The history of NBA players in the movies is a long and varied tale, with differing results. Just in my lifetime, we can go from Michael Jordan in “Space Jam” to Shaquille O’Neal in “Blue Chips” and “Kazaam” to, more recently, Kevin Durant in “Thunderstruck”. Even though reigning MVP LeBron James has had a hand in various entertainment industry pursuits the last few years, he had yet to make his true big screen debut.
But according to a report from Deadline.com, LeBron is teaming up with popular comedian Kevin Hart to make his first flick. Hart, who over the last few years has become a fixture at NBA events and All-Star weekends, will co-write the movie with his writing team, and the movie will film next summer. The story, at least from initial reports, will cast James in a role he would seem to know pretty well …
[Hart will] then star as a man who lives in the shadow of his NBA superstar brother (James), but gets a chance to prove himself when he and some pals attend a weekend fantasy basketball camp in Miami. Hart is certainly dominant in the stand-up arena, but posting up against this screen sibling could be dangerous. Hart is under 5’3″ while James is a towering 6’8.” That kind of sibling size differential hasn’t been seen since Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in another Universal comedy, Twins. They’ll sign a director when Hart and his cohorts turn in the script.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the NBA’s pleasant surprises this season has been the Portland Trail Blazers. They’re off to a blazing 16-3 start, and last night’s win over the Thunder gave them the lead in the Western Conference. (We talked about the Blazers a good bit on this week’s Hangtime Podcast.)
Of course, leading in the Western Conference is quite a feat, considering that the West this season has been much more potent than the Eastern Conference, which (other than Indiana and Miami) has been a bit lackluster — the third place team in the conference in Washington, at 9-9).
The Blazers’ official Twitter account joked about the disparity between Conferences yesterday…
Is it too late to join the Eastern Conference? Asking for a friend.— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 04, 2013
The real irony here? If the Blazers were in the East with their current record, instead of leading the Conference they’d be in second place behind Indiana (a team they beat earlier this week).
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few years ago, it was announced that Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade had signed with Li-Ning, one of the largest athletic brands in Asia, but not necessarily a brand that was well known in the United States. Slowly but surely, that seems to be changing.
After wearing a signature shoe last season called the Way of Wade, this season Wade is rocking the Way Of Wade 2.0, and as of tomorrow at 3:00 PM EST, the shoe will be available online for the first time to consumers in the US and Canada on wayofwade.com.
The shoe, which will retail for $150, is called the Way of Wade 2.0 Overtown, named for a specific neighborhood in Miami. In the video below, D-Wade explains the thought process behind the kicks… -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We have dutifully chronicled each step of the way as the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh has elevated videobombing to new and glorious heights. The Heat are obviously a team focused on the videobomb, and last night Dwyane Wade took the shenanigans to an entirely new level by doing cartwheels behind LeBron James during his postgame interview. The look on LeBron’s face when he realizes what is happening is fantastic… -
According to a news release, the show will center around a main character named Daryl Wade, who, along with “his entourage of eccentric friends, find themselves parenting by committee, when [Wade] gets full custody of his two young sons. It’s a recipe made for disaster, but no matter how misinformed, misguided, or unfit Team Wade may be, they have a trump card that can’t lose. It’s called love.”
The Herald also touches on some pressing casting issues, such as, who will play Dwyane Daryl Wade?
“I haven’t figured that out yet,” Wade said. “But I’m sure it will be someone very handsome.”
Ray Allen, already an accomplished actor, said he would not be available to try out for the part.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Miami’s Chris Bosh has established himself as the NBA’s preeminent postgame photobomber. So when Bosh was chosen to do the postgame interview last night following a Heat win over the Hawks, someone else needed to pick up the slack. Yet while Bosh generally chooses some sort of low-impact interruption, Mario Chalmers went for the full-on spray bottle treatment to deliver the “Bosh”… -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We are still early in the season, but LeBron James, a four-time former MVP, including the last two seasons back-to-back, has already received his first MVP vote. OK, sure, the vote came from his son, LeBron Jr., but still.
LeBron posted the photo of his son’s drawing with the following caption:
Bronny game me this after tonight’s game. One of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. Love my boys! No matter how my day may have gone they will always put a smile on my face #JamesGang #BronnyJr #BryceMaximus #ProudandLuckyDad-
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Over the last few years the NBA has taken more and more ownership of Christmas Day, scheduling games in what used to be a void of TV viewing. This year there will be five games on air back to back, and to make it even more of an event, the players participating will be rocking new uniforms — not only sleeved jerseys, but what the NBA and adidas are calling “big logo” jerseys. These feature team logos in reflective chrome as the focal point on the short-sleeve jerseys, paired with an ultra-lightweight short with chrome piping. The jerseys are available now online at the NBA Store.
To publicize the new looks, they’ve created a new ad, which you can watch above, featuring players involved in those games, including Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Steve Nash, James Harden and Stephen Curry. They have also dropped photos, which you can see in the gallery below. -
BONUS!Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Jingle Hoops commercial …
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Part of the fun of playing alongside LeBron James seems to be getting to see him do a ton of postgame interviews. And so Chris Bosh has perpetually looked for ways to make these postgame interviews more interesting by videobombing everyone that he can. He continued his pursuit of excellence last night following Miami’s win over Milwaukee, this time employing a towel and an Uncle Rico-style pass… -
And so we have our first. The season is barely a week old, but the Horry Scale has been broached. You want a surprise? It came in Miami, which may not be that shocking, but it came from a team that was not expected to contend this season, much less notch a win in Miami.
Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain. What is the Horry Scale? For those who are new around these parts, 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 Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.
With the rules established, let’s check out tonight’s entry, when Jeff Green of Celtics delivered a knockout punch on South Beach to the reigning champions, the Miami Heat. Uncle Green ain’t new to this. But how do we rank it? Let’s break it down…
The old saying goes you play to tie at home and play to win on the road. And in this case, the Celtics played to win. I’m not sure how much more difficult this shot could have been. First of all, shoutout to Gerald Wallace for the inbound pass — he pump-faked to a completely covered Avery Bradley and got Birdman Birdman to briefly jump to his right, then tossed a two-hand, over the head strike to the far corner to Green. This was like Tom Brady throwing a perfect corner fade. Worth noting: Green was being defended on the play by LeBron James, an All-NBA defender. And when James turned his head for just a moment, Green took off for the corner, where he was met by Wallace’s pass and got off a shot without even setting his feet. Did this matter? Nope, not at all, as Green drained a fadeaway corner three over King James to give the Celts the road win. It was actually remarkably similar to Ray Allen’s three from Game 6 of the 2013 Finals. Still, in terms of difficulty, it’s hard to top this one.
Up two, with 0.6 seconds left to play, Dwyane Wade went to the free throw line with a chance to ice the game. His first shot rimmed out. His second shot, still with 0.6 remaining, was missed intentionally. BUT HE MISSED THE RIM. If Wade’s shot had simply drawn iron, the clock would have started, and even if the Celts had grabbed the board, there would have been perhaps 0.3 seconds left to get off a shot, which would have required something going to the rim or an alley-oop. But Wade whiffing on everything meant a violation, and the Celts were able to take the ball out of bounds on their end with no time ticking off the clock. As important as Jeff Green’s shot was, Wade not being able to draw rim was equally consequential in this instance.
Yes, we’re still early in the season, and some may argue that winning in general isn’t that important for the Celtics this season. So really, the Celtics probably didn’t need to win this game. And for the Heat, OK, sure, it’s just another early season game. The loss knocked Miami to 4-3, but three seasons ago they began 5-5 and still made the NBA Finals, so if anything we understand that a game this early in the season doesn’t carry that much weight.
Considering we’re early in the season and there was little at stake in terms of postseason standings or placement, the celebration was pretty fiery. Kelly Olynyk gave a 360 chest bump, and Wallace and Bradley were right there to give hugs. Bonus points to the coaching staff and bench players for their quick arrivals, as well.
GRADE 3 Horrys. It was a ridiculous shot, there’s no denying that. And while the shot rated highly in most Horry Scale categories, we have to dock it a bit due to the game being relatively inconsequential. It was a nice win for the Celts and a tough loss for the Heat, but there’s a lot of NBA left to play. So we’ll give this one three Horrys.