ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBA great Ray Allen is turning 40 this weekend, so of course he’s having a party and a cake and everything goes along with a birthday celebration. But he’s not just having any old cake, as we see in the Instagram photo below, but instead a cake that incorporates every team he’s played for and uniform he’s worn…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — 7:02 a.m. ET — Here we go again. It’s that time of year when the stars are aligned, when the moon is in its proper season, and when, for one glorious day, we get a full day of live NBA action. That’s right, it’s the day when the Orlando Summer League and Las Vegas Summer League overlap, when we get almost 17 consecutive hours of live NBA action. Like we’ve done a few times in the past, I’ll be here live-blogging along all day. Well, almost all day.
So settle in, get your popcorn ready (or your oatmeal or cereal or whatever appropriate breakfast foods you prefer) and let’s watch some basketball! I’ll be checking in throughout the day, up until tonight, when my shift ends at 5 p.m. and I’m replaced by some fresh fingers here on the live blog to carry you through the evening hours.
Leading off the morning, we have the Clippers against the Thunder at 8 a.m. ET on NBA TV, in is the battle for fifth place in Orlando. You have questions? Comments? Thoughts? Drop them in the comments below and let’s talk. Either way, we’ve got a marathon ahead of us. Let’s watch some NBA Summer League action. See ya again here in about an hour or so …
7:28 a.m. ET — So what should you be watching for when Summer League play gets rolling in Las Vegas tonight? We’re glad you asked … (more…)
Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!
Today’s Topic: LeBron, Wade, Bosh Come Together
On July 9, 2010, the Miami Heat signed free agentsLeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to contracts. From there, nothing would be the same for them, the Heat franchise or the NBA at large.
The Heat reached four straight NBA Finals during their four seasons together in Miami, winning two NBA championships over the span, and established the legacies for all three players. But, by the summer of 2014, James eventually left to return to Cleveland and things changed for Miami.
This Throwback Thursday, we look back at the Big Three’s four years in Miami …
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week I went on vacation to Florida, and I spent the week enjoying my time off, playing in the surf and sand by day, and then relaxing at night. My companions? My wife, my two-year-old son, and my parents.
So in other words, basically nothing at all like the vacation Dwyane Wade is apparently on right now. Here’s a picture Wade posted to Instagram last night of him enjoying the evening alongside a few NBA superstars: LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the more interesting stories in free agency this summer was that of Dwyane Wade. The lifelong member of the Miami Heat opted out of his contract, and after rumors connected him to a few other teams, Wade ultimately agreed to return to the Heat on a one-year deal. With his next year figured out, Wade took to Twitter last night to answer some questions from fans…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just a few days ago, we caught up with Jason Williams, a.k.a. White Chocolate, the former NBA point guard who was a ballhandling wizard, and who can still make defenders look silly. If you thought J-Will was nice, check out this video of his 13-year-old son Jaxon breaking ankles in a couple of summer games…
For the first time in four postseasons, Dwyane Wade isn’t playing in The Finals. Although his Miami Heat are home for the summer (and missed the playoffs entirely), Wade is staying in The Finals limelight. He served as a pregame and halftime analyst during ABC’s broadcast of Games 2 and 3 of the series and will do the same for Games 6 and 7 (should the series go to a Game 7).
Aside from those duties, he found time to surprise a loyal Heat/Wade fan by attending her high school graduation and also, has made his way up to Harvard University in Massachusetts to take some classes.
In the past week, Wade took a program at Harvard called “The Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports” and posted photos of his completion of the course to his Instagram account. Wade attended Marquette University back in his college days, but proved you’re never too old to branch out and learn something new.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Who loves pizza? Everyone loves pizza! Here are two videos featuring NBA players not eating pizza, but making it. In Milwaukee, John Henson is really into making this sausage and pepperoni pizza. Meanwhile, in Miami, Michael Beasley is making pizza and delivering it to a Heat season ticketholder’s home. (Where she just so happens to be wearing a Heat jersey when Beasley shows up.)
Just being in the game was accomplishment enough for the Bucks. Just getting the final shot was improbable enough for Khris Middleton.
But then for Milwaukee to come from 16 points down with 9:53 remaining Tuesday night and from 12 behind with five minutes left to beat the Heat 89-88? For Middleton to go from missing six of seven shots behind the arc and 12 of 16 overall to the hero with the three-pointer at the buzzer? The finish was nothing short of unreal.
Given the jerking change of direction in the game, the potential long-term implications in the standings, the unlikely star of the night and the emotional value for a team that would treasure so much as an uneventful win, it would be hard to find many bigger March moments anywhere in the league.
It had that too. Middleton was standing at the arc, a few feet left of straightaway, so he was able to have his feet set. What he wasn’t able to get was an easy look. He had to hurry to beat the clock. He had a defender charging at him, right arm extended for the block.
The only easy part — of the entire possession, actually — was the decision to shoot. With the game an instant away from ending in a Miami victory, Middleton had no choice. The result was near-perfect. The ball barely touched back rim before going down without a fight.
It took Milwaukee outscoring Miami 21-9 in the fourth quarter just to get the Bucks within 88-86 with a final chance off a jump ball with 9.8 seconds remaining at the free-throw line close to the basket where the Heat were defending. It had taken a lot of uphill climbing just to get in position to complete the comeback. And then it took more.
Jerryd Bayless, a a 6-3 guard, won the tip against 6-10 Michael Beasley, knocking the ball backward to Middleton. Bayless’ drove down the right side of the lane and missed a layup amid a crowd of Heat defenders with about five seconds left. Milwaukee’s Zaza Pachulia saved the ball as it was going over the baseline, twisting his body back toward the court and flinging a two-hand pass in the direction of the top of the key. Middleton controlled the ball and fired from 24 feet out with about five-tenths of a seconds to go.
The Bucks were on a six-game losing streak and staring straight at No. 7. They were sinking in the Eastern Conference standings, to where they were beginning to get a decent view of the lottery, and Miami was one of the teams putting pressure on them from behind. A lot of the good of 2014-15 was unraveling.
To say Tuesday night was an important win, then, doesn’t begin to cover it. Huge is more like it. If the shot turns out to be the launching pad to a Milwaukee recovery and the Bucks find solid footing again to reach the playoffs, it becomes their regular-season highlight.
A finish like that deserved a reaction like that. Middleton turned toward the other basket and ran into the arms of teammates who had come off the bench. The Bucks who had been near the other end rushed down to join the party. Middleton quickly disappeared under the madness of a gang tackle near one of the sidelines, at the feet of fans. Fun had broken out again in Milwaukee.
Crazy finish, tough shot, playoff implications, bedlam on the court in all the right ways — the Bucks delivered everything. It’s still only March and not the very end of the regular season, but skidding Milwaukee needed that in a big way. Four Horrys.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Miami Heat lost LeBron James over the summer, but they kept Dwyane Wade, who has become one of South Florida’s favorite sons, not only for his on-court achievements. Wade has always been involved in the community, such as two years ago when he surprised a local fan at her prom.
This year, in conjunction with Hublot, Wade surprised a group of 15 foster kids from the Voices for Children Foundation who were doing well in school. Wade invited them into the Heat locker room gifted them with watches and custom suits, and talked to them about the importance of dressing for success. Great stuff…