ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Things aren’t going so well for the Cleveland Cavaliers of late — they’ve lost consecutive games and don’t look like they’re on the same page on the court. So how about some good news, Cavs fans? Here’s a video of Cavs players reading nice tweets. Smile! (Also, get off the couch!)
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The biggest story in the NBA this summer was LeBron James leaving the Miami Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. And after months of build-up, the storyline finally came to a boiling point last week when the Cavs, with LeBron, played their first home game of the season. And while the result didn’t go the way they were hoping it would, cameras documented every moment of the day for this mini-movie about Cleveland’s opening night…
A couple of months ago, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose were teammates in search for the gold. Last night, they were adversaries looking to get their bearings together for the regular season. In only their second-ever matchup against each other, they gave us a preview of what should be a fulfilling rivalry over the next seven months.
Other than splendid scoring at the point guard position, there were couple of takeaways from Monday’s showcase. Rose was very aggressive with his 3-point shot, pulling up off the dribble with ease and confidence (finished 4-for-5 from deep). His 30 points and zero turnovers in 24 minutes was easily his best game of the preseason.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Hang Time Road Trip is in Cleveland tonight for the debut of the LeBron/Kyrie/Love Cavaliers in an exhibition against Maccabi Tel Aviv. We will have much more from our day later, but for now, here’s a look from my seat courtside of LeBron’s first shot as a member of the Cavs (for the second time). For what it’s worth, he made it…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — All summer long, we’ve seen NBA players throwing out the ceremonial first pitches at baseball games. Not just major league games, and not just from active NBA players, but from NBA-related folks (coaches, retired players) all over the place.
I’ve been collecting these videos for a few months, and now we present them, all of them, in several parts, because there’s a lot to get through.
And so, here are a bunch of NBA people throwing out the first pitch at baseball games…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — After weeks of rumors, Kevin Love was finally traded this weekend to the Cleveland Cavaliers. And no sooner was the deal announced then his new teammates, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, too to social media to welcome Love to town. (Of course, Love and Irving have worked together before.)
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The FIBA Basketball World Cup is still a few weeks away, far enough away that Team USA doesn’t even have a roster set, but today Nike dropped images of the new uniforms Team USA is going to wear. According to a press release…
The angle of USA graphic on the new uniform was inspired by the chevron of the classic Nike Windrunner track jacket that was born in 1978.
Both the USA home and away uniforms feature red, white and blue hues meshed together in the 26-degree speed graphic – crossing the front of the game jersey, fading into a representation of the USA flag, and extending across the side of the game short from the front to the back. The speed graphic represents a distinctive basketball point of view, based on the roughly 1,000 directional changes, or “cuts” that a player might make in the course of a game.
NIKE HYPER ELITE JERSEY
A flocked lining at the inside of the neck allows the athlete to comfortably wipe excess moisture from the face. Ultra-lightweight stretch mesh in the back of the jersey serves to regulate the temperature of the player along the spine, where athletes tend to heat up the most. Redeveloped, lightweight sphere fabric in the front of the jersey helps to maintain a comfortable body temperature by wicking moisture, while eliminating cling from excess sweat.
NIKE HYPER ELITE SHORTS
A perforated, vented waistband in the Nike Hyper Elite shorts provides a level of cooling, while maintaining the comfort and security that athletes require. A new, performance flex vent placed by the knee allows the game short to flex when the player moves. The addition of a flocked “wipe zone” at either hip allows a comfortable spot to dry hands as sweat builds up.
The new uniform will be available beginning Aug. 7 on nike.com, in Nike stores and selected shops, and will debut on-court when the USA Basketball Men’s National Team takes on the Brasil Men’s National team on August 16, in an exhibition game at Chicago’s United Center.
To check them out, click through the gallery below…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The first real news of last night’s free agency period came not from a report or an agent, but directly from the principles involved, as Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and point guard Kyrie Irving tweeted news of a long-term contract extension…
Looking forward to the next 6 years of @KyrieIrving in CLE. Just shook hands &intend to sign on the 10th.Cant be more excited about @cavs…
According to our David Aldridge, it’s a 5-year, $90 million extension for Irving, a max deal for the 22-year-old point guard. And how does one celebrate such a huge deal? Late last night, Kyrie’s former high school teammate Dexter Strickland posted the following video on Instagram with the caption, “5 o’clock this morning this dude wakes me up, I’m half sleep tryna celebrate with him lol, yal congratulate my brother @k1irving! #DreamsComeTrue”
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve avidly followed the story of Tracy McGrady, who retired from the NBA and is pursuing a second career as a baseball pitcher. Now we can add another name to the list of hoops stars crossing over to the diamond: Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving spent last night taking batting practice and warming up with the Cleveland Indians. According to the news story, he did pretty well:
On Monday, Irving took his shot at hitting. As players from both teams watched, he made contact on all 14 pitches he saw in his two sessions in the batting cage. His best swings resulted in a line drive over second base and a hard ground ball into left field. Irving jokingly tipped his cap when he finished.
In one of the videos below, you can see him show off a little opposite-field ability when he takes a pitch the other way. Not bad, Kyrie…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Welcome to Volume Two of the Crossover Contest, in which we highlight the best of the best (and worst). In the same way that we look at who got dunked on in our All Ball Posterized Poll, in the crossover contest we examine which NBA players have been put in a blender. 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 …
WILL BYNUM ON DEVIN HARRIS, Feb. 22 Zettler: Devin Harris didn’t really stand a chance. As soon as he stepped up, Will Bynum hit him with the stutter dribble. That was enough to set Devin up for the inadvertent Cupid Shuffle. Quick, efficient move by a man with an arsenal of them.
KYRIE IRVING ON THABO SEFOLOSHA, Feb. 26 Zettler: This was unique in that Kyrie Irving provoked Thabo Sefolosha’s (perennial All-NBA defender) fall before he performed the crossover. Irving drove hard right and stopped on a dime, which was enough to send poor Thabo sprawling on all fours and his bench off their seats for the inevitable dagger.
ANDRAY BLATCHE ON TYLER HANSBROUGH, March 10 Zettler (channeling his inner Hubie Brown): See, we know Andray Blatche likes to create like a guard. We’ve seen him hit fancy scoops. We know he’ll dunk it on ya. But now we see that he has the killer — slow, but killer — crossover to turn Tyler Hansbrough in circles and get the finish. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
RUSSELL WESTBROOK ON PATRICK BEVERLEY, March 11 Zettler: Considering the contentious blood between these two, this is classic payback. Patrick Beverley stood too tall for a defensive stance and reached. Russell Westbrook taught with an old-school Zeke lightning cross through the legs. Speed and quickness under control.