Posts Tagged ‘Los Angles Lakers’

The Horry Scale: Vucevic Fires Off 2015-16 Season’s First For Magic

VIDEO: Vucevic wins it for Magic

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — According to the schedule, it was the 16th night of the 2015-16 NBA schedule, plenty of time for rip roaring slam dunks, long and wild 3-pointers and all sorts of other craziness. But those of us with a sense of the dramatic know the season doesn’t really start until the sharpshooter rings in at the buzzer.

We’re talking, of course, about The Horry Scale, that measuring stick for clutchness, that barometer of bombastic balling, that dagger falling out of the sky delight that brings a worldwide community leaping up off the sofas and out of the La-Z-Boys to celebrate in joyous glee.

Well, the truth is that it might only have been friends and families of the participants who were tuned in on LeaguePass Wednesday night to see Nic Vucevic work his magic for the Magic.  And, of course, it happened at the expense of the hapless, luckless Lakers.

Before we go any farther, what is the Horry Scale? For those newbies, the Horry Scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety night in November?) and celebration.   Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second answered prayers.

One thing to get straight: The Horry Scale does not measure only a game-winning shot; The Horry Scale measures several facets of a Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater. So we’re talking about not only the shot, but also the play that creates the shot, the situation and the drama, the celebrations … basically, everything surrounding and including the shot.  In short, it’s about the total package.


If you’re going to get off a last-second shot, it makes sense to get it to a big man who can get the clearest look at the basket.  So Orlando’s Tobias Harris pulled the trigger on a clean inbounds pass to 7-foot Vucevic, who turned and arced an 18-foot turnaround over Roy Hibbert that splashed into nothing but the bottom of the net to give the Magic a 101-99 win.


It looked like the Lakers — playing for the second straight night without Kobe Bryant (sore back) — might have pulled this one out on their final possession.  That’s when Lou Williams fired up a jumper that looked like it might have grazed the rim.  Hibbert grabbed the rebound and deposited into the hoop with 0.8 seconds showing on the clock.  But a replay review instead ruled that Williams missed the rim entirely and the Magic were given the ball and their chance with the score tied at 99-all.


It wasn’t exactly dripping with playoff drama.  We’re talking about a Magic team that is bumping along at 3-5 on the season and the 1-6 Lakers searching for just their second win.


Vucevic, who was back in the lineup after a three-game absence, knew it was good as soon as the ball left his hand, turned and raced down the court, where he got a hug from assist man Harris and then was mobbed by his teammates.  The finish was more notable for the glum look on the faces of the Lakers, who keep wondering what misfortune will strike them next.


We’ve got to admit, we’d have liked a game with a bit more significance — or at least one team with a winning record — for the first Horry Scale appearance.  But more than two weeks, it was good to see somebody, anybody, provide the last-second lightning that makes all of the TV highlight shows.  It wasn’t a shot that involved mind-boggling acrobatics.  Just a nicely-executed inbounds pass and a dagger-in-the-heart jumper from a big man who can shoot the ball.  We can’t get too excited over mid-week win in a game between a couple of bottom-feeders. So we’re giving this one two Horrys and leaving room for plenty of improvement and much more significance in the coming months.


Gridiron Tribute To Late Lakers’ Owner

By Nick Margiasso IV

At this time of year, it seems like everyone’s minds are collectively on football — especially in the NBA world (with still well more than a month left until regular-season action).

So, it’s nice to see the football world give a nod back to The Association, as the USC Trojans did at halftime of their Saturday showdown at the famed Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum . And definitely when it’s to honor a legendary NBA figure like the late Dr. Jerry Buss and his beloved Lakers.



Via the Laker Girls on Twitter (@LakerGirls)

Kobe Bryant Plays Beethoven

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Earlier this season, Kobe Bryant tweeted a photo of himself sitting at a piano, and noted that Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” was useful as a relaxation agent…

A few days later, Kobe posted a quick video of himself playing a snippet of the song…

Now a new ad from Lenovo completes the progression, as Kobe and a string ensemble play the entire thing. All we need now is Kobe and Grant Hill in a dueling pianos video.

(via PBT)

Talk Show: Ricky Rubio


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I first met Ricky Rubio back in 2007, when he was all of 16 years old. He was already playing in Spain’s top league, the ACB, holding his own against grown men. So I’ve followed his career closely since then, and watched with some interest as he’s started to make a name for himself in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Last week I caught up with Ricky in Los Angeles, where he was at an adidas event for his new shoe — the Crazy Light 3, which drops August 1. More than anything, I was surprised at how big Ricky’s shoulders and arms looked. The kid’s growing up (he turns 23 in October) and, for the first time in his career, has been making a concerted effort to hit the weight room to help fend off the physical guards he goes up against on a nightly basis.

The injury bug has bitten the Timberwolves hard the last two seasons, including taking a bite out of Rubio, who missed significant chunks of his first two NBA seasons after tearing his ACL.

Yet Rubio says for the T-Wolves, there are no more excuses: “It’s time for this team to show what we can do.”

ME: So how’s your summer going?

RUBIO: Been good, been good. I’ve been working out. Actually, I rested a little bit, which let my knee finally heal up. So I feel good.

ME: We’re here at this adidas photo shoot. I know last year was your first year wearing adidas, adizero Crazy Light 3 blue-electricity-white (Ricky Rubio) G66521 HEROand now you’ve got a shoe and your own colorway coming out.

RUBIO: They’re great shoes, very light. Actually, I don’t wear a lot of shoes. A lot of NBA players wear like one a game, or something like that. I wore like one pair every two months or something. When they get dirty, I change it, but I don’t want to change it. I don’t like to wear new shoes. I like when the shoe is broken in. I almost only use two or three each season, which means it’s a good type of shoe, you know?

ME: Because it holds up.

RUBIO: Right, because I play a lot of games. And it’s pretty light, which I like. I don’t like to wear a low top, because I kind of twist my ankle, and I don’t like to wear a high-high top, because it stop me from doing some things. So I think it’s the perfect size for how I feel comfortable playing.

ME: Wait, so you wear the same shoe in practice, too? You wear the same shoe every day for like three months?

RUBIO: Yeah, I do. Clayton [Wilson], the guy who is taking care of us and ordering shoes …

ME: The equipment manager?

RUBIO: Yeah, he’s always like, “You need new shoes?” And I’m like, “Not yet.” And he says, “Um…” He was wondering in the beginning, but I told him I’m not going to order new shoes until I feel like the shoes need to change. I like that way.

ME: Last time I sat and talked with you was last summer, when you had just had surgery and you were still on crutches, still icing your leg like five times a day. How long this season did it take you to feel comfortable?

RUBIO: It took me a long time, more than I thought. In the beginning I was playing, and I was ready. My knee was 100 percent, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t feeling in shape, because if you are 9, 10 months out of the game, you can do whatever, but the game speed is just different. So actually, I think it take me a while. I think the Charlotte game, the first time I scored more than 10 points, was actually the first game I feel like I was back, you know? After that I was playing pretty good. Actually, I think it was March, end of March, that I was feeling the best I felt in the NBA. And now that I’m working hard and trying to get stronger legs and all that stuff, I feel pretty good. I’m excited for next season. (more…)

Lakers Begin Recruiting Dwight Howard With Billboards

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I spent the early part of this week in Los Angeles, where the city was currently in the grips of Puig fever. If only I’d stuck around another day or so, I could have seen the Lakers start their very public recruiting of Dwight Howard.

On July 1, Dwight becomes a free agent, and he has several options available, from staying in LA to signing in Houston or Atlanta, among other options. The Lakers went through a lot to get Howard a year ago, and are now making it perfectly clear that they want him back. How clear? They went and put up billboards around Los Angeles. One or two billboards? No, according to, they’re putting up “six or seven” billboards in “various key locations.” They’ve even got a hashtag and everything!

The Lakers also are frank in admitting that they know some fans won’t like seeing this kind of public recruiting of a free agent. As spokesman John Black told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, “Our opinion, which we’ve made clear, is that our top priority is signing Dwight. We want to let him know how important he is to us out in the public. We’re comfortable letting the public know how we feel.”

Copa de Kobe: Lakers’ Bryant Kicks Around In Brazil On Vacation

By Nick Margiasso IV

Los Angeles Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant knows the best way to unwind after a season of hanging around big-time athletes playing a game followed by fans around the world that revolves around a little ol’ 29-inch ball.

Hang around big-time athletes playing a game followed by fans around the world that revolves around a little ol’ 28-inch ball, of course.

That’s right, Kobe “Footy” Bryant took his love for The Beautiful Game on the road for his latest vacation. He is currently in Brazil for the Confederations Cup rooting on world football/futbol/futbal/calcio/futebol/whatever-you-call-it powers like the aforementioned host country and his beloved Italian squad (who he grew up watching as a youngster in the country of calzones).

Here’s a look at the Soccer, err, Futebol Mamba on his sojourn:

Kickin’ it with all-time great Ronaldinho:

Starry-eyed in Soccerland with top players like Neymar, Dani Alves and Mario Balotelli:

Hangin with Brazil’s Mr. Damiao in a pair of his new soccer-inspired Nike joints:

As for his Achilles injury? Well, he’s been chatting on and off with the recently retired soccer brand David Beckham on that one. Kobe probably hopes that at this time next year, instead of kicking around at the fun and frenetic world party that the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be, a ticker-tape parade will be on his calendar. Fun and frenzy is much more a Dwight Howard thing, anyway.

Follow Kobe Bryant, recent winner of the NBA’s first Social Media MVP Award, on Twitter @kobebryant.

Shaq And Kobe Have Shooting Contests Against 2 Year Old

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With the NBA Finals airing on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel has been doing a bunch of NBA-related segments on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” So leave it to Kimmel to bring out Shaq and Kobe for shooting competitions against Titus Ashby, a two-year-old basketball shooting phenom from Kansas. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the two NBA guys actually did some scouting heading into the competition. You can probably guess which guy…

NBA Style: Great Sneaker Moments

NBA Style
By Lance Fresh, NBA Style Correspondent

In the words of Mars Blackmon circa 1990, “It’s gotta be the shoes!”

That must be the reason Michael Jordan was able to torment defenders, right? During the 1991 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Dee Brown stopped and took the time to pump up his Reebok Pumps before successfully reversing a pass to himself. Moments like these were monumental for sneaker culture. Sports fans — both athletes and non-athletes — wanted to be like NBA superstars. Buying jerseys wasn’t enough. People wanted the shoe that Jordan was wearing when he knocked down the game-winner over Craig Ehlo.

Here’s a look at some current NBA superstars’ “career kicks” — shoes these players wore during signature moments of their careers. Don’t forget to let us know your favorite kicks in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #NBAStyle

• LeBron James — Career high 56 points vs. TOR on 3/20/2005: Nike Zoom LeBron II, released November 2004, a fan favorite!



NBA Style: Nash vs. Melo

By Staff

Steve Nash and Carmelo Anthony both play in NBA — and fashion — capitals. Which player’s style has transformed the most over the years? Drop a vote down below, or tweet us with hashtag #nbastyle .


 Denver Nuggets Havana Nights Charity GalaNew York Knicks v Los Angeles Lakers


Phoenix Suns v Dallas MavericksNew York Knicks v Los Angeles Lakers

Injury only increases amazingness of MWP’s Twitter feed

By Nick Margiasso IV

You already follow Metta World Peace on Twitter because, well, it’s the perfect Twitter account. Hilarious posts; real opinions; random party invites; even some useful info … sometimes. It’s got it all.

But the infamous Laker’s recent unfortunate left knee injury has really cranked up the pomp and pace of his social media life. Sorry about the bum leg, Metta, but thanks for the tweets.

A sampling:

Follow Metta World Peace on twitter at his handle, @mettaworldpeace