ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — This weekend the national teams of Australia and New Zealand played basketball against each other. Whenever New Zealand’s national teams play, they preface the games by performing the Haka. What is the Haka? According to Wikipedia, the Haka is “a traditional ancestral war cry, dance, or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment. War haka were originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition, but haka are also performed for various reasons: for welcoming distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions or funerals, and kapa haka performance groups are very common in schools.”
While New Zealand performed the Haka, the Australian team, led by NBAers Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills, linked arms and stood along the midcourt line and did their best to look unintimidated.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In retrospect, the ’80s were a strange time, when bands wore face paint and teased their hair and played aggressively dramatic pop songs. And who better to celebrate that era than a bunch of the San Antonio Spurs? Here’s a music video from Spuran Spuran, a Duran Duran tribute band composed of Matt Bonner, Patty Mills, Aron Baynes, the Spurs Coyote mascot, and Kawhi Leonard on drums, in a tribute to Tim and Eric with their song, “Spurs!”
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In what has become a fun annual tradition, each fall the San Antonio-based supermarket chain HEB releases a series of commercials starring members of the Spurs. While traditionally these starred the big three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, last year we saw Kawhi Leonard added to the mix. In this new batch of ads, Patty Mills (and his accent) get involved…
The defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs are part of the 2014 Global Games slate and have two games overseas this week: Oct. 8 vs. Alba Berlin in Berlin, Germany and Oct. 11 vs. Fenerbahçe Ülker Istanbul in Istanbul, Turkey. The team left for Germany last Friday and has been there since, practicing and such as it readies for the Wednesday night game.
But when they’re not practicing, some of the Spurs (and the team’s mascot, Coyote) took in the sights in Berlin. First, here’s the mascot …
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Hey, sometimes you can’t just turn it off. When you have the music in you, you have to let it our, whether you’re in the shower or on a road trip. Last year we saw Patty Mills (with help from Boris Diaw) giving karaoke a try. And yesterday Mills gave us a video of himself driving while soulfully singing “The Tracks Of My Tears.” He’s even got the fake microphone and everything…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Miami Heat spent a large chunk of the Big Three era perfecting the videobomb during postgame interviews. Looks like the San Antonio Spurs have once again lifted things to another level.
Spurs players Patty Mills and Aron Baynes are in their native Australia with the Spurs’ championship Larry O’Brien trophy, on something of a world victory tour. While at an Australian Rules Football stadium, they happened upon a reporter doing a live shot, so they ran into the picture, trophy and all, and celebrated.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the most important players for the San Antonio Spurs during their run for the NBA title was Patty Mills, the Australian-born point guard who played his way into an important back-up role. But as you can see in the video below, basketball wasn’t the first sports where Mills made his mark. As a teenager, Mills played Australian Rules Football, and he apparently drew some notice as a top prospect in that sport. I’m pretty sure he’s OK with the way things have worked out, but it’s still cool to see Mills doing all the things with a football that you’re not allowed to do with a basketball…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The San Antonio Spurs organization is known for taking a no-nonsense approach to basketball: They win and they go home. Or! Maybe they win and then head to their local karaoke bar, where, say, Patty Mills and Boris Diaw grab a couple of mics and croon a version of The Fugees’ cover of “Killing Me Softly.” There’s nothing soft about the Spurs’ version. Take it to the bridge, Patty… –
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We saw last week that “Bazemoring” was officially a thing, but it’s not the only thing. Reactions from the bench during NBA games are a crucial part of the game. From Kent Bazemore‘s poses to Patty Mills‘ towel-waving, even if they’re not between the lines getting buckets, bench guys can play an important role in keeping the spirits of their teammates elevated.
The NBA’s official YouTube channel just dropped this supercut of the best bench reactions of the season, highlighting the work of some players who may have otherwise been overlooked… –
Most mornings I wake up to the sound of an alarm clock, angry that my sleep has been interrupted and cursing myself for getting to bed so late, but not this morning. Today I awoke to the sound of a text message, an alert from my partner in crime Sekou Smith that while I was sawing logs, the one and only Patty Cakes, aka Australia’s Patrick Mills, had hit a game-winning buzzer-beater (scroll to about 1:36:30 to watch it all unfold) against Russia in Olympic play earlier today and it was time to wind up the Horry Scale machine. Ask Sekou, and you shall receive.
For those that 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 Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.
How does Pat Stacks stack up? Let’s take a look.
This shot reminds me a lot of Kevin Love‘s “Are you not entertained?” game-winner over the Clippers from last season. The shot itself is fairly easy (a mostly straight-on 3-pointer), but the credit for that goes to the excellent screen set by Matthew Dellavadova that frees Mills for the open look. Russia gets two defenders over to try to harass, but it’s too late — the ball is out and the ballgame is over.
Russia leads Australia 80-79 thanks to Vitaliy Fridzon‘s free throws with 4.1 seconds left. There is some time to work with, but the Aussies trail so there is no margin for error if they want to pull out the win.
The game actually had little chance of affecting the positioning for either team in the knockout stage, as Australia clinched a quarterfinal bid with a win over Great Britain on Saturday and Russia was previously undefeated and through as well. In fact, either way the Aussies will most likely take on the U.S. in the quarters pending Team USA’s game against Argentina later on Monday, so this could be the last celebration the ‘Roos.
This has been an excellent tournament for Mills, who re-signed with the Spurs earlier this summer, and set the tournament high with 39 points against GB. I love his reaction here. As the crowd erupts and his teammates race to mob him, Mills triumphantly walks down the court with one fist raised in the air.
4 Horrys. I got chastised by Horry himself during our NBA TV segment for judging these things too harshly, so I’ll take his advice on this one. The shot was well executed, the celebration was great, and Australia trailed at the time. Even though the stakes were low given that both teams had already qualified to move on, come on — it’s the Olympics. The importance of everything is elevated.