Posts Tagged ‘Larry Bird’

Throwback Thursday: The Dream Team


VIDEO: Relive some great All-Access moments with the Dream Team

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball.

Today’s Topic: The 1992 Dream Team

Back in 1992, the U.S. Men’s Olympic National Team was no longer comprised of the best college players around. In that year, the best NBA players were allowed to represent the U.S. and America changed the way basketball was perceived worldwide with a squad led by Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and others.

On July 5, 1992, The Dream Team won the final game of the Basketball Tournament of the Americas against Venezuela 127-80. Team USA won all six games by an average of 51.5 points en route to a performance in the ’92 Olympics that wowed crowds and led to a gold medal.

To celebrate, this Throwback Thursday we look back at the players who made up the 1992 Dream Team.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: TBT: The 1992 Dream Team

Who do you remember most about The Dream Team? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: Three-Time MVPs


VIDEO: Best Small Forwards: Larry Bird

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball.

Today’s Topic: Three-time MVPs

On May 29, 1987, the Boston Celtics’ Larry Bird won his third straight NBA Most Valuable Player award. He became just the third player to ever accomplish this feat, joining legends Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

To honor Bird’s incredible run, this Throwback Thursday we look back at the nine players who have won three or more MVP awards.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: TBT: Three-time MVPs

Who’s your favorite of these MVPs? Leave your comments below!

Do Sleeved Jerseys Help Shooting?

Miami Heat  v San Antonio Spurs

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week, after the Miami Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James was not happy. He finished the game shooting 6-of-18 from the field, and he had one immediate suggestion for his poor shooting night.

“I’m not making excuses, but I’m not a big fan of the jerseys,” LeBron said. “Every time I shoot it feels like it’s just pulling right up underneath my arm. I already don’t have much room for error on my jump shot. It’s definitely not a good thing.”

(His teammate, Dwyane Wade, had a different response: “It ain’t the reason we lost. You’re just not used to it. They [the Spurs] didn’t have a problem with it. It is what it is. Let’s not make this about a jersey, please. We got our butts kicked. That’s it.”)

Ever since the NBA introduced sleeved jerseys last season, response seems to fall on both sides. Both players and fans have been vocal about their feelings — some love them, some hate them. Although as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at the All-Star Game, “From a fan standpoint, the greatest indicator is how are they selling, and I’ll say we’re having trouble keeping them in the stores. There’s enormous demand for those jerseys. Fans like them and I happen to like them, too.”

LeBron may not enjoy wearing them, but perhaps LeBron is the outlier here? While King James says he hasn’t been as successful in the sleeves, according to statistician Ed Kupfer, who works with the Houston Rockets, teams wearing sleeved jerseys have on the whole shot better than teams in tank tops.

Kupfer later clarified that this was eFG%, or “effective field goal percentage,” which basically factors in that three-pointers are worth more than two pointers. (Here’s an explanation.)

But even in raw numbers, three-point percentages seem to be up while wearing sleeves…

And sure, I understand that we’re dealing with a much smaller sample size here when it comes to the sleeved jerseys, but numbers never lie, right? Or maybe they do?

Either way, perhaps there are some players who are just beyond sleeves…


VIDEO: Bird in 1988

(via B/R)

Throwback Thursday: 60-Plus Point Games


VIDEO: LeBron lights up Bobcats for 61 points

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s TBT topic: Players to score 60+ points in a game

LeBron James became the 22nd player to score 60 or more points in a game earlier this week when he erupted for 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats.

However, James’ high-scoring affair wasn’t the first time someone went for 60-plus points in March, as Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Rick Barry, Tom Chambers and Tracy McGrady all accomplished the feat in the past, too.

This week’s Throwback Thursday honors these players, as well as 11 others, who have scored more than 60 points in a game.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: 60+ Scorers

Which of these performances was the most impressive? Leave your comments below!

Chris Bosh Guests On “Parks And Recreation”

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” is set in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, and the show has had plenty of NBA references, from the autographed picture of Larry Bird behind Leslie Knope‘s desk to guests appearances from Roy Hibbert and Detlef Schrempf. (Hibbert discussed his role last year on the Hang Time Podcast, along with former “Parks and Recreaction” writer Chelsea Peretti.)

Last night’s episode of “Parks and Rec” continued this trend, when Pawnee’s high school basketball team squared off against their nemesis Eagleton, which had a star player who seemed a bit mature for high school…

(via Sun-Sentinel)

Talk Show: Raymond Felton


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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Going into the the 2011-12 season, the Knicks saw popular point guard Jeremy Lin sign with Houston, and they replacedKnockout Blue:Pirate:Black him with Raymond Felton, a former Knick coming off a down season in Portland. While Lin and the Rockets had a nice season, Felton helped coalesce Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith and Tyson Chandler and lead the Knicks to a 54-28 record, their best since ’96-97, and into the second round of the playoffs. This season, Felton says the Knicks have their goals set a bit higher.

I caught up with Felton last week in New York City, where Felton was at an event for Under Armour to help launch its newest basketball shoe, the Anatomix Spawn (right), which he’ll wear this season.

ME: So, what are you doing this summer?

FELTON: I’ve just been training, working out. Trying to spend a little bit of time with family and friends, but for the most part, just really been grinding, just getting after it.

ME: No travel or vacation? You don’t get to take some time off?

FELTON: You know, only traveling I did, when the season ended and we lost, I went to the Bahamas for like four nights, and that’s it. I went to Vegas, but I don’t really count that because that was business. I went down there to watch the team play at Summer League, and I got some workouts in there. I stayed down there an extra week because my AAU Program was coming down to play in tournaments, so I stayed down there to do that. So really, vacation? I haven’t had any.

ME: When you say your AAU program, what do you mean?

FELTON: Team Felton. I’ve got like 5, 6 teams, a legit program.

ME: Is that something where when you played AAU as a kid, you thought, “One day I want to be able to sponsor a program and give other kids this opportunity”?

FELTON: Yeah. You know, the AAU business can be a real crooked business, and I hate to see kids get taken advantage of, man. So I just try to give back. I have a nephew who’s pretty good, so it started with his age group, and I’ve just added teams up from that. It’s been good, my team’s doing pretty good. My highest age group, which is his age group, they finished in the top eight in the country this year. The 14-and-under group, they finished fourth. My other young teams down there, they actually won nationals this year. It’s been pretty good, man.

ME: And are you in the stands cheering during the games?

FELTON: Yeah, I’m in the stands, trying to coach a little bit. You know, get on the referees when they’re making me mad, be like Mark Cuban a little bit. But it’s all fun. I just like to see the kids compete and then try to do the best they can.

ME: For a student of the game and fan of the game, what is it like being the point guard of the New York Knicks? Is it cool?

FELTON: It’s great, man. To be the point guard of the New York Knicks is like being the point guard of the University of North Carolina. When you put that jersey on, everybody will know who you are, everybody will recognize you. It’s a good feeling, it’s a good feeling. I feel like when you play here in the city of New York, if you play hard, they’ll love you. When you’re slacking, they’ll let you know. That’s one thing I do know about New York — these fans, they’ll let you know if you’re not playing up to the part. Which is a good thing.

ME: It’s kind of like Carolina, right? The standards are set pretty high.

FELTON: Yep. If you’re not playing up to the part, they’ll let you know. But it’s fun. I love it.

New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers - Game SixME: When the Knicks signed you last summer, a different point guard in the NBA, an All-Star, told me that he thought you would be the perfect fit for the Knicks, because the Knicks were a team with a lot of options and strong personalities, and you’d be able to sort of direct everything and take control.

FELTON: I feel like I’m somebody that Melo and those guys, they respect me. So if I tell them something, they’re not going to get mad, they’re not going to look at me crazy. They respect my game, they respect me as a point guard. I’m going to get you guys the ball. I know that you and JR need to score this basketball for us. I think those guys, they saw that last year, and this year there’s going to be even more of a respect level, because we had a good season as a team. So I think those guys respected me, just like I give them that same respect back. That’s a big part of having a good team — if you’ve got that respect for each other, it’s easy to play with each other.

ME: Last season you guys had a lot of new parts. How long did you feel like it took you guys to kind of get on the same page?

FELTON: It really took the preseason, and we really tried to click, and we got our bumps and bruises out of the way. Because when the season started, we were rolling.

ME: Right, you guys were red-hot, started 15-5.

FELTON: The biggest thing we wanted to do, we wanted to get off to a great start because we looked toward the end of the year, and our schedule was tough. But we ended up with that tough schedule killing it, won 13 in a row, with all those back-to-backs, back-to-backs, travel, travel. Just the mental toughness that we have a team, after all of that, as a team, and as individuals, and just how we trust and respect one another, I think that’s really big. If you trust and respect one another, I think that takes a team a long way.

ME: What’s it like playing with Carmelo Anthony? Because he’s such a great player, and he kind of gets overshadowed a bit by guys like LeBron or Kevin Durant. Even though he might be the best scorer in the NBA …

FELTON: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. Because he scores in so many ways. There’s a lot of guys who can score the basketball in this league. Kevin Durant, by far, is one of the top ones. Him and Melo could be neck-and-neck — those guys can score in a lot of ways. But Melo can score in more ways than KD, because Melo can post up, he can score off the dribble, he can score in the mid-range, he can score finishing at the rim, and he can shoot threes. You’re talking about a guy who has a total, complete game, and he’s big and strong — 6-8, big body, strong body. A lot of people like to talk about how he takes a lot of shots, this and that. Listen man: We need him to score. It gets maximized because if you’re having an off night and you take thirty-something shots, it’s like, “Aw man, he’s shooting too much.” If you’re having a great night, he’s got 40-something points and he took thirty-something shots, ain’t nobody saying nothing. I just tell him, “You do what we need you to do. As a team, we know what you’re going to do every night.” So we gotta adjust our games to that. Me as a point guard, I have to adjust my game to that. I hate when people say about him, “He takes too many shots.” People try to compare him and LeBron — two different games. Melo is who he is, LeBron is who he is. So I hate when they try to make those comparisons. You can’t say Larry Bird and Michael Jordan had the same game. They’re different, but they both got chips. Add Magic Johnson in there. Those guys all had totally, completely different games. But they all got rings. That’s all it is. I support Melo 100 percent. He knows that. We all do. And we want to continue to keep working and get better.

ME: You spent last season playing with Jason Kidd. What kind of coach do you think he’ll be this season in Brooklyn?

FELTON: I think he’ll be a great coach, but at the end of the day, he’s not going to have to do too mCharlotte Bobcats v New York Knicksuch coaching. He can do like Phil Jackson did — he might have drawn something up out of the timeouts, he might have talked about a couple of things during halftime, but Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, those guys ran the team, they made the game. You’ve got Deron Williams, one of the best point guards in the league, you’ve got Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez, those guys understand the game and they’re veterans, so there’s not too much coaching you can do. But he’s going to be great for Deron. He was great for me last year. He made my game better. He made me look at a lot of things a whole lot differently, as far as on the court and off the court. So mentally, he’s going to be great for D, without a doubt. He’s going to make him better mentally, and make him better when he’s on the court. The team themselves? Really, they’re going to be fine on their own. As far as a coach, he’s going to be a great coach. A guy who knows the game the way he does, played the game at the level he played, he’s going to be a great coach. Especially as a point guard, because as a point guard you have to understand every position. Say a coach has 50 plays, you’ve got to know 50 plays, but you’ve got to know every position for every play. That’s something a lot of people don’t understand. So he knows every position. It’s going to take him time to get used to going from playing last year to being a head coach this year, but I think overall he’s going to be a great coach.

ME: I live in Manhattan and I know people in the city and the boroughs love the Knicks. But the last few years, with the move to Brooklyn, it feels like people are starting to talk a little more about the Nets. But do you feel like this is still a Knicks town?

FELTON: Oh, without a doubt. I still feel like it. We’ve still got New York on our chest. We’re still the New York Knicks. We’re still the city’s team, without a doubt. Brooklyn can do whatever, and we’re still going to be the city’s team. There’s nothing like having New York on your chest. Brooklyn is going to be a good team, and I think it’s good for the city, for the state, to have the Nets in Brooklyn. It’s going to be a good, big rivalry, well talked about, which is great. I’m loving it. I don’t care that they’re here — I’m happy they’re here, actually. It’s going to be fun.

ME: So this season is just weeks away now — what are your expectations for the Knicks?

FELTON: Same thing as last year. I feel like we should grow and try to capitalize on what we did last year. We didn’t finish the postseason as well as we wanted, but as far as the season that we had, we had over 50 wins, we won our division, finished second in the East. That says a lot right there, we had a great year. Best season we’ve had in 13 years. So we’ve got to capitalize on that, try to get better from there.

ME: And how do you get better from there?

FELTON: As far as the overall season, all you can do is win more games. (Laughs.) There’s nothing else you can really do as far as that. In the postseason, that’s the biggest thing for us. You’ve got to take care of those 82 games, but if you do that and advance to the postseason, we’ve got to try and advance further than we did last season, and get past that second round, get to the Eastern Conference Finals, and go from there. One step at a time. I feel like if we do better than we did last year, it’s an overall successful year. But it’s one step at a time, one game at a time.

Larry Bird’s Best Passes

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few weeks ago we ran across an old “Red on Roundball” video where we were treated to a lesson in shooting fundamentals from Larry Bird. It was interesting to see how Bird, one of the greatest shooters of all time, understood his craft. But check out this video that’s been making the internet rounds the past few days of Larry Bird’s best passes, including some amazing no-look drop-offs and ambidextrous dishes.

Bird will probably always be known for his shooting, for good reason, but this video reminds us of what a complete player he was as well…
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Larry Bird Can Still Shoot


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ALL BALL NERVE CENTERLarry Bird was known during his playing career for being a deadly shooter — check the video above to see him explain how he did it (with Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish, Ralph Sampson and Red Auerbach alongside).

Bird’s been retired for two decades now, but my main man Nima Zarrabi at SLAM recently caught up with Pacers star Paul George, who relayed a story of current Pacers president Larry Bird stopping by practice and casually dropping a gauntlet…

SLAM: You rocked the Petros and Money radio show when you interviewed with them last year. I loved some of the things you had said about Larry Bird. How influential has he been on your growth?

PG: He’s had a lot of influence. Larry was the first person I really talked to when I was struggling in the Playoffs last year (2012) against Miami. We had at least a one-hour or two-hour phone convo about what I need to improve on, what areas I can get better at. How to attack, how to play within the team. He’s been someone in my corner during my career.

SLAM: I believe you had talked about seeing Larry shoot in the gym.

PG: He picked a ball up that had rolled over. He rolled up his sleeves and made about 15 in a row and just walked out like nothing just happened. It was the craziest thing I’ve seen.

SLAM: How did you and the rest of the team react?

PG: We were speechless. We didn’t know whether to keep shooting or just to end practice. It was sweet, man.

When you got it, you got it.

(via r/NBA)

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird Appear On The Late Show

by Micah Hart

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman Wednesday night to promote “Magic/Bird”, the new play starting on Broadway that chronicles their world-famous rivalry throughout the years. Here’s a little taste:

I could spend hours listening to the two of them talk about basketball and their relationship. Next time I’m in New York, it’s The Book of Mormon, then Magic/Bird, then, I dunno, maybe Rock of Ages or Once or something.

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Even NBA legends took funny high school photos

by Micah Hart

SI.com’s photo vault has an excellent series this week of high school yearbook photos (candid and posed) of some of your favorite athletes young and old. Can you tell who these guys are*?

It’s nice to know that everyone, millionaire world-beaters and regular everyday folk alike, wish they had a different haircut when they were 17.

*Larry Bird and Clyde Drexler, in case it wasn’t obvious.

H/T SI Photos

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