Posts Tagged ‘los angeles clippers’

The Los Angeles Clippers are relentless

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When a new owner takes over a franchise, he usually changes a few things. Maybe they get new uniforms or some in-arena upgrades, but whatever it is, it’s a way for the new ownership to subtly remind fans that things are going to be different from here on out.

In Los Angeles, when Steve Ballmer purchased the Clippers, they were already a team with title aspirations, with not many adjustments needed on the court. Off the court, though, there was plenty of work to be done.

One way Ballmer’s influence is already showing is in the way the team is being marketed. Not only did the Clippers introduce a cool new ad campaign, they did it in a big way: They bought ad space during each of last night’s TNT games. So you may have tuned in to watch the Mavs, Spurs, Lakers or Rockets, but you got an eyeful of the new Los Angeles Clippers’ ad campaign, “Be Relentless”…


VIDEO: Clips Relentless

Talk Show: Ernie Johnson

Indiana Pacers vs Miami Heat - Game Two

NEW YORK CITY — Tonight’s tip-off of the NBA on TNT marks not only the 31st year that Turner Sports has been involved with the NBA, but also the 25th year that Ernie Johnson has been the man in the middle of it all. As the host of “Inside the NBA,” TNT’s award-winning studio show, Johnson maintains a semblance of control over a panel featuring Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal, during what usually turns into a free-wheeling free-for-all at the end of a long night of games. With the TNT crew in New York City for their season tip-off show tonight live from Times Square, I sat down with EJ yesterday to talk about Inside’s wild ride.

ME: I saw a clip the other day of Charles and you together in the studio, maybe for the first time, back in the early ’90s.

JOHNSON: Yeah, when he was still playing.

ME: Right. And his voice was completely different …

JOHNSON: Oh, I know! “These two teams have some hostility …” He wasn’t The Chuckster.

ME: When he started regularly on “Inside” 15 years ago now, was he closer to what we see now than what we saw in that old clip?

JOHNSON: Yeah, I thought so. Back then, when he was a player, and I think you see this a lot, players aren’t going to say anything while they’re still playing that might get to somebody. If we’re showing video of somebody in a fight and he says, “Those are two guys who couldn’t break a pane of glass,” then he’s going to hear it next he’s playing against them. I think by the time he got to us — that was probably ’92 or ’93 that first time — he had become the most quotable guy in the league, all-interview team. So all of that built up to when he’s done playing, he had to be on TV and hopefully he would be with us. He’s closer to this than he was to that at the start, if that makes any sense.

ME: Whenever I come by the studios in Atlanta, you’re there in your office hours ahead of being on the air. What is a day like for you? How do you prepare?

JOHNSON: I try to be there 6-7 hours before we go on the air. And I think it’s all because after this many years you get a repetition and you know what a game day is like. It’s not unlike a player’s game day ritual. A player’s going to eat at this time and get to the arena by this time. Like Alex Gordon of the Royals, he’s got this game day regimen where he’s at the ballpark by noon, and he’s working out until this time, he’s got a stopwatch, he’s doing this, doing this, doing this. And I kind of have that same deal, where I use this time to recap last night for my files, I need this time to read the articles from around the country about the teams that are playing tonight, then we have the production meeting, so … it all falls out from that. To me it’s always been about the preparation, and if the day comes when you don’t want to do all the prep work, it’s time for me to say, later. But that hasn’t happened. I still love that. That’s the work. The show is fun, the prep is all the work, and if that prep ever gets to the point where I don’t feel like doing it, I need to check out.


VIDEO: NBA Rookies: Inside Inside

ME: I read an interview with you recently where you said your role on the show is basically being a rogue traffic cop.

JOHNSON: That was that Rolling Stone interview.

ME: Right. You’re usually the one asking the questions of the analysts and the players, but you have opinions yourself and you’ve been doing this 25 years, so, let me ask you, who do you think wins the West and the East this season?

JOHNSON: I think Chicago would be the favorite right now, and I think San Antonio would be the team to beat in the West right now, but again, so many things happen. You know, Kawhi Leonard has played one preseason game and now he’s got this eye thing, so, you don’t know. And Kevin Durant, does he come back 100-percent, or is that something that nags him? So that’s why it’s hard to do that. And you know what? I will share my opinions on that show when I feel like I need to. I got three guys here who have been in every conceivable NBA situation. They’re the ones who fans want to hear from. Sometimes you can tell how I feel because I’m going to throw a question out there that reflects where I’m coming from. But then like in a league-wide situation, I wasn’t hesitant at all to speak out on the Donald Sterling thing last year. That first day I said, “Look, if those are his words, the league has no place for him.” I think knowing your role is a big part of that, and knowing how to get these guys where they want to be, and knowing that if I ask Shaq this, Charles is going to broadside him, that’s where the rogue traffic cop comes in.

ME: How has it changed through the years about working with these three guys?

JOHNSON: I don’t think it’s changed very much. The first night that we ever did a show, Kenny and Charles walked out, and Charles asked Kenny what he was going to say about something, and Kenny said, “You’ll find out.” And that hasn’t changed. That’s been the way we do business. We’ve never said, like, “Hey this year why don’t we have everybody in the production meeting and rehearse each segment twice so we know exactly how long it’s going to last.” That would kill the show. It’s continued in what it does well, and that’s spontaneous, off-the-cuff, unrehearsed, unpredictable. And so no, I don’t think we’ve changed a whole lot.

ME: I guess the most obvious change was when you added Shaq a few years ago.

JOHNSON: You bring Shaq into that dynamic, and he’s the world’s biggest kid. I think what got his attention about the show is all the fun that we have, all the laughs, and that’s what he likes to do. As soon as got a grip on the fact that he had to do some homework. And I told him that the first couple months we all worked together. I said, “As much funny stuff as Chuck says and as outrageous as some of the stuff might be, he comes to the studio every night with at least five things he wants to unload before the night’s over. So do the same thing. Have a take on this team or that team.” And he’s done that. The three guys are so different and come at it from different perspectives, and it’s up to me to move it around.

ME: Charles said he doesn’t know how much longer he’ll do this. How long do you think you guys can keep this up?

JOHNSON: I didn’t think we’d be here today. Because what was it, 2000 when we started? I thought, you know what, when the novelty wears off for Charles, whatever time we can get and have the chance to work together, it’ll be fun. I never thought that coming into the 2014-15 season, we’d be talking about, “Here comes another year with all of us.” And then adding Shaq the last few. In this business you never have the next show guaranteed. And so, I always think whatever we’ve done has been a blessing to do it. Believe me, when we sit out there to get ready to do a show, there’s not a time you don’t look around at these guys and say, “Do you know how many people would like to be sitting in my chair?”

Eric Bledsoe crosses defender right off the floor


VIDEO: Eric Bledsoe crosses up Jared Cunningham

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Now that the NBA is back, that means fun stuff like crossovers are back as well. Earlier in the week we saw Kobe catch a crossover, but that has nothing on what happened last night to Clippers point guard Jared Cunningham. Phoenix guard Eric Bledsoe hit Cunningham with a crossover, and while Cunningham stuck with him through the cross, Bledsoe then slammed on the brakes, and not only lost Cunningham, he sent him right on out of bounds. Later!

Jamal Crawford documentary released

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As someone who has spent most of the last decade of my life dealing with NBA players, I am comfortable being on record as saying that Jamal Crawford is one of the true good guys in the NBA. He’s always quick with a smile, a good story, and is one of the most thoughtful guys I’ve come across. But he’s had a peripatetic NBA career — in 14 NBA seasons, he’s had a different head coach (which means a different system) every season. (Assuming Doc Rivers sticks around all season, look for that streak to finally end.) But basketball heads recognize Crawford as a terrific shooter and one of the most entertaining ballhandlers in the game today. This video, from Ball is Life, is a 20-minute documentary about Crawford and what made him who he is. It’s well worth a watch…


VIDEO: J.Crossover

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to star in sketch comedy special

BG.CP.TV.3_large

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERBlake Griffin and Chris Paul are not only partners on the court, but off the court as well. They’ve each proven their acting chops, so now they’re joining up with comedian Neal Brennan, to create their own sketch comedy special, titled “BGCP3TVinHD.” Really. Brennan, who co-created “Chapelle’s Show,” gave the stars rave reviews in an interview with USA Today: “Both Blake and Chris took notes really well and played off of each other in a fantastic way. Blake’s humor is a little more dry while Chris is a bit of a cluckster. Best part of all this is that everyone knew Blake was funny already, now they’re gonna know Chris is funny too.”

You can check out the teaser trailer below. The first episode will debut on Adult Swim on October 24 at 12:12 AM.


VIDEO: BGCP3TVinHD

Yep, Chris Douglas-Roberts Is Bringing Back Short Shorts

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few weeks ago, new Clippers signee Chris Douglas-Roberts made a promise via Twitter: He was going to bring back short shorts this season.

And now we know: He wasn’t kidding. Yesterday, CDR took place in a photo shoot with his new Clippers uniform, and indeed, the shorts are really short…

Make a steak sandwich with Matt Barnes


VIDEO: Barnes Cooking

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBA players burn a ton of calories during the season, since they run on average dozens of miles each week. In the video above, Clippers forward Matt Barnes notes that while he tries to eat a little healthier during the season, during the offseason he gets to cut loose a bit, and he and his wife, Gloria, really enjoy eating this BBQ steak sandwich. Whatever you do, though, don’t try to put cucumbers in Matt’s salad — his visual disdain for adding cucumbers to his salad may be my favorite part of this video.

NBA People Throwing First Pitches (Pt. 3)

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…

PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE

CHANDLER PARSONS
CP went from Houston to Dallas this offseason, but before taking the court for the Mavericks, he took the mound for the Texas Rangers and may have thrown the best NBA pitch of the summer. (As he admits, he’s a former high school baseball player.)


VIDEO: Parsons pitch

JAMES HARDEN
Parsons’ former teammate James Harden spent his summer in Spain with Team USA, but before leaving stopped by an Astros game (while rocking jorts) to throw a first pitch…
(more…)

Blake Griffin, spoken word poet

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERBlake Griffin is a man of many talents, from slam dunks to dumping water on fans sitting courtside. One of the best things about Blake, though, is that he doesn’t seem to mind trying new things. Like, oh, I dunno…poetry?

Yes, in this new series of commercials from Vizio, Blake the baller becomes Blake the spoken word poet. Snaps up…


VIDEO: Blake pants


VIDEO: Blake bobble

(via FTW)

Chris Douglas-Roberts is bringing short shorts back

John Stockton drives past Allen Iverson

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERJohn Stockton is one of the greatest point guards of all time, but one thing he is perhaps best known for is his fashion sense. While everyone around during the ’90s wore shorts that were longer and baggier than ever, Stockton seemed to go the other direction, wearing shorts that were, well, pretty short.

I asked Stockton about this last year…

ME: When you retired you said something about making sure your shorts were hemmed up high throughout your career. Were the short shorts a deliberate choice?

STOCKTON: My second-to-last year, I think — my seventeenth year — the equipment manager came up to me and said, “Would like to lengthen your shorts?” I really didn’t know that it was an option. I’d never asked, and they’d never asked me. So we just kind of kept plugging on. Everybody kept talking about my shorts and I thought, “Well, I didn’t change anything…”

ME: You didn’t maybe notice around you that the shorts were getting bigger and longer?

STOCKTON: Yeah, but I was comfortable with it. I also saw other guys with 34-inch waists get 40-inch shorts and then just cinch them, and that…that didn’t make any sense to me.

We bring all this up today because everything old eventually becomes new again. The Clippers recently signed free agent small forward Chris Douglas-Roberts, and as Roberts announced on Twitter, he has some plans to pay homage to a bygone era…

If nothing else, should make for an interesting #NBAStyle segment.

(via B/R)