ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s not entirely clear what’s happening here, other than President Obama, several members of the Washington Wizards, and a bunch of kids are involved in some sort of shooting contest on a court at the White House. As the video starts, a bunch of people take shots and President Obama sinks his jumper. And then Obama goes over to Paul Pierce and makes sure he knows about it.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — For the fifth anniversary of her “Let’s Move!” campaign, first lady Michelle Obama introduced a resolution called #GimmeFive, asking people to post videos giving five ways to be healthier. There have been a few celebrities who have taken the challenge, mostly from the world of entertainment, like Beyonce and Kelly Ripa.
But now the challenge has drifted over a few blocks from the White House to the Verizon Center, home of the Washington Wizards. First up, John Wall, Garrett Temple and the Wizards dance team took the #GimmeFive challenge…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last season when I made an attempt to photograph an NBA game, the thing I was most worried about was not taking the photos, but getting into somebody’s way. When I expressed my concern to my photo mentor, Nathaniel Butler, his advice was if I saw an NBA player coming at me, get as small as I can and be as still as I could. Because even if I couldn’t get completely out of the way, NBA players are good enough athletes that they would be able to avoid me.
That was what I thought about last night when I saw Washington’s John Wall go head-first into the stands trying to save a loose ball. I don’t know who coached him, but the kid in the red shirt handled it perfectly — he got small, he got still, and John Wall incredibly managed to completely avoid him. Nice soundtrack, BTW…
The 24-year-old guard from Raleigh, N.C. continues to elevate his game, entering the second week of the New Year leading the NBA in assists. He has not only usurped reigning dimes champion Chris Paul, but he has eclipsed his previous high average set last year at 8.8 per game.
Wall is posting 10.3 helpers a night, finding teammates through getting deep in the paint, waiting until the last second to unload to Marcin Gortat or Nene or Kris Humphries on a cut. If that’s not there, then he can dart his eyes toward the wings, where Paul Pierce, Bradley Beal and Rasual Butler are usually waiting with a clear look at the rim.
Elite athleticism and speed gives him the ability to maneuver in traffic and adjust to contact. Steadily improving court vision allows him to find the open man. His 6-foot-4 frame can absorb more punishment than most. Add his studious approach to the game and we have a guy poised to rank among the best of a Golden Age of NBA point guards for a good minute.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The NBA’s Christmas Day marathon of games is just a few days away, and to help spread the word, specifically for the Wizards/Knicks game, ESPN brought in Liam Neeson, star of the Taken series of movies. With Taken 3 set to debut just after the new year, New York Knicks fan Neeson flexed his impressive “angry man talking on the phone skills” by calling Wizards point guard John Wall and letting him know that this year the Knicks are not playing around. And Wall is all like, “Whatever dude…”
We’re just about to mid-November, which means Thanksgiving is not far away in the United States and, after that, the Christmas and Winter holiday season will be upon us. For many, that means gift buying, hanging up decorations around the house, braving the shopping malls (more than you’d like to) and holiday parties.
If you get invited to an ugly holiday sweater party though, bookmark this page on ForeverCollectibles.com. They’ve got a whole line of NBA (and other league)-themed ugly holiday sweaters that will soon be available for purchase. And if the John Wall one that leaked today is any indication of how awfully good these things are …
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In a new ad for adidas and Foot Locker, Washington point guard John Wall sees what lies ahead for him, as his entire future occurs in about 30 seconds. There’s the possibility of great moments (a title, a family) and not so great moments (selling cars, gaining weight), but one redeeming feature of the whole thing: Having a shoe retro’ed. Which is hard to complain about either way.
In the last two weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge has quite literally “soaked” the nation. Everyone from Ethel Kennedy to Justin Timberlake has poured a bucket of ice water over his or her head and challenged others do the same or make a donation to fight ALS within twenty-four hours.
Between July 29 and today, August 12, The ALS Association and its 38 chapters have received an astonishing $4 million in donations compared to $1.12 million during the same time period last year. The ALS Association is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from those people who have been doused, made a donation, or both. Contributions further The Association’s mission to find a cure for ALS while funding the highest quality of care for people living with the disease.
“We have never seen anything like this in the history of the disease,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of compassion, generosity and sense of humor that people are exhibiting as they take part in this impactful viral initiative.”
With only about half of the general public knowledgeable about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the Ice Bucket Challenge is making a profound difference. Since July 29, The Association has welcomed more than 70,000 new donors to the cause.
Everyone from celebrities to, perhaps, some of your friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are challenging each other to dump a bucket of ice-cold water on themselves to further awareness of ALS. That list of participants includes NBA players, who have taken on (or doled out) the Ice Bucket Challenge, too. Here’s Michael Jordan, Team USA,Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, John Wall,Damian Lillard, J.R. Smith and more taking the plunge:
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The nae nae is a dance that has been growing in popularity for the past few months. (Deadspin provided some pretty good background on it here.) And as it has expanded, it has crossed over into the NBA several times. So we all know what that means…time for another dance-off!
Who performed the best version of the nae nae? Vote at the bottom…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve seen a lot of Wizards big man Kevin Seraphin this season on the All Ball Blog. He may still be developing on the court, but off the court, he’s clearly capable of producing some terrific highlights.
This latest entry comes to us courtesy of the D.C. Sports Bog, and it shows Seraphin teaming up with John Wall to play a game of $25,000 Pyramid. Which is awesome. –
There might be some cultural differences between Wall and Seraphin — for instance, Wall didn’t seem to immediately seize upon creme brulee as a clue — but the two of them obviously have a connection. For a bonus clip, check out this footage from last year of Wall and Seraphin watching a game together… –