how much he knew about some of the “celebrities” produced by Iowa’s capital city, Des Moines.


VIDEO: Des Moines?

Swaggy P plays tour guide in Hollywood

By Jeff Case

The L.A. Lakers will be without the services of Nick “Swaggy P” Young on the court for a few weeks after he had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. But, Swaggy P being Swaggy P, you can’t very well expect him to stay out of the L.A. limelight can you? Of course not. The fine folks over at Lakers.com tagged along with Young as he served as guide on a Hollywood bus tour though the city’s most famous sights.

And, as you’d expect, it’s a video you’ve just got to see …


VIDEO: Nick Young serves as a tour guide in Hollywood

 

Gordon Hayward says he is the “best in the game”

Utah Jazz Media Day

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Whenever an NBA player is asked if he believes he is better than another player, there’s no graceful way to answer the question. If the player says that yes, he’s the best, then people accuse of him of unbridled egotism. If he says he’s not the best, then people wonder why he doesn’t have enough confidence.

This latter scenario won’t be an issue for Utah’s Gordon Hayward, who in a post on his official website comes right out and announces that he’s “the best in the game.”

Well, almost. Here it is in Gordon’s words…

I know this sounds like bragging. That’s because it is. I’m so confident in my abilities that I would put money on myself, hypothetically speaking.

One on one versus LeBron James? He would get crushed. We would all be witnesses to a straight up annihilation.

The reigning MVP, Kevin Durant? I’m LOLing. Go ahead and put him with Russell Westbrook. Throw Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard in there, just for kicks. They’d still have no chance.

Honestly, take any five NBA players you want and put them on the same squad. It doesn’t really matter. I’d beat them all. It would be like playing a bunch of kindergartners.

I repeat: I’m the best in the game. And probably in all the other major sports, too.

No athlete on earth is as good at League of Legends as I am.

Just so you didn’t miss it, Hayward is saying no NBA player is as good as he is…at the video game League of Legends.

Hey, you can’t say he’s not confident. Now we just need to find out if there’s another NBA player who’s actually as good at League of Legends.

San Antonio Spurs to give away replica championship rings

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week while we were in Chicago on the Hang Time Road Trip, our co-host, Rick Fox, suddenly produced his three NBA championship rings. He gave one each to Sekou and myself to wear for a video we were shooting, and so Sekou and I temporarily put a ring on it.

The truth is, I was so nervous the entire time I had that ring on that I was not comfortable at all, and I couldn’t wait to give it back to Rick. Championship rings are one of the most prized possessions in sports, and while I was proud of Rick for winning a handful, I wanted nothing to do with being in charge of one of those things, even for ten minutes.

Now if it was a replica ring? Oh yeah, sure, hand it over. Which is exactly how the Spurs are celebrating their home opener this season in San Antonio. Every fan attending the Spurs/Mavs game on October 28 will receive a replica championship ring.

According to the Spurs, “The commemorative NBA Championship rings feature the iconic Spur logo on the front and the team’s 2013-14 regular and post-season records above the NBA logo on the left panel. The opposite panel is etched with a replica of the Larry O’Brien trophy with five studs, representing each of the Spurs’ five championships. The giveaway is limited to one commemorative ring per ticketed guest and is ONE SIZE ONLY for all.”

commemorative_championship_ring_1

We saw some cool giveaways from the Grizzlies, but this one might take the prize…

(via TNLP)