ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Foot Locker is kicking off their Week of Greatness, in which each day they release different highly anticipated sneakers and apparel. And to get the word out, they’ve released a series of terrific commercials. Two of the spots don’t feature NBA players (Manny Pacquiao and John Cena), but two other spots star NBA players and are genuinely great. Check out Tim Duncan being excited (well, for him) when he gets a call from Derrick Rose, and James Harden playing on his rep for not being defensive…
A couple of months ago, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose were teammates in search for the gold. Last night, they were adversaries looking to get their bearings together for the regular season. In only their second-ever matchup against each other, they gave us a preview of what should be a fulfilling rivalry over the next seven months.
Other than splendid scoring at the point guard position, there were couple of takeaways from Monday’s showcase. Rose was very aggressive with his 3-point shot, pulling up off the dribble with ease and confidence (finished 4-for-5 from deep). His 30 points and zero turnovers in 24 minutes was easily his best game of the preseason.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Team USA won gold in the final of yesterday’s FIBA Basketball World Cup with a decisive win over Serbia, 129-92. But before returning home, Team USA had to collect their medals and their trophies. And then, right there on the podium, they all broke into the “shmoney dance”…
Well, everyone except Derrick Rose, who kind of just stood around on the right side there…
Also, Klay Thompson made a snow angel in the confetti…
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 Johnsoninside 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.”
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — While Derrick Rose continues his comeback from injury and tries to help the Bulls add an impact free agent, adidas today dropped info on Rose’s next signature shoe, the D Rose 773 III.
According to adidas…
The D Rose 773 III features Rose specific detailing such as three stripes on the heel with an architectural pattern and premium finish inspired by Chicago’s landmarks. The lace jewel highlights the 773 area code that inspired the shoe’s name while the D Rose logo is featured on the side and the tongue.
The D Rose 773 III also draws on collaboration with adidas’ collegiate teams to build on previous D Rose 773 models. The latest D Rose 773 utilizes a perforated pattern to increase breathability, an improved collar shape to enhance fit and performance and adiprene+ cushioning for comfort and responsiveness during quick cuts and drives to the basket. The SPRINTWEB upper dawns a color contrasting overlay while the zoned traction pattern on the bottom of the shoe offers optimal grip to fit all styles of play.
The D Rose 773 III is available now for $115 at adidas.com where you can also customize your own colorway with miadidas for $135.
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.
While the NBA world awaits news of the severity of Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose’s injury, the prayers and condolences have begun rolling in. The Association might define the heights of competition in sport, but when the possibility of tragedy hits, those same players that go to battle in between the lines always seem to be looking out for each other out of bounds.
Here’s a look at what Rose’s NBA peers are saying via their social media bullhorns:
No matter what "rivalry" we have with the bulls.. Hope it ain't serious for D Rose! #ImACompetitor
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Over the last few years the NBA has taken more and more ownership of Christmas Day, scheduling games in what used to be a void of TV viewing. This year there will be five games on air back to back, and to make it even more of an event, the players participating will be rocking new uniforms — not only sleeved jerseys, but what the NBA and adidas are calling “big logo” jerseys. These feature team logos in reflective chrome as the focal point on the short-sleeve jerseys, paired with an ultra-lightweight short with chrome piping. The jerseys are available now online at the NBA Store.
To publicize the new looks, they’ve created a new ad, which you can watch above, featuring players involved in those games, including Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Steve Nash, James Harden and Stephen Curry. They have also dropped photos, which you can see in the gallery below. -
BONUS!Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Jingle Hoops commercial …
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Chicago’s Derrick Rose has been back from injury and playing well throughout this preseason, but if you really needed a moment to convince you that Rose is just as dangerous on the court as he was before his injury, check out this move that he broke out last night against Oklahoma City point guard Reggie Jackson.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night’s preseason game in Chicago between the Bulls and Pistons wasn’t just another preseason game. This time, the meaning was a bit deeper: The was Derrick Rose‘s first game back in Chicago since tearing his ACL over a season ago. Rose would post a typically large performance — he finished with 22 points in 22 minutes, and with a +25 rating for the game. Fans in Chicago chanted “MVP” throughout the game, but maybe the biggest ovation came early on, when the lights dimmed and the Alan Parsons Project music kicked in, and D-Rose was introduced to his hometown fans for the first time since being injured… -