ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — While I was in Miami for Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals, on Friday night I joined a large group of assembled media who braved epic flooding outside to check out a screening of NBA TV’s latest documentary, “The Doctor,” about the life and career of Julius “Dr. J” Erving. I expected it to be good, but I had no idea that it would be great, which it was. So much so that last night, when it debuted on NBA TV, I sat at home and watched it a second time. If you missed the premiere of “The Doctor,” don’t worry, you can catch it again on NBA TV at these dates and times:
Wednesday — 6/12/2013 — 9:00 PM EST
Friday — 6/14/2013 — 9:00 PM EST
Saturday — 6/15/2013 — 5:30 PM EST
Saturday — 6/15/2013 — 11:00 PM EST
Sunday — 6/16/2013 — 2:00 AM EST
Sunday — 6/23/2013 — 10:00 PM EST
As for how last night’s broadcast was received? “The Doctor” became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. Here’s what a bunch of current and former players had to say about it…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — There has been a GIF floating around the internet the last few days that pretty much explains everything you need to know about the San Antonio Spurs. The image, which according to the San Antonio Express-News was converted to a GIF from ABC’s Finals broadcast opening animation, shows the Spurs’ big four (Parker, Duncan, Ginobili and Popovich) in their first seasons and then again today.
Other than some missing hair and some added scars and wrinkles, there’s not a whole lot that is different. More than anything, it speaks to what we already know about the Spurs: Consistency is what they do. And they do it better than anyone.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With the NBA Finals airing on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel has been doing a bunch of NBA-related segments on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” So leave it to Kimmel to bring out Shaq and Kobe for shooting competitions against Titus Ashby, a two-year-old basketball shooting phenom from Kansas. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the two NBA guys actually did some scouting heading into the competition. You can probably guess which guy… -
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.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Spurs forward Matt Bonner is something of a born storyteller. Over the weekend in Miami, for instance, during Spurs media availability, I went over to Bonner because I wanted to ask him some questions about NBA Style. My tongue was fully implanted in cheek — Bonner, like most of the Spurs, generally dresses down; he wears New Balance on and off the court. But I also knew that Bonner has a great sense of humor, and I was hoping he would play along with my line of questioning and provide us with some fun, ironic content. How many flannel shirts does he own? Is it tough choosing between jeans and khakis? And on and on.
The only problem was that I wasn’t ever able to get Bonner to submit to my line of questioning, because he was pretty much surrounded by media for the entire session, as they listened to Bonner tell tales about the season he played in Italy before breaking into the NBA. I realized too late that I should have had my tape recorder running, as Bonner told a long, involved story about having his head cut open during a game in Italy. The team doctor stitched up the wound, and it wasn’t until a week later as he was having the stitches removed that Bonner realized the doctor who’d sewn shut his head was actually a dentist. Bonner also shared a gripping tale about contracting a nasty virus — he suspected salmonella — and having a makeshift IV used to nurse him back to health.
It was also fun to hear Bonner talk about one of my favorite facets of Miami: The sandwiches. If you were looking for the NBA.com staff during any of our down time, it was a good bet you would find us not on South Beach, but somewhere eating Cuban sandwiches.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As anyone who has used Twitter can attest, the somewhat anonymous nature the service can provide seems to embolden a specific group of people to say things they would probably never say to your face. Then again, considering the tenor of some of the invective that gets launched, perhaps these are things that these people would say to your face — or at least to my face.
But would you mouth off to Blake Griffin? Kobe? Metta World Peace? Apparently they are not immune to the savages on Twitter either, as we see in this recent NBA-themed segment of “Mean Tweets” from “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” -
MIAMI — “I knew it was going to be close, obviously.”
Spurs G Tony Parker accepts that his game-winning circus shot to clinch Game 1 of the NBA Finals for the Spurs will probably go down as the biggest shot of his career. But he’s also certain of one thing that seemed to be in doubt when the shot went down: He definitely got it off in time.
“Oh, yeah. I looked at the clock when I fell down, and I turned around,” Parker said with a laugh a day after the shot, while walking through a deserted hall underneath Miami’s American Airlines Arena. “I looked at the clock so I knew I had a little time to pump fake and just get it up.”
So you’re sure, Tony? Even as the refs reviewed the play and you saw the replay, you weren’t a little nervous that maybe, just maybe, the ball had not left your hand before the shot clock buzzer sounded? Even after you saw just how close it was? As the replay seemed to rock from frame to frame and we all squinted and strained to make sure the ball had lost contact with your fingers? There wasn’t even a tiny bit of doubt that you had not gotten the shot off in time?
“Ah no, no. No, no, no, no. I thought it was good. That’s why I screamed so hard — I knew that it was good.”
While the referees agreed after viewing the replay that Parker was able to get the shot away before the shot clock buzzer, it was certainly incredibly close. Just how close? According to Steve Hellmuth, the Executive Vice President, Operations and Technology for NBA Entertainment, there are sixty frames of video per second. So each frame of video represents about one-sixtieth of a second, or roughly 16 milliseconds. (One millisecond is equal to 1/1000 of a second.)
“My estimate in looking at the video,” Hellmuth said, when asked to break down exactly how much time Parker’s release beat the buzzer by, “is that it is a little bit more than a frame, a hair more than a 60th of a second. It definitely wasn’t two frames of video, so it wasn’t more than 33 milliseconds.”
What else can occur in 16 milliseconds? According to Wikipedia, that’s just enough time for a honeybee to flap its wings three times. So not much time at all.
“To me, it was a great example of the NBA being completely transparent with the fans, the people in the arena, in search for truth with the best tools that we can,” Hellmuth said “All anybody ever wants — the teams, the fans, the players — is the right answer.”
“Longest 24 seconds I’ve ever been a part of,” LeBron James said of the play after the game. Unfortunately for Bron and the Heat, tape don’t lie: It actually was only 24 seconds. Even if the Spurs and Tony Parker used every millisecond of it.
By the way, Parker sat down today with NBA TV’s David Aldridge and broke the play down in detail. Check it out tonight on “Game Time” on NBA TV at 7:00 PM EST.
The career and life of Drazen Petrovic came to a sudden end twenty years ago today. The Croatian guard was a pioneer for international players in the NBA, and his electric style allowed him to average 21.4 points per game during his two year career with the New Jersey Nets. Petrovic was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Indiana Pacers may have lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but Roy Hibbert has stayed winning. Even as the Pacers go fishing, Hibbert is staying busy via social media, because the Roy Hibbert Challenge is now, apparently, a thing, with its own hashtag and everything.
This all started during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, when Hibbert went to the bench in the third quarter. Tired and out of breath, Hibbert plopped down on the bench, was handed a 20 oz. bottle of Gatorade, and, as the broadcast went to commercial, Hibbert proceeded to drain that bottle. Like, fast. A couple of bloggers picked up on this, captured it via Vine and animated GIF, and we all moved on.
One day later, Hibbert tweeted at several people who had tweeted about his conspicuous consumption, and it was on.