Posts Tagged ‘Kevin 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…

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…

Talk Show: Ricky Rubio

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I first met Ricky Rubio back in 2007, when he was all of 16 years old. He was already playing in Spain’s top league, the ACB, holding his own against grown men. So I’ve followed his career closely since then, and watched with some interest as he’s started to make a name for himself in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Last week I caught up with Ricky in Los Angeles, where he was at an adidas event for his new shoe — the Crazy Light 3, which drops August 1. More than anything, I was surprised at how big Ricky’s shoulders and arms looked. The kid’s growing up (he turns 23 in October) and, for the first time in his career, has been making a concerted effort to hit the weight room to help fend off the physical guards he goes up against on a nightly basis.

The injury bug has bitten the Timberwolves hard the last two seasons, including taking a bite out of Rubio, who missed significant chunks of his first two NBA seasons after tearing his ACL.

Yet Rubio says for the T-Wolves, there are no more excuses: “It’s time for this team to show what we can do.”

ME: So how’s your summer going?

RUBIO: Been good, been good. I’ve been working out. Actually, I rested a little bit, which let my knee finally heal up. So I feel good.

ME: We’re here at this adidas photo shoot. I know last year was your first year wearing adidas, adizero Crazy Light 3 blue-electricity-white (Ricky Rubio) G66521 HEROand now you’ve got a shoe and your own colorway coming out.

RUBIO: They’re great shoes, very light. Actually, I don’t wear a lot of shoes. A lot of NBA players wear like one a game, or something like that. I wore like one pair every two months or something. When they get dirty, I change it, but I don’t want to change it. I don’t like to wear new shoes. I like when the shoe is broken in. I almost only use two or three each season, which means it’s a good type of shoe, you know?

ME: Because it holds up.

RUBIO: Right, because I play a lot of games. And it’s pretty light, which I like. I don’t like to wear a low top, because I kind of twist my ankle, and I don’t like to wear a high-high top, because it stop me from doing some things. So I think it’s the perfect size for how I feel comfortable playing.

ME: Wait, so you wear the same shoe in practice, too? You wear the same shoe every day for like three months?

RUBIO: Yeah, I do. Clayton [Wilson], the guy who is taking care of us and ordering shoes …

ME: The equipment manager?

RUBIO: Yeah, he’s always like, “You need new shoes?” And I’m like, “Not yet.” And he says, “Um…” He was wondering in the beginning, but I told him I’m not going to order new shoes until I feel like the shoes need to change. I like that way.

ME: Last time I sat and talked with you was last summer, when you had just had surgery and you were still on crutches, still icing your leg like five times a day. How long this season did it take you to feel comfortable?

RUBIO: It took me a long time, more than I thought. In the beginning I was playing, and I was ready. My knee was 100 percent, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t feeling in shape, because if you are 9, 10 months out of the game, you can do whatever, but the game speed is just different. So actually, I think it take me a while. I think the Charlotte game, the first time I scored more than 10 points, was actually the first game I feel like I was back, you know? After that I was playing pretty good. Actually, I think it was March, end of March, that I was feeling the best I felt in the NBA. And now that I’m working hard and trying to get stronger legs and all that stuff, I feel pretty good. I’m excited for next season. (more…)

A Night At The NBA Draft Lottery

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night in New York City, a handful of NBA franchises looking for a little luck gathered in Times Square to try and beat the odds. That’s right, it’s the annual NBA Draft lottery, where the best of the worst vie for the first pick in the NBA Draft. I showed up and brought my cell phone camera along with me to see what went down behind the scenes.

Let’s get to the pictures …

photo 1

I arrived in Times Square right around 6:30 p.m. and fought my way over to the ABC Studios, where they shoot “Good Day America” or “Today This Morning” or whatever they call it — one of those morning shows that airs when I’m still asleep. There’s never really a good time to be in Times Square, because it is consistently crowded and busy and bustling, but 6:30 p.m. must be just about the worst time. Add in that it was humid and in the mid-80s today, and Times Square felt a bit like being stuck in a mosh pit. Or at the bottom of a mosh pit. (more…)

Love Cranks Up The Funny Again

By Jeff Case

If there’s one guy we love here at All Ball HQ, its Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love. His on-court play speaks for itself, but if you need reminding there’s the buzzer-beating game-winners he hits … and the 30-point/30-rebound game a few seasons ago … and him winning the 3-Point Contest last season … we could go on and on. Heck, even spending a day with him seems like a blast.

Off the court, he’s a funny dude, what with his good-natured sense of humor about himself, getting into his former favorite sport, his Twitter humor and so forth. He’s also been active in the Minnesota community and holds an annual coat drive (this is the fourth such one) to benefit Minnesotans in need this winter. Love coulda went with the standard stare-at-the-camera-and-read-cue-cards approach to drum up support for his cause.

But that wouldn’t be a very Love-ish way to handle this, would it?

Much like the promotional video for his coat drive two years ago, Love busts out the weird/funny (as you’ll see below):

All Ball Fave Five: Players Who Should Host Saturday Night Live

by Micah Hart

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:

5. Roy Hibbert

The bonafides: A rising star on the NBA’s comedy scene, Hibbert has aligned himself with some very funny people in his burgeoning career. He’s guested on Parks and Recreation (the funniest show on TV for my money), hung out at Roscoe’s Chicken N Waffles with comedian Chelsea Peretti, and topped it off with Ben Schwartz‘s hilarious audition video for Hibbert’s cheering section. He seems pretty comfortable on camera — here he is from last year’s playoffs on Jimmy Kimmel:

Has he been featured on Funny or Die or Taiwanese animation? Not yet, but given who he hangs out with, it can’t be too long.

(more…)

Patty Mills, How Do You Rate On The Horry Scale?

by Micah Hart


Most mornings I wake up to the sound of an alarm clock, angry that my sleep has been interrupted and cursing myself for getting to bed so late, but not this morning. Today I awoke to the sound of a text message, an alert from my partner in crime Sekou Smith that while I was sawing logs, the one and only Patty Cakes, aka Australia’s Patrick Mills, had hit a game-winning buzzer-beater (scroll to about 1:36:30 to watch it all unfold) against Russia in Olympic play earlier today and it was time to wind up the Horry Scale machine. Ask Sekou, and you shall receive.

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 Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.

How does Pat Stacks stack up? Let’s take a look.

Difficulty

This shot reminds me a lot of Kevin Love‘s “Are you not entertained?” game-winner over the Clippers from last season. The shot itself is fairly easy (a mostly straight-on 3-pointer), but the credit for that goes to the excellent screen set by Matthew Dellavadova that frees Mills for the open look. Russia gets two defenders over to try to harass, but it’s too late — the ball is out and the ballgame is over.

Game Situation

Russia leads Australia 80-79 thanks to Vitaliy Fridzon‘s free throws with 4.1 seconds left. There is some time to work with, but the Aussies trail so there is no margin for error if they want to pull out the win.

Importance

The game actually had little chance of affecting the positioning for either team in the knockout stage, as Australia clinched a quarterfinal bid with a win over Great Britain on Saturday and Russia was previously undefeated and through as well. In fact, either way the Aussies will most likely take on the U.S. in the quarters pending Team USA’s game against Argentina later on Monday, so this could be the last celebration the ‘Roos.

Celebration

This has been an excellent tournament for Mills, who re-signed with the Spurs earlier this summer, and set the tournament high with 39 points against GB. I love his reaction here. As the crowd erupts and his teammates race to mob him, Mills triumphantly walks down the court with one fist raised in the air.

Grade

4 Horrys. I got chastised by Horry himself during our NBA TV segment for judging these things too harshly, so I’ll take his advice on this one. The shot was well executed, the celebration was great, and Australia trailed at the time. Even though the stakes were low given that both teams had already qualified to move on, come on — it’s the Olympics. The importance of everything is elevated.

What do you think?