Posts Tagged ‘Miami Heat’

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with Mario Batali

America Farm To Table_cover image

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The holidays are not only a time of being with friends and family, they also bring about one of the marquee moments on the NBA calendar: Christmas Day, when the NBA is giving us five big match-ups to keep you glued to your couch all day long.

To celebrate the upcoming day, we’re talking with a few famous NBA fans about what the NBA and the Christmas Day games mean to them. Today we check in with one of the world’s great chefs, Mario Batali. Mario owns restaurants around the globe, has written nearly a dozen cookbooks (his latest is America — Farm to Table) and is a co-host of “The Chew.” All Ball readers already knew Mario was an NBA fan, so it’s worth taking a moment to exchange emails with him about the upcoming NBA Christmas Day slate…

ME: Last year you told us you root for both the Knicks and the Nets. How do you feel about the state of the two franchises right now?

MARIO: Not ideal, but I am still a supporter.

ME: You told us you take your sons on an NBA road trip each year. Where have you yet to see a game that you’d like to visit?

MARIO: This year for Leo, it will be the Pelicans, because we love New Orleans.Christmas2014

ME: All-Star Weekend in New York City is a few months away. Any don’t-miss stops you have for people visiting town?

MARIO: Eataly, Pearl Oyster Bar, Buvette, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Otto, Babbo, Lupa, Casa Mono.

ME: What Christmas gift would you give to the Knicks? To the Nets?

MARIO: Bourbon to drown their sadness and linguine with clams to build them back up again.

ME: What Christmas Day traditions do you and your family share?

MARIO: Presents, brunch, NBA hoops, winter beach walk, ham and biscuits.

ME: What’s your go-to snack/food to eat when watching NBA games on Christmas Day?

MARIO: Snacks will be salami and cheese from Eataly, smoked whitefish from Carlson’s in Leland, hard cider from Tandem in Suttons Bay, and Goat Cheese from Idyll Farms in Northport.

ME: Give us your predictions for the Christmas Day lineup. First up, Washington Wizards at New York Knicks?

MARIO: Knicks will give me a Christmas Day win, by 5.

ME: San Antonio Spurs at OKC Thunder?

MARIO: Spurs by 4.

ME: Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat?

MARIO: Cavs will finally have it together and win by 2.

ME: Los Angeles Lakers at Chicago Bulls?

MARIO: Bulls by 5.

ME: And finally, Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors?

MARIO: [Stephen] Curry will dust them — Warriors by 12.

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with John Leguizamo

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The holidays are not only a time of being with friends and family, they also bring about one of the marquee moments on the NBA calendar: Christmas Day, when the NBA is giving us five big match-ups to keep you glued to your couch all day long.

To celebrate the upcoming day, we’re talking with a few famous NBA fans about what the NBA and the Christmas Day games mean to them. Today we check in with the multihyphenate (writer-actor, producer-director, and on and on) John Leguizamo. Though he was born in Colombia, Leguizamo’s family moved to New York soon after, and a lifelong love affair with basketball and the New York Knicks began. His latest project is the loosely-autobiographical film Fugly!, out now on demand and on iTunes.

ME: I’ve seen you at lots of Knicks games through the years. Did being a fan of the Knicks start as soon you and your family moved to New York?

LEGUIZAMO: Yeah, definitely. I love basketball — that’s what I played growing up. You know, the sport you play is the sport you end up loving to watch. Somehow, it’s reliving the childhood and the life you never had. So yeah, I was a big Knicks fan back in the day — Clyde and up to Patrick Ewing, Sprewell, Starks, LJ, and up to now, the triangle offense, I’m here.

ME: Even these days, when the franchise is rebuilding, are you still fully invested?

LEGUIZAMO: It’s tough. The triangle offense is a tough thing to figure out. I mean, I guess it worked for Phil Jackson in Chicago and L.A., but how is it going to work on these cats who’ve played so differently all their lives, man? I don’t know, it’s a tough thing to watch. It’s like…(laughing) sending troops into war without weapons. I don’t know. It’s like, “Try and use your fist this time instead of a bayonet!”

ME: Also, to be fair, Phil had Jordan and Pippen in Chicago and Shaq and Kobe in L.A. So there may be a bit of a personnel issue with this Knicks team.

LEGUIZAMO: You mean you don’t think Carmelo is Kobe Bryant? (laughs) I mean, who was Michael Jordan anyway? No athlete will ever equal the excellence of that cat, but Kobe was pretty close, man.

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ME: Let’s get your predictions for the Christmas Day games. First up is your Knicks hosting the Washington Wizards.

LEGUIZAMO: Aw man. I mean, the Knicks will surprise you out of nowhere man, and maybe this is the time they’ll all come together — J.R. Smith and Shumpert — and maybe they’ll still come together for that. So I’ll give it to the Knicks. I mean, they come out of nowhere sometimes and they figure it out, and somehow the triangle offense comes together and somehow they’re loose and free. Or they get totally shut down, I don’t know.

ME: Right, sometimes it’s more like the Bermuda Triangle offense.

LEGUIZAMO: (laughs) Definitely the Bermuda Triangle. I think the Aztecs used The Triangle when they fought the Conquistadores. And what happened to the that empire?

ME: Yeah, didn’t work out so well. What do you do on Christmas Day? Will you watch games, or what’s your plan?

LEGUIZAMO: Well, we travel far. Our families are gypsies, so last year we went to Peru, and this year I’m going to be in Africa on a safari, not a shooting safari but shooting with my camera.

ME: Sounds amazing. OK, next up is the San Antonio Spurs at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

LEGUIZAMO: Thunder didn’t show up the other night. I mean, Kevin Durant is back, but I’m gonna go Spurs.

ME: Yeah, it’s hard to pick against them. Cleveland Cavaliers at the Miami Heat.

LEGUIZAMO: Aaahhhhhh! Oh dear, that’s gonna be wild. I love LeBron now that he went to the Cavs; somehow he regained my respect and love. But that’s gonna be tough, Look at Dwyane who came in the other day with crazy points. I don’t know, I’m gonna go with the Heat.

ME: Two more. Lakers at the Bulls.

LEGUIZAMO: Bulls. Derrick Rose. That’s all I gotta say, two words: Derrick Rose.

ME: Last one, Los Angeles Clippers at maybe the surprise team of the season, the Golden State Warriors.

LEGUIZAMO: Wow, that’s a tough one. I mean, I love the Clippers, man, I love CP3, and after all they went through, I’m going to do the emotional choice instead of the smart choice (laughing), I’m going to go Clippers.

Blake Griffin inspires circular photobomb

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes something new. The Miami Heat have given us dozens of variations of the photobomb, but last night the Clippers came up with a totally new innovation on the photobomb. After defeating the Magic, 114-86, while Blake Griffin was doing the postgame interview, Clips players Matt Barnes and DeAndre Jordan came out and photobombed Griffin with what appears to be an orbital photobomb. They circled him several times as he spoke, leaving me to wonder if perhaps this was a tribute to NASA’s impending Orion launch, or maybe it’s just whatever they thought of in the moment. Whatever it is, your move, Miami.

MixedInsistentBream

(via r/NBA)

Shabazz Napier puts the Nets in a blender

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We have yet to break out the Crossover Contest this season, but Miami Heat rookie point guard Shabazz Napier made a case for himself last night. While waiting for Chris Bosh to flash to the basket in the halfcourt offense, and momentarily faced with a Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams double-team, Napier did something remarkable.

There are actually two things to watch on this play…

First, just watch Napier, as he does what is essentially a triple crossover — right to left behind his legs, left to right behind his legs, and then right to left in front of his body, all in the course of about two seconds. Terrific dribbling by Napier.

Second, watch KG and D-Will perform a strange ballet as they negotiate with each other to stay with their defensive assignments. D-Will actually does a full 360, on purpose, because it’s probably the fastest way to get situated back in front of Napier.

And then the Heat turn the ball over. But whatever, it was a great moment. You can see the full video here, or be mesmerized by the Vine below…

Josh McRoberts is Hollywood Hogan

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERJosh McRoberts is your new favorite wrestling heel. The case for:

• Last postseason, as a then-member of the Bobcats, he delivered a forearm shiver to LeBron James.

• He’s got the flowing locks any good villain should have.

• His beard makes him seem mysterious and inscrutable.

• As we saw last night, you don’t want to be around McRoberts when he gets angry…

(via B/R)

Throwback Thursday: Classic ring ceremonies


VIDEO: Relive the San Antonio Spurs’ 2014 championship ring ceremony

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: Classic Ring Ceremonies

Opening night in the NBA is reason to celebrate in and of itself, but for the team that won the title the season before, it takes on special meaning. Last season’s NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs, got their championship rings on Tuesday night before their home (and season) opening game against the Dallas Mavericks.

With that in mind, we take a look back today at some great ring ceremony moments from throughout NBA history.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Classic Ring Ceremonies

Got a favorite ring ceremony memory or anything else to share on Throwback Thursday? Let us know by using the hashtag #NBATBT or visit for NBA.com’s Throwback Thursday page.

 

The New James In Miami


VIDEO: James Ennis delivers the boom

Well, that didn’t take long. On just the second day of the 2014-15 season, we already have a dunk worthy of a couple of extra looks.

Enter Miami’s new James, James Ennis.

The Heat rookie officially put his name on the NBA map Wednesday night after finishing off a play that in recent years has become a staple in Miami: the fastbreak. During these recent years, it was usually LeBron James doing the finishing. As we know, his days in South Beach are over.

The days of the Miami posterizer apparently are not.

Oh, Rasual Butler, you didn’t think you were getting off the hook, did you? It’s been said time and time again: taking a charge when in position to potentially get dunked on rarely works. D up or get out of the way! #NoCharges

Dwyane Wade goes 1-on-1 with 90-year-old fan

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When Miami Heat fan and South Florida resident Illuminada Magtoto, also known as Grandma Nelly, was approaching her 90th birthday, she made a video challenging Dwyane Wade to a game of one-on-one. For her birthday, she paid a visit to the Heat’s practice court, where Wade greeted her and took her out on the court. It wasn’t exactly a one-on-one game, but Wade did manage to work in a funny burn on Mario Chalmers. Great job Wade and the Heat, and happy birthday, Grandma Nelly!


VIDEO: Wade 1-On-1

Buy Dwyane Wade’s clothes

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — What do you do when you’re finished with a pair of shoes or a jacket? Do you give them away to a friend? Hand them down to a sibling? If you’re Dwyane Wade, why not raise some money for charity?

On the luxury consignment site The Real Real, Wade is holding an auction of many of his old clothes. There are shoes, jackets, suits — all sorts of stuff. And some pretty good bargains, too, like a XXL Tom Ford blazer worth $5,000 but listed at $995. That’s 80 percent off! OK, so that’s off of 5 G’s, but still, that’s quite a markdown.

All proceeds will go to the Wade’s World foundation, so it’s all for a good cause.

(via GQ)

Cleveland Cavaliers Lift Ban On Fan Who Ran After LeBron

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Four years ago, when LeBron James announced that he was leaving Cleveland to become a member of the Miami Heat, Cavs fans were understandably upset. Two seasons ago, when the Cavs were playing a game in Cleveland, a fan named James Blair ran on the court and showed LeBron his shirt that read “WE MISS YOU” and “2014 COME BACK.” As security hauled Blair away, LeBron gave him a high five. And as a result of his stunt, Blair was banned from attending Cavs game.

Until now. With LeBron back home and a member of the Cavs, according to multiple reports, the ban on Blair has been lifted.

Blair himself confirmed the cancellation on Facebook…