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… -
In the Southeast, Bobcats guard Walker took another step in his evolution from a shoot-first point to on-court chef. Using his ball-on-a-string dribble, Kemba carved the Pistons’ D with kick-outs to open shooters set up by a crisp two-man game with Al Jefferson. Reserve point guard Ramon Sessions recorded 10 assists of his own. (Further down on the map, John Wall weaved pinpoint passes through the Hawks in Atlanta for 12 in a win).
But the facilitator of the night goes to the Spaniard in the Midwest. Rubio got busy to the tune of 17 assists, dishing a steady diet to Kevin Love (42 points)and Corey Brewer and Ronny Turiaf. He controlled the pill like a wand, harrying the Pacers seemingly with ease.
By no means are these the only superb givers on the night. Rajon Rondo and Trey Burke collected 10 dimes each, James Harden one-upped them with 11 and Kendall Marshall shared in 16 buckets. Marshall has seven games this season of 14 or more assists, tying Chris Paul for the NBA lead. He’s only played 25 games.
Even Phoenix’s P.J. Tucker got in on the milestone act, tying a career high with six helpers.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last weekend in New Orleans, John Wall performed what was called the “Dunk of the Night” en route to walking away as the evening’s big winner. Even though it was only six years ago, the last time the dunk contest was in New Orleans was in 2008, and the winner of that dunk contest was Dwight Howard. These days Dwight’s dunks are more of the power variety, but yesterday at Rockets practice, Dwight showed that he can still get creative. James Hardengot in on it as well, but Dwight threw down a couple of nasty dunks, including this first one which left teammate Chandler Parsons speechless…
After the success of Truby’s George drawing, our colleagues at Turner Sports asked Truby to illustrate John Wall‘s winning dunk from the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest exclusively for Turner Sports/NBA Digital. Before we get to the animated image, however, I checked in with Truby this morning to find out exactly how he puts one of these animated illustrations together… - ME: How do you do/make these animated gifs? -
TRUBY: It’s actually a pretty simple — though time consuming — process. Basically I make a gif from video in Photoshop, then I look through all the individual frames and remove the ones I don’t need or are too blurry. This happens a lot when players are moving really fast or are out of focus. Then I illustrate every frame using a drawing tablet. I posted a quick Instagram video that shows a little bit of the process.
ME: How long does it take to make one of these illustrations?
TRUBY: It depends on how long the highlight is and how complicated. When there’s only one player involved, the process goes a lot quicker. If a highlight has more than one player or is from slow motion video, it can take a lot longer. It’s usually between 4 and 8 hours.
ME: Where did you get the idea to commemorate memorable dunks in this way?
TRUBY: I honestly don’t remember. I’ve been drawing for pretty much my whole life but had kind of stopped for a few years. I started an NBA drawings blog just to get back into drawing more. Then I bought my first drawing tablet about a year ago. I was probably playing around with some NBA drawings just to get used to drawing on a screen instead of paper when I realized the gifs would be a fun thing to try.
ME: Who is your favorite dunker of all time?
TRUBY: That’s a good question. I have no idea. I’m way more into great passes. I love a good bounce pass more than anything, they just take way more time to animate. For example, this is my favorite NBA play ever, and it took close to 9 hours to animate. I will say one of my favorite dunks ever is JR Smith flying over Gary Neal.
Very cool stuff. And now, here’s Patrick’s version of John Wall’s most memorable dunk from the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the biggest surprises of All-Star weekend may have been Washington Wizards point guard John Wall winning the “Dunker of the Night” award during the Sprite Slam Dunk contest. Wall, not generally known as a dunker, completed a terrific reverse dunk over Wizards mascot G-Man to clinch the award. Check the video above for a super slow-mo Phantom Cam look at Wall’s winning dunk.
But as it turns out, that dunk was just a brief portion of a momentous weekend for Wall. Also on Saturday, Wall’s former school Kentucky had a game against Florida, the former school of Wall’s backcourt mate Bradley Beal. Despite Florida being ranked second and Kentucky being ranked 18th, Wall made a wager with Beal over the outcome of the game. Wall also set some high stakes, even if Beal was unaware of those stakes. My main man Michael Lee from the Washington Post will take it from here…
Wall declared that the loser would have to wear a footed pajama onesie of the opposing school to practice.
“He know what’s up with me. He might not want to want to see me,” Wall said on Saturday morning. “You know how that is, you’ve got a big rivalry going on. He got to wear that Kentucky onesie if we win. I have to wear that Florida onesie if they win. He don’t know that yet. That’s what I made. I’m the big brother so I make the rules.”
Wall never shared those stakes with Beal, whose Gators defeated the Wildcats, 69-59, around the time that Beal was finishing second in the three-point shootout and Wall was preparing to lead the Eastern Conference to a dunk contest win.
After scoring 12 points in his all-star debut for the victorious East, Wall said he still planned to make good on his essentially self-made bet.
“I got to go buy me a onesie…and I will wear it to practice and I will wear it all day long,” Wall said. “I got to go find one. When I find one, I’ll let you know, before I walk in there. The day I get there, I won’t wear it, I’ll tell you and then I’ll wear it the next day.”
When told that he probably didn’t have to go through with it since he never told Beal about the deal or the stakes, Wall shook his head and said, “I’m the older brother, so it’s whatever I say goes. I’m a man of my word and it’s all in the newspaper now.”
If Wall was looking for any measure of revenge against the Florida Gators, he may have found it in a New Orleans restaurant, where he chowed down on some Gator. “That’s one of my favorite foods down here,” Wall noted. “Tastes like chicken.”
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.