Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans Pelicans’

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.

Austin Rivers attempts novel defensive strategy against Blake Griffin

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We all know that Blake Griffin is one of the toughest players in the NBA to stop — his size, speed, and ability to either knock down outside shots or take the ball to the basket present a host of problems for defenders. We’ve seen opponents try and get physical with Blake, usually to no avail. But over the weekend, New Orleans guard Austin Rivers got tangled with Blake on a pick-and-roll and ended up “pantsing” Blake. Hey, that’s one way to stop him.

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(via r/NBA)

JaVale McGee remains the best

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — During this weekend’s Pelicans/Nuggets game, Denver center JaVale McGee chased after a loose ball and dove into the stands trying to save the ball. He did make the save, but unfortunately tipped it directly to the Pelicans.

But that’s not why we’re here. We are here to observe what happened in the aftermath of JaVale going into the stands. Take a guess what happens when he lands in the stands. Does he…
A) Take a sip of a fan’s soda
B) Sign an autograph
C) Run back down the floor and block a shot
D) Land in an empty seat next to an older woman, smoothly put his arm around that woman, lean over and give her a kiss on the cheek, and then sprint back down the floor in time to defend his man

If you chose D, I’d guess you’re a fan of Shaqtin’ A Fool…


VIDEO: JaVale kisses a fan

The New Orleans Pelicans would like to prepare your dinner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The New Orleans Pelicans convincingly won their season opener at home last night, beating the Orlando Magic, 101-84. And to commemorate the start of a new season, the Pelicans created a video where the players and coach Monty Williams messed around in a kitchen and, um, basically showed why they’re basketball players, not actors.


VIDEO: N.O. Dinner

(via EOB)

Mavericks, Pelicans Unveil New Alternate Uniforms

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The season is just weeks away, but today two teams announced new uniforms, one for this season one for next season.

Let’s start with this season. The New Orleans Pelicans got new uniforms last season when they changed their name to the Pelicans. This season they’re introducing an alternate red uniform.

According to Pelicans.com…

The Pelicans’ new red uniforms capture the culture and character of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region as, similar to the team’s current jerseys, the word mark is inspired by French Quarter street signs. The uniforms will feature “Pelicans” on the front of the red jerseys, different from the team’s current jerseys. The lettering on the jerseys is white with navy outline and features the NBA logo on the back of the neck of the uniforms.

“With the second season as the New Orleans Pelicans approaches, we are thrilled to introduce our latest addition to the best looking uniforms in the NBA,” said Owner/Vice Chairman of the Board Rita Benson LeBlanc. “The feedback we have received from our fans on every element of our Pelicans branding and identity has been tremendously positive and we are particularly pleased with how our new alternate uniforms turned out. The red signifies the passion our players have for the game and our fans have for their basketball team, we can’t wait to see both on display when we debut these new uniforms on opening night.”

The Pelicans’ partial logo is featured on the side of the red shorts, as well as gold and navy stripe detail. At the center of the waistband of the shorts sits a unique ligature that combines the letters ‘N’ and ‘O’ to form a basketball. This new mark, created specifically and exclusively for the Pelicans, will be used selectively by the team and incorporated into Pelicans’ branding.

Also, in Dallas, the Mavericks introduced an alternate jersey for next season, the 2015-16 season, which was designed by a Dallas native named Geoff Case. His design was selected out of a thousand entries. Here are a few looks from today’s press conference…

NBA People Throwing First Pitches (Pt. 2)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — All summer long, we’ve seen NBA players throwing out the ceremonial first pitches at baseball games. Not just major league games, and not just from active NBA players, but from NBA-related folks (coaches, retired players) all over the place.

I’ve been collecting these videos for a few months, and now we present them, all of them, in several parts, because there’s a lot to get through.

And so, here are a bunch of NBA people throwing out the first pitch at baseball games…

PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE

ZACH LAVINE
Timberwolves rookie Zach LaVine threw out the first pitch at a Twins game before they played his (former) favorite team, the Angels. I like how fired up he is after meeting Mike Trout


VIDEO: LaVine pitch

ANDREW WIGGINS
Staying in Minnesota, just last night, Andrew Wiggins took the hill to give it a shot. Have to say, I think he threw a strike…
(more…)

James Harden visits the Beard Guru

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Before getting your picture taken or appearing on TV, you get a haircut to make sure you’re presenting your best self. But before having your face scanned to appear in a video game, such as NBA2K15? If you’re James Harden, you call the only man who understands, the Beard Guru.

Harden has one of the world’s great beards, but it apparently doesn’t just grow on its own. It takes some finesse, some cajoling. And apparently, it takes a visit from Fritz, the Beard Guru (with a cameo from Anthony Davis)…


VIDEO: Beard Guru

Summer MUSCLEWATCH Round-up


VIDEO: Jrue MUSCLEWATCH

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — There are still a few months until NBA training camps begin, so NBA players still have time to get in the weight room and add 15 pounds of muscle, the amount they always seem to add, and make an appearance on MUSCLEWATCH. Once camps start up we’ll launch our official MUSCLEWATCH 2014, but right now with plenty of guys playing in summer league, we can make an initial check-in and see how MUSCLEWATCH is shaping up.

What, you may be asking, is MUSCLEWATCH? It stems from my friend Matt and I noticing years ago that out 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 Thad Young and Rudy Gay. If you see MUSCLEWATCH info, tweet it and use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH to help us keep all this info straight.

On to the MUSCLEWATCH…

Anthony Davis is already making a case to be a MUSCLEWATCH winner this season.

• In the video above, AD’s teammate Jrue Holiday talks about adding muscle and strengthening the leg he had surgery on. We don’t get any concrete numbers, but he still has months to go.

• One of the big stories from summer league has been the newly-slimmed Anthony Bennett, who looks much different. According to our man Steve Aschburner, Bennett has lost 15 pounds from his playing weight last season. I also love this quote from Bennett so much: “It wasn’t really that tough. My body is kind of weird. I can gain weight fast, I can lose weight fast. So it was just me maintaining it. Watching what I eat at night.”

• Bulls forward Tony Snell arrived for summer league not only with his braids gone, but with 10 pounds of muscle added. “I’ve been in the weight room a lot and I’m eating right,” Snell said. That’ll do it, Tony.

Victor Oladipo is dropping weight this summer. Might want to slow the pace a bit, Vic, considering we have a few months to go…

• Battling with Anthony Davis for MUSCLEWATCH honors may be Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng, who has added 17 pounds(!) since the season ended and has plans to keep going. Do it, Gorgui!

• Finally, Brandon Jennings has some vague weight goals on his mind…

Anthony Davis makes sushi, plus early MUSCLEWATCH appearance

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis had a terrific sophomore season in the NBA, averaging a double-double and leading the league in blocks at 2.8 per game. But after taking a few weeks off, he’s right back at it in the weight room…and the sushi bar?

Let’s start in the weight room. It’s a little early to begin our tradition unlike any other, MUSCLEWATCH, where we keep an interested eye on the increasing size of various NBA players, who seem to perpetually inflate each summer by 10-15 pounds of muscle. It’s not quite the summer, I don’t think, but I’m calling an unprecedented early start to MUSCLEWATCH, as the Pelicans released this video of Anthony Davis working out.


VIDEO: AD Works out

According to one writer, Davis is up 17 pounds (of muscle) from his college weight…

And while he increases his muscle, Davis is apparently also spending time working on his acting skills, here playing a sushi chef in a new commercial…


VIDEO: AD makes sushi

Jeff Withey passes ball to himself

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — New Orleans Pelicans center Jeff Withey pulled off quite the trick during last night’s Pelicans/Suns game. Thanks to the hands of Eric Bledsoe and the dome of ref Bennie Adams, Withey pulled off the ol’ pass to himself. Impressive.

He should have shot the ball immediately just to see if he could get an assist to himself (you can see the full play here) …

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(via Deadspin)