Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jordan’

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with Anna Chlumsky

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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. We’ve already talked to John Leguizamo and Mario Batali, and today we check in with one of our favorite actresses, Anna Chlumsky. You know her from all sort of projects, from the big screen (movies like My Girl to, more recently, In The Loop) to her current role on HBO’s hilarious “Veep.” In January she will make her Broadway debut in “You Can’t Take It With You.” What you may not know is the Chicago native-turned-Brooklyn resident loves the NBA, as well, so it was great to exchange emails with her about the upcoming NBA Christmas Day slate…

ME: You grew up in Chicago but live in Brooklyn. Which team gets the bulk of your allegiance right now?

Christmas2014ANNA: The Nets. Once the ’90s Bulls disbanded with Phil Jackson‘s leaving for L.A., I went through a long mourning period. Fast forward to Barclays being built blocks from my old apartment. The Nets fever just came over me.

ME: Your time in Chicago aligns with when the Bulls were in the midst of their dynasty. Other than Michael Jordan, who was your favorite Bulls player?

ANNA: I had a B.J. Armstrong poster on my wall. And you couldn’t be of Croatian descent in Chicago and not adore Toni Kukoč. He was our hero! Three-pointers for days, man!!

ME: You play a character running a presidential campaign on Veep. Which NBA player would be great at running for president?

ANNA: Hmmm…Bleacher Report likes Tim Duncan‘s poker face, and I’m inclined to agree. Good for debates.

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

ANNA: A Broadway show, the Highline… and Rockefeller Center at this time of year can’t be beat. And be sure to get a pastrami from Katz’s.

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

ANNA: Cookies. I’m taking orders, fellas.

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

ANNA: We usually spend Christmas in Chicago with my side of the family, so someone’s inevitably in full Bears garb. We’ll watch football and basketball, and we’ve been known to pull out our own board games. My mother has a tradition where she gives my Uncle Kenny the seasonal loud, obnoxious, animatronic toy from Walgreens (think singing snowman), but I think he’s ready to move on and just get gloves again. Ha!

ME: How does the NBA fit into those traditions (will you watch games on Christmas Day)?

ANNA: We sure will. Go Bulls.

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

ANNA: Tortilla chips are never far away during the games. And at my father’s, (he’s a retired chef), we’ve always got a paté or two he’s steamed up for the holidays.

ME: Last thing: Give us your predictions for the Christmas Day lineup. Washington Wizards at New York Knicks?

ANNA: Wizards

ME: San Antonio Spurs at OKC Thunder?

ANNA: Spurs

ME: Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat?

ANNA: Cleveland

ME: Los Angeles Lakers at Chicago Bulls?

ANNA: Bulls

ME: Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors?

ANNA: Warriors

How the Lakers celebrated Kobe passing Jordan

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — During last night’s Lakers/Timberwolves game, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan to move into third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. And while it was a big moment in NBA history, the Lakers apparently wanted to make sure Kobe had a moment to celebrate the achievement, even if that meant hanging streamers on the team plane and having rookie Jordan Clarkson sing over the PA system. Congrats, Kobe.

(via Deadspin)

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.

Christmas2014

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.

Kemba Walker welcomes Nikola Mirotic to the NBA

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — You can play in the NBA, but you’re not really an NBA player until an opponent dunks on you or drops you with a dribble. So I guess it’s safe to say Bulls rookie big man Nikola Mirotic is now officially an NBA player. Mirotic, who entered the NBA this season following a storied career in Europe, has been terrific early this season for the Bulls, as a big man who is physical but also able to shoot from the outside.

What Mirotic probably should not do, we learned last night, is step outside and try to defend point guards on the perimeter. Or maybe just not Kemba Walker. Because last night the Hornets guard got solo’d up against Mirotic following a defensive switch, and Walker put a behind-the-legs crossover dribble on Mirotic that sent him skidding backward, with nary a touch.

It was so good that, A) Following the game, even Mirotic tweeted about it.

B) At the end of the play, Hornets owner (and former Bull) Michael Jordan gave his visual assessment of the play, with his best I better not laugh face.

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And of course, you can watch the clip here…


VIDEO: Kemba Walker crosses up Nikola Mirotic

Michael Jordan brings back the fist-pump

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of Michael Jordan‘s first iconic NBA moments came in the 1989 playoffs, when Jordan hit a jumper over Cleveland’s Craig Ehlo to give the Bulls a series win. After sinking the shot, Jordan celebrated with a vigorous fist pump…

Michael-Jordan-The-Shot-Over-Craig-Ehlo

Last night, Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets were down three toward the end of regulation, and Kemba Walker knocked in a huge three pointer to tie it and send it to overtime. And in this video from the crowd, MJ can be seen celebrating. Guess which celebration he brought back (well, a less vigorous version)?

Fan, player and owner alike… we all get crazy during game-winning shots in OT! #HornetsComeback

A video posted by Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) on

Michael Jordan takes over Hornets twitter account

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan may be basketball’s GOAT, but thus far MJ’s social media game has been a bit behind the times. Which is to say, he hasn’t had a social media presence. Thena gain, why should he? When everybody knows your name, you don’t need to forecast your every move to the world. But today, to celebrate the start of the NBA season and the re-branding of the Bobcats to the Hornets, Jordan took over the Hornets’ twitter account and did everything from photobombing an employee to taking a selfie. Here are some highlights…

(more…)

Throwback Thursday: All-time points leaders


VIDEO: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sets the NBA’s all-time scoring mark

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.

Today’s Topic: All-Time Points Leaders

We continue our Throwback Thursday All-Time Statistical Leaders series today by looking at the Top 10 all-time scoring leaders.

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


Gallery: TBT: All-time scoring leaders

Make sure to check out our previous All-Time Statistical Leaders galleries if you missed them!
All-time rebounds leaders
All-time steals leaders
All-time assists leaders
All-time blocks leaders

Which of these players would you most want to clean up your misses? Leave your comments below!

Michael Jordan shows respect to Derek Jeter

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is in the final weeks of an historic career, and all season long, teams around Major League Baseball have been honoring Jeter. On Sunday, the Yankees held a ceremony to honor Jeter, and they invited several Yankees greats and former teammates. They also invited Michael Jordan, who has had Jeter as a member of Brand Jordan for years and, apparently, has become close with Jeter. As you can see in the video below, Jordan was clearly moved to be part of the celebration…


VIDEO: Jordan and Jeter

Throwback Thursday: All-time steals leaders


VIDEO: Best Point Guards: John Stockton

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.

Today’s Topic: All-Time Steals Leaders

Throwback Thursday begins a new series today as we shift our focus to All-Time Statistical leaders. We will look back at the best players in NBA history at each of the major statistical categories.

This week we countdown the Top 10 all-time steals leaders.

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


Gallery: TBT: All-Time Steals Leaders

If you had to count on one player to get you a clutch steal, who out of these ten players would you pick? Leave your comments below!

His Airness Tries Out Tennis

By Nick Margiasso IV

Game recognize game.

It is a phrase that never rang truer than Tuesday night, when Michael Jordan headed to the US Open to watch his first-ever professional tennis match in person (according to USA Today) — as guest of tennis legend Roger Federer.

It wasn’t just worlds colliding just for the sake of blowing sports fans’ collective minds. No, it was in part a celebration of the debut of Fed’s new Jordan-inspired tennis kicks. Federer used his new wheels courtesy of Jordan to blow out his opponent in front of the Chicago Bulls legend, who was commended by the fans and even Federer himself after the match. They were probably just trying to get some freebies of these sweet sneakers.

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And, although it was a glorified business meeting, MJ was entertained enough that he might be back soon … as long as his Nike buddy is playing. Then again, they might just play piano, too. Such is the life of the greats.