Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Love’

The 2013-14 All Ball YOLO All-Stars

j.r.-tucker

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If there’s one thing I’ve learned from attending a dozen All-Star Weekends, it’s that at its core, All-Star Weekend is about the fans. The fans actually select the starting line-ups, and fans travel from near and far to hit up Jam Session and All-Star Saturday Night and the Rising Stars Challenge and, of course, all the parties.

In some broader sense, the All-Star Game is about recognizing the best players from each conference. Sure, there are a couple of rim-rattling dunks and the occasional long-range shot that falls. And if you’re lucky, really lucky, the game is close down the stretch, and then everyone’s competitive juices kick in and you might just get a memorable finale. The main purposes of most participants in the actual All-Star Game? They wear funky uniforms, get a little run in, hang out with their buddies, and then they go back to their own teams for the stretch run and the Playoffs.

But that’s not why I’m watching the All-Star Game. And I think most people tuning in or even attending All-Star are looking to have a similar question answered: Are we not entertained? No matter what the Fun Police tell you, at All-Star weekend, nobody is looking at efficiency stats or plus/minus ratings. We want to see Shaq playing point guard. We want to see Gilbert Arenas joining the Elvis impersonators and dunking off of a trampoline. Simply put: We want the All-Star Game — and the entire weekend, really — to be fun.

So you can argue all you want about who does and who doesn’t deserve to be named to the actual Eastern and Western Conference All-Star teams. Instead, I present to you my annual YOLO All-Stars. (If you didn’t know, YOLO is an acronym for You Only Live Once.) These are the guys who deserve to be All-Stars based on my own vague All Ball Blog criteria. I considered all of the following elements: hilarity; social media proficiency; general swag; likelihood the player will do something memorable; dunking/dribbling/shooting ability; previous Shaqtin’ A Fool appearances; mentions on the All Ball Blog.

To be clear, those categories are listed in no particular order, with no importance or weight to any given specific category. These are just the players I think it would be fun to see in an All-Star Game. If we want to be entertained, these are the players that will give it to us. Meet your 2013-14 NBA YOLO All-Stars…

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Starters
C – Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers — Always a blast on Twitter, and a man who appreciates good humor.
F – Chris Bosh, Miami Heat — Will be in charge of all videobombing.
F – LeBron James, Miami Heat — Not only is he a force on Twitter, which is good enough to qualify for the YOLO All-Stars, but he’s also the reigning MVP, so that wins him an invite.
G – J.R. Smith, New York Knicks — In the YOLO All-Star Game, untying shoes will be encouraged.
G – Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers — UNCLE DREW!

Bench
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks — The Greek Freak is perhaps the most unconventional athlete in the league, so you never know what he’s going to pull off next. He also loves smoothies, and with the All-Star Game being played in the newly-named Smoothie King Center, what could be more perfect?
Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors — One of my favorites on social media.
Andray Blatche, Brooklyn Nets — Eurostep!
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons — Will be in charge of Vine videos throughout the weekend.
Metta World Peace, New York Knicks — Still the best.
Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers — He may not have made the actual All-Star Game, but I can’t knock his hustle. Besides, he dunked on a ref, which is awesome.
Kevin Seraphin, Washington Wizards — Anyone with a pet snake named Snakey and a skeleton that rides a Segway is a lifetime YOLO All-Star.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Starters
C – Robin Lopez, Portland Trail Blazers — He’s a nerd and he’s proud of it.
F – Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves — We’ll have him making coffee for everyone.
F – Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder — If LeBron is on the East, we might as well put KD on the West.
G – Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers — My favorite dribbler in the NBA.
G – James Harden, Houston Rockets — The beard is fun on its own, but Harden’s also made a heavy push into social media the last few years. Maybe he can perform at halftime.

Bench
Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers — You can’t have a YOLO game without Swaggy P.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers — Founder of #4BarFriday.
Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies — Perhaps my favorite NBA player to challenge his team owner to a game of one-on-one.
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs — Broken nose and all, Bonner is always entertaining.
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors — Always a candidate to dunk on someone. Or to review an episode of “Breaking Bad.”
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings — Hard not to select someone who’s nickname is “Boogie.”
JaVale McGee, Denver Nuggets (Injured) — Really the perfect player for this game.
Nate Robinson, Denver Nuggets (Injured) — Go long, Nate will throw you the pineapple.

So there’s my YOLO All-Stars. Who would you put on your YOLO All-Star team? Let us know below in the comments!

T-Wolves Hope To Send Pekovic To All-Star Game

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Getting a player into the All-Star Game, at least as a starter, is a fairly straightforward proposition — you get enough votes and you’re in. So teams are able to campaign for their guys and hope that a democratic process will deem their player a winner. In many ways, it’s a popularity contest, plain and simple. Getting into the All-Star Game as a reserve is a trickier procedure — coaches vote, based on some vague criteria, and the list of reserves always generates conversation.

Kevin Love made a late run at the polls to get voted into the All-Star starting lineup, and the campaign video from the Timberwolves surely didn’t hurt his chances. Now the T-Wolves are hoping to work the same magic for center Nikola Pekovic, who apparently is positioning himself Kevin Love’s running mate with this campaign, #PEKGOESTOO…
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VIDEO: Pek Goes Too

Denver Nuggets Get Out All-Star Vote For Ty Lawson

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With All-Star voting drawing to a close, teams are trying harder than ever to get out the votes for their players. Just last week we saw the Wolves release a Kevin Love promo video, and now the Nuggets are trying to get Ty Lawson some last-minute support.

The new Nuggets’ video lives over on Facebook, plays off of ESPN’s “This is SportsCenter” campaign, and makes the point that the speedy Lawson is a pretty handy guy to have around the office.

(Except, apparently, on movie nights.)

Wolves Out To Prove Kevin Love Is An All-Star Starter

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — There are only a few weeks of All-Star voting left, and the Minnesota Timberwolves are doing their best to get out the vote for their power forward Kevin Love. According to the most recent returns, Love was just a few thousand votes behind Blake Griffin for the third starter spot in the West. With this new video posted today, the Wolves are trying to round up any last-minute votes…


VIDEO: Kevin Love For NBA All-Star

Wolves Announcers Stunned By Lack Of Love For Love (UPDATED)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night’s Mavericks at Minnesota game came down to a final shot attempt. Down 100-98, the Wolves ran an inbounds play for Kevin Love, who popped free and stepped left for a long jumper that would have sent the game to overtime. Dallas had Shawn Marion defending on the play. Marion dominated the Wolves offensively, racking up 32 points, but it was the defensive play he made against Love at the end of the game that had people talking.

Specifically, the Wolves television (Dave Benz and Jim Petersen) and radio (Alan Horton) announcers couldn’t stop talking about it, as you can hear in the clip below. They just couldn’t believe a foul wasn’t called on the play. BRUTAL.

UPDATE: Via the NBA, a statement on the play from Rod Thorn, NBA President of Basketball Operations: “Through postgame video review, we have determined that Minnesota’s Kevin Love was fouled on the right arm by Dallas’ Shawn Marion while attempting a two-point field goal.  Love should have been awarded two free throws with one second left on the clock.”


VIDEO: No Love For Love

Minnesota Timberwolves: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.

If that previous sentence means anything to you, then perhaps you, like me, were raised watching the TV show “Cheers,” one of TV’s all-time greatest comedies. (If you did not grow up on “Cheers,” this is also understandable, considering the show stopped airing in 1993.) “Cheers” was set in a Boston bar, and featured an ensemble cast that basically sat around the bar, cracked wise and got involved in each other’s lives. A hallmark of the show was that despite everyone’s differences, it was a mostly likeable group of people.

Now the T-Wolves fan site TimberTrolls has put together a parody of the “Cheers” theme using one of the NBA’s most likeable teams, the Minnesota Timberwolves…
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VIDEO: T-Wolves “Cheers”

(via TNLP)

Jeremy Lin Takes Elbow To The Head

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — During Houston’s game against the Timberwolves on Saturday night, Jeremy Lin caught an accidental elbow to the side of the forehead from Kevin Love. And to say it swelled up would be an understatement.

The good news? According to reports, the swelling went down quickly. As Lin said, “I am much better. I had a headache last night, but today I am fine.”

A headache is completely understandable, especially when your head looks like this…

Good thing im hardheaded hahah #wheredmyhairgo #elbowtothehead #tylenol

A photo posted by Jeremy Lin (@jlin7) on

Ricky Rubio Will Help You Find (Kevin) Love

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In this latest spot from ESPN, Kevin Love and Mike Breen are driving an RV cross-country, as one does, when they see a series of curious billboards. Kevin Love makes the call, and things unravel from there…
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VIDEO: Ricky Rubio Helps You Find Love

Kevin Love Will Not Answer Your Non-Questions

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I have been on the other side, and it isn’t always fun. As a sports reporter and a journalist, we are tasked with asking questions and searching out answers. Occasionally that can mean asking a question you don’t really want to ask, but you do have to ask a question in order to get an answer — that’s kind of how it works. Yes, there are some athletes who will play ball, so to speak, and will give you an answer even when you begin your “question” by saying, “Can you talk about…” even though they are under no obligation to do so. But if you begin your “question” by saying “Can you talk about…” you aren’t asking a specific question, you are asking them to complete an action. Also, it’s easy for them to just say, “No.”

In some ways, Minnesota’s Kevin Love had a tough night last night against the Clippers. He finished with a stat-stuffing line — 23 points, 19 rebounds, 7 assists. But down two with about a second left on the clock, Love had a point-blank put-back to send the game into overtime…and it just rimmed out. So it’s hard to fault Love when, just minutes later in the postgame interview process, a reporter asked a question that wasn’t really a question. And Love calmly called it as he saw it: “That wasn’t a question.”
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VIDEO: Kevin Love Wasn’t A Question

MUSCLEWATCH 2013 (Update 1)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I spent the last week on vacation, which means I very purposely did not open my laptop or dip into any NBA news. I also did not exercise, nor watch what I eat, because it was a vacation and I needed a break from life. Yet NBA players get no such vacations — they must be on guard year-round, constantly keeping on a eye on their fitness and health.

This all dovetails nicely with MUSCLEWATCH 2013. We talked about it briefly two weeks back: MUSCLEWATCH is our in-depth look at the weight gains and losses of NBA players as the season starts. And since the last update, there have been a few occurrences for us to keep at eye on. And don’t forget, if you see any MUSCLEWATCH news, let us know via email or Twitter!

To the news!

• According to Minnesota VP Flip Saunders, Kevin Love is about 240 pounds and will be at the lowest weight of his pro career. “He’s lost weight in his face,” Saunders said, “and his body looks leaner with muscle. He’s really committed.” He must have been doing a lot of face exercises in order to hit that rare target of facial weight loss.

• Down in New Orleans, big man Anthony Davis has gained between 10-12 pounds, mostly by eating a lot. “I want to gain at least five more before training camp starts,” Davis explained. “They have me lifting weights. I’ve been staying on top of it, eating more, making sure I’m eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything helps. It’s showing.” I am no expert here, but it seems to me that if the goal is gaining weight, eating a lot of food could be a helpful plan.

• An early favorite for MUSCLEWATCH 2013 has to be Cleveland big man Tyler Zeller, who claims to have added almost 20 pounds in preparation for this season by going on a Krispy Kreme diet. As he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “They’re so good. If you get them hot…”

(PRO TIP FOR TYLER: When the Krispy Kreme sign is flashing, the doughnuts are hot!)

What’s really amazing is that Zeller added 20 pounds from the end of last season, but considering most of that was doughnut weight, it wasn’t necessarily the best kind of weight for him to put on. “I had to transfer that into ‘good’ weight and muscle,” Zeller explained. “Now I’m between 255-260, and I’m pretty happy with that, although I’m trying to gain more.”

So if I’m reading this correctly, Zeller managed to eat his way to adding 20 pounds of doughnuts, and then he somehow transformed that extra weight into “good” weight, or muscle. Seems to me like this is a trick a lot of people would love to know about.

Could Tyler Zeller have accidentally invented the greatest diet known to man? I say yes.

• And finally, Zeller’s teammate Kyrie Irving is trying to take of his weight the old-fashioned way: By working out…

That versaclimber work!!

A video posted by Kyrie Irving (@k1irving) on