Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Ewing’

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.

Throwback Thursday: All-time blocks leaders


VIDEO: Best centers: Hakeem Olajuwon

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 Blocks Leaders

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

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


Gallery: TBT: All-time blocks leaders

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

Which of these players would you most want to make a win-saving block for your squad? Leave your comments below!

NBA players from Georgetown give back in big way

Rockets v Grizzlies

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The list of NBA players who played their college ball at Georgetown University is long and impressive: Ewing, Mourning, Mutombo, Iverson, Hibbert. And that’s just for a start. The common thread for most of those guys, besides the University itself, is longtime coach John Thompson Jr., who coached many of them (or did his son, John Thompson III).

In the spring, Georgetown announced that it would break ground on a state-of-the-art athletics facility named for Coach Thompson. Since the announcement, several former Hoya basketball players have announced they would be donating money to help make the facility a reality. Last week, Jeff Green kicked in a million dollars, and Patrick Ewing and his longtime agent David Falk joined together to give over $3 million. And then yesterday, it was announced that Pacers center Roy Hibbert would be kicking in a million dollars as well. As Hibbert told the Washington Post, “It’s important for me to give back as much as possible. I actually gave [Thompson Jr.] a call, and then we talked for a little bit today, wished him happy birthday. He was a big part of my development at school. He always said what was on his mind. He was out pushing me to be a better player. Obviously he’s a legend.”

Nice to see these guys willing to give back in such a substantial way.

Patrick Ewing responds to Michael Jordan’s ice bucket challenge

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Yesterday we saw Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. AS part of MJ’s acceptance, he issued a challenge to his Dream Team teammates. As we noted on the Jordan post, his Dream team teammate Larry Bird was a step ahead of him. But today, MJ’s Dream Team teammate Patrick Ewing, an assistant coach for the Hornets, stepped up to the plate and took the ice bucket challenge…


VIDEO: Ewing Challenge

Michael Jordan Speaks (Some More)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few months back we saw a video from 2K Sports promoting NBA 2K14 in which Michael Jordan made some news by proclaiming he could beat LeBron one-on-one if they played in their primes. In part two of this interview, released yesterday, Jordan picked the four players he would want to play alongside (including one surprise choice — a Tar Hell, no less), his favorite Air Jordans, his most memorable dunks, his best year, why he wore number 23, and more.
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VIDEO: Michael Jordan Uncensored, Part 2

The Hornets Are Returning; Are These Classic Uniforms, Too?


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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER –One of the first NBA games I remember attending was in Charlotte, N.C., in 1989, during the Charlotte Hornets’ inaugural season. I was an Atlantan and a Hawks fan, but we were on a family vacation, driving somewhere or another on a route that took us through North Carolina. My Dad, a huge NBA fan, planned ahead and ordered Hornets tickets. We rolled into town on March 27, 1989, just in time to see the Hornets host the New York Knicks.

The Hornets weren’t particularly good — they were an expansion team, after all — but the fans there in Charlotte loved basketball and loved the Hornets. I convinced my Dad to buy me a Hornets caricature t-shirt featuring Muggsy Bogues, Robert Reid, Kurt Rambis, and several other players.

I settled in to root for the home team, and all these years later, I remember exactly two things about that game:

1. Every time Hornets center Tim Kempton caught the ball, the man behind me would yell, “STONE HANDS” at the top of his his lungs. I guess he wasn’t a Kempton fan.

2. Patrick Ewing destroyed the Hornets that night, finishing with 45 points.

The Hornets eventually got pretty good, drafting Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. They drafted Kobe Bryant!  … but then they then immediately traded Kobe to the Lakers. Eventually, then-owner George Shinn moved the team to New Orleans. The NBA added the Charlotte Bobcats to the league to fill the void. The Hornets were sold, the Bobcats were sold. Last season, the Hornets announced they would change their name to the New Orleans Pelicans. Not missing a beat, new Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan recently announced that his franchise will be changing its name to the Hornets.

This has spurred a torrent of Hornets-related nostalgia. Kobe himself took to Twitter and reminded us all of those few minutes when he was a Hornet…

In honor of the name change #13thpick #nbadraft #96 #freshface

A photo posted by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

BuzzFeed went long on the team’s history, reporting that their popular mascot, Hugo the Hornet, was actually designed by Jim Henson‘s daughter, Cheryl.

And then there were the uniforms. The colors and logo were unique enough to make them different, special even. WCNC in Charlotte dug up some old video from the reveal of the Hornets uniforms, featuring designer Alexander Julian and original Hornets star Kelly Tripucka. It’s especially worth noting the shorts, which are not only incredibly short by today’s standards, but also, as I recall, featured pleats.

It’s too early to tell which way the new Charlotte Hornets will go with their logo and uniform — they won’t be changing until 2014 — but as they’ve shown with the buzz they’ve garnered from the name change, it would be hard to go wrong by looking to their past.

(via SI.com)

NBA Style: Classic Knicks #TBT

NBA Style
By the NBA.com Style Crew

The New York Knicks may be fighting for their Playoff life right now, but it’s coming on the heels of their best regular season in over a decade. And while the Knicks work their way back toward true contender status, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the iconic players who wrote the legends still revered in Gotham today. From Clyde to Phil, from Willis to Ewing, from Bradley to Bernard, flip through the gallery below and check the images.

What’s your favorite look of all-time? Let us know in the comments section, and don’t forget to continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #NBAStyle

Last night in an … ending

by Micah Hart

They say all good things must come to an end (whoever they is), and last night, Kevin Love‘s impressive streak of 53 straight double doubles came to an end with his six-point, 12-rebound performance in Minnesota’s 100-77 loss at Golden State.

First and foremost, am I the only one who assumed that the streak would end for a lack of rebounds rather than points? That’s not even to say that Love is a dynamic scorer, and with full knowledge that he is a beast on the boards, but still, points are generally collected two at a time.

I am tempted to consider Love’s accomplishment a tad overblown (as the stat isn’t officially counted by the NBA and, according to Elias, Wilt Chamberlain had a 227-game streak at one point), but at the same time, if it were so easy, then how come so many of the game’s other great big men (Shaq, Tim Duncan, Patrick Ewing), could never do it?

Regardless of the historical context of Love’s 53, it’s still an impressive output, and from a guy who as recently as earlier this season WASN’T EVEN STARTING.

The streak is dead. Long live the streak.

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