Posts Tagged ‘LeBron James’

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with John Leguizamo

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The holidays are not only a time of being with friends and family, they also bring about one of the marquee moments on the NBA calendar: Christmas Day, when the NBA is giving us five big match-ups to keep you glued to your couch all day long.

To celebrate the upcoming day, we’re talking with a few famous NBA fans about what the NBA and the Christmas Day games mean to them. Today we check in with the multihyphenate (writer-actor, producer-director, and on and on) John Leguizamo. Though he was born in Colombia, Leguizamo’s family moved to New York soon after, and a lifelong love affair with basketball and the New York Knicks began. His latest project is the loosely-autobiographical film Fugly!, out now on demand and on iTunes.

ME: I’ve seen you at lots of Knicks games through the years. Did being a fan of the Knicks start as soon you and your family moved to New York?

LEGUIZAMO: Yeah, definitely. I love basketball — that’s what I played growing up. You know, the sport you play is the sport you end up loving to watch. Somehow, it’s reliving the childhood and the life you never had. So yeah, I was a big Knicks fan back in the day — Clyde and up to Patrick Ewing, Sprewell, Starks, LJ, and up to now, the triangle offense, I’m here.

ME: Even these days, when the franchise is rebuilding, are you still fully invested?

LEGUIZAMO: It’s tough. The triangle offense is a tough thing to figure out. I mean, I guess it worked for Phil Jackson in Chicago and L.A., but how is it going to work on these cats who’ve played so differently all their lives, man? I don’t know, it’s a tough thing to watch. It’s like…(laughing) sending troops into war without weapons. I don’t know. It’s like, “Try and use your fist this time instead of a bayonet!”

ME: Also, to be fair, Phil had Jordan and Pippen in Chicago and Shaq and Kobe in L.A. So there may be a bit of a personnel issue with this Knicks team.

LEGUIZAMO: You mean you don’t think Carmelo is Kobe Bryant? (laughs) I mean, who was Michael Jordan anyway? No athlete will ever equal the excellence of that cat, but Kobe was pretty close, man.

Christmas2014

ME: Let’s get your predictions for the Christmas Day games. First up is your Knicks hosting the Washington Wizards.

LEGUIZAMO: Aw man. I mean, the Knicks will surprise you out of nowhere man, and maybe this is the time they’ll all come together — J.R. Smith and Shumpert — and maybe they’ll still come together for that. So I’ll give it to the Knicks. I mean, they come out of nowhere sometimes and they figure it out, and somehow the triangle offense comes together and somehow they’re loose and free. Or they get totally shut down, I don’t know.

ME: Right, sometimes it’s more like the Bermuda Triangle offense.

LEGUIZAMO: (laughs) Definitely the Bermuda Triangle. I think the Aztecs used The Triangle when they fought the Conquistadores. And what happened to the that empire?

ME: Yeah, didn’t work out so well. What do you do on Christmas Day? Will you watch games, or what’s your plan?

LEGUIZAMO: Well, we travel far. Our families are gypsies, so last year we went to Peru, and this year I’m going to be in Africa on a safari, not a shooting safari but shooting with my camera.

ME: Sounds amazing. OK, next up is the San Antonio Spurs at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

LEGUIZAMO: Thunder didn’t show up the other night. I mean, Kevin Durant is back, but I’m gonna go Spurs.

ME: Yeah, it’s hard to pick against them. Cleveland Cavaliers at the Miami Heat.

LEGUIZAMO: Aaahhhhhh! Oh dear, that’s gonna be wild. I love LeBron now that he went to the Cavs; somehow he regained my respect and love. But that’s gonna be tough, Look at Dwyane who came in the other day with crazy points. I don’t know, I’m gonna go with the Heat.

ME: Two more. Lakers at the Bulls.

LEGUIZAMO: Bulls. Derrick Rose. That’s all I gotta say, two words: Derrick Rose.

ME: Last one, Los Angeles Clippers at maybe the surprise team of the season, the Golden State Warriors.

LEGUIZAMO: Wow, that’s a tough one. I mean, I love the Clippers, man, I love CP3, and after all they went through, I’m going to do the emotional choice instead of the smart choice (laughing), I’m going to go Clippers.

Nike introduces Kyrie Irving signature shoe


VIDEO: Nike Kyrie

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — “Welcome to the club,” Charles Barkley said to Kyrie Irving, and he settled into a seat next to Chuck and Penny Hardaway, and as LeBron James showed support from the back of the room. Irving was not only literally joining a couple of NBA superstars by sitting alongside them, he was also joining their ranks with a product that elevates him to a higher marketing plane.

Last night, at a gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea district, Nike debuted the Kyrie 1, the Cleveland guard’s first signature shoe. This puts Irving into some exclusive company: He joins LeBron, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant as current NBA players with their own signature Nike lines.

The shoe has all sorts of design call-outs that make it unique to Irving. From a release via Nike…

1. The new Kyrie Irving logo on the shoe’s tongue represents his inner strength and hunger to learn

2. Hand-written details in Irving’s penmanship: #2 on the upper heel along with his personal signature on the inside of the tongue

3. Jagged pattern on the wrapped traction near the toe and heel counter with architectural angles are both inspired by the Sydney Opera House in Irving’s homeland of Australia

4. The acronym “JBY” that sits beneath Irving’s new logo on the outsole stands for “Just Be You,” a motto that Irving hopes inspires kids as they establish their own, unique identities

Each of these distinctions appear on all KYRIE 1 colorways. Individual stories come to life on each colorway beginning with the KYRIE 1 Dream. Irving often dreamt of waking up on Christmas morning and lacing up for a game professionally – a dream that will come true when Cleveland plays in Miami on Christmas day. The black-based shoe features geometric, colorful objects specific to Irving’s life journey, including stars from the Australian flag, a skateboard, his jersey number and a brass musical instrument.

The KYRIE 1 Deceptive Red is the global lead colorway; it takes inspiration from Irving’s phenomenal quickness and accelerated first step.

The KYRIE 1 is currently available for customization on NIKEiD, the KYRIE 1 Dream colorway will be available in North America on Dec. 23 in adult and kids sizes at nike.com and select retail destinations. The KYRIE 1 Deceptive Red colorway is available globally on Jan. 10, 2015. Along with the shoe, special KYRIE 1 T-shirts, hats and socks will also be available.

For detailed looks at the shoe, check the gallery below…

Cleveland Cavaliers are undefeated since LeBron stopped the chalk toss

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics, Game 3

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve seen and heard plenty about the LeBron James chalk toss here on the All Ball blog. From the people of Ohio utilizing it in weddings to LeBron himself asking fans for advice about bringing it back, the chalk (or powder) toss is officially a thing. And to keep the citizens of Cleveland happy, LeBron did bring back the chalk toss at the start of the season. Unfortunately, he didn’t really bring back the old LeBron — the Cavs started 5-7 and LeBron’s production was all over the map.

Then, something changed, and maybe this is all a big coincidence, but either way it’s impossibly to deny that it happened:
1. LeBron stopped doing the chalk toss before games.
2. In the three games since then, LeBron averaged 25.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 8.7 assists, and 2.3 steals per game.
3. Also in the three games since LeBron stopped the chalk toss, the Cavaliers have gone 3-0.

Now, as Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon notes, ending the chalk toss isn’t the only change LeBron has made — he’s also mixed up his pregame shooting routine and made an effort to be more aggressive earlier in games. And sure, those are both things that probably (OK, almost definitely) would have a more direct effect on LeBron’s play and the results from the Cavaliers. But for those of us looking for answers, the chalk toss conspiracy has to be considered.

(via NOMG)

Cleveland Cavaliers read nice tweets

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!)


VIDEO: Cavs tweets

Will LeBron ditch chalk toss for glitter?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — For Halloween, LeBron James tweeted a photo of himself as Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials. Last night another shoe dropped, as Progressive posted a snippet of a commercial with LeBron dressed like Flo and Flo trying to convince LeBron to ditch his chalk toss in favor of a glitter toss and I’m not entirely sure what all is going on here.

A cinematic look at LeBron’s return to Cleveland

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…


VIDEO: Cavs Opening

NBA Players in Halloween costumes

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Halloween has come and gone, which means it’s time once again to see what some NBA players went dressed as this year. We already checked in on the Oklahoma City Thunder, but let’s check out the costumes of some other NBA players…

LeBron James went as Flo from the Progressive Insurance ads…

Carmelo Anthony was…I don’t know what this costume is…

Happy Halloween #OfficerFriendly

A photo posted by @carmeloanthony on

Paul Pierce was Captain America…

Deron Williams and his wife went as Khal Drogo and Khaleesi from “Game of Thrones”…

(more…)

Cleveland stands together with LeBron

By Jeff Case

The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to open their season tonight against the New York Knicks (8 p.m. ET, TNT) and the city’s anticipation for the official return of their native son, LeBron James, is growing by the hour. As our Steve Aschburner points out, the grand homecoming of James is about more than basketball. But if that story doesn’t convince you, perhaps this new commercial from Nike will:


VIDEO: LeBron James’ new Nike commercial called ‘Together’

Even if you’re not a Cavs fan, you can’t help but get goosebumps for tonight’s big game. (And, oh yeah, this little billboard is going up tonight, too).

(h/t Scott Soshnick)

Should LeBron bring back the powder toss?


VIDEO: Take a look back at LeBron James’ chalk toss ritual

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERLeBron James made a bold choice in deciding to leave Miami for Cleveland, but he’s been less decisive about another choice that awaits: Should he bring back his pregame powder toss?

The powder toss was something LeBron regularly did just before tipoff as a member of the Cavs, and then he did it only occasionally with the Heat.

But after re-signing with Cleveland, LeBron came out and said he couldn’t wait to do it in Cleveland again, posting a video on his Instagram account of the moment.

Then, a few weeks ago, he sort of waffled on his announcement, saying he would ask his kids about it…

But today, LeBron said he would leave the decision up to the fans…

Now, if you took a poll of Cavs fans, I’m pretty sure it might be a unanimous “yes” to bringing back the powder toss. People who aren’t LeBron or Cavs fans might not be as in favor it.

So what say you? Would you like to see LeBron bring back the powder toss this season?

Mike Miller takes LeBron’s cheers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Cleveland Cavaliers have been spending the preseason playing games all over Ohio — they not only played a game in Cleveland, but they’ve had a game in Cincinnati, and then, last night, hosted the Bulls in Columbus.

It’s been something on a homecoming tour for LeBron James, who has logged minutes in each stop as a way to say thank you to his home state. And the fans in each city have given him an ovation at the beginning and end of each game…at least, we think it’s for him.

Check the funny video clip from last night, caught by Tas Melas from The Starters, where the crowd gives LeBron an ovation and LeBron’s teammate Mike Miller steps in to steal some applause…

Mike Miller receives LeBron James' standing ovation. #cavs #bulls #lebron #nba

A video posted by Tas Melas (@tasmelas) on