ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Emotions definitely run pretty high during the postseason. And not just among players — I’m talking fans and mascots as well. Check out what happened last night in Toronto, where a Nets fan was blindfolded and essentially fed to the Raptors’ inflatable Raptor mascot. I’m not saying this wasn’t set-up in advance, but, well, either way it’s pretty funny…
Maybe NBA franchises just need to buy less-slippery cups.
After fouling out of Saturday’s Clippers-Warriors game late, Los Angeles’ Blake Griffin made it two controversial drink spills in the NBA this season. This time, there was a victim. This time, it was water. Call it “Watergate,” but that’s already been taken. Purposely or not, Griffin doused a Golden State fan positioned directly behind him at the scorer’s table as the L.A. star reacted by throwing his arms back in disbelief upon seeing the replay of his last foul on the arena jumbotron.
And, oh yeah, he had a cup full of water in his hand. So, this happened…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last summer, Jason Kidd made the rare move of going from being an active NBA player to an NBA coach. And while there were some bumps in the road, overall Kidd has done a nice job, being named Eastern Conference coach of the month for both January and March.
As it turns out, Kidd’s non-traditional route to becoming a coach had one mostly-forgotten detour through hip-hop music. Back in 1994, Kidd was part of a compilation album called B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret, which featured several NBA players — including Shaquille O’Neal, Cedric Ceballos, Dana Barros — showing their skills as rappers. (Funnily enough, Brian Shaw, who is also in his first season as a head coach this season, also had a track on the record.)
The New York Timescaught up with Kidd this week to talk to him about his experience recording, “What the Kidd Didd.” As Kidd told the Times, “That’s something on my bucket list that I can say I’ve done, because I’d never do it again.” The whole story is a fun one, well worth a read.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — During last night’s Knicks/Nets game, cameras caught several members of the Nets looking as though…well…let’s just say something appears to smell bad. Shake your head, Joe Johnson…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I do not watch much college basketball at all, but as today marks the start of March Madness, I will be tuning in like many other casual college hoops fans to take in the excitement and pageantry of the college games. This means seeing players I’ve never seen before, not to mention seeing teams I’ve never seen play. Although I do know most of the teams that are playing.
Still, it appears I’m not the only person who tunes into March Madness without knowing much about the teams that are playing. But as Brooklyn Nets guard Alan Anderson found out in this video for SI.com, many of the fans will root for any team…even colleges that don’t actually exist…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I just spent about ten minutes trying (in vain) to find a video clip of a play from 2001, when then-Hawks guard Jacque Vaughn made a steal during a game in Cleveland, and had to forearm shiver an unsuspecting ballboy out of the way while sinking a lay-up. (There is a written recap of it here, though.) This happens from time to time in the NBA, when a ballboy runs onto the court to do his or her job, and then the run of play suddenly reverses and the ballboy finds themselves caught out there.
This is exactly what happened last night in Brooklyn, where a ballboy ventured onto the court to clean up the floor and found himself in crosshairs of a Tyler Hansbrough fastbreak. What do you do when Psycho T comes crashing down on you? You dive off the court as fast as you can, that’s what you do …
Even though Kevin Garnett couldn’t be in uniform as the Nets hit the floor of TD Garden tonight, it doesn’t mean his presence wasn’t felt. Thanks to the truculence of Kelly Olynyk, Shaun Livingston found out how much of his teammate’s ghost still resides in Boston.
Livingston’s chagrin was palpable, but the fans paid praise to a familiar sight:
Newly-signed Nets big man Jason Collins, who has been talked about so much in the media for coming out as gay earlier this season before signing his most recent NBA contract, finally got a shot to play again thanks to Brooklyn.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few weeks ago we saw what happened at the end of a Miami Heat practice, when Ray Allen and James Jonesended up in a footrace. This is apparently not an isolated incident, because at the end of a recent Brooklyn Nets practice, our favorite big man Andray Blatche got into a footrace with Nets strength coach Jeremy Bettle. Who wins? That seems to still be up for debate. Which means one thing: Rematch!
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Throughout this season, perhaps you’ve seen our ongoing series, The All Ball Posterized Poll. In those posts, we examine which NBA players have been victims of the most vicious dunks.
We are proud to continue the tradition of highlighting the best of the best (and worst) with the new All Ball Crossover Contest. From time to time, we will check in and look at some of the best ankle-breaking dribbling exhibitions we’ve seen. We want to see the greatest moves, of course, but we also want to take note of who got shook.
So who broke out the best crossover in this edition of the Crossover Contest? We culled this selection of videos, and NBA.com’s Zettler Clay is providing the written commentary to accompany what you see.
Check out the videos below and vote at the bottom of the post …
NORRIS COLE ON DERRICK ROSE Zettler Says: I know, Derrick Rose was only minutes into his first game back from an ACL tear. Still, as Avon Barksdale accurately summed it up, the game is the game. Norris saw an opportunity and made a quick decision. We’re rooting for a full recovery for Rose, if only for a chance at redemption, because this move is nasty.
JOHN WALL ON TERRENCE ROSS Zettler Says:John Wall hits Terrence Ross with the double. If you were to ask for defining Wall plays to teach to youngsters, this would lead the reel. A stutter step to freeze Ross, then a crisp crossover followed by another, followed by speed to the cup. Great read, timing and execution.
STEPHEN CURRY ON REGGIE JACKSON Zettler Says: There’s nobody else in the NBA that could pull this move off, save for Jamal Crawford and Kevin Durant. Curry’s ability to quickly set his feet after a move combined with his deadly deep aim gives his crossover another element. No spot on the court is safe for any Steph defender.
DERON WILLIAMS ON CHRIS PAUL Zettler Says: Classic end of half isolation clash between two of the league’s best. What gives this play flair is the stealthy rivalry between these two players since they entered the NBA in 2005, one pick behind each other (D-Will was the third pick, Paul fourth). On this night, multiple times, the third pick had the upper hand.
J.R. SMITH ON TRISTAN THOMPSON Zettler Says: This is just Earl Joseph Smith III doing his thing. Thankfully Tristan Thompson took an unnatural fall, which not only made the play pop, but saved his ankle. If he doesn’t hit the deck, his talus is broken. Believe.