Memphis Grizzlies mascot breaks out wrestling moves

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Memphis Grizzlies lost Games 3 and 4 to the San Antonio Spurs this weekend, finally bringing to an end to what had been a rather improbable run to begin with, considering all the injuries they’d been through this season.

But you can’t say they didn’t end the season with a bang. On Friday night during Game 3, Grizzlies mascot Grizz paid tribute to Memphis’s pro wrestling heritage and delivered a table-busting splash off a ladder to a supposed Spurs mascot. Here are a couple of videos to walk you through it…

First, Grizz used a steel chair to drop a couple of opponents…

Then, after positioning his foe on a table, Grizz climbed up a ladder and ended up standing right next to where I was sitting, then dove into the oblivion…

Where did he end up? Well, here’s a video of the end of the sequence. And yeah, Grizz stuck the landing…

#SuperGrizz does it again! This time from way way way up! 👀🐻

A video posted by Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) on

Animated highlights of Kobe’s final game

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It was just a week ago that Kobe Bryant played his final NBA game, when he quite memorably went for 60 points against the Utah Jazz. But before we let Kobe ride off into the sunset, here’s a cool video with some animated highlights from Kobe’s final game…


VIDEO: Animated Kobe

(via r/NBA)

Mark Cuban gives Mavericks fans an excuse to leave work

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — After getting blown out in Game 1 of their first round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Dallas Mavericks surprised many by winning Game 2 to steal home court advantage. Tonight in Dallas, the teams meet up for Game 3. But because the game starts at 6:00 p.m. Dallas time, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wanted to be sure Mavs fans were able to get out of work early enough to get to the game on time, so he posted this note for fans to show their bosses, giving them a good excuse…

Can someone check on the Atlanta Hawks mascot?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — At one point during last night’s Game 2 of the series between the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics, the Hawks’ mascot, Harry, took a stroll through the stands, as a mascot may do from time to time. Except Harry, being less than human, chose to walk along a railing instead of the floor, which in hindsight was probably his first mistake. It may also have been his last mistake…

You can’t stop Russell Westbrook’s pregame dance routine

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just before tipoff at Oklahoma City Thunder games, Russell Westbrook and reserve guard Cameron Payne engage in a little two-step dance near halfcourt. Tonight, prior to tipoff of Game 2 of the Oklahoma City/Dallas series, as Westbrook and Payne got their groove on, Mavs players Charlie Villanueva and Justin Anderson wandered over into the way. Do you think this stopped Russell Westbrook? Not a chance!

Tonight's Westbrook Dance Party had an interruption.

A video posted by Lang Whitaker (@langwhitaker) on

Toronto Raptors mascot pays tribute to Justin Bieber

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Toronto Raptors often invoke their franchise ambassador Drake, who sits courtside at many games. But during Game 1 of their first round series against the Indiana Pacers, the Raptors mascot paid tribute to a different Canadian pop star: Justin Bieber

And when you look side by side, the Raptor did a pretty good job putting together his outfit!

Is it too late now to say sorry that we love the @raptors mascot's Bieber costume?

A photo posted by SB Nation (@sbnation) on

Cavs fans sing the National Anthem

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Yesterday, just moments before Game 1 of their series against the Detroit Pistons, the Cleveland Cavaliers had the National Anthem performed. And while teams usually have a local singer or celebrity sing the anthem, the Cavs did something pretty cool and instead asked the 20,562 fans in attendance to sing it themselves…


VIDEO: Cavs fans National Anthem

Stephen Curry plays football, soccer, baseball

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERStephen Curry is one of the best basketball players in the world, and as such he has reached a point where he’s playing basketball about as well as anyone has ever done it. So perhaps that explains why, before Golden State’s Game 1 matchup against Houston, Curry warmed up by trying out some different sports that he’s yet to master…

FOOTBALL

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SOCCER

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BASEBALL

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(via SBNation)

Rookie Diary, Volume 8: Myles Turner


VIDEO: Turner with five blocks against the Raptors

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Turner discusses his 2015-16 as the regular season ends and the playoffs begin for Indiana, and his plans for the summer.

The regular season was very up and down, but for the most part I feel like it was very successful. I was able to come out here and do what I needed to accomplish and do my best to help the team get to the playoffs. That’s where we’re at, so I feel like it was a good season overall.

The big games I had are probably the best memories. I had a really big game against the Golden State Warriors. I had 31 points that game. Golden State just proved the other night were the best team in the regular season. Scoring that much on a team like that is pretty incredible. Blocking LeBron, that was pretty cool. I’ll probably remember that for a long time as well. And to be able to start as many games as I did, 30 of the 60 games I played this year, was great. Those are the three that stick out the most.

Earning a spot in the starting lineup was a big boost for my confidence. It meant that my teammates and the coaching staff had a lot of confidence in me as well, that they knew why they drafted me. To get a place in the starting lineup, especially early, that meant even more confidence for me. I was happy I was able to perform.

I proved to myself that I can play at this level. I never had any doubts about coming here and playing at this level, of course, but I didn’t know what to expect. But now I know I can really play at this level.

I wanted to try to make it to Toronto for All-Star weekend. I guess it’s ironic that I got to Toronto for the playoffs, so I guess I somewhat reached that goal. I wanted to be in the Rookie of the Year running. I wanted to try to make one the All-Rookie teams. Hopefully I’ll achieve that goal. My short-term goal was to establish a role on this team and get in the starting lineup. I told myself that I wanted to at least get out there and prove that I can play at this level. I feel like I accomplished those goals.

Making All-Rookie would be a payoff for all the work I’ve put in this year. That was a huge goal of mine coming out of summer league, so to achieve that goal, to have that respect from my peers and respect from the league, would mean a lot.

Being on a playoff team and playing with that pressure as a rookie will help me a lot in the future. It will be very important that I was able to get this experience early. It means there’s no excuses in the seasons to come. I know what it’s like and I’ll be ready to go. To have that experience early I think will be a help to the rest of my career, especially if we can make a deep run this year.

The thumb injury was the low point of the season. I was pretty depressed and couldn’t wait to get back out there. I’m happy with the way I used that time, though. I got my body better. I watched a lot of film. I look at it as a little negative, but I look at more positive than anything.

The physicality was the toughest adjustment. Everyone says speed of the game. The speed of the game came pretty easy to me. But the physicality – facing vets, adjusting to the calls, you don’t get a lot of calls as a rookie from the refs. That was definitely the toughest part for me to pick up.

I’ll be in Indianapolis most of the summer. We have not really talked about it much at all so I’m not sure with my teammates are doing, but I know I’m going to be here in Indianapolis. I’m not sure about summer league. My plan is to play. But it just depends on what the staff recommends and wants to do.

I definitely want to work on my post game a little bit more. Just have more of a repertoire down there. And improve my body, of course, and build off everything I did this year. I don’t want to have any drop offs from this year so I’m going to keep working this summer to improve my overall game.

To sum up the regular season of my rookie year, it was more than you bargained for. In a good way.

Rookie Diary, Volume 8: Kristaps Porzingis

 

Apr 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) on the sidelines during a time out during the first quarter against the Charlotte Hornets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis was forced to sit out down the stretch of his rookie season with a strained right shoulder.

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off.

This week: Porzingis discusses his 2015-16 season and plans for the summer.

I think the transition went pretty smooth. Obviously it’s different once you start playing in the NBA. There’s so much attention and everything, but I think it went pretty smooth. It was more difficult for me moving from Latvia to Spain when I was 14, 15 years old than the move now when I moved from Spain to the United States.

That’s the best feeling, that you actually feel comfortable and you feel like you belong there. I think I found that place. It took me a lot longer, for example, when I moved to Spain to feel comfortable and feel like I really wanted to be there. But here in New York, it was right from the beginning. I just felt like this is the place where I want to be for however long my career is. I really feel comfortable in New York and I hope to stay there for a long time.

As far as this season, the atmosphere with my teammates was better than I expected. I was not surprised, but it was nice to see that all of them were really good teammates and good guys that helped me out right from the beginning. Having that was really important for me, just to get adjusted to everything easier. That was one positive right from the start.

My debut was definitely a highlight. The first game. We played against Milwaukee. It was a dream come true for me to step on an NBA floor and we got the win and I had a decent game. It was really a special moment for me.

All-Star weekend was a big moment for me too. I was able to have that weekend with my family. That would be up there.

The No. 1 thing going to the next season will be me knowing what the schedule is like, how tough it is, those 82 games during the season and how well prepared you’ve got to be that schedule. That’s now one thing that I’ll be ready for.

The schedule is just way different in Europe. You play one game a week and you have the whole week to rest, you have the whole week to recover. Here it might be four games in a week. It’s a crazy schedule. That probably was the biggest adjustment for me. And the ball is a little different. The rules are a little different. There’s no three seconds in the paint on defense in Europe and they have that here. Those are the little things I had to think about at the beginning of the season to not get those called during the season.

I’m probably going to stay here in New York for the next few weeks. We have some team activities. I’m going to keep working on my shoulder to recover 100 percent. I don’t really know what to expect after that. It’s my first year. But I’ll definitely stay a while in New York. It’s like my home now basically.

For the most part I’m going to be in New York. I’ll go home with my family, back home in Latvia, and hopefully I can be really away from everything and just relax there. I’ll rest for maybe a couple weeks and get back to work. I’ll probably go to Vegas to work out. I’m not 100 percent sure about the schedule. But I’m looking forward to the offseason because this is going to be a huge offseason for me to come back next season stronger and better and help the team win.

I don’t know yet about summer league. I wouldn’t mind playing. I had fun the first time I played and if I could help out the guys with the triangle or whatever we’re doing and help out the guys and I can be there participating, I’ll be happy.

I also have to make a decision about whether to play for Latvia. I really want to play for my country and compete. I really want to represent my country this summer, but I have to be smart about this decision. I’m going to sit down, take my time, make a decision and then see what happens.