ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the great things about being a worldwide superstar must be getting the great sports tickets. Front row? No problem! Be our guest! The trade off is that usually the celebs sitting up close try to act too cool for school. They know they’re being watched, so they sit there and generally don’t get too worked up. Sure there are exceptions — Spike Lee, Jack Nicholson — but most celebs just can’t be bothered.
And then there’s Paul McCartney. Not only is McCartney one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time as well as one of the world’s most famous celebrities, he also knows how to have fun at an NBA game. Check out Sir Paul yesterday at the Lakers/Clippers game, twisting and shouting…
And don’t forget when he was at a Brooklyn Nets game a few months ago. Even big-timers want a free t-shirt…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just before halftime during last night’s Bucks/Clippers game in Los Angeles, a loose ball bounced over to the front row along the sideline. When Clippers forward Blake Griffin came over to collect the ball, the lucky fan who ended up holding the rock decided she’d rather take a picture than give Blake the ball. Hey, the picture will last longer than the memory.
In L.A., Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded another highlight in the land of highlights.
Giannis, Giannis, Giannis. Throughout the Bucks’ seasonal march toward futility, the 19-year-old neophyte from Greece has kept the league us drooling over his youth, coachable mien and propensity for otherworldly hardwood feats.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night’s Clippers/Nuggets game was notable in that not only did Denver snap L.A.’s 11-game win streak, but it was also a throwback night in Denver. Both teams played in cool retro uniforms, as the Nuggets recognized the 20th anniversary of their 1994 team that upset the Seattle SuperSonics.
With several former Nuggets on hand, including Reggie Williams and LaPhonso Ellis, it only made sense for Denver mascot Rocky the Mountain Lion to bring out Dikembe Mutombo to help with a dunk attempt. What happened next was pure Mutombo…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Before making a name for himself as one of the best shooters in the NBA, Clippers guard J.J. Redick had a long career at Duke, where he played in several NCAA Tournaments. So really, who better than Redick to tell us how to approach filling out our brackets? In this video from Funny Or Die, Redick really breaks it down and shows his expertise…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night the Los Angeles Clippers hosted the Golden State Warriors in a game between two of the better teams out West. The Clippers led throughout and finished with a 111-98 win, but that apparently wasn’t good enough for all of the Clippers. Following the game, Chris Paul went back out to the court to put in more work. Paul, who finished 5-15 from the floor (and 1-3 on threes) apparently wasn’t satisfied with the win. Perhaps you’ll recall Kobe Bryant once did the same thing after a Lakers loss game in Miami. In the video above, Paul explains that he feels like the Clips have a special team this season and he has to do his part.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Two years ago, I was having breakfast one morning in Atlanta with Jamal Crawford, who was playing for the Hawks at the time. While we were talking about his career, he casually mentioned that he’d had a different head coach every season of his NBA career. I’d never realized this, and it sounded too amazing to be true. But when I pressed him for details, he ran them all down, one by one. A few months after we spoke, he signed with the Clippers and played a season for a new coach, Vinny Del Negro. Then last summer the Clips went a different way and hired Doc Rivers, meaning Crawford again had a new coach.
During yesterday’s Clips/Thunder game on ABC, Lisa Salters asked Crawford if he could name all the coaches he’s had through the years even in the middle of a game. As Jamal said, he thrives under pressure…
When the Clippers marched into Memphis for a Friday night clash, the stakes were obvious. Prior to the contest, defensive stalwart Tony Allen was on the shelf for 21 straight games with a sprained left wrist. But when the Clippers, the Grizzlies’ first-round playoff opponent the last two years, came calling, he wasn’t going to sit out any longer.
The game lived up to its physically demanding, plenty of trash talk billing. Z-Bo, Marc Gasol and Allen made an impact, for sure, but it was the guy who was signed out of the D-League in December who beat the loudest drum.
A man who is no stranger to the spectacular, James Johnson arrived into the Grizz’ locker room December and has been wowing since. He is a nightly highlight machine, giving a hard-hat bunch a creative playmaker from the wing, thus another dimension as they get set to make a playoff push in the second half.
On a night the organization honored him by giving fans a temporary “GRIZZLIES” neck tatoo (Johnson has his son “NAYMIN” inked around his neck), he flat out showed out, executing a play that will be remembered in the Top Plays Theatre for the foreseeable future:
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Throughout this season, perhaps you’ve seen our ongoing series, The All Ball Posterized Poll. In those posts, we examine which NBA players have been victims of the most vicious dunks.
We are proud to continue the tradition of highlighting the best of the best (and worst) with the new All Ball Crossover Contest. 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 …
NORRIS COLE ON DERRICK ROSE Zettler Says: I know, Derrick Rose was only minutes into his first game back from an ACL tear. Still, as Avon Barksdale accurately summed it up, the game is the game. Norris saw an opportunity and made a quick decision. We’re rooting for a full recovery for Rose, if only for a chance at redemption, because this move is nasty.
JOHN WALL ON TERRENCE ROSS Zettler Says:John Wall hits Terrence Ross with the double. If you were to ask for defining Wall plays to teach to youngsters, this would lead the reel. A stutter step to freeze Ross, then a crisp crossover followed by another, followed by speed to the cup. Great read, timing and execution.
STEPHEN CURRY ON REGGIE JACKSON Zettler Says: There’s nobody else in the NBA that could pull this move off, save for Jamal Crawford and Kevin Durant. Curry’s ability to quickly set his feet after a move combined with his deadly deep aim gives his crossover another element. No spot on the court is safe for any Steph defender.
DERON WILLIAMS ON CHRIS PAUL Zettler Says: Classic end of half isolation clash between two of the league’s best. What gives this play flair is the stealthy rivalry between these two players since they entered the NBA in 2005, one pick behind each other (D-Will was the third pick, Paul fourth). On this night, multiple times, the third pick had the upper hand.
J.R. SMITH ON TRISTAN THOMPSON Zettler Says: This is just Earl Joseph Smith III doing his thing. Thankfully Tristan Thompson took an unnatural fall, which not only made the play pop, but saved his ankle. If he doesn’t hit the deck, his talus is broken. Believe.