Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Bulls’

Happy birthday to a few Hall of Famers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Here at the All Ball blog, we like to wish the occasional happy birthday to NBA players of varying importance. And today just so happens to be a day where a trio of Hall of Famers (well, two are in and one is likely to be in) all share a birthday.

Let’s start with Chauncey Billups, a.k.a. Mr. Big Shot, a five-time All-Star and the MVP of the 2004 NBA Finals with the Detroit Pistons. Billups retired in 2014, and considering his extensive accolades, the Hall of Fame seems like it should be on the horizon sometime soon.

VIDEO: A look back at Chauncey Billups’ career

Also, happy birthday to Bob McAdoo! McAdoo won two NBA titles as a player with the Lakers, and then two more recently as an assistant with the Miami Heat. The NBA’s MVP in 1975, McAdoo was the NBA’s scoring leader three times and was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

VIDEO: A look back at Bob McAdoo’s career

Finally, happy birthday to Scottie Pippen! One of the most versatile players of all-time, Pippen won six titles as a member of the Chicago Bulls. A member of the 1992 Dream Team and an eight time member of the NBA All-Defense First Team, Pippen was enshrined to the Hall of Fame in 2010.

VIDEO: A look back at Scottie Pippen’s career

Michael Jordan’s Space Jam uniform up for auction


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Michael Jordan anchored some of the greatest NBA teams ever assembled, but perhaps the greatest team he ever played with was actually the Tune Squad, which mounted an epic offense in order to beat the Monstars during the great 1996 film Space Jam. And if you loved Space Jam, you can now own a piece of the film…provided you have the cash.

The auction site Invaluable has Jordan’s actual Tune Squad uniform from the film, with a starting bid of $10,000 required to get in the game. According to Invaluable

Estimated Price: $10,000 – $15,000

1715. Michael Jordan uniform from Space Jam. (Warner Bros., 1996) Screen worn complete basketball uniform including (1) XL AIS brand mesh, red, white and blue-trimmed sports jersey with “Tunesquad” logo on the front and signature number “23” emblazoned on the back and (1) matching pair of size 38 shorts. Worn in the climactic showdown between Michael Jordan’s “Tunesquad” and the “Monstars”. With signs of wear and minor staining. In production used fine condition.


(via CBS Sports)

Fan gets Michael Jordan versus Kobe Bryant tattoos

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve seen fans pay tributes to their favorite athletes in several ways, from the temporary (with a haircut) to the more permanent (in ink). But I don’t think we’ve ever seen a fan get tattoos of two of his favorite athletes, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, in what I guess is a permanent staredown.

Watch ‘The Shot’ from a new angle

By Jeff Case

Michael Jordan has a lengthy list of game-winners he drilled throughout his career. But perhaps his first/best known one was the basket he made against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the decisive Game 5 of the first round in 1989.

Best known as ‘The Shot’, we can almost guarantee that you’ve seen the following clip before …

VIDEO: Michael Jordan dispatches the Cavaliers in 1989

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet/the Twitterverse, though, a NEW, court-level angle of MJ’s bucket is out there to delight Bulls fans (and further torment Cavs fans and Craig Ehlo) …

(h/t For The Win & @SneakerDave)


Bonner beats Scalabrine in a game of Knockout

By Jeff Case

Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs is heading into his 12th NBA season. Brian Scalabrine hasn’t played in the NBA since 2011-12, but crafted an 11-year career in the league. Both players were second-round picks, both sport red hair, both are/were fan favorites on whatever teams they played and both sport “Mamba” nicknames (Bonner is the “Red Mamba”; Scalabrine is the “White Mamba”).

They’ve got some stuff in common, basically.

Both were in attendance for a Seeds of Peace charity event and played each other in the classic schoolyard game, Knockout. The showdown lasted nearly 10 minutes, according to the San Antonio Express-News, with Bonner emerging as the champ. And even though Bonner is still an active player, the game apparently took a lot out of him (and Scalabrine) …

(h/t Bleacher Report & CBSSports)



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



Pippen has a different opinion:


Update II:

Shaq responds to Pippen:


What do you think? Is Shaq right?

MUSCLEWATCH 2015 (Summer Edition)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERMUSCLEWATCH traditionally makes its debut each fall as NBA teams assemble for training camp. But sometimes the muscles just can’t be ignored, as has been the case thus far this summer.

But first! What, you may ask, is MUSCLEWATCH? Basically, it began decades ago when my friend Matt and I noticed our local paper would always report that players had gained 15 pounds of MUSCLE in the offseason. No matter the sport, it was never 12 pounds, never 16, never 9, never 18, but seemed to always be 15 pounds of muscle. So we began keeping an eye on the papers looking for references to the magic 15 pounds of MUSCLE. Eventually, MUSCLEWATCH became about more than just the 15 pounds of muscle and more about guys who had either gained or lost a lot of weight. Previous winners include Thad Young and Rudy Gay.

Whenever you come across MUSCLEWATCH news, please let me know! You can either email me via the link in the header above, or you can send me a tweet, and make sure you use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH.

Anyway, with Summer Leagues happening around the NBA the last few weeks, I’ve been getting MUSCLEWATCH reports on Twitter, and I felt that today would be a good day to round them up for posterity.

Let’s actually begin a few weeks back, as prospects were preparing for the NBA Draft. Here we see Willie Cauley-Stein, days before being drafted by the Sacramento Kings, sit down for an interview with ESPN’s Henry Abbott. Early on in this interview, Cauley-Stein mentions gaining 20 pounds of MUSCLE since his college season ended, a staggering figure by any account. Ace interviewer that he is, Abbott seizes on this tidbit and tries to get some details from Cauley-Stein about this important MUSCLEWATCH moment…

My favorite moment of the interview? Probably when Abbott asks Cauley-Stein if he knows who I am, and Cauley-Stein responds with an actual shrug…

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 9.54.17 AM



Celtics forward James Young has also made MUSCLEWATCH news, although he may be employing some fuzzy math. According to initial reports, Young had put on the magic 15 pounds of MUSCLE…

That’s when the controversy starts. One report says Young apparently gained 20 pounds over the last year, with a 10-pound burst of weight coming more recently?

Or maybe it’s 15 pounds plus 5 more?

Either way, Young is clearly aiming to make a MUSCLEWATCH name for himself heading into the season.


An early MUSCLEWATCH championship candidate is clearly Oklahoma City’s Mitch McGary, who has reportedly shed 30 pounds…

According to McGary, the weight loss is a result of several factors…

McGary credits the weight loss to cooking classes, a healthier diet and rigorous workouts. By eating better and transforming his body, McGary believes he’ll put himself in a better position to stay healthy and play the best basketball of his life.

“I’m sick of being injured and not being able to play at full strength 100 percent,” McGary said. “So this summer was really key for me. I stayed in Oklahoma City and just been working my tail off to get into shape.”

“You were always eating at your parents’ house, and then you go and start living on the pizza and wings diet in college, man,” McGary said. “It’s not cool not knowing how to cook for yourself when you go home and you’re trying to eat out every night. I’d rather just stay home, cook myself up some chicken, some fish, and have a nice dinner at home.”

After only a few months trying his hand at cooking, McGary now proudly shares his creations with fans on social media and jokingly boasts of being a beast in the kitchen.

“Man, I’m nice,” McGary said. “They call me ‘Chef.’”

I think a Mitch McGary cooking show is something the world needs. Congratulations to Chef McGary!


Down in New Orleans, we have a few MUSCLEWATCH notes. First of all, Tyreke Evans has allegedly dropped weight, according to new Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry

Also, guard Eric Gordon is just a few pounds behind Evans…

Also, as always, thanks to the Pelicans for using the proper #MUSCLEWATCH hashtag on their official Twitter account…


The Timberwolves may be a young team still building, but forward Shabazz Muhammad is trying to grab a MUSCLEWATCH crown right now. According to the T-Wolves, Muhammad is reuniting with a legendary MUSCLEWATCH figure…

We first met “Crazy Frank” last season, back when he was referred to as “Hell’s Trainer.” Muhammad says he’s planning to lose more weight, which seems like a foregone conclusion.


Some odds and ends…Bulls GM Gar Forman says Jimmy Butler has put on some weight…

Lakers forward Julius Randle is shedding bad weight while adding good weight…

Anthony Bennett has done serious MUSCLEWATCH work through the years…

Dante Exum is off to a promising start…

And finally…we don’t have any concrete figures, but Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo looks like he’s putting in time in the weight room…

Throwback Thursday: Bulls win first NBA championship

VIDEO: Relive the Bulls’ top 10 plays from the 1991 Finals

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. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Chicago Bulls win 1991 Finals

Entering the 1990-91 season, the Chicago Bulls had experienced playoff success and also bitter playoff losses. Years upon years of failing to get past the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons culminated in the 1991 East finals, where Chicago exorcised its demons against Detroit. In sweeping the Pistons, the Bulls reached their first Finals, squaring off against Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers.

After falling in Game 1 at home, the Bulls rebounded and rattled off four straight wins, clinching the title on June 12, 1991 to claim their first NBA championship. Little would Chicago know at the time, but a dynasty would begin with that Finals series win as the Bulls were crowned champions in ’92, ’93, ’96, ’97 and ’98.

In honor of the Bulls’ first title, we take a look back at the storied career of the best player on that team, Michael Jordan:

Gallery: Michael Jordan’s career

What are your favorite Jordan memories? Leave your comments below!

The Breakdown: The Shrug

VIDEO: The Shrug

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The 2015 NBA Finals begin tomorrow night, but 23 years ago today was Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers, which marks one of the great moments of Michael Jordan‘s career: The Shrug.

If you don’t remember The Shrug, the video is above. Let’s go to the tape for a moment-by-moment breakdown…

0:18 — We see fans streaming into the building, let by a screaming young man wearing a tank top and shorts, who may or may not be dressed to actually play in a basketball game instead of watch it.

0:30 — The Portland Trail Blazers are taking the court, which apparently entails them walking up a few flights of stairs in an old stairwell with wires and cables hanging poking out. Which is quite a juxtaposition to what we normally see these days, with refined architecture and squeaky-clean arenas.

0:36 — The Bulls huddle up and just in front of the camera, Cliff Levingston puts his left hand over Michael Jordan‘s right ear. At first I thought he was just messing with MJ, but Jordan didn’t recoil, which suggests this is something he’s used to. Suddenly, it all makes sense, when Levingston barks out, “WHAT TIME IS IT??” right in Jordan’s ear. So the hand over the ear move is purely practical. This may be one of Levingston’s most important contributions to the Bulls.

1:28 — The Blazers open the game red-hot, making their first seven field goal attempts and jumping out to a 21-15 lead. It is here we get our first glimpse of a younger and sleeker Phil Jackson, looking like a crooked politician in one of the Michael Keaton “Batman” movies.


1:42 — The Bulls players circle up, and while several players are talking, there’s one Bull who isn’t saying a word: Michael Jordan. He comes out of that huddle focused, chomping his gum so hard. You just know bad things are about to happen to the Blazers.

1:47 — Oh man. Danny Ainge tries to get the ball to Clyde Drexler in the post. Jordan jumps the entry pass, steals it, dribbles directly up the court at Ainge, then he avoids Ainge while somehow making him sail into the scorer’s table. No wonder the Celtics won’t make any trades with the Hornets.

1:57 — This is just a peak ’90s moment. These may be the male leads from a Paul Reiser vehicle. (Also, one high five wasn’t enough. GIVE ME TWO HIGH FIVES FOR THAT FADEAWAY JUMPER. Also, my man in the background has an awesome mustache.)


2:09 — Jordan is starting to cook. Meanwhile, Ainge is sooooooo mad. How mad? Mad enough to pound his fist! That’s really, really angry, you guys!

2:25 — OK, game reset: The second quarter is beginning, with the Bulls leading 33-30.

2:37 — Welp, Drexler isn’t giving in. He get a steal and goes coast to coast, and finishes with a nasty dunk in traffic. Drexler was always a much more spectacular dunker than I felt he got credit for. I kinda feel like this Bulls fan after seeing that dunk…


3:05 — Jordan hits a couple of threes, which leads to a shot of Levingston on the bench waving a towel and screaming, “He. Is. Hot. Whooo!” If there were a spiritual successor to Levingston in this year’s Finals, I’d have to go with Draymond Green.

3:11 — Love this from Johnny Bach, Bulls assistant coach: “I said to Phil, ‘Phil, do you sees what’s happening?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’ (laughs) We couldn’t believe it.”

3:36 — This is how you know MJ is cooking: Scottie Pippen misses a layup on the break and MJ’s right there for the follow-dunk. The Blazers are also leaving him room to shoot, which is probably a topic for a different day.

3:49 — Cover that man! I mean, look at this…


On this play, Jerome Kersey‘s actually pulling up his shorts to prepare to defend MJ as Jordan is sticking a three in his face…

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2.34.47 PM 1

4:08 — And then right after we hear that MJ has set an NBA Finals record with 5 three-pointers in a half, he goes and hits his sixth three pointer — again, wide open — and as he runs back down the court next to Cliff Robinson, Jordan throws up The Shrug.


Why is he shrugging? Because he can’t believe all of these shots are going in? Or because he can’t believe they aren’t really defending him, much less double-teaming him and making him give up the ball?

Anyway, it’s all downhill from there, mostly literally for the Blazers. Jordan had 35 in the first half, and finished with 39 in a 122-89 blowout win. The Bulls went on to win the series in Game 6, their second consecutive Finals win (and second of six).

Michael Jordan made a career out of giving us moments. But this one may have been his greatest moment of all of them.

President Obama weighs in on Bulls firing Tom Thibodeau

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — President Barack Obama not only plays basketball, but he’s an NBA fan, particularly of the Chicago Bulls, where he lived before becoming President. So it’s no big surprise that with today’s news of the Bulls firing of coach Tom Thibodeau, President Obama was asked about it on Twitter. And he was happy to give his two cents on the matter…