Posts Tagged ‘New York Knicks’

Phil Jackson uses Twitter to respond to critics

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In years past, a frequent criticism of the New York Knicks was that they weren’t transparent enough with fans and the media. New Knicks president Phil Jackson, however, doesn’t seem to be having any problems with that, thanks to his Twitter account. Early in the day on Thursday, after Sheridan Hoops founder and veteran NBA writer Chris Sheridan tweeted a link to a piece criticizing the Knicks’ off-season trade of Tyson Chandler, the Zen Master himself responded with a series of tweets…

Then, during last night’s Knicks/Bulls game on TNT, analyst Charles Barkley was repeatedly critical of the Knicks, saying at one point the best thing they had going for them “is Philadelphia.” So Phil went to Twitter once again…and this time he even broke out the emojis!

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with Anna Chlumsky

chlumsky

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

John Wall is not afraid of Liam Neeson

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The NBA’s Christmas Day marathon of games is just a few days away, and to help spread the word, specifically for the Wizards/Knicks game, ESPN brought in Liam Neeson, star of the Taken series of movies. With Taken 3 set to debut just after the new year, New York Knicks fan Neeson flexed his impressive “angry man talking on the phone skills” by calling Wizards point guard John Wall and letting him know that this year the Knicks are not playing around. And Wall is all like, “Whatever dude…”


VIDEO: Wall Neeson

Jordan Brand unveils new Carmelo Anthony signature shoe

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night in New York City, just steps away from Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Jordan Brand unveiled his latest signature shoe, the Jordan Brand Melo M11. The new shoe, out Jan. 3, is Jordan’s newest performance model, and will be available in several colorways that reflect Anthony’s life and journey.

The event was held at Terminal 23, the indoor basketball court on West 32nd Street that Jordan Brand opened a year ago inside a former event space. Since being transformed, Terminal 23 has become an epicenter for off-season pick-up basketball among New York-based NBA players, largely thanks to Anthony’s constant presence. For the evening, the entryway to the facility had been transformed into something of a museum, and Anthony patiently walked reporters through the venue, explaining each installation. “I almost handed out headphones to everyone like you get at the Louvre,” Anthony joked.

As for the details on the shoe, from a press release…

The Jordan Melo M11 incorporates the brand’s pinnacle technology created for the basketball court: FlightPlate. Designed to harness and return energy from every step for explosive liftoff, FlightPlate features a moderator plate placed directly over the forefoot Nike Zoom unit to create a larger sweet spot and ample cushioning. On the shoe’s upper, a molded collar optimizes fit and enhances ankle support for Anthony’s versatile game.

Anthony definitely notices a difference in his game when playing in FlightPlate, saying it not only makes him faster and provides jump-shot lift in the first quarter, it actually keeps him fresh through the fourth quarter.

Building on last year’s model, the Jordan Melo M11 echoes Melo’s physical transformation through the offseason. After a summer dedicated to intense workouts — Melo was known for hosting some of the game’s best runs at Jordan Brand’s Terminal 23 in New York — he returned slimmer, fitter and ready to push even harder this season.

Melo said he wanted the Jordan Melo M11 to have a more sophisticated look that is well suited for a high-end, simple color palette, but also uses hues and patterns to tell dynamic stories.

The upper features synthetic leather for support and lightweight durability, while perforated details enhance breathability. A webbed strapping system wraps the foot to provide superior lockdown. The updated foam heel counter integrates into the midsole, bringing strength and support to the collar, as well as a distinctive pattern produced by repetition of the letter M.

INSPIRED BY NEW YORK CITY
Born in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., Melo has always felt a strong connection to the city of New York. Each colorway of the Jordan Melo M11 is inspired by — and a tribute to — different elements of Anthony’s story.

“It was essential that we incorporate how important New York City is to me,” Anthony said. “It’s where my basketball journey started, and there’s no other city where I’d rather play the game.”

CONCRETE ISLAND
Inspired by the concrete jungle, this color way of the Jordan Melo M11 juxtaposes the grit and shine of one of the world’s greatest cities. The gray across the forefoot echoes the concrete streets and the detailing on the tongue is a nod to brightly colored graffiti and street art, while a subtly speckled midsole evokes the bright lights of the city that never sleeps.

RED HOOK SUNSET
Born in the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn, Melo remains inspired by and committed to remembering his roots even as he achieves great personal success in basketball and business. This colorway brings to mind sunsets in Red Hook and early memories of his childhood in the famous New York borough.

JORDAN FAMILY
Melo wanted to include a colorway tribute to the Jordan Brand family, who have been with him and supported him throughout his career. Featuring the traditional colorways worn by Michael Jordan — black, red and white — the shoe calls to mind the great Jordan rivalries with New York throughout the 1990s.

“BLACK/GOLD”
Featuring a simple, premium color scheme, the black/gold colorway features luxury touches, and highlights throughout.

Today, consumers in North America will be able to pre-order the Jordan Melo M11 at Jordan.com. The shoe will be globally available at select retailers and Jordan.com starting January 3. Stay tuned to @Jumpman23 on Twitter and Instagram for more information.

For a closer look at the shoe and the Terminal 23 gym, check the gallery below…

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.

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.

Horry Scale: Walker’s Walk-Off


VIDEO: Walker’s Winner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The New York Knicks were off to a franchise record-worst start. The Charlotte Hornets had lost ten in a row. But despite initial appearances, tonight didn’t do anything to remedy the situation for the Knicks.

Twenty-four hours after losing a close game at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers, tonight in Charlotte the Knicks mounted an impressive comeback to hold a one-point lead with four seconds left, only to see their win float away with a lay-up from Charlotte’s Kemba Walker.

And it’s not like the Knicks, off to a 4-17 start and losers of six consecutive coming in, were the only team struggling here. The Hornets, a team tabbed by many to compete for a Southeast Division title, came into this game riding a 10-game losing skid with a 5-15 record. But it all ended in the capable hands of Kemba Walker. (And not for the first time.)

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.

One thing I’d like to clear up: The Horry Scale does not measure only a game-winning shot; the Horry Scale measures several facets of a Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater. So we’re talking about not only the shot, but also the play that creates the shot, the situation and the drama, the celebrations … basically, everything surrounding and including the shot. So when I gave Randy Foye a 3 Horry rating, that wasn’t only a reflection of his shot, which was admittedly remarkable, as I wrote, but also the play, which was awful. Taj Gibson’s lefty layup wasn’t the toughest shot, but that inbounds play was terrific. Basically, everything matters.

Let’s get to the game-winner…

DIFFICULTY
To be honest, it should have been harder. With 4 seconds left on the clock, the Hornets had the ball out of bounds along the sideline, down one. The Knicks had J.R. Smith — not noted for his defense — guarding the inbounder. And Hornets center Al Jefferson set what was basically a cursory screen on Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni, as Kemba Walker popped free to receive the pass.

And then — and this is the weird part — Walker just dribbled directly down the left side to the basket and shot a lay-up to win it. Amar’e Stoudemire tried to help out and contend against the shot, but his defense seemed more unintentional than anything.

Did Prigioni think he had help behind him? The Knicks had a foul to give, did they think someone was going to take that foul? Did Knicks coach Derek Fisher try to call a twenty-second timeout from halfcourt before the play?

There are more questions than answers. All we know is that Kemba Walker got a layup to win the game.

GAME SITUATION
Both teams needed — desperately — a win tonight. And the Knicks mounted an epic comeback, losing at one point by 21, and entering the fourth quarter down 16, 85-69. But despite the comeback, on that last play the Hornets just seemed to want it more.

IMPORTANCE
Like we said, it was huge for both teams, but Charlotte arguably needed this more than the Knicks. (Ten game losing streak > six game losing streak.) After adding Lance Stephenson in the offseason, the Hornets were supposed to be better than they were a year ago. Instead, they’ve struggled mightily. Someone had to lose, and tonight it was the Knicks. Again.

CELEBRATION
Walker ended up on his back under the basket, after extending himself to get the shot up and over Stoudemire. When the ball dropped through, Gerald Henderson and Marvin Williams jumped atop Walker and helped him to his feet, and Lance Stephenson arrived moments later. In the clip above, we even get one of those cool long-range crowd shots where you see the entire arena rise to their feet as one when the game-winner drops.

GRADE
It was a nice play, a nice shot, and nice win for a Charlotte team that needed a win. But it was also incredibly simple, and came during a regular season game. Prigioni seemed to think he had help coming from behind, as Walker basically walked directly to the rim for the winning bucket. I don’t want to discount the skill required to get a shot off over a big man, but to be honest, the Knicks couldn’t have defended the play much more poorly.

So I’m giving Kemba Walker’s game winner 2 Horrys.

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What say you? How many Horrys would you give Kemba Walker’s GWBB?

The Al Jefferson bobblehead may need some work

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Tonight the New York Knicks travel to Charlotte to take on the Hornets, and the first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive an Al Jefferson bobblehead. Whether or not this is a good thing is still up for debate.

Obviously it’s something that fans of the Hornets will appreciate and enjoy, it’s just that the accuracy of the actual bobblehead appears to still be up for debate. Check the video below where Jannero Pargo eventually takes over and, along with Lance Stephenson, gives a thorough breakdown of the bobblehead’s breakdowns.


VIDEO: Big Al Bobble

NBA and adidas unveil 2015 All-Star Uniforms

adidas NBA All-Star Group, Sq

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Today in New York City, the home of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend, the NBA and adidas unveiled a first look at the uniforms for the 64th annual All-Star Game, to be played on February 15, 2015. To see more images, check the gallery at the bottom.

But first, a bit more on the design of the uniforms, via a press release from the NBA and adidas…

The jerseys feature a side panel of five stars, each representing New York City’s five boroughs with a unique pattern:

*Queens: a pattern inspired by the stainless steel orbit rings of the borough’s iconic Unisphere that was built for the 1964 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows – Corona Park

*Staten Island: a wave pattern to signify its surrounding waters

* Manhattan: a taxi-cab checkered pattern represents the pace and energy of the world’s most cosmopolitan city

*The Bronx: a vinyl record pattern to pay homage to the birthplace of hip-hop and the rich musical legacy of New York City

* Brooklyn: a brick pattern inspired by the iconic brownstone houses and buildings that make up the neighborhoods of the city’s most populous borough

“The NBA All-Star Game is a celebration of the host city and basketball culture, and this year we created our most detailed and sophisticated uniforms to date that pay homage to New York and All-Star weekend,” said Chris Grancio, adidas global basketball general manager. “We took inspiration from all five boroughs, in addition to the rich basketball and cultural heritage of the city, to provide a memorable collection for players and fans.”

The Eastern Conference NBA All-Star uniforms feature black name lettering and blue numbers while the Western Conference uniforms bear white name lettering and red numbers. Herringbone detail on the East/West patch and jock tags pays homage to the Barclays Center court, and the New York Knicks font is used for player name and number. For the first-time in an NBA All-Star Game, player first and last names are featured on the back of the jersey.

The All-Stars will wear black, gray and white fitted warm-ups that feature satin accents and military-style star patches to celebrate the number of NBA All-Star appearances for each player. Each player’s jacket will be customized with patches to represent the game’s top individual accolades including NBA Most Valuable Player, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA All-Star Game MVP and NBA Championships.

The on-court warm-ups also include a three-quarter-sleeve shooting shirt and tapered pant. NBA All-Star jerseys ($80 – $110) will be available on NBAStore.com and NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in January in addition to a full range of NBA All-Star apparel from adidas including adult and youth t-shirts ($22 – $30), track jackets ($80 – $250) and headwear ($16 – $26). Select NBA All-Star merchandise will also be available internationally on NBAStore.eu, NBAStore.cn, NBA.JD.com and LojaNBA.com.

 

To see more images, check the gallery below…

Nobody misses a dunk like Joey Dorsey

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Houston’s Dwight Howard missed last night’s game against the New York Knicks, his third straight game out after straining his knee. One of the players to get minutes in Howard’s place was forward Joey Dorsey, who came off the bench to play 13 minutes. And while he was on the floor, Dorsey had at least one play that brought the bench to its feet…although probably not in the way he intended.

As you can see in the clip below, Dorsey’s dunk attempt — and yes, he was fouled during the play — came up just a bit short. And the guys on the Houston bench, including Dwight, seemed to think it was rather hilarious…


Video: Dorsey Dunk

(via r/NBA)