Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Bulls’

Joakim Noah throws first pitch(es) at White Sox game

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — There have been a bunch of NBA players throwing out ceremonial first pitches at baseball games the last few weeks, but I’ve been trying not to post each one individually in the hopes of later putting together a round-up of all the different first pitches.

But we had a first pitch earlier this week that I just couldn’t overlook. Bulls center Joakim Noah tossed the first pitch this week at a Chicago White Sox game. And after warming up a bit in a tunnel under the stadium, Joakim ran onto the field and…fired a pitch way low and outside.

But all is not lost! Instead, Joakim asked for another try, and this time lobbed a strike down the middle. There’s a reason you four balls to throw three strikes…


VIDEO: Noah pitch

Buy a pack of NBA cards, get a piece of a game-worn shoe?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Basketball cards have long been more than just photos and text. Years ago companies started inserting cards with little authentic game-worn keepsakes built-in to the card — swatches of jerseys, a piece of a court, etc. But this season cards are going where they’ve never gone before.

In Panini America’s 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball collection, releasing on Friday, they’ve managed to incorporate cards that have pieces of game-worn shoes from everyone from Kobe Bryant to Kevin Durant to Larry Johnson inside the cards. Panini wrote about the genesis of the idea on their official blog

“The idea to create the Sneak Peek memorabilia cards came while we were looking at a pair of Kobe Bryant game-worn sneakers in the Panini Authentic memorabilia room,” said Jim Stefano, Panini America’s Senior Director of Product Development. “NBA players, more so than any other athletes, wear sneakers that reflect their personalities. Their sneakers are an extension of who they are. It’s all about the swag.”

That swag, of course, takes various forms. Shaquille O’Neal’s Reebok Pumps. Blake Griffin’s Jordans. Kobe’s Kobes. Larry Johnson’s Converse Reacts. LeBron’s Nike Lebron Xs. It was one thing to create a wishlist of game-worn sneakers to target for Sneak Peek; it was another thing altogether more complex to actually acquire them and then figure out how best to incorporate them into a trading card.

But Panini America acquisitions officials worked their relationships with exclusive and non-exclusives athletes alike to turn a wishlist into a checklist; from there, the game-worn sneakers made their way through Panini America HQ, with each department — Product Development, Production, Design — helping shape the masterful finished product.

“This was truly a great experience to develop and execute with the various departments within Panini America,” Stefano said. “It was a true team effort that resulted in one of the most singularly spectacular sets of trading cards ever created. The sheer amount of different swatch colors, materials and patterns is a unique and exciting development for the entire trading card category. We believe these cards will not only be sought after by basketball collectors but by sneaker heads as well.”

To see some examples of the cards, check below…

panini-america-2013-14-immaculate-basketball-sneak-peek-kobe-bryant-2panini-america-2013-14-immaculate-basketball-sneak-peek-larry-johnson-1  panini-america-2013-14-immaculate-basketball-sneak-peek-kevin-durant-4 panini-america-2013-14-immaculate-basketball-sneak-peek-derrick-rose-1

His Airness Tries Out Tennis

By Nick Margiasso IV

Game recognize game.

It is a phrase that never rang truer than Tuesday night, when Michael Jordan headed to the US Open to watch his first-ever professional tennis match in person (according to USA Today) — as guest of tennis legend Roger Federer.

It wasn’t just worlds colliding just for the sake of blowing sports fans’ collective minds. No, it was in part a celebration of the debut of Fed’s new Jordan-inspired tennis kicks. Federer used his new wheels courtesy of Jordan to blow out his opponent in front of the Chicago Bulls legend, who was commended by the fans and even Federer himself after the match. They were probably just trying to get some freebies of these sweet sneakers.

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And, although it was a glorified business meeting, MJ was entertained enough that he might be back soon … as long as his Nike buddy is playing. Then again, they might just play piano, too. Such is the life of the greats.

LeBron ready to bring back powder toss in Cleveland

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the most iconic moments from the early part of LeBron James‘ NBA career came each game just before tip-off, when he would walk to the scorer’s table, fill his hands with talcum powder and heave it into the air. It was a move pioneered by Michael Jordan and Kevin Garnett, who would clap talcum at the scorer’s table.

Yet LeBron added height to the practice and dedicated himself early on, and it has become something of a signature move for him. He stopped doing it in 2011, and then brought it back in 2013, though he didn’t resume it with regularity.

But over the weekend, LeBron posted a clip from NBA 2K and wrote, “I swear I can’t wait for this moment again!! #TheLand #PowderFillsTheRoom #StriveForGreatness”

Throwback Thursday: Best teams of the 1990s


VIDEO: Relive the top 10 plays from the 1993 Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns

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: Best Teams of 1990s

This week we continue our Throwback Thursday: Best Teams of Each Decade series by looking at the best teams to play in the 1990s.

Make sure to check back next week for our look at the best teams of the 2000s!

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: TBT: Best Teams of the 1990s

Previous weeks:

Best Teams of 1940-50s
Best Teams of 1960s
Best Teams of 1970s
Best Teams of the 1980s

Which of these teams do you think would do best in today’s NBA? Leave your comments below!

Luvabulls get a celebrity auditioner

By Jeff Case

The Bulls’ dance team, the Luvabulls, will embark on their 35th season entertaining fans in Chicago. As such, the team needs to assemble its roster for 2014-15 and recently held tryouts so it could complete that task. According to the team’s website, the following are among the requirements to be a part of the squad:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age as of July 12, 2014 – please bring valid photo ID
  • Must have training in jazz and hip hop dance, with an emphasis on synchronized dance team choreography – tumbling skills, cheer stunts and pom experience are a plus
  • Must reside in the Chicago-land area and have a reliable means of transportation
  • There are no minimum or maximum height or weight requirements

So, technically, just about anyone — who is qualified — can try out for a spot on the team. Does that include former “Saturday Night Live” stars (like Cheri Oteri) doing so under a psuedonym? Apparently so …


VIDEO: Sage McMurphy (aka Cheri Oteri) tries out for the Luvabulls

(The Bulls also have a great behind-the-scenes video about the spoof tryout.)

 

 

Throwback Thursday: Best teams of the 1980s


VIDEO: Relive the top moments from The 1983 Finals between the Sixers and Lakers

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: Best Teams of 1980s

This week we continue our Throwback Thursday: Best Teams of Each Decade series by looking at the best teams to play in the 1980s.

Make sure to check back next week for our look at the best teams of the 1990s!

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: TBT: Best Teams of the 1980s

Previous weeks:

Best Teams of 1940-50s
Best Teams of 1960s
Best Teams of 1970s

Which of these teams do you think would do best in today’s NBA? Leave your comments below!

Michael Jordan loses shooting game to Kawhi Leonard

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just yesterday we checked in with Michael Jordan at his eponymous basketball camp, where we saw that he still has a sweet shooting stroke. Well, today video has emerged of MJ at that same camp, teaming up with a camper and playing a two-on-two game of hot shot against another camper and his partner, gulp, NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. It really gets going around the four-minute mark…


VIDEO: MJ vs Kawhi

(via SLAM)

Comparing Kobe and Jordan

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — For years now, fans have noted the similarities between Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Not just the way they shoot, their moves, etcetera, but all the way down to little things like how they run and celebrate.

That’s really all I need to say. Just watch the following video, which is the last in a series of remarkable videos created by Youtube user Youssef Honnoun, and shows many of MJ’s moves juxtaposed against Kobe’s, and just how similar their games can be…


VIDEO: MJ vs Kobe

Michael Jordan can still make shots

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the best scenes in the movie Blue Chips is when former Celtics great Bob Cousy calmly walks to the free throw line and calmly drains 15 free throws in a row, all during one take. It’s all about muscle memory and technique, which apparently the greats can recall on short notice.

A few weeks ago at his Flight School basketball camp, Michael Jordan stepped onto the court and, in front of what appears to be hundreds of people, strolled around the court and knocked down 11 jumpers in a row. He may be 51 years old now but hey, when you got it, you got it…


VIDEO: MJ Shooting