Ray Allen got an awesome birthday cake

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBA great Ray Allen is turning 40 this weekend, so of course he’s having a party and a cake and everything goes along with a birthday celebration. But he’s not just having any old cake, as we see in the Instagram photo below, but instead a cake that incorporates every team he’s played for and uniform he’s worn…

Shaq says all-time Lakers would destroy Bulls greats

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s always fun to argue about NBA history. Who is the greatest player of all-time? What is the greatest team ever? Could this guy beat this guy? Would this team be able to beat that team?

As it turns out, even former NBA players enjoy being part of the conversation, like how Shaquille O’Neal recently took to Instagram to stir things up. What would happen if a team of former Lakers greats (Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Elgin Baylor, Shaq and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) faced off against a team of Chicago Bulls greats (made up of Derrick Rose, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Horace Grant)?

According to Shaq, the Lakers great would “beat em by 50.”

We would beat em by fifty "what you think". Let me know and don't hold back

A photo posted by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

 

Update:

Pippen has a different opinion:

 

Update II:

Shaq responds to Pippen:

 

What do you think? Is Shaq right?

LeBron James makes impossible shot at Summer League

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I spent the weekend in Las Vegas at the Samsung NBA Summer League, where I, along with my Hang Time Podcast co-hosts Rick Fox and Sekou Smith, had the chance to announce a couple of games on NBA TV. The first we called on Friday was the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and who should show up to watch the game but the King himself, LeBron James.

LeBron didn’t play in the Summer League, obviously, but while he was sitting courtside, a ball bounced LeBron’s way, and something pretty cool happened. Check this out…

Buckets! @kingjames #NBASummer

A video posted by NBA (@nba) on

LeBron James: Movie Star?


VIDEO: LeBron Trainwreck

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The thing that makes LeBron James so special, that makes him so unique, is his incredible versatility. Need someone to bring the ball up the court? Grab a big rebound? Hit a three? Block a shot? Lead the break? Defend pretty much any opponent?

There really isn’t much LeBron can’t do, which is how he racked up four MVP awards and two NBA championships by the age of 30. And it also explains why he’s getting rave reviews in his latest venture: movie acting. We’ve seen LeBron in commercials and hosting “Saturday Night Live,” but now he’s legitimately co-starring in Trainwreck, the latest film from super producer Judd Apatow, opening in theaters today.

And as LeBron explained to CNN, the movie business is a whole different ball game…

“It’s different than walking on the NBA floor, I’ll tell you that,” he told Rachel Nichols of CNN Sports. “I had much bigger nerves walking on set. It’s my first time. I’ve done commercials, I’ve done PSAs (public service announcements). I’ve done so many great things, but I’ve never stepped on a movie set. But it was extremely fun to be around those guys.”

James makes his acting debut in the comedy “Trainwreck,” directed by Judd Apatow and written by Amy Schumer. The movie hits theaters Thursday night. James plays himself, and he is cast as the best friend of actor Bill Hader’s character, sports doctor Aaron Conners.

And his role isn’t just a cameo. It became much more than that.

“Judd Apatow is one of the greatest directors and writers that we have,” James said. “I had a few scenes that we were going to do — a couple scenes, not a few. I had a couple scenes — and myself and Bill Hader, we kind of just hit it off, right off the bat.

“And it was, like, ‘OK, well, you know, you mind sticking around for a couple more days? We’re going to write another scene in here.’ And then I got into a scene with Amy Schumer, who’s unbelievable. And it was, like, ‘You mind sticking around for just one or two more days?’ And I ended up doing, like, five or six, maybe, like, seven scenes. I don’t want to give it up, how many scenes I’m in.”

In the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, James put the Cleveland Cavaliers on his back, averaging 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game — leading both teams in those categories. His injury-depleted Cavaliers ultimately lost to the Warriors in six games, but James single-handedly kept the series closer than most anticipated.

But in addition to hoops, James also is interested in taking his talents to the big screen.

“I always talked about it as a kid,” he said. “And even as an adult, I was, like, ‘Wow.’ You know, I always wanted to be the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” he added, referring to the 1990s sitcom. “Will Smith kind of set it up. I was, like, ‘Man, that would be cool to be the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. How amazing would that be? Just be a silly kid in an unbelievable house and be around so many great people.’

“And then when I got older, you know, the ‘Bad Boy’ movies, I was, like, I would love to do an action movie — you know, be like a cop or something or be like Batman and be a superhero and be able to save people and save corruption and all that mess. I’ve always had it in my head.”

Carmelo Anthony narrowly misses world record for high fives

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The New York Knicks may be rebuilding under Phil Jackson, but they already have one key element in place: A superstar. Carmelo Anthony can score the ball at an elite level, this we know, but what about his ability to amass high fives? At the recent Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards, Melo took a shot at breaking the world record for high fives…


VIDEO: Melo High Fives

This whole effort seems a little casual — apparently Melo was too fast? — but perhaps falling just short will give Melo the motivation to try, try again…

(via FTW)

The Dallas Mavericks will have a big birthday celebration

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — There are 15 roster sports on each NBA team, and there are 30 NBA teams, so at any given time there are roughly 450 players in the NBA. Which means there there is a wide variety of players born in different years, on different dates.

Which makes the current Dallas Mavericks backcourt all the more amazing. Not only do the Mavericks have three point guards — Deron Williams, Raymond Felton and J.J. Barea — all born on June 26, but all three of those guys were born on June 26 in the year 1984. At least they can buy in bulk for the birthday party…

LeBron shooting backward free throws

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — So here’s something interesting. Check out this animated GIF of LeBron James shooting a free throw…the wrong way. The NBA forum at Reddit uncovered this, perhaps from the filming of the new movie Trainwreck, which co-stars LeBron. He squares up, shoots it easily…over his head the wrong direction and directly into the basket. Easy, huh?

LeBronBackward

(via r/NBA)

Throwback Thursday: Summer League Superstars


VIDEO: Relive Stephen Curry’s Summer League debut in 2009

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: Summer League Superstars

The Summer League season is one of the most fun times of the NBA year, with every player on the floor having something to prove. After events in Orlando and Salt Lake City, the attention turns to Las Vegas where 23 of the 30 teams participate in 10 days of basketball, culminating in a tournament that was won by the Sacramento Kings last season. Coverage of the 2015 NBA Summer League tournament continues on NBA TV through July 20.

This Throwback Thursday we look back at the best players to ever play in the Summer League.


Gallery: TBT: Summer League Superstars

Which of these players do you think has changed the most since Summer League? Leave your comments below!

Boris Diaw wrote a children’s book

diawbook

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Part of what makes Boris Diaw such an important part of the San Antonio Spurs is his versatility, which apparently extends to his off-court interests as well. Turns out, Diaw isn’t just a basketball player, he’s also a wildlife photographer, which has led to him to now also becoming an author.

This week Diaw released his first book, Hoops to Hippos!, a National Geographic book aimed at kids and featuring Diaw’s wildlife photography. According to National Geographic, the book “takes young readers on safari as [Diaw] explores his off-court passion: wildlife photography! Join Diaw as he escapes from stampeding wildebeests, comes face-to-face with lions, and discovers why you should never come between a hippo and its watery home. Through engaging stories and photos by Diaw, readers will discover a whole new side to this basketball champ.”

Here’s a video with Diaw explaining the book…


VIDEO: Diaw Hoops to Hippos

(via MySA)

LeBron James vs. Jimmy Fallon in Faceketball

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — After a few weeks off following the 2015 NBA Finals, LeBron James is back to work, this time out promoting the new movie Trainwrecked, in which he co-stars. So last night LeBron visited “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon,” where he took on Fallon in a classic game of Faceketball. Faceketball? Yeah, faceketball. And despite Fallon having an injured hand, he makes this a surprisingly close competition…


VIDEO: Bron vs. Fallon