While many NBA players have brought their unique style to the podium during the 2013 playoffs, some trends have popped up multiple times throughout the first week.
DENIM: This postseason, players have embraced the utilitarian fabric to make bold statements. In the gallery below, Blake Griffin and Raymond Felton wear tailored denim button down shirts, while James Harden has an edgier take with a distressed shirt and plaid vest. Brandon Jennings looks summer-ready with a faded chambray shirt and white ankle pants, while LeBron James mixes it up by pairing a crisp denim button down with a black tie under a shawl collar sweater.
PINK: The color has range. Brandon Jennings spruces up a classic tan blazer with a warm pink button down, and Deron Williams wears the same shade under his gray jacket. For bolder variations, Caron Butler’s pink shirt pops under a gray suit and muted blue tie, while Matt Barnes pairs mauve pants with a black jacket and tie.
Let us know who wore these trends best, and if you could imagine them in your closet, tell us about it on Twitter using the hashtag #NBAStyle… -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER – Part of the fun of the NBA Playoffs is that everything is amplified, from the intensity to the passion to the very stakes everyone is playing for. it is win or go home, and frankly, win or go home, NBA players want to look as sharp as they can while doing either.
Check out some of the looks these NBA stars put together over the first week of the Playoffs, from the fashion forward styles of guys like Russell Westbrook and James Harden, to LeBron James‘ sweater/blazer combo, to the classic suits on players like Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala. Skinny ties are worn by several players, and dudes like Mike Conley (cardigan) and Harden (plaid vest with a pocket square) displayed popular recent trends. And also, Russell Westbrook wore a leather shirt.
All these players and more are featured in the gallery below. Who wore it best? Give us your thoughts in the comments section, and keep the conversation going on Twitter by using #NBAStyle.
In the two seasons we’ve had the Horry Scale up and running, we’ve never encountered a game-winning buzzer-beater quite like the one we saw in Houston last night.
As a refersher, here’s the rules on what makes an Horry Scale shot:
For those that are new around these parts, the Horry scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.
All well and good, the rules above, but they don’t quite address how to handle James Harden‘s shot last night, which ended up being good … only because the Suns’ Jermaine O’Neal reached up and goal-tended it at the last second. Technically, Harden gets credit for the 3-pointer and the game-winning shot, but it’s definitely one of the more odd Horry Scale entries we’ve ever encountered.
We’ll attempt to break this puppy down and give it a fair shake on the Scale, but be warned … this isn’t your usual ending to a Horry Scale, so the rating might not be what you think it is.
How does Harden’s finish Tuesday night stack up? Without further ado…
Not exactly a tough shot for Harden. Fellow backcourt-mate Jeremy Lin inbounds the ball to Harden with 9.1 seconds left and he dribbles the clock down to 1.9 seconds before hoisting a 3-pointer over a decent contest by second-year forward P.J. Tucker. The Suns play this shot pretty well, as Tucker gives Harden space early on and closes out on the shot while teammate Jared Dudley leaves his man to provide an additional hand in Harden’s face. The jumper caroms high off the back iron and looks like a brick. But then, Jermaine O’Neal — a 16-year veteran and former six-time All-Star — goes up to get the ball on its second bounce. The only problem? The ball hit the rim when it fell and O’Neal swats if off there, constituting a goaltending call and a win for Houston.
To expound on why O’Neal went up and batted the ball away, The Arizona Republic‘s Paul Coro caught up with the Suns big man after the game, who explained his actions thusly:
Suns center Jermaine O’Neal has played in the NBA for 17 seasons and never has seen a team lose like how his team did Wednesday night.
…After a Suns timeout, O’Neal was blocked by Omer Asik inside and Scola missed a scoop shot to set up Harden for the buzzer 3. It hit back rim and then the front rim before O’Neal hit it after the buzzer.
“Jermaine O’Neal touched it while it was in the cylinder,” official David Jones said. “The ball was on the rim and in the cylinder. He doesn’t go up through the net.”
O’Neal said he thought the ball had come off the rim and he was trying to prevent a Rockets tip-in. Coach Lindsay Hunter said he will need to re-examine the rule after the explanation he received.
“But there were a lot of other calls that were quite questionable leading up to that,” O’Neal said. “So I guess you put that with the rest of them. Especially in the fourth (quarter), there were some calls that I’m not quite sure about.”
Can’t say that makes what O’Neal did any clearer. When does preventing a tip-in require goaltending a shot? Isn’t that the same (or worse) than allowing a tip-in in this situation?
Greg Smith rebounded Luis Scola‘s missed jumper with 16.9 seconds left — a shot that would have given Phoenix a 100-98 lead — and calls timeout to set up the Rockets’ play. The score is tied at 98 when the wild sequence between Harden and O’Neal happens.
Heading into Tuesday night, the Suns had already tied the 1987-88 squad for the second-most losses in the single season in team history. Another defeat would move this current iteration of the Suns into sole possession of the second-worst season in team history. You can almost hear Suns fans cheering over that one. But a loss keeps Phoenix in the running with Orlando and Charlotte for a good chance to land the No. 1 pick in the 2013 Draft, which is perhaps what the Suns need more now than victories.
The Rockets had a chance to lock up their first playoff berth in four seasons on Saturday in Denver, but got waxed by the Nuggets. A return to the Toyota Center, where Houston was 27-11 entering last night, and a win over Phoenix would realize Houston’s playoff dream. While Houston is the No. 7 seed in the West, it remains a game behind Golden State for No. 6 and a chance to avoid either the Thunder or Spurs in the first round. In short, a win is something Houston needed for more than one reason.
After the officials review the play, the Rockets get to celebrate, but there isn’t much video proof of it. There are a couple of great Getty Images of Houston celebrating with Harden once his shot is ruled good, but the whole review of the last shot kind of sucks the fun out of any happy time.
1 Horry. The last time we had a 1-star shot on the Horry Scale? It was back on March 27, 2011, when Jameer Nelson hit a pretty boring game-winner against the Nuggets in Orlando. Much like that shot, Harden’s was a mediocre-at-best shot that had just as good of a chance of rimming out (had O’Neal not helped out unintentionally) as it had of going in. Still, the Rockets will take the win (and the playoff berth) that comes with the game-winner no matter how it happened.
On the day where America remembers a shining icon, the Rockets visited Charlotte for a matinee affair against the hapless Bobcats. Though “hapless” is relative, because the Rockets aren’t exactly lighting the league on fire either, losing seven straight heading into Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Even still, you would think the ‘Cats would be a welcome sight, eh? Not if Bismack Biyombo has anything to do with it. a
For good measure, James Harden’s backcourt mate Jeremy Lin got some too. a
Wait! He wasn’t done with Harden just yet: a
Seven blocks in total, all coming against Harden (five) and Lin (two). Though it didn’t lead to a win for the Bobcats, Biyombo’s name just increased in font on opposing team’s scouting report.
When I first found out I was getting traded from Houston to Oklahoma City about a month ago, it was a shock and definitely unexpected. I played summer league and preseason with the Rockets, and when I found out I was getting traded, I knew I was going to have to learn a new system, a new coaching staff and new teammates.
I had no idea the trade was coming, and wasn’t sure how it was going to work out. But both teams talked me through it. First, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey talked to me about it. About 30 to 45 minutes later, Thunder general manager Sam Presti called me to tell me I’d be going to Oklahoma City and that they were going to fly me out the next day and get started right away. Coach [Scott] Brooks also called me that night.
I left around 4 p.m. the next day, so there was very little time to say goodbyes. I had a chance to talk to some people, including Coach [Kevin] McHale. I liked him a lot, as a coach and a player. He’s a good coach and I enjoyed talking to him. I was glad I was able to say goodbye to him, as well as to some of the other rookies like Scott Machado and Terrence Jones. I spoke to Toney Douglas, who told me, “This is a business. I’ve seen firsthand that side of the business early on in my career, too. Go ahead and do your thing, be aggressive, and work hard.”
I’ve definitely seen the business side of the NBA early, probably before any of the other rookies. But that’s not a bad thing, just something I had to go through. Everything happens for a reason, and I was blessed to play with Houston.
I am adjusting now, so everything is going good.
OKC, Here We Come!
I like it here in Oklahoma City so far. It’s a good city with real good fans and nice people. There’s not much to do, so you can really focus on basketball, which reminds me of Connecticut.
I’ve been living in a hotel since I got to OKC. About a week ago, my mom and someone from my agency came here to help me find a place, and I’ll be moving in in about a week or two. My Mom, Dad and sister are still living in Houston, but they will be moving out to here in a month or so.
We were on the road for Thanksgiving. This was not the first time I wasn’t with my family for the holiday, so I think I’m kind of used to it by now. Growing up, we used to go to my Bishop’s house in Atlanta; cook some good food and have fun. This year, we didn’t do anything as a team, but some people had Thanksgiving food before we got on the plane.
Christmas is the only holiday where I really wish I were with my family. Last year, when I was playing with UComm, we had practice on Christmas Day because we had a game the next day. This year, we will be playing the Miami Heat in Miami on Christmas Day. That will be exciting!
A lot of my teammates, especially Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins and Russell Westbrook, have taken me under their wing. Right when the trade happened, KD and Perk texted me saying they were glad to have me and to come in ready to work. I’ve been putting in extra work with KD; Perk has been helping me out; and Russ has been working with me from day one. I’m playing with a lot of great players here who are really teaching me. In Houston, there were a lot more rookies and guys my age, but here in OKC, there are more veterans.
I have one rookie teammate, Perry Jones. That’s my man! I chill at his house and we eat together sometimes. He’s a cool dude, and since he and I are both rookies, I’m thankful we are going through our first season together. It’s nice that there’s another guy to look up when someone yells “Rook!” and somebody who else who has to do rookie chores.
Coach Brooks is a real good coach. He really pushes me and challenges me in practice. He has a good personality, and I like him as a coach and as a person.
It was tough learning the new system, the plays, defensive schemes and all that at first. It took some time to get used to, but I’ve been here a little while, so I’m getting used to it.
I am working as hard as I can. When the opportunity presents itself, I can come in the game and give my team a boost; play hard on defense, score, rebound.
Jeremy Lamb is a 6-foot-5 guard from the University of Connecticut. He was picked 12th overall by the Rockets in the 2012 NBA Draft, and traded to the Thunder on Oct. 27 in the deal that sent James Harden to Houston.
Follow All Ball all season for more NBA Rooks: Diaries …
At the Highlight Factory in Atlanta on Friday, all eyes were on James Harden — and rightfully so. But early in the game, Jeff Teague compiled a highlight that will live on in video archives, among hoop junkies and Teague family dinners.
Just not on the stat sheet in the points column.
I’m going to go on record and say that Teague will record a few more fouls in his career. I doubt any of them will be as impressive as this.
The members of Team USA did a great job documenting their march to a gold medal at the London Olympics, but they weren’t the only ones following their journey. NBA Entertainment was with them pretty much every step of the way, and produced some pretty awesome videos as a result.
Going for gold is a serious pursuit, and Team USA committed to their cause fully and vigorously. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t still time for a little fun along the way:
My favorite part — Chris Paul questioning whether James Harden actually has a chin underneath his beard. I think we all know the answer to that, though.
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You may have noticed it’s the offseason, which means we have plenty of time to sit around and think about many of the things that make it fun to be an NBA fan. Here at All Ball, we’ll be passing the time until the start of the season with a new series, the Fave Five. Each week will count down a list of the five best, or worst … somethings. We’ll try to get creative with it. Plus we’re taking requests! If you have a suggestion for a Fave Five post, give us a shout and you may see it appear in this space over the next several weeks.
You may not know this about me, but if you have read enough posts on All Ball you’ve probably seen enough links to surmise that I am a big fan of Saturday Night Live.
And with the start of the new season just around the corner, it got me to thinking: When will the next NBA player get a chance to host of the show?
Historically speaking, SNL invites a “sports figure” on average about once a year (this includes broadcasters, professional wrestlers, etc). Last year our own Charles Barkley became the first athlete to host for the third time, but overall basketball representation on the show has been sparse. Aside from the Chuckster, only Michael Jordan and LeBron James have ever hosted. Clearly, Lorne Michaels does not think much of the NBA’s collective comedic talents. But is that deserved, this allegation I’m making up on the spot?
It seems to me in this day and age there are more NBA players being funny than ever, and it’s just a matter of time before someone else gets a crack at being not ready for primetime.
But who? In this week’s Fave Five, we rank the top candidates to take to the stage in Studio 8H: