Posts Tagged ‘Blake Griffin’

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony pay tribute to Blake Griffin dunk victims

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, but there’s never a bad time to hear “Crossroads,” their 1995 hit song paying tribute to their departed friends and family.

In this case, however, Bone Thugs turned up on ESPN’s “SportsNation” to sing the song in tribute mostly to Spurs center Aron Baynes, who got got three times by Blake Griffin in Game 1 of their series.

I wonder if he has an Uncle Charles, y’all?


VIDEO: Bone Thugs

Blake Griffin shows off crazy reverse block


VIDEO: Blake reverse block

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Blake Griffin goes and pulls off something like this. My favorite part of this play might be the way Boston’s Jonas Jerebko responds, with his hands out in almost a shrug, as if to say, Did that really happen?

ShockedSaneGoldfish

(GIF via r/NBA)

The Muppets take the Clippers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve seen the Muppets take Manhattan, but it looks like they’ve finally made it out West. Yesterday in Los Angeles, as the Clippers hosted the Houston Rockets, the Muppets were all over the Staples Center.

For instance, Kermit took over the player introductions, which meant the frog was on the mic when Blake Griffin made his return to action…

Kermit and his long-time friend Miss Piggy made an appearance on the Kiss Cam…

And perhaps not surprisingly, Animal hung out with the Clippers Dance Team…

Next time, I kind of wish we could get mics on these dudes to call the games…

Kevin Durant hits Chris Paul with classic scoreboard burn

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s been a rough few days for the Los Angeles Clippers. They’re on an extended road trip while the Grammys were held back in their home arena, the Staples Center. After looking like they’d found their groove, they’ve lost 5 of their last 6 games. And to add injury to insult, now Blake Griffin is out indefinitely with a staph infection in his elbow that will require surgery.

All of those factors apparently came together yesterday in the Clippers game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder were winning big in the second half, coasting to a win, when Clips All-Star point guard Chris Paul knocked down a midrange jumper to cut OKC’s lead down to 20. The cameras caught Paul staring at Kevin Durant after the shot, and Durant seemed to say something about Paul now being “down 20 now, homie” in response, a variant of the classic “check the scoreboard” burn.

Fergie inspires Steve Ballmer dance performance

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERSteve Ballmer has only been the owner of the Clippers for a few months, but he’s already made quite a splash with some of his courtside reactions. Last night things went to a whole new level.

For last night’s Clippers/Lakers game, Ballmer sat in his courtside seat next to pop singer Fergie. In between the first and second quarters, someone handed Fergie a microphone for a quick performance of her new single “L.A. Love.” This made Ballmer pretty happy.

As Fergie sang her song, Ballmer went into DANCE FEVER MODE…


VIDEO: Ballmer Dances

Here’s a Vine of the moment…

Later, the Clippers reacted to their owner’s funky moves…

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with Kristin Chenoweth

KCHeadshot_2014

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The holidays are not only a time of being with friends and family, they also bring about one of the marquee moments on the NBA calendar: Christmas Day, when the NBA is giving us five big match-ups to keep you glued to your couch all day long.

To celebrate the upcoming day, we’re talking with a few famous NBA fans about what the NBA and the Christmas Day games mean to them. We’ve already spoken with John Leguizamo, Mario Batali and Anna Chlumsky, and today we wrap up by talking with Emmy and Tony award-winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth. An Oklahoma native, Chenoweth has starred on TV in shows such as “The West Wing” and “Glee!,” in movies like Rio 2 and on Broadway in shows including “Wicked” and “Promises, Promises.”

Chenoweth will next be seen on-screen in the Universal film The Boy Next Door, alongside Jennifer Lopez, and in the animated Lucasfilm fairy tale musical Strange Magic, both set to be released on January 23. She’s also completed production on an indie teen drama entitled Hard Sell and the Disney Channel’s live-action original movie “Descendants,” in which she will play the classic Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent. Chenoweth will also return to Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company‘s 20-week limited engagement of “On the Twentieth Century” in early 2015.

Christmas2014ME: Hey Kristin! So I just wanted to talk basketball with you. You probably don’t get to do that that much, right?

KRISTIN: (laughing) Nobody thinks that I can talk basketball. This is a very good gift of a call for me to have.

ME: I know you’re originally from Oklahoma, but were you a basketball fan before the Thunder were there?

KRISTIN: I think I should tell sort of how it came for me, like, this love of basketball. I was always scared of basketball growing up. I was a cheerleader, but I knew I could never play basketball because I’m 4-11. But I always liked cheering at basketball games because they were exciting. I loved the game in and of itself, but I never played, and we never had a professional team, as you know. So, I started dating someone a few years back, six years ago, and he was a humongous L.A. Lakers fan. And I knew that I had to start watching the Lakers. So I did that so I got to know who he was talking about, and I started to fall in love with the players. I really liked Pau Gasol a lot. He’s no longer there, but anyway, we got the Thunder right after that. And my boyfriend was such a big basketball nut he would watch with me, and started to like the Thunder. I started to fall in love with Westbrook and Durant, and I’m still not over Harden. I feel a little bit badly about it, but my Dad tried to explain to me about it being a business decision, and I get that, but I don’t know, it was a little heartbreaking to see him leave. But since that I’ve become an even bigger fan and bigger fan, and I’ve really enjoyed watching basketball.

ME: Are you a Thunder loyalist?

KRISTIN: I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of a lot of teams, because I’m very loyal to my Thunder, but I have a little bit of love for the Spurs — a little bit, even though they’re in direct competition with us. I’m not really loving the Heat, and I’m a little torn about how I feel about LeBron. He went to the Heat and now he’s back in Cleveland, God bless him, but I’m not really a fan of the Heat. I’m not really a fan of the Nuggets. I can’t tell you why, either, other than I just feel like, No. I like the Clippers and the fact that we have an Oklahoman on that team — Blake Griffin. I’m just proud of the Thunder. I’m proud that Oklahoma has such a good team. The beginning of this year did not look good, and we had a lot of injuries and we’re kind of overcoming that. I think Coach [Scott] Brooks is very smart and is grooming the younger players. I’m pretty impressed with Reggie Jackson — I love him and Ibaka, and I love Perkins. Of course I love Westbrook and Durant, but I gotta give love to the entire team, because I see them coming together, and in the beginning of this season, even though we were losing without our guys, I was so proud of how they were learning and how quickly they were learning. To me, that’s the definition of a team, and I think that’s where Scott is so good. Even though he’s a California boy, I’m glad he’s embraced Oklahoma.

ME: I was wondering, because I know you spend a lot of time in New York, do you follow the Knicks as well?

KRISTIN: The Knicks are another team I have love for, because I’m a New Yorker as well. I live in New York and L.A. both, but I’m always gonna follow the New York Jets, Giants — even though that doesn’t really work for a lot of people — Yankees, Mets and Knicks. I’m always gonna do that — New York is like my second home. But if I had to pick, there’s no competition.

ME: You mentioned being 4-11, which made me wonder: Is Nate Robinson your favorite Thunder player of all-time?

KRISTIN: How tall is he? Isn’t he like 5-10?

ME: No, he’s like 5-8, 5-9.

KRISTIN: Nate Robinson is that short? Didn’t he win the dunk contest? Yeah, I loved him. What happened to him? Where is he now?

ME: He’s on your not-favorite Denver Nuggets now.

KRISTIN: That’s! Right! That is right! I still have love for him. He’s short — well, for a basketball player. But it just goes to show, to me, that it doesn’t matter how tall you are. He has the heart of a basketball player and he’s so good. I’m sad to see him with the Nuggets, but again, you lose some and we’re training these awesome players. Like Jeremy Lamb, he’s a baby, but in five years what’s he going to be doing? I’m excited to see.

ME: So do you feel like this is the year for the Thunder to finally break through and win a title?

KRISTIN: Well, that’s a tough one. Because I’m always going to want to say yes. I think there’s still time to prove ourselves, yes, I do. I think that we have to overcome a lot. I think we have to overcome injury. If we can do that, and we don’t lose anybody, then yeah, I think we have a shot. The Spurs are making me nervous. Of course, any team that LeBron plays on makes me nervous. Two years ago was really painful. And I was on tour and they had said if we make it to the Finals will you sing the National Anthem? And I had said, ‘Hell yeah! I’m in the middle of tour but I’ll move a show.” I might have cried, I’m not going to say. But I have these really high heels, these Oklahoma City Thunder pumps, but I wore them on stage, just to show my love. I think like three of my shoes could fit in Kevin Durant’s shoe.

ME: So let’s get your Christmas Day picks. First game is Washington Wizards at New York Knicks.

KRISTIN: I’m gonna have to go with the Knicks.

ME: Second game is Oklahoma City Thunder at the San Antonio Spurs. No contest here, I’m guessing.

KRISTIN: The Thunder all the way. We’re gonna kick San Antonio’s [butt]. I predict it. Take that, San Antonio [laughs].

ME: Cleveland Cavaliers at the Miami Heat?

KRISTIN: Oh man, you know I’m watching that game. Um, I’m gonna have to go with the Cavs. A) I’m not a fan of the Heat, and B) LeBron’s on the Cavs.

ME: Two more. The Los Angeles Lakers at the Chicago Bulls?

KRISTIN: The Bulls, they’re gonna win. They’re having a good year, I forgot about them.

ME: And then the last one is the Warriors against the other team from Los Angeles, the Clippers.

KRISTIN: I like the Clippers, I like the Clippers. By the way, the first game you mentioned…

ME: Wizards at the Knicks?

KRISTIN: The Wizards are better than I thought they would be. Is that new this year?

ME: They were pretty good last season, made the second round of the Playoffs, but this season they’re better than they’ve been in a long time.

KRISTIN: I know, right? I caught a little bit of their game and I forget who they were playing, but I was like, What the hell is going on here? They’re not bad, not bad. Well, let’s see how close I get, I may have just called all five games.

ME: You did pick the Knicks.

KRISTIN: I know, I know, but I did that out of loyalty.

ME: Understood. Last thing: On Christmas Day will you actually sit at home and watch the games?

KRISTIN: I’ll watch the Thunder because I’m going home to Oklahoma, and everything stops in Oklahoma when the Thunder play, as well it should. So I’ll be watching with my Dad and my cousins and everybody. And I really want to see the Cavs/Heat game.

Horry Scale: Blake’s lucky bounce


VIDEO: Blake’s bouncing winner

In the history of lucky basketball bounces, none can touch Don Nelson‘s late shot in Game 7 of the 1969 Finals, helping the Celtics secure their 11th title. The ball hit back rim, went straight up and then dropped through the basket and into the hearts of the Lakers.

That happened at the Forum, which is now closed. But roughly 25 minutes from that site (or 30, depending on L.A. freeway traffic), Blake Griffin had a similar brush with lucky fate when he put the final touch on a 121-120 overtime Clippers win over the Suns in what could be the No. 1 thriller of the NBA season thus far.

The contest was what you’d expect from a pair of high-scoring teams that love to play freestyle, free-wheeling basketball. The guard-heavy Suns thrive in the open floor and the Clippers, blessed with point guard Chris Paul, favor the fast break as well. The contest was back-and-forth all night, and five extra minutes were tacked on after regulation. As a fan at Staples Center, could you ask for anything more?

Well, yes. A Clippers victory. Which was in doubt until Griffin took an inbounds pass from Paul with the Clippers down a pair and the clock ticking.

But we’ll get to the winning sequence in a minute. First, about Griffin. He had a monster night with 45 points, two shy of his career high. If these teams meet in the playoffs, the Suns might want to watch video of this game (minus the last few seconds) and figure how to keep Griffin from getting to the line (he made 15 of 17 free throws) and how to keep a body on him.

OK, on to the details.

DIFFICULTY

After taking the inbounds pass from Paul, Griffin faked a pass back to Paul, then faced the basket, took a step-back and let it fly from the right elbow beyond the arc. The ball bounced off the rim, then the top of the glass, then fell in. He had to do all of that in 2.6 seconds, which he managed to pull off without a hitch. But not without a few bounces. Hey, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

GAME SITUATION

Blake was only in position to take that shot partly because Jamal Crawford was ejected for the first time in his career in the fourth quarter after arguing a foul call. Normally, Griffin would not get the ball to launch a 3-pointer; he’d attempted only nine all season prior to the shot. Also, the game went into overtime because Paul had his game-winning attempt blocked by Eric Bledsoe (27 points, 16 assists, 11 rebounds) at the fourth-quarter buzzer. Also, the Clippers had the ball because the Suns committed a shot-clock violation. Finally, with a foul to give, the Suns grabbed Griffin just before his game-winner. But instead of shooting while getting fouled, Griffin passed off. He could’ve put himself at the free-throw line with a chance to tie instead of the Clippers being forced to inbound the ball. But it turned out okay for him.

IMPORTANCE

The Clippers stumbled out of the gate to start the season, drawing the ire of coach Doc Rivers and perhaps having owner Steve Ballmer wonder what in the heck he was getting for his $2 billion. But all is well now. The Clippers have won eight straight and are clearly on the rise. Teams in the West have no choice but to see the vortex from L.A. heading their way (hint: It’s not the Lakers). It was the second straight loss for the Suns, whose only real issue is they don’t play in the East.

CELEBRATION

After the swish, er bounce, Griffin took off sprinting down the floor, followed quickly by Paul. As you might also might have expected, Staples was in bedlam. Speaking of Staples, Rivers said he wants the building to be a home-court advantage like it has been (or rather, was) for the Lakers. If the Clippers intend on playing like this, Rivers won’t have any reason to worry about the crowd or the noise level.

GRADE

Look, we realize Griffin got a little lucky. OK, a lot lucky. Still, the shot was the cherry on top of a tremendous performance for him, so we give it three Horrys.

horry-starhorry-starhorry-star

Austin Rivers attempts novel defensive strategy against Blake Griffin

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We all know that Blake Griffin is one of the toughest players in the NBA to stop — his size, speed, and ability to either knock down outside shots or take the ball to the basket present a host of problems for defenders. We’ve seen opponents try and get physical with Blake, usually to no avail. But over the weekend, New Orleans guard Austin Rivers got tangled with Blake on a pick-and-roll and ended up “pantsing” Blake. Hey, that’s one way to stop him.

GreatGloriousFritillarybutterfly

(via r/NBA)

Blake Griffin inspires circular photobomb

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes something new. The Miami Heat have given us dozens of variations of the photobomb, but last night the Clippers came up with a totally new innovation on the photobomb. After defeating the Magic, 114-86, while Blake Griffin was doing the postgame interview, Clips players Matt Barnes and DeAndre Jordan came out and photobombed Griffin with what appears to be an orbital photobomb. They circled him several times as he spoke, leaving me to wonder if perhaps this was a tribute to NASA’s impending Orion launch, or maybe it’s just whatever they thought of in the moment. Whatever it is, your move, Miami.

MixedInsistentBream

(via r/NBA)

Doug McDermott photobombs CP3, Blake Griffin, Kid Ink


VIDEO: Kid Ink

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve seen plenty of stars at Lakers games through the years, but don’t forget about the Clippers, who get their share as well. Last night, for instance, with the Clippers hosting the Bulls, rapper (and Clippers fan) Kid Ink was at the game. In the video above, he talks about being a Clippers fan and how much that means to him. And at the very end of the video, you can see him pose for a photo with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and…Bulls rookie Doug McDermott?

Above is video evidence of McBuckets’ epic photobomb. If you look at the group photo, McDermott seems perfectly happy to be involved…

But look at the photo taken just seconds later, and you can see Blake giving him the business…