ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — This video was presented to me with precious little context. All I know is I got an email from someone at the NBA saying, “Here’s a video of DeMarcus Cousins crashing the dance floor at a bhangra dance party.” I don’t know when this was, I don’t know where this was, but I do know it shows Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins popping into what seems to be a dance party and getting his groove on. They don’t call him “Boogie” for nothing…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week, President Barack Obama was in Oregon, and he stopped at the Nike campus in Beaverton to give a speech to assembled Nike folk, including a bunch of Jordan employees. Well, no one leaves campus empty-handed, so the people at Jordan put together a special gift just for the President, who is of course an avowed hoops head…
President Obama received these special Jordan IVs with the presidential seal on the tongue from Jordan Brand! http://t.co/5NkIMV6a8I— Kick Rotation (@KickRotation) May 11, 2015
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Philadelphia 76ers are neck-deep in a rebranding effort, trying to flip their roster, adding a new mascot, and today the Sixers took another step, introducing a new step in their new “brand identity,” with a set of new logos. Still to come: new uniforms.
But for now, new logos. From the release…
The team’s new primary logo is a modern interpretation of the classic Sixers insignia, stylistically redeveloped to include a patriotic blue border with six white stars and “PHILADELPHIA” adorned across the heading. The familiar white basketball has been visually updated with a positional rotation of the seams. The emblematic ring of 13 stars present in the primary, partial and secondary logos continues to represent the original American Colonies.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In Game 3 of their series against the Washington Wizards, the Atlanta Hawks mounted a furious fourth quarter comeback, only to lose on a game-winning buzzer-beater from Paul Pierce. And not only was it a game-winning buzzer-beater, it was a game-winning buzzer-beater off of the glass. As Pierce said later, he didn’t call glass, he called game. Pierce joined Chicago’s Derrick Rose, who also hit a game-winning buzzer beater, also off the glass, to beat the Cavaliers.
How to deal? Well, the Hawks suggested perhaps we should just ban using the glass on buzzer-beaters altogether. If you’re a Hawks or Bulls fan, you can support this movement by signing their iPetition. OK, so it’ll never work, but still, as coping mechanisms go, this one is rather humorous.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — LeBron James swished an improbable game-winner yesterday to give the Cavs a buzzer-beating Game 4 win over the Chicago Bulls. And while Bulls fans were understandably not that thrilled, other people were, including the New York football Giants rookie sensation Odell Beckham Jr., who took to Instagram to share his excitement.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When it comes to getting their crowds fired up, NBA teams often take advantage of home-grown talent. At yesterday’s Bulls/Cavs Game 4, for example, the Bulls called on a native of the Chi City, Kanye West. Not only did Mr. West handle pregame intros, but he also hopped up and performed during a timeout to get the crowd amped…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Chicago Bulls are in the middle of a terrific battle with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, with the last few games all coming down to last second shots. So of course, given the option, people would definitely want to attend a game or two. How far would they go to get free tickets? Would Bulls fans ride a bull?
Sure, at least, a mechanical bull. Benny the Bull brought in a mechanical Bull and had a few fans go at right there on the court…
The Cavs passed their first big test of the second LeBron era. They were down 2-1 in the series. They were down 11 points late in the third quarter. Kyrie Irving was dealing with a foot injury and James himself turned his ankle midway through the third.
But they came back with some big shots from J.R. Smith and strong defense in the final period. And James provided the finishing touches on Cleveland’s biggest win of the season.
A little nudge from James knocked Jimmy Butler off-balance, and he wasn’t able to close fast enough. James’ momentum was taking him toward the Bulls’ bench, but the space Butler provided (and the lack of a second defender) allowed him to square his shoulders and keep his balance, with his toes on the 3-point line. Of the three buzzer beaters we’ve seen in the last three days, it was the easiest shot.
After coming back from 11 down, the Cavs blew a five-point lead in less than 30 seconds, thanks in part to James’ eighth turnover of the afternoon, an offensive foul with 14.3 seconds left.
Still, if the shot misses, they have another chance to redeem themselves in overtime.
The playoffs appear to be wide open, especially in the Eastern Conference. If the Cavs lose this game, they’re in a situation – down 3-1 – that few teams have come back from.
But the win gives them back home-court advantage. Since Jan. 19, they’re 23-2 in Cleveland, where they will play Game 5 and 7 (if necessary).
A clumsy mob that spilled onto the scorer’s table.
It’s the playoffs. It’s two teams that have a good shot of reaching The Finals if they get through this series. It was a high-leverage game. Five Horrys.
Did you call bank? Paul Pierce was asked after putting the dagger in the Hawks.
“I called game,” he responded.
Perfect. And clutch. And another part of his Hall of Fame legacy. And a funny summation.
Pierce hitting the 21 footer — off glass — to give the Wizards a 103-101 win Saturday in Washington and a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals was everything, delivering in the moment and also the emotional boost of a close victory, or any victory, with All-Star John Wall sidelined by a broken left hand.
Pierce supplying a much-needed veteran presence in the wake of the emotional hit of losing Wall would have been plenty. It really would have been a big contribution as the Hawks charged back from a 21-point deficit with about 10 minutes to play. The shot, though, was a highlight moment even for a player who has had so many through the years.
It wasn’t just a clutch shot. It was a tough shot, slightly fading away and under defensive pressure from Dennis Schroder. Pierce was near the top of the free-throw circle, took a one-bounce dribble to his left and elevated with the additional clearance at 6 foot 7 over the 6-1 Schroder. Kent Bazemore came over for the double team, but it was too late. The ball was away.
Pierce shouldn’t have been needed to play the hero. The Wizards were up 21 early in the fourth quarter, until the Hawks went on a 17-0 run to close within three points with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining. When Mike Muscala connected from behind the arc with 14.1 seconds left, Atlanta had erased the entire deficit. It was 101-101, setting the stage for Pierce.
Rhetorical question, right?
Pierce’s momentum took him backward and to the court, where he stayed, on his back with his arms up and outstretched. Bradley Beal, the first teammate to get there, stood over Pierce and delivered a series of soft punches to the gut and chest — right, left, right, left, right. The other Wizards charged over to mob him, including Wall in suit and tie, as the crowd exploded in delight. The shot was the thing, but high marks for the reaction as well.
Five Horrys, because five is the limit. This should break the scale, though. Five isn’t enough. Ten wouldn’t be enough. Maybe 34 would be.