Posts Tagged ‘Al Horford’

A recent history of NBA players writing open letters

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. And that’s never more clearly felt than of late, as we are currently in the midst of a time of change in the NBA. Free agency has seen a bunch of NBA players change franchises and cities, and while at this point we’re used to seeing guys move cities at the drop of a hat, it’s still often difficult for a player to leave behind the fans and people who have helped them reach their current status. So how better to reach out directly and let people know exactly how you feel than via an open letter?

The open letter is not a new form — athletes on the move have done things such as taking out ads in newspapers to publish open letters for years. But the advent of the internet has allowed for new forms and forums.

Here are some of the letters we’ve seen over the last few weeks…

KEVIN DURANT
In a letter on The Players’ Tribune announcing his departure from Oklahoma City for Golden State, Durant said he will always miss the relationships he built in Oklahoma City…

I’m from Washington, D.C. originally, but Oklahoma City truly raised me. It taught me so much about family as well as what it means to be a man. There are no words to express what the organization and the community mean to me, and what they will represent in my life and in my heart forever. The memories and friendships are something that go far beyond the game. Those invaluable relationships are what made this deliberation so challenging.

It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career.

I will miss Oklahoma City, and the role I have had in building this remarkable team. I will forever cherish the relationships within the organization — the friends and teammates that I went to war with on the court for nine years, and all the fans and people of the community. They have always had my back unconditionally, and I cannot be more grateful for what they have meant to my family and to me.

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The NBA reacts to the NCAA championship game


VIDEO: Jenkins shot

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night’s NCAA Championship game between North Carolina and Villanova came down to a game-winning buzzer beater by Villanova’s Kris Jenkins, just seconds after an incredible game-tying three from UNC’s Marcus Paige. With the NBA taking a final night off before the sprint to the playoffs, plenty of NBA players tuned in to the big finale and reacted on social media…

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The Atlanta Hawks are perfecting their videobombing

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few seasons back the Miami Heat pioneered videobombing during their postgame interviews, with Chris Bosh in particular being a trailblazer in the medium. But all good things come to an end, and videobombing seemed to have exited the NBA’s collective consciousness.

Until now. The Atlanta Hawks are one of the NBA’s hottest teams of late, moving into the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and winning 8 of their last 10 games. And perhaps it’s no coincidence that their terrific play coincides with a recent foray into videobombing. After a win earlier this week against the Pacers, Kent Bazemore went to work…

And last night, after beating Detroit, Baze was joined in his gaze by Dennis Schröder

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Horry Scale: Vucevic’s fallaway lifts Magic over Hawks



VIDEO: Nikola Vucevic hits 18-footer at the buzzer

All Ball Nerve Center — Well, it’s been a weird season for the Orlando Magic. It actually began, coincidently, when they extended on offer sheet to free agent Paul Millsap, who decided to stay with the Hawks instead. OK, fine: Orlando decided to continue with the youth movement, with mixed results. And so the Magic had lost 15 of 17 games leading into their Super Bowl matinee with Millsap and the Hawks, who of course are headed in the opposite direction. In the last few days, with trade rumors fluttering about, Magic center  Nikola Vucevic implored the Magic to stay the course of their current rebuild, saying: “There’s no reason to think we need to change anything. We have to find a way within each other to get back to what we were doing early in the year.” With that, Vucevic chose the right time to make a statement, with a buzzer-beater against the Hawks which, of course, automatically made him a candidate for the Horry Scale, which measures the quality of buzzer beaters.

DIFFICULTY: This was pretty dicey. Vooch was set up nicely with 2.2 seconds left on an inbounds pass by Elfrid Payton, who was dazzling for the Magic in the fourth quarter, generating much of their offense almost by himself with passes or shots. Al Horford was tight on Vooch, who dribbled once and let it fly with a turnaround (jumping off the wrong leg) from about 20 feet. Can’t blame Horford’s D.

GAME SITUATION: The Magic blew a 14-point lead and went scoreless for almost four minutes, one reason why they’re on the outside looking in with regard to the playoff picture. Defense has been a big issue with this team; they surrendered 107 or more points in eight straight games. They’re a young team and did what young teams do, let leads escape them. But in the final seconds with the score tied, Evan Fournier, one of the symbols of the Magic’s decent start to the season, grabbed a loose ball which triggered a timeout, which in turn triggered Vooch’s big shot.

CELEBRATION: Well, Vucevic had the good sense to hit the game-winner from in front of the Magic bench. One of the first guys to hug him was Magic assistant coach Mario Elie. You might remember his Kiss Of Death shot for the Rockets against the Suns in 1995. Oh yeah, a classic.

GRADE: The shot did plenty to lift the Magic out of their doldrums, if only temporary. But as epic shots go, meh. The Horry Scale is unforgiving, just like the player it’s named after. Let’s give it 2 Horrys.

horry-starhorry-star

These kids are pretty excited to meet Al Horford

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’re a kid who is a fan of the NBA, getting the chance to meet an NBA player has to be pretty exciting. The kids in the video below live in Hazelton, PA, and many of them are of Dominican descent. So when these kids found out they were going to have the chance to meet a great Dominican NBA player, Hawks center Al Horford, when the Hawks are in Philadelphia to take on the Sixers, well, their reaction says it all…


VIDEO: Meeting Horford

POSTERIZED POLL Week of Dec. 17

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Like we always do at this time, let’s take a look at the best instances of people getting #POSTERIZED over the last week and, at the bottom of the post, you can place your vote for a winner. And don’t forget, if you see someone get posterized, tweet it with the hashtag #POSTERIZED so we don’t miss it!

A quick honorable mention this week to Rajon Rondo, who has a terrific dunk last week against the Knicks, his first dunk in years. But try as I might, I don’t believe we can count this as a #POSTERIZED dunk, as you can clearly see Carmelo Anthony wisely get out of the way as he realizes Rondo is trying to put him on a poster.


VIDEO: Rondo dunk

Either way, nice dunk. Besides, there are some great entries this week with people getting directly dunked on.

Oh, and before we get to all the latest dunks, congratulations to last week’s winner, Kevin Garnett!

Now, let’s go to the posters, and don’t forget to vote for the winner…

WILL BARTON ON DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS


VIDEO: Barton on Motiejunas

RUDY GAY ON PATRICK BEVERLEY


VIDEO: Gay on Beverley

JORDAN HILL ON ERSAN ILYASOVA


VIDEO: Hill on Ilyasova

RICHUAN HOLMES ON AL HORFORD


VIDEO: Holmes on Horford

DEANDRE JORDAN ON GREG MONROE


VIDEO: Jordan on Monroe

PAUL MILLSAP ON HASSAN WHITESIDE


VIDEO: Millsap on Whiteside

THOMAS ROBINSON ON CLINT CAPELA


VIDEO: Robinson on Capela

The Atlanta Hawks aren’t big fans of Taylor Swift

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Atlanta Hawks recently quizzed a couple of their players by presenting them with some lyrics, and then asking them whether or not these were lyrics from an actual song. The Hawks players mostly seemed to think these were not lyrics from a real song. Which I suppose means they do not listen to much Taylor Swift, although I have to agree that out of context, these lyrics do seem a bit unbelievable. I guess Taylor isn’t gonna invite Al Horford up on stage anytime soon.

NBA Musicians

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Finals are over. The draft is over. Most of the free agents have agreed to terms. Summer League is over.

And now, before the FIBA Basketball World Cup gets going in September, we have a little bit of NBA down time. Which doesn’t mean the NBA talk stops — instead, it just takes a turn toward the…strange.

For instance, last night on Twitter, somehow the hashtag #NBAmusicians started trending. What was this hashtag? Basically, people took NBA player’s names and mashed them up with band names. And it’s still going this morning!

How did all this start? That’s not important. What’s important is that it did start, and then the Twitter accounts of actual NBA teams started playing along, and next thing you know you’ve got a trending topic. Here are some of the greatest hits…

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The Lance Stephenson trolling continues

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It was nearly a week ago now that Indiana’s Lance Stephenson made a name for himself as one of the NBA’s best agitators. And even though several days have past, the world can’t stop having fun with Lance’s antics.

Earlier today, the Atlanta Hawks wished a happy birthday to Al Horford, and used a photoshopped version of Lance to help Al extinguish the candle (the tweet has since been pulled) …

horford_stephenson

Meanwhile, last night the WWE rolled into Indianapolis, and in order to properly get the local fans riled up, WWE superstar Damian Sandow did his best Lance impression…at least until The Big Show showed up…


VIDEO: WWE on Lance

Atlanta Hawks Players Show Off English Accents

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As the NBA has worked to expand its global reach, more and more games have been played in locations around the world. Next week the NBA returns to England, as the Hawks and Nets will play a regular season game in London’s O2 Arena. To get into the international spirit of things, the Hawks recorded a video where several players try to speak with an English accent. The key word there is “try”…


VIDEO: Atlanta Hawks English Accents