Posts Tagged ‘NBA TV’

The Hang Time Road Trip

HANGTIME_PASSENGER

By Lang Whitaker

For the last few years, about once a week I’ve hopped on Skype with my NBA Digital colleagues Sekou Smith and Rick Fox to record a new version of the Hang Time Podcast. We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together… no wait, we haven’t done any crying, unless it was from laughing. Basically, we’ve had a lot of fun, and done a lot of chatting, and we’ve learned a lot about each other and the NBA. Oh and we got honored by the Webby Awards, which was pretty cool.

The past few months, we’ve been trying to spread our wings a bit. During the Finals, whenever we were all in the same place — normally I’m in New York, Sekou’s in Atlanta, and Rick’s somewhere in the ether — we recorded a couple of video podcasts. (We also had a pig roast in Miami thanks to friend of the podcast Genesis Rodriguez.) This summer at the Las Vegas Summer League, we actually called a few games together.

And on Sunday, we’re embarking on our biggest adventure yet: Can you say Road Trip?

NBA training camps have convened around the country, as franchises put last season behind them and focus on the future. Anticipation abounds, as franchises see where all the wheeling and dealing over the last few months has left them and fans buy into that as-yet untested and unproven vision for the future.

How do we best explore that lovely feeling of hope, the unanimous excitement that comes around once a year? How do we capture how much fun this time of year is? How do we check in with players and coaches to see how their summers went, to find out what their expectations are, and most importantly, to discover which teams really are ready for the new season to begin?

That picture up above? That huge bus? That’s how we’re doing this.

And, just so you hush that fuss, here’s the back of the bus!

HANGTIME_BACK

So yeah, the bus is our home for the next week-plus. Starting on Saturday in Cleveland, Sekou, Rick and I will be zig-zagging around the country to take the pulse of players, teams and fans. We’ll sleep on the bus, drive on the bus, and interview players and coaches on the bus.

We’re starting in Cleveland and heading East, at least on this initial trip — saving the West for next time — and we’ll be recording and posting a couple of video podcasts each day. We’ll attend NBA preseason games each night, then power on overnight to the next city. We’ll stop at roadside attractions and truck stops at midnight and cool restaurants and pull pranks on each other and try to have as much fun as we usually do. And when the whole thing is done, we’ll edit together a best-of show that will air on NBA TV.

Our first game will be Sunday night in Cleveland, where the Cavs take on Maccabi Tel Aviv in an exhibition, and then we’ll go from there. We’ve got a schedule tentatively mapped out, but we’re keeping it fluid, so the best way to keep up with us will be to follow us on Twitter or Instagram, where all three of us will be posting real-time updates (using the hashtag #HANGTIME):

Rick Fox (twitter | instagram)
Sekou Smith (twitter | instagram)
Lang Whitaker (twitter | instagram)

I’ll also be posting regular updates here on the All Ball Blog. If you see us out on the road or in your city, please come say hello! Interacting with you folks is what makes this so much fun, and we probably have questions for you about how you’re feeling about your team.

I think that’s everything. Saddle up, everyone. See ya on the road…

‘The84Draft’ reveals stories of greatness in NBA’s best-ever draft


VIDEO: Watch the teaser trailer for ‘The84Draft’, NBA TV’s new documentary

The 2014 NBA Draft, which is being widely touted as maybe the deepest Draft in recent memory, is just weeks away. It will provide an opportunity for several franchises to impact their teams and shape their futures.

It is also perhaps perfect timing NBA TV will debut a terrific documentary on a Draft three decades ago that still stands as the greatest draft in NBA history.

The documentary, with the hashtag-friendly title “THE84DRAFT,” first airs on NBA TV on Monday, at 9 p.m. ET. This is the latest film in NBA TV original’s line of documentaries, like last year’s Emmy Award-winning “The Doctor” and 2012’s “The Dream Team.” Steve Nash, who was part of his own iconic Draft class in 1996, narrates “THE84DRAFT,” which is jammed with footage basketball fans will thrill to see.

Even a casual sports fan has felt the reach of the ’84 Draft, as it contained players who literally changed the game forever, like Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and John Stockton. Yet what made the 1984 draft so special isn’t just the five Hall of Famers it produced, rather the compelling stories from players picked deeper in the draft, even down to the final selection.

Watching the footage of the actual draft broadcast, it’s clear that things are radically different now. Three decades ago the draft was called the “college” draft, a word not immediately associated with current drafts. The 1984 draft happened during daytime hours and was aired on USA Network. Olajuwon, the first overall pick by Houston, was in attendance wearing a tuxedo, and was greeted by a mustachioed David Stern, who was presiding over his first draft as commissioner of the NBA. The team representatives in the Felt Forum sat at banquet tables, and empty seats ringed the event floor.

The television broadcast ended after two rounds, but the Draft went on for a whopping eight more rounds for a total of 10. By the time they got to the later rounds, teams were burning picks on novelties, like when the Bulls drafted Carl Lewis in the 10th round. But there were plenty of key contributing pieces to be unearthed in those middle rounds. With the 70th overall pick, the defending champion Boston Celtics drafted Rick Carlisle, who says of going to such an established team, “I thought it was death for any kind of career.” While Carlisle managed to make the Celtics and win a title, his career as a player ended a few years later. But he moved into coaching in 1989 and has been on NBA sidelines ever since, winning a title in 2011 with the Dallas Mavericks.

One wrinkle in the 1984 draft story is the 1984 Olympic trials, which were held in Bloomington, Ind., just weeks before the draft. With numerous NBA scouts in attendance, Barkley used the opportunity to showcase his all-around game, repeatedly going coast-to-coast and dunking against the better wishes of Olympic coach Bobby Knight. Barkley did not make the cut for the Olympic team.

Stockton, largely unknown out of Gonzaga, also didn’t make the Olympic team’s final cut. But, he proved his mettle against the nation’s best players and was selected 16th overall.

Leon Wood made that 1984 Olympic team and was the 10th overall pick in the ’84 Draft, drawing comparisons to Isiah Thomas. But Wood never found a home in the NBA and ended up playing overseas. If his name sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because Wood eventually made it back to the NBA, where he’s been a referee since 1996.

The most entertaining character in “THE84DRAFT” may be Oscar Schmidt. The legendary Brazilian player –fifth Hall of Famer in this draft class — was well known for his exploits with the Brazilian National Team and his club teams in Italy, where a young Kobe Bryant grew up admiring him.

“Oscar Schmidt was like my Larry Bird, but I actually liked him,” Bryant says with a laugh. “You know what I mean? He was Bird before I had a chance to see what Bird really was.”

Schmidt remains incredulous even today over being drafted in the sixth round of the ’84 Draft by the New Jersey Nets. But when the Nets offered him a guaranteed contract, he had to turn it down because it would have invalidated his international amateur status with Brazil.

Plenty of time is devoted to the marquee names of the ’84 Draft, including the thought process that led to the Portland Trail Blazers passing on Jordan to draft Sam Bowie with the second overall pick. The Bulls snagged Jordan with the third pick, and former Bulls GM Rod Thorn remembers getting a call from an assistant coach after the first day of practice and being told: “You didn’t mess this draft up.”

In many ways, the 1984 Draft framed the future of the NBA. These players changed the way basketball was played, not only in the NBA but also around the world. Thirty years later, it’s still a story worth telling.

Throwback Thursday: A Slam Dunk-A-Thon


VIDEO: Some of the all-time best Dunk Contest jams

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 TBT topic: NBA TV’s Slam Dunk-A-Thon

By Jeff Case & Jonathan Hartzell, NBA.com

What’s better than watching a Slam Dunk Contest from the NBA’s archives? How about whole day of watching Slam Dunk Contests? That’s exactly what NBA TV has in store today starting at 10 a.m. ET and going until 5 p.m. ET, with more Dunk Contests airing again from 7 p.m. ET Thursday to 2 a.m ET on Friday.

You’ll see every Slam Dunk Contest in history (yes, even the first-ever one at the ABA All-Star Game in 1976 that featured Julius “Dr. J” Erving). It’s a great time to look back at an era when All-Stars like Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Clyde Drexler were regular participants in the event.

And, you can look forward to this year’s Sprite Slam Dunk contest, which features three All-Stars (Damian Lillard, Paul George and John Wall) for the first time since the 1988 edition (when Wilkins, Jordan and Drexler participated).

To celebrate the big day of TV watching on NBA TV, here are some of the most iconic Slam Dunk Contest images of all-time:

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


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Slam Dunk History

What was your favorite dunk contest moment? Leave your comments below!

Toni Kukoc Had Quite A Pregame Ritual

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Different players prepare for NBA games in different ways. Some guys stay in and nap all day, others squeeze in a light workout or a massage, to have their bodies prepared for a few hours of hard work. And then there was the Toni Kukoc method, as we heard about from Steve Kerr on the latest edition of NBA TV’s “Open Court” series. Check out the clip below, and be sure you stay tuned for Kerr’s turn at the mic…
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Live From New York, It’s A New NBA Season

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — You may not have been aware of this, but the NBA season begins one week from tomorrow! And to tip off a long season of coverage, it was announced today that TNT will begin the season with a special show live from New York City.

From the press release…

Turner Sports will officially launch Kia NBA Tip-Off ’13, the opening week of the 2013-14 NBA regular season, with three consecutive nights of doubleheader coverage across TNT and NBA TV. Entering its 30th consecutive year of NBA coverage, TNT will open the season with a doubleheader Tuesday, Oct. 29, beginning at 7 p.m. ET when the Sports Emmy Award-winning studio team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal televise a live pregame show from Flatiron Plaza in New York City. The special NBA on TNT Opening Night 2013 Presented by AutoTrader.com telecast is part of a New York City attraction sponsored by 2K celebrating the start of the NBA season.

Following TNT’s special one-hour pre-game show, which also includes live coverage of the championship ring ceremony for the Miami Heat, TNT’s opening night doubleheader will feature the defending champion Miami Heat and LeBron James hosting the Chicago Bulls and the highly anticipated return of Derrick Rose at 8 p.m. After the Bulls/Heat matchup, TNT will feature a battle of Los Angeles with the Clippers and Chris Paul meeting the L.A. Lakers and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash at 10:30 p.m. Marv Albert will call the Bulls/Heat telecast with analysts Steve Kerr and reporter David Aldridge, with Kevin Harlan providing play-by-play for Clippers/Lakers with analyst Reggie Miller and reporter Craig Sager.

As part of TNT and NBA TV’s comprehensive Opening Night coverage, NBA TV will televise a special edition of NBA GameTime at 6 p.m. Hosted by Matt Winer with analysts Grant Hill, Steve Smith and Chris Webber, the show will preview the upcoming season while also providing live look-ins to the event taking place in New York City.

For NBA fans in New York City, TNT’s critically-acclaimed studio show will be part of an on-site attraction open to the public and sponsored by 2K. The event will take place Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Flatiron Plaza, and will feature a basketball court, NBA 2K14 video game kiosks, and a massive video board perched 30 feet above Broadway and Fifth Avenue serving as a viewing area for fans to watch the live TNT pre-game show and game coverage. Turner will team up with NBA Cares, the league’s social responsibility program, during the day’s activities to promote physical fitness and healthy living for kids and families.

Turner Sports will also set up an NBA on TNT social media vending machine at various locations throughout New York City, giving fans a chance to collect free prizes ranging from copies of the NBA2K14 game, golden tickets for meet and greets with the Inside the NBA studio team and more. Additionally, an NBA 2K14 video game scavenger hunt will take place around Manhattan with clues being distributed via the @NBAonTNT and @2K Twitter handles throughout the day.

In addition to the New York-based events, host Winer and analysts Hill, Webber and Smith will provide the Sprint Halftime Report for the Lakers/Clippers game, along with full post-game coverage during the Inside the NBA presented by Kia broadcast from Turner Studios in Atlanta.

Turner Sports’ opening week coverage will also include doubleheader action on Wednesday, Oct. 30, and Thursday, Oct. 31. NBA TV will feature the Cleveland Cavaliers and NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving hosting the Brooklyn Nets with newcomers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce at 7 p.m., followed by the Lakers visiting the Golden State Warriors and sharpshooter Stephen Curry at 10:30 p.m.

TNT will round out three consecutive nights of NBA opening week doubleheaders with the Bulls hosting the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony at 8 p.m., and the Warriors visiting the Clippers at 10:30 p.m. Albert will provide the call for the Knicks/Bulls game with analyst Kerr and reporter Aldridge, with Harlan describing the Warriors/Clippers game with analyst Miller and reporter Sager.

NBA TV, jointly managed by Turner Sports and the NBA, will also televise the Bulls visiting the Philadelphia 76ers and rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m. and the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant hosting the Phoenix Suns and Eric Bledsoe on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m.

Karl Malone Begins Coaching (Without Hunting Equipment)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Earlier this year in Houston for All-Star weekend, we did a live episode of “The Jump” on NBA TV. We had our regular crew of myself, Brent Barry, Jared Greenberg and Dennis Scott, and then we were joined for most of the show by KarlThe MailmanMalone, perhaps the greatest power forward of all-time and the second-leading scorer in NBA history. While we were on the air — and you can see this in the video clip right here — I asked Malone if he had ever thought about getting into coaching, to tutor some of the young bigs around the league.
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As you can see, the answer was yes, he had thought about it and was willing to do it, but no teams or players had reached out to him. Which, honestly, he was a bit surprised about.

But for the benefit of everyone, that changed this season, as the Jazz have finally delivered the Mailman to work with some of their young bigs, like Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. As Malone told KSL.com…

“The first day it was tough and trying. I think our big guys don’t know the severity of what is in front of them and how serious this is. I wasn’t a happy camper. Then — it’s amazing — they came back, they’re here early; they want to do things. That’s rewarding to me.”

Malone also added that he was able to keep his attention on helping out by doing his best to forget his most beloved hobby, hunting: “I didn’t bring my [camouflage], gun or a bow. I left them home so my focus was to come here every day.”

Wonder if he brought his mule to camp?

(via PBT)

The Doctor Will Still See You


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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — While I was in Miami for Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals, on Friday night I joined a large group of assembled media who braved epic flooding outside to check out a screening of NBA TV’s latest documentary, “The Doctor,” about the life and career of Julius “Dr. J” Erving. I expected it to be good, but I had no idea that it would be great, which it was. So much so that last night, when it debuted on NBA TV, I sat at home and watched it a second time. If you missed the premiere of “The Doctor,” don’t worry, you can catch it again on NBA TV at these dates and times:
Wednesday — 6/12/2013 — 9:00 PM EST
Friday — 6/14/2013 — 9:00 PM EST
Saturday — 6/15/2013  — 5:30 PM EST
Saturday — 6/15/2013 — 11:00 PM EST
Sunday — 6/16/2013 — 2:00 AM EST
Sunday — 6/23/2013 — 10:00 PM EST

As for how last night’s broadcast was received? “The Doctor” became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. Here’s what a bunch of current and former players had to say about it…

NBA Style: Round-Up With Jill Martin



By the NBA.com Style Crew

Check out Emmy Award-winning television personality, fashion expert, and best-selling New York Times author Jill Martin, who stopped by Game Time on NBA TV last night to talk Playoff fashion winners and losers. And don’t forget, join the conversation on Twitter by using #NBAstyle…

Lang Whitaker’s Summer League Marathon

by Lang Whitaker

12:17 AM EST – And we’re finished. The Bobcats looked really good against Sacramento, controlling the tempo and pace basically from the jump, and winning it running away, 121-87. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (18 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals) and Jeffery Taylor (17 points, 3-4 on threes) both looked great, and Thomas Robinson had as many ups as he did downs (19 points, 5 rebounds and 8 turnovers). But the great thing about summer league is that there’s always tomorrow.

My job today was to watch basketball and connect a bunch of words together that accurately conveyed what I was watching. I watched more consecutive games today than I’ve ever watched before, eight of them, one after another, back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Hopefully I was able to make that happen. Thanks for reading and tweeting along all morning, afternoon and night.

Sure, summer league isn’t the highest level of basketball you’ll ever see. But the majority of these guys are playing for a job, playing really hard every moment they’re on the court, and that’s something you rarely see for every minute of an NBA game. I found pleasure in that, tried to replicate that effort, and I look forward to watching many more summer league games over the next week or so.

Though probably not first thing tomorrow. I’m dunzo for now.

Later.

11:52 PM EST — As we near the end of my marathon of summer league basketball, with less than one quarter remaining in a blowout between Charlotte and Sacramento, I think it’s time to discuss possible MVP candidates for today:

• Dionte Christmas — 19 points in a half for Boston
• My HD TV — pulled yeoman’s duty today
• My air conditioning — worked like a champ, made 90-something degree heat cool and comfortable
• Reggie Jackson — tomahawk dunked on Jeremy Evans
• Bradley Beal — poured in 22 points and got to the line 10 times
• WordPress
• My MacBook — only had to re-start once all day
• MarShon Brooks — tied Orlando Summer League scoring record with 34 points
• My dog — Starbury, my dog, slept here next to me almost all day long; strong emotional support from her
• Donatas Motiejunas — Rockets rookie went for 25 and 9 against Toronto
• Thompson and Barnes — combined for 47 points against the Lakers
• Michael Kidd-Gilchrist — has 18 points, 7 boards and 4 steals with one quarter left to play
• Delivery sushi — the crunchy spicy tuna roll just terrific

And the winner is? My couch. My poor couch has literally supported me through thick and thin, and today was no different, as I planted myself here from 8 AM until midnight, a 16-hour basketball-a-palooza. Without my couch, none of this works. So thank you couch, for being so couchy. You are the couchiest.

(more…)

Win Or Lose, James Harden’s Beard Is Here To Stay

by Micah Hart

Taken from hockey, the trend of growing a playoff beard has moved into other professional sports over the years. The Clippers did it earlier this postseason. The Thunder chose not to, instead expressing their playoff solidarity through silly press conference attire. There is a member of the Thunder with a very famous beard, but his can only be considered playoff-related if his postseason began when he was 16 years old.

NBA TV’s Jared Greenberg caught up to James Harden today at media availability to see what his plans are for the beard should OKC cut down the nets in the next couple weeks:



From the man himself, the beard is going nowhere. I will sleep soundly tonight.

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