Posts Tagged ‘Lionel Messi’

Kobe and Messi Compete In (Selfie) Shootout

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERKobe Bryant and Lionel Messi are two of the most famous athletes in the world, but more than that, they’re two of the greatest athletes in the world. Part of their greatness is their competitiveness, that quest to win that they just can’t turn off. And in this new ad for Turkish Airlines, we see that their desire to finish first extends even as deep as a cell phone selfie contest …
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VIDEO: Kobe vs. Messi

(via Sportando)

Talk Show: Steve Nash

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you want to find Lakers PG Steve Nash in the summer, a good bet is to look somewhere around a soccer field. Not only is Nash a part-owner of the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps, but Nash has always loved playing the beautiful game, so much so that each summer he organizes the Steve Nash Foundation Showdown to benefit his charitable foundation.

Nash is in New York City today to train with Inter Milan, in conjunction with the Guinness International Champions Cup. We grabbed a few minutes with Nash this morning…

Steve Nash Foundation Showdown GameME: So run this down for me: You’re trying out for Inter Milan today?

NASH: (laughs) Sort of, yeah. I think that’s the way it’s being labeled, but it’s more of an honorary tryout, more like I’m going to go practice with them. But yeah, I’m looking forward to it.

ME: What position do you play in soccer?

NASH: Anything attacking. More like a midfielder, but anything going forward.

ME: So like a true number 10, sort of?

NASH: Yeah! I mean, in my youth, yes.

ME: Did you see Nate Robinson is going to wear number 10 in honor of Messi?

NASH: Yeah, I did.

ME: I remembered Nate playing in the Showdown a couple of years ago — I didn’t know if you put him on to soccer?

NASH: (laughs) Right, he’s converted now.

ME: I’ve been talking about soccer with you for over a decade. You’ve seen the growth of soccer in the States over that time, and now you’re involved with MLS. Do you think soccer has turned a corner in the States in terms of popularity?

NASH: I think the game’s growing incredibly. The exposure, the amount of games you can watch on TV. One of the kind of alarming things to me is just — I mean, it’s on the ticker on “SportsCenter.” When I was in college you’d never see a soccer score on the ticker. Now, every day there’s a soccer result on the ticker on “SportsCenter.” And yeah, that kind of says something about the solidity the game has in the States right now. It’s going in the right direction.

ME: I know basketball has become really popular in Canada, and I was wondering is there any sort of similarity between the growth of basketball in Canada and the growth of soccer in the States?

NASH: Yeah, I guess in some ways. Soccer was always pretty big in Canada. Not that we’re a soccer power, but the game was big. Basketball is taking a soccer-like turn in Canada, the way soccer is growing in the States. I think a big part of it was having the Raptors and the Grizzlies in Canada, which really gave kids a lot of exposure to the game but also something to strive for. I also think the internet over the last ten years — there’s no more secrets. Kids can go online and see the best kids of their age groups, or best practices, and I think kids have taken that opportunity and run with it.

ME: How are you feeling, physically?

NASH: Good, coming around. Good enough to embarrass myself on the soccer field. I’m not quite 100 percent, I can’t quite sprint, but I’ve been able to train around it, so I’ve made a lot of progress in other ways, and hopefully in the next three or four weeks I should be one hundred percent.

ME: What kind of forecast can you give us for the Lakers this season?

NASH: I think everyone’s kind of counting us out, which is fine by me. I think it’s good for us to fly under the radar a little bit. We’ve got a lot of new pieces, we’ve got guys coming off injuries, myself included. So we’ve got to find out where everyone’s health is, and then figure out each other and play together, and hopefully we can surprise some people.

ME: Last thing: What is it like being around Kobe Bryant, being around someone with that singular of a drive?

NASH: I think people kind of know what he’s like. He’s very single-minded, he’s very prepared, very intense. You can feel it, you feel the intensity. I think that’s what people expect and that’s what he is.

Nate Robinson Chooses New Number To Honor Lionel Messi

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the biggest free agency signings could turn out to involve one of the NBA’s smallest players. Over the weekend, the Denver Nuggets signed Nate Robinson, the 5-9 former dunk champ, stone-cold scorer and summer league Hall of Famer. Nate has played for five teams during his NBA career, and worn a single digit number with all five teams:

– He wore number 4 and then number 2 for the Knicks.

– He wore number 4 for the Celtics.

– He wore number 3 for the Thunder.

– He wore number 2 for the Warriors and then for the Bulls.

But upon signing with the Nuggets, the number 2 was unavailable, as the Nuggets have retired the number in honor of franchise great Alex English. So in choosing a new number, Nate turned to the world of futbol, as he briefly explained when posting this photoshopped image on Instagram…

He later expounded on his reasoning in an interview with the site Denver Stiffs

I usually dig the single digit numbers, but No. 2 is retired. Alex English, great player. He was my coach at predraft camp when I played in Chicago. He was my coach and I averaged like 22 points and 8 assists, something like that, and he was just letting me go. I was like, “Man, it’s a pleasure. You rocked my favorite number.” I knew exactly who he was and I was like, “Man that No. 2, there is something special about it.” I’m going to change it up and wear No. 10. I’m going to wear it for [Lionel] Messi, that’s my favorite soccer player. I’ve been playing a lot of FIFA lately and watching the games. He’s the best little guy to do it and I’ve got to be the best little guy to do it at No. 10 in the NBA. That’s my goal.

Here’s guessing Nate scores plenty of goals next season.

Flying With Kobe … And Messi, Too

By Jeff Case

According to a report on Forbes.com, Kobe Bryant earns $28 million a year off his endorsement deals “with Nike, Smart Car and others.” One of those “others” is Turkish Airlines and, by the looks of things, Kobe isn’t giving them a second-rate effort in the advertising department.

After the lockout-shortened season of 2011-12, Kobe headed overseas as part of his Nike tour in August and, a month later, took a jaunt over to Turkey to film a Turkish Airlines commercial with another athlete known by one name (Lionel Messi of Barcelona … or as the cool kids call him, Messi).

The fruits of that pairing can be seen below in Turkish Airlines’ funny new spot. In it, an autograph-seeking child finds his way into the Kobe/Messi section of the flight. The two superstars proceed to try and one-up each other and win the kid’s attention with all manner of ball-handling, card and, yes, balloon-animal making tricks.

Kobe’s love of soccer (aka football for you non-Americans) is well documented. He soaked up plenty of the action during the 2016 Olympic Games. All that stuff aside, you have to see this commercial for a good laugh for two: