ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — During the recent holiday season, a bunch of people apparently got NBA jerseys as gifts — according to a release from the NBA, NBAStore.com had its largest Black Friday (Nov. 27) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 30) in history, with combined sales up 20 percent from the previous year. But which jerseys were the most popular? Here’s a look at the top 15 most popular jerseys, based on sales from October 2015 through December 2015, which features a conspicuous debut from one rated rookie…
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
5. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
6. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
9. James Harden, Houston Rockets
10. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
11. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
12. Paul George, Indiana Pacers
13. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
14. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
15. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Also, here are the ten most popular teams in terms of merchandise sold…
1.Golden State Warriors 2.Chicago Bulls 3.Cleveland Cavaliers 4.Los Angeles Lakers 5.New York Knicks 6.San Antonio Spurs 7.Oklahoma City Thunder 8.Miami Heat 9.Boston Celtics 10.L.A. Clippers
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With February right around the corner, adidas has unveiled their Black History Month collection, inspired this year by the legendary track and field athlete Jesse Owens. As adidas notes, at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Owens “became a groundbreaking athlete and symbol for social justice and equality after a historic performance where he became the first American track and field athlete to win four gold medals in a single games, all while under tremendous global tension.” And he did it while wearing a pair of spikes handmade by adidas founder Adi Dassler.
For Black History Month, adidas athletes will wear shoes that pay tribute to Owens. From a release via adidas…
James Harden, Damian Lillard and Derrick Rose, among others, will debut the exclusive collection during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day games and continue to wear the commemorative editions in select games throughout February to celebrate Black History Month and honor African-American role models like Jesse.
Each model features cream tones, dark brown contrasts, gold accents and signature details including Owens’ 733 bib number treated with gold foil on the tongue and a 1936 graphic-print in the sockliner.
The D Rose 6 features an aged, tumbled leather upper that pays homage to the medal-winning cleats worn by Owens, contrasted by off-white hits and a clear outsole with gold flecks. He was the first American to claim four medals at the games and gold accents on the D Rose logo, heel straps, tongue detailing, lace lock and faceted eyelets celebrate the groundbreaking feat. The sneaker also features a subtle tribute to the crowd in attendance with a black-and-white photo printed on the collar lining and back of the tongue.
Inspired by Owens’ track uniform at the games, the D Lillard 2 is designed with an off-white color palette, while the upper’s cracked, gold foil texture and accents echo the medals won. The upper is also color blocked with cream suede and mesh paneling for clean, comfortable style on and off the court. The silhouette pairs Oak Print hits with a fresh coat of vintage-white at the midsole, eyelets and heel cap that seamlessly blend with a clear outsole.
The Crazylight Boost 2.5, worn by James Harden and Andrew Wiggins, features a mix of materials in the upper including off-white, gradient Primeknit and genuine leather with gold foil treatment. The 2.5 also includes a ‘Jesse Owens’ graphic print lace jewel and the elite sprinter’s name embroidered on the inside of the tongue. Gold accents on the silhouette’s lace tips and signature details deliver a true gold metal tribute.
The D Rose 6 ($140) and D Lillard 2 ($105) roll out in January at adidas.com. For detailed images, check below… (more…)
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last season during the playoffs, Bulls guard Derrick Rose brought his son to the press conference podium during their series against the Cavs, and when his son gave the cameras a disapproving look, a social media star was born…
And if you didn’t think players aren’t aware of what’s happening on social media, think again, as after last night’s Bulls win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, D-Rose redefined #NBAStyle, breaking out a t-shirt that celebrates his son’s social media stardom…
NBA training camps have convened, exhibition games are underway, and we all know what that means: The return of MUSCLEWATCH.
Before we get to the muscles, 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 off-season. No matter the sport, it was never 12 pounds, never 16, never 9, never 18, but it always seemed to 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 Thaddeus Young and Rudy Gay.
And remember, MUSCLEWATCH cannot be successful without your help. The most effective way to let us here at MUSCLEWATCH HQ know if you see any MUSCLEWATCH news is to tweet and use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH.
Also, for what it’s worth, we need numbers. If you’re going to be vague, that’s not MUSCLEWATCH. I’m talking to you, Bulls GM Gar Forman…
Forman on Rose: "Physically, he looks terrific." #MuscleWatch?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — #TBT is the hashtag for “Throwback Thursday,” which is really just kinda of an excuse for people to post old photos on social media. But Rockets point guard Ty Lawson has historically been great at #TBT, and the photo he posted yesterday is no exception. Some of the guys who went on the have NBA careers, besides Lawson: Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Kyle Singler, Brandan Wright, Spencer Hawes. Not a bad collection of talent…
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.”
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In Game 3 of their series against the Washington Wizards, the Atlanta Hawks mounted a furious fourth quarter comeback, only to lose on a game-winning buzzer-beater from Paul Pierce. And not only was it a game-winning buzzer-beater, it was a game-winning buzzer-beater off of the glass. As Pierce said later, he didn’t call glass, he called game. Pierce joined Chicago’s Derrick Rose, who also hit a game-winning buzzer beater, also off the glass, to beat the Cavaliers.
How to deal? Well, the Hawks suggested perhaps we should just ban using the glass on buzzer-beaters altogether. If you’re a Hawks or Bulls fan, you can support this movement by signing their iPetition. OK, so it’ll never work, but still, as coping mechanisms go, this one is rather humorous.
Is it OK to say this was the sweetest moment for Derrick Rose since 2011? Yes, it appears so, because what could be more uplifting to a player who’s been to injury hell and back (three times) than sending a sucker punch to LeBron James and the Cavs here in what could be a tightly-contest second-round playoff series?
Over the last few years it has become customary, even tired, to proclaim “He’s Back!” whenever Rose did anything that remotely resembled his MVP season. To be honest, Rose will never be “back” until he displays the consistency of that season, but let’s put that aside for a moment. On this very play, with this very shot, he was “back” for a fleeting microsecond, even if the three-point buzzer beater than put the Bulls up 2-1 in the series required a kiss from the basketball Gods to bank off the glass.
As it is, Rose is being celebrated today in the same city that heckled him during his clumsy comeback from knee surgery a few years ago. Good for him, because if anyone needed a lift from a crazed crowd and a game-winning shot, it’s Rose.
Well, when you’re running to your right and need to shoot over a defender who has the wingspan of a prehistoric bird, then yeah, this shot was a bit tricky to pull off.
Rose took an in-bounds pass with three seconds left and after shaking free of ImanShumpert, found Tristan Thompson flying in his grill. Of course, with time of the essence, there really wasn’t any time to think. And maybe that was a good thing. Three times on the Bulls’ previous four possessions, Rose missed one of two free throws and went 0-for-2 on isolation plays. This time, Rose simply launched it and didn’t call bank.
Before Rose’s game winner, the Bulls were stunned by a desperate three-pointer by J.R. Smith just seconds earlier. In a bit of bad decision-making by the Bulls and coach Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls refused to foul Smith while leading by three. In that situation, it’s better to send a player to the free throw line than risk having him tie the game, and the Bulls lost that gamble.
With Pau Gasol on the bench dealing with an injured hamstring, the Bulls couldn’t afford to play into overtime, not against LeBron. Speaking of whom, he poked the ball away from Rose on the very next play. Lucky for LeBron, he wasn’t called for a foul. And lucky for Rose, the ball went out of bounds, giving the Bulls another shot with three seconds left.
Bulls are up 2-1 in the best of seven. And the next game’s at the United Center on Sunday. C’mon.
Rose was rather subdued, as though he knew a 30-foot bank shot was going in all the way. Anyway, he was immediately lifted into the air by Joakim Noah, who sprinted off the bench, and soon mobbed by teammates. Of course, the UC went nuts, as it should, given that all of Chicago has been waiting to see something like this from Rose for nearly four years. Wish granted. If the Bulls win this series, don’t you think this shot will be raised as one of the reasons why?
Five Horrys, because of the circumstances: Rose’s continued comeback from injuries, it was a playoff game, LeBron was on the floor, and the ball was banked in. Yes, this is the max number of Horrys, but just the same, this isn’t some game in February. Please, after all he’s been through, don’t you think Rose should get lots of Horry love?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night the Chicago Bulls announced Derrick Rose would undergo knee surgery on his right knee for a second season in a row. A timetable for his return won’t be established until after the surgery, but considering Rose’s injury history — he’s played just 95 regular season games over the last four seasons — this is another unfortunate setback in Rose’s continuing to try and regain the MVP form he displayed in 2011.
As news of Rose’s latest injury spread last night, players from around the NBA reached out via social media to offer their best wishes…
Man feel bad for D.Rose! Keep your head up homie and stay strong G!
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Every year about this time, we start to see the same movies airing on TV over and over, the holiday classics: Christmas Vacation, Miracle on 34th Street, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, etc.
Now the Chicago Bulls have created a new video to add to the holiday classics canon. Their video, The Gift Of The Game, which tells of a Christmas miracle involving Benny the Bull and a Bulls team that understands teamwork is the key to success. Special shoutout to Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol, Doug McDermott, and Mike Dunleavy for their narrating skills.