Posts Tagged ‘Michael Carter-Williams’

Michael Carter-Williams throws first pitch just a bit outside

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Earlier this week we saw Blazers guard Pat Connaughton throw a first pitch that was, by all accounts, a fastball down the middle. It was a bit outside, sure, but considering he hit 90 on the radar gun, it’s hard to argue with the results.

And then there’s Bucks guard Michael Carter-Williams, who had the honor of tossing the first pitch last night at a Milwaukee Brewers game. Now, I respect MCW for going up there and trying to throw it hard — he clearly puts some power behind this throw, for better, or mostly, worse. Of course, a pitch that drills a cameraman standing a few feet away from the plate isn’t ideal…

Luckily, Carter-Williams seems to have a good sense of humor about the whole thing…

Michael Carter-Williams pass reflects Sixers season

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just last week we saw a shot from Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams that fell short, much like the Sixers have done every game this season. Last night, MCW added another play to the Sixers’ struggle highlight reel. This time, MCW drove the paint and kicked the ball to the wing to a wide open…referee. My favorite part is how everyone just freezes when it happens. And at least the ref was Haywoode Workman, a former player.

(via TNLP)

Michael Carter-Williams shot reflects Sixers season

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Things are not going well for the Philadelphia 76ers this season. They have played 11 games, and they have lost all 11 games. This is not a surprise — the Sixers have been very open about their plan to be bad in order to get a top pick in the draft. They have some nice young talent on the roster — Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid — and you’d think they’d steal a win here or there. But looks can be deceiving, and the Sixers have been awful…which at least gives us something to talk about.

So last night against the Celtics, when MCW pulled up for a long three-pointer, then stood there holding his arm high on the follow-through, it looked like it was going to be a great shot! Instead, he got nothing but air. 😦

(via r/NBA)

MUSCLEWATCH 2014 (Update 1)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — And here we are again. Summer has officially given way to fall, which means many things, but really only means one thing that we care about around these parts: IT’S ALMOST TIME FOR A NEW NBA SEASON.

And when training camps convene around the country, that means it’s time for … wait for it … MUSCLEWATCH!

What, you may ask, is MUSCLEWATCH? It stems from my friend Matt and I noticing years ago that our local paper used to always say that players had gained 15 pounds of MUSCLE in the offseason. No matter the sport, it was never 12, never 16, never 9, never 18, always 15 pounds of MUSCLE. So we began keeping an eye on the papers looking for references to the magic 15 pounds of MUSCLE. I started chronicling this each season in my blog over at SLAM, and eventually MUSCLEWATCH became about more than just the 15 pounds of muscle and more about guys who had either gained or lost a lot of weight. Previous winners include Thaddeus Young and Rudy Gay.

If you see MUSCLEWATCH info, tweet it and use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH to help us keep all this info straight.

MUSCLEWATCH has truly evolved from when it was Matt and I sitting around our apartment cracking jokes. I thought we’d come a long way a year ago when the official television network of the NBA was running promos for it…

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#MUSCLEWATCH is reaching critical mass

A post shared by Lang Whitaker (@langwhitaker) on

And now actual NBA teams are referencing #MUSCLEWATCH…


I feel like we’ve got a movement on our hands. This is a wonderful thing.

WHEN WE LAST LEFT MUSCLEWATCH, Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday were putting in work. Let’s get into the muscles…

• The biggest story in the NBA this summer was LeBron James leaving the Miami Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. But pretty soon after the dust settled from The Announcement, LeBron started posting photos online where he looked drastically thinner than he looked last season.

In an interview this week with CNN’s Rachel Nichols, LeBron talked about his weight loss. (Around the 2:45 mark here.) According to LeBron he’s around 250 pounds — even though he’s been listed at 249 for years — thanks to eating only fish, meat, fruits and vegetables for 67 days. He also said, “I had the Cookie Monster chasing me in my dreams a few times.

We don’t know exactly how much weight LeBron lost or even how much he weighed before, unless someone gets it out of him at Cleveland’s media day, which I’m afraid makes him ineligible to win the MUSCLEWATCH title this season.

Instead, LeBron, in recognition of your efforts, we will give you this GIF of Cookie Monster dancing …


• While we’re talking about the NBA’s bold names, how about Carmelo Anthony slimming down?

Last season Melo was listed at 240, but he has apparently been making better choices when eating, according to this article. No Cookie Monster nightmares that we know about yet, however. YET.

• There were reports earlier this summer that Detroit point guard Brandon Jennings had added 25 pounds of muscle (more…)

Michael Carter-Williams and Sixers continue losing streak

By Lang Whitaker,

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Sixers almost ended it last night. Coming in to their game with Chicago, the Sixers had lost 21 games in a row, a franchise record. Down three with about four minutes left, the Sixers had a shot at the win, but the Bulls managed to wake up and close them out, extending their losing streak to 22 games. The Sixers are now just 4 losses from tying the all-time NBA record of 26 consecutive losses.

And while the Sixers coaches and players have talked about keeping a level head and not getting frustrated, this GIF of a Michael Carter-Williams play from last night’s game from SBNation seems to pretty much encapsulate the way they’re feeling right now…


Horry Scale: Turner Turns Up

VIDEO: Turner Turns Up

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — And we’re back again. While large swaths of the country still trying to thaw out from this bitter winter, Evan Turner turned up for his second GWBB this season — here’s the first — and cajoled us into firing up the Horry Scale tonight.

Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain why we’re here: 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.

Got it? By the way, this is the twelfth GWBB this season, so we’re on a record pace. OK, let’s do this…

Strictly speaking, this was not the most complex of plays. With Jerryd Bayless guarding him one-on-one, Turner went to his right with three dribbles, before crossing over to his left hand with one dribble, and then taking one more dribble with his left hand and taking the shot with his right. With those five dribbles, Turner was able to penetrate from the perimeter into the lane. Jared Sullinger (Turner’s college teammate at fellow former Ohio State Buckeye, by the way) stepped up for the Celts to play some help defense on the shot, and his minor collision with ET managed to make Turner’s release more awkward than it would have been otherwise. Still, Turner essentially had a 7-footer for the win.

Coming into this game, both teams were riding three-game losing streaks, so you can argue that while the game may not have been a must-win for either team, both teams could have used the W. As for this particular play, the Celtics were sitting on a one-point lead with the game and shot clocks both running down. Kris Humphries missed a 15-footer from the wing, and Michael Carter-Williams grabbed the board with about 11 seconds remaining. After dribbling up court (and perhaps committing a palming violation, as you can might hear Tommy Heinsohn argue in the clip above), with about 6 seconds left, Carter-Williams handed off to Turner at half court, and everyone cleared out to let him work against Bayless. The story here, to me, is that even though the Sixers had two timeouts remaining, they elected not to use them, which gave them the chance to attack a Boston defense that hadn’t had a chance to set up.

In the clip above you see the Sixers involved all sprint to the their bench on the other end of the court, a perfectly acceptable reaction and celebration to a GWBB on the road. What you don’t see in that clip is an extended celebration at half court before they headed to the locker room. I also enjoyed the reaction of the folks sitting courtside next to the Sixers bench. It doesn’t get much more anguished than this, as you can hopefully see in my this screenshot below…

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 10.49.50 PM

It wasn’t a wide open shot — Turner had to create that for himself and make something happen. And Turner did get bumped on the release, making him twist to get the shot off. I also did have to consider the reactions, from both the players and the fans. All told, I’m giving this a solid three Horrys…

horry-star horry-star horry-star

What say you? How many Horrys would you give Evan Turner’s GWBB?

Michael Carter-Williams Is Ballin’ On A Budget

Washington Wizards v Philadelphia 76ers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Making it to the NBA is usually not only the culmination of a lifetime of hard work, it can also be something of a financial jackpot. Which then opens the Pandora’s Box of, How do you deal with becoming rich beyond your wildest dreams, overnight?

The problems with professional athletes holding on to their new-found wealth has been well-documented. But one method for dealing with this seems to be adhering to a strict budget, at least early in your career. There’s an interesting profile of 76ers rookie Michael Carter-Williams in the Philadelphia Inquirer which not only details his family background, but explains how his family has set up his financial arrangements early on…

Nowadays, Carter-Zegarowski and her best friend, Tracie Tracy, are running his management team. They are taking a proactive approach to make sure he doesn’t spend all his money in a couple of years.

His rookie contract guarantees him $4.5 million over his first two seasons. He could make a total of $10 million if the Sixers pick up the final two seasons of his contract.

But his salary is deposited into a trust he can’t touch for three years. Carter-Williams is living off endorsement deals with Nike and Panini trading cards.

That’s just one of the benefits of having caring parents.

This isn’t exactly a novel concept: Shaquille O’Neal has said repeatedly that he never cashed his NBA checks and instead lived off his endorsement deals. When Brandon Jennings was a rookie in Milwaukee, instead of splurging on a luxury car, he went for a more economical Ford. It may not be the most exciting lifestyle, but in the long run, perhaps it’s the wisest way to go.

NBA Rooks: Diaries … M. Carter-Williams

By Michael Carter-Williams, for

The O-Town Experience

Michael Carter-Williams

Michael Carter-Williams (NBAE)

I’m back in Boston after a great learning experience at the Orlando Camp.  As a team we would have liked to perform better than going 1-4, but it was definitely a positive experience for us as a team.

Our first two days at were filled with practice, which mostly focused on getting down the plays and learning what we’d be doing out on the court. It also gave us a chance to get to know each other both on and off the court. I had hoped to get more into a workout routine between the Draft and leaving for Orlando, but it has been a really busy time. I, of course worked out, I just wasn’t on a steady schedule like I would have wanted to be.

Arsalan Kazemi (we call him AK) and I were both selected in the NBA Draft, but there were a lot of other players on the 76ers summer league team trying to make the roster, so there was some friendly competition. Nerlens Noel is a rookie on the team as well, but he wasn’t down in Orlando with us. I took it upon myself to be a leader along with AK. We both had a goal to use this time to help the team be better. We also went out together to dinner in a big group a few times and I had a lot of fun getting to know the guys better.

The whole experience gave me a taste of what the NBA is like. It also gave me the confidence to know that I can be successful playing against other NBA players, even though I know I need to work on for my own game to improve on certain things, including shooting the ball more consistently and getting lower when I dribble. I’m really happy with how I’m playing defensively.

I really like Coach Curry, he’s a great coach. He has already taught me so much, and I still have a lot more to learn from him. I think we are going to work real well together.

It was also my first time staying in a hotel room by myself, without rooming with any teammates. That was a little different for me, but it was also really nice having my own space.

What’s Next?

Now that I’m back at home in Boston, I’m living with my parents, which is kind of a funny feeling since I’m in the NBA now! It’s nice to spend time with my family and see my brothers and sisters and just get a chance to hang with everyone before the season starts. I’m still their big bro!

I’ve gotten into a good workout regimen since I’ve been back here. I’m working out with a trainer and my stepfather works me out on the court every day, too. I’m shooting about two to three times a day and lifting weights as well. I’m in the gym at least four hours a day and I’ll be following this regimen until I start training camp.

I haven’t had a chance to explore Philly at all because I was only there for about two days right after the Draft. I’ll take a trip back at some point this summer to look for a place to live. My stepfather will be making the trip with me and living with me for a while, so I’m excited about that.

To be honest, I’m excited about everything! I’ve got a positive attitude and I’m ready to go in there and work really hard!

Keep up with me on Twitter @MCW1 and instagram @mr_carter5. Have a great day, everybody!

Draft Diaries: C.J. McCollum

By C.J. McCollum, for

The Graduate

CJ McCollum and family

The proud graduate with his family.

When I saw the look on my Mom and Dad’s face as I crossed the stage at graduation, I knew all the hard work and late nights in the library were worth it! I graduated from Lehigh University a couple weeks ago, and not only did I feel a great sense of pride, but I had a lot of fun! My whole family was there to see me graduate. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Aunt, and almost all of my cousins were there. We did miss my brother, though, who is overseas playing professional basketball in Greece. I hadn’t seen my family since Easter, so it was nice to spend time with everybody and enjoy the end of a fun, exciting chapter and the start of a new one with them.

NBA TV was on-site documenting the whole thing. They started taping my family and me before we left the house in the morning and then captured more footage at graduation. They also interviewed my teammates and coaching staff at Lehigh. It’s supposed to air when it gets closer to the Draft. Oh, and I took a selfie with the school president as she handed me my diploma, which was hilarious – I hope NBA TV got that on film!

A lot of students and their families were asking for my picture and for an autograph. It took my Mom and I about an hour and a half to get from the field where we had graduation back to the car since I kept stopping to talk to people. It was definitely fun for me, especially because I can clearly remember a time when nobody wanted my autograph. In the last two years, as I’ve progressed in basketball and made more of a name for myself, I realize I get that request more and more often and I take a lot of pride in that.

The whole graduation experience was filled with mixed emotions. It was great to celebrate and get together with my friends one last time in a college setting. I felt content with my college career because I did just about everything I wanted to accomplish, except winning a National Championship of course. It was tough, but all of the hard work was definitely worth it!

Front Row At The Draft Lottery

I had a chance to go to the NBA Draft Lottery, which was awesome! I went with Anthony Bennett and Michael Carter-Williams, two fellow Draftees I’ve spent a lot of time with since I started training in Long Island. Not only were we sitting front row, but I also got the chance to meet Damian Lillard, who was the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year. We’ve been in contact over the last few years, so it was good to finally meet him in person. I had a chance to speak to him privately about his experience transitioning from a smaller school to the NBA. I also was interested in hearing how he stayed consistent and dealt with the ups and downs of his rookie season.

After I spoke to him on the side, NBA TV taped Anthony, Michael and I picking Damian’s brain a little bit, asking all kinds of questions about life in the NBA.

Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, top picks in the 2012 NBA Draft, were there too and it was real nice to meet them. They were cool and happy to share their experiences with us.

We also met and shook hands with Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner, soon to be Commissioner Adam Silver. I hope to be shaking Commissioner Stern’s hand again very soon at the Draft!

I’ve always watched the NBA Draft Lottery on TV, but to be there live and in a situation where the Lottery will dictate which team will Draft me … now that’s very interesting.

Eye On The Prize

We’ve been tapering down our training a bit so nobody gets hurt, especially since we’re traveling to a lot of team workouts. Of course we’re still getting in our reps, but it’s just not as intense.

It has been nice to see all of the positive feedback from teams and the media. Sometimes I look at the player rankings, but I don’t read into it too much or let it alter my mindset. The path to the Draft is a long process and all you can control is how hard you work and how well you prepare yourself and I feel like I’ve done a good job with both of those things.

It’s actually been easy for me to stay focused and on the right track because I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for a long time. I’m almost there, I can taste it … the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp, the NBA Draft Lottery, next thing I know it will be Draft night, so it’s all business right now. I have been able to enjoy myself a little bit though. Last week I took in a Yankee/Mets game, which was great.  Special thanks to the Lehigh Alum who took care of us at the game. We have a great alumni network and I’m proud to now be part of it! Aside from the baseball game and a barbeque on Memorial Day, it has been all about basketball!

As for my mindset now, I’m fully recovered from my injury, and my body feels strong. I have my college degree. I’m looking forward to the next opportunity and hope to reach my dream of not only getting drafted, but also becoming an NBA mainstay and building a legacy in the league. I’ve worked extremely hard, and I’m ready for the next step!

I’m not sure if I’ll be blogging again before the Draft, so make sure to follow me on Twitter @CJMcCollum and on instagram and vine @3JMCCOLLUM to catch the latest on my journey. Wish me luck!

A Night At The NBA Draft Lottery

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night in New York City, a handful of NBA franchises looking for a little luck gathered in Times Square to try and beat the odds. That’s right, it’s the annual NBA Draft lottery, where the best of the worst vie for the first pick in the NBA Draft. I showed up and brought my cell phone camera along with me to see what went down behind the scenes.

Let’s get to the pictures …

photo 1

I arrived in Times Square right around 6:30 p.m. and fought my way over to the ABC Studios, where they shoot “Good Day America” or “Today This Morning” or whatever they call it — one of those morning shows that airs when I’m still asleep. There’s never really a good time to be in Times Square, because it is consistently crowded and busy and bustling, but 6:30 p.m. must be just about the worst time. Add in that it was humid and in the mid-80s today, and Times Square felt a bit like being stuck in a mosh pit. Or at the bottom of a mosh pit. (more…)