Posts Tagged ‘Pau Gasol’

Poll: Which Orlando Magic player had the better dunk?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Over the last few days, the Orlando Magic have had two dunks that will probably endure and make the season’s best lists at the end of the year. Before we go any further, let’s take a look at each of them. First, earlier this week when the Magic played Chicago, Orlando forward Nikola Vucevic faced up against Pau Gasol, then drove to the hoop and dunked on him…


VIDEO: Vucevic dunk

Then, last night against the Rockets, Victor Oladipo broke free for a 360 dunk…


VIDEO: Oladipo 360

Today, the Orlando Magic asked a bunch of their players for their take on the dunks, including having them choose which one was most impressive.


VIDEO: Magic pick

And now it’s your turn. Rock the vote below and let us know who had the better dunk, Vic or Vuc?

The Chicago Bulls visit the White House

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Usually NBA teams get to pay a visit to the White House after winning an NBA championship, where they spend a moment with the President and smile and take a few pictures. But the Chicago Bulls have a special hook-up — President Barack Obama is from Chicago and is on record as a Bulls fan. So last night with a night off in Washington D.C., the Bulls took a team visit to the White House. Luckily we have their social media accounts to document the trip…

Aaron Brooks‘ selfie game is strong, even in the White House…

A few selfies at the White House…. I really enjoyed my visit…

A video posted by Aaron Brooks (@206mrbrooks) on

But so is Nazr Mohammed‘s…

A few pics from our tour of the White House 2day. It was great to do it again #DC #WhiteHouse

A video posted by Nazr Mohammed (@nazrmohammed) on

Mr. President

A photo posted by Doug McDermott (@dougmcd03) on

I don't think I look half bad dressed up a little.

A photo posted by Jimmy Butler (@jimmybutler) on

(via Chicago Tribune)

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with Kristin Chenoweth

KCHeadshot_2014

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 spoken with John Leguizamo, Mario Batali and Anna Chlumsky, and today we wrap up by talking with Emmy and Tony award-winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth. An Oklahoma native, Chenoweth has starred on TV in shows such as “The West Wing” and “Glee!,” in movies like Rio 2 and on Broadway in shows including “Wicked” and “Promises, Promises.”

Chenoweth will next be seen on-screen in the Universal film The Boy Next Door, alongside Jennifer Lopez, and in the animated Lucasfilm fairy tale musical Strange Magic, both set to be released on January 23. She’s also completed production on an indie teen drama entitled Hard Sell and the Disney Channel’s live-action original movie “Descendants,” in which she will play the classic Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent. Chenoweth will also return to Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company‘s 20-week limited engagement of “On the Twentieth Century” in early 2015.

Christmas2014ME: Hey Kristin! So I just wanted to talk basketball with you. You probably don’t get to do that that much, right?

KRISTIN: (laughing) Nobody thinks that I can talk basketball. This is a very good gift of a call for me to have.

ME: I know you’re originally from Oklahoma, but were you a basketball fan before the Thunder were there?

KRISTIN: I think I should tell sort of how it came for me, like, this love of basketball. I was always scared of basketball growing up. I was a cheerleader, but I knew I could never play basketball because I’m 4-11. But I always liked cheering at basketball games because they were exciting. I loved the game in and of itself, but I never played, and we never had a professional team, as you know. So, I started dating someone a few years back, six years ago, and he was a humongous L.A. Lakers fan. And I knew that I had to start watching the Lakers. So I did that so I got to know who he was talking about, and I started to fall in love with the players. I really liked Pau Gasol a lot. He’s no longer there, but anyway, we got the Thunder right after that. And my boyfriend was such a big basketball nut he would watch with me, and started to like the Thunder. I started to fall in love with Westbrook and Durant, and I’m still not over Harden. I feel a little bit badly about it, but my Dad tried to explain to me about it being a business decision, and I get that, but I don’t know, it was a little heartbreaking to see him leave. But since that I’ve become an even bigger fan and bigger fan, and I’ve really enjoyed watching basketball.

ME: Are you a Thunder loyalist?

KRISTIN: I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of a lot of teams, because I’m very loyal to my Thunder, but I have a little bit of love for the Spurs — a little bit, even though they’re in direct competition with us. I’m not really loving the Heat, and I’m a little torn about how I feel about LeBron. He went to the Heat and now he’s back in Cleveland, God bless him, but I’m not really a fan of the Heat. I’m not really a fan of the Nuggets. I can’t tell you why, either, other than I just feel like, No. I like the Clippers and the fact that we have an Oklahoman on that team — Blake Griffin. I’m just proud of the Thunder. I’m proud that Oklahoma has such a good team. The beginning of this year did not look good, and we had a lot of injuries and we’re kind of overcoming that. I think Coach [Scott] Brooks is very smart and is grooming the younger players. I’m pretty impressed with Reggie Jackson — I love him and Ibaka, and I love Perkins. Of course I love Westbrook and Durant, but I gotta give love to the entire team, because I see them coming together, and in the beginning of this season, even though we were losing without our guys, I was so proud of how they were learning and how quickly they were learning. To me, that’s the definition of a team, and I think that’s where Scott is so good. Even though he’s a California boy, I’m glad he’s embraced Oklahoma.

ME: I was wondering, because I know you spend a lot of time in New York, do you follow the Knicks as well?

KRISTIN: The Knicks are another team I have love for, because I’m a New Yorker as well. I live in New York and L.A. both, but I’m always gonna follow the New York Jets, Giants — even though that doesn’t really work for a lot of people — Yankees, Mets and Knicks. I’m always gonna do that — New York is like my second home. But if I had to pick, there’s no competition.

ME: You mentioned being 4-11, which made me wonder: Is Nate Robinson your favorite Thunder player of all-time?

KRISTIN: How tall is he? Isn’t he like 5-10?

ME: No, he’s like 5-8, 5-9.

KRISTIN: Nate Robinson is that short? Didn’t he win the dunk contest? Yeah, I loved him. What happened to him? Where is he now?

ME: He’s on your not-favorite Denver Nuggets now.

KRISTIN: That’s! Right! That is right! I still have love for him. He’s short — well, for a basketball player. But it just goes to show, to me, that it doesn’t matter how tall you are. He has the heart of a basketball player and he’s so good. I’m sad to see him with the Nuggets, but again, you lose some and we’re training these awesome players. Like Jeremy Lamb, he’s a baby, but in five years what’s he going to be doing? I’m excited to see.

ME: So do you feel like this is the year for the Thunder to finally break through and win a title?

KRISTIN: Well, that’s a tough one. Because I’m always going to want to say yes. I think there’s still time to prove ourselves, yes, I do. I think that we have to overcome a lot. I think we have to overcome injury. If we can do that, and we don’t lose anybody, then yeah, I think we have a shot. The Spurs are making me nervous. Of course, any team that LeBron plays on makes me nervous. Two years ago was really painful. And I was on tour and they had said if we make it to the Finals will you sing the National Anthem? And I had said, ‘Hell yeah! I’m in the middle of tour but I’ll move a show.” I might have cried, I’m not going to say. But I have these really high heels, these Oklahoma City Thunder pumps, but I wore them on stage, just to show my love. I think like three of my shoes could fit in Kevin Durant’s shoe.

ME: So let’s get your Christmas Day picks. First game is Washington Wizards at New York Knicks.

KRISTIN: I’m gonna have to go with the Knicks.

ME: Second game is Oklahoma City Thunder at the San Antonio Spurs. No contest here, I’m guessing.

KRISTIN: The Thunder all the way. We’re gonna kick San Antonio’s [butt]. I predict it. Take that, San Antonio [laughs].

ME: Cleveland Cavaliers at the Miami Heat?

KRISTIN: Oh man, you know I’m watching that game. Um, I’m gonna have to go with the Cavs. A) I’m not a fan of the Heat, and B) LeBron’s on the Cavs.

ME: Two more. The Los Angeles Lakers at the Chicago Bulls?

KRISTIN: The Bulls, they’re gonna win. They’re having a good year, I forgot about them.

ME: And then the last one is the Warriors against the other team from Los Angeles, the Clippers.

KRISTIN: I like the Clippers, I like the Clippers. By the way, the first game you mentioned…

ME: Wizards at the Knicks?

KRISTIN: The Wizards are better than I thought they would be. Is that new this year?

ME: They were pretty good last season, made the second round of the Playoffs, but this season they’re better than they’ve been in a long time.

KRISTIN: I know, right? I caught a little bit of their game and I forget who they were playing, but I was like, What the hell is going on here? They’re not bad, not bad. Well, let’s see how close I get, I may have just called all five games.

ME: You did pick the Knicks.

KRISTIN: I know, I know, but I did that out of loyalty.

ME: Understood. Last thing: On Christmas Day will you actually sit at home and watch the games?

KRISTIN: I’ll watch the Thunder because I’m going home to Oklahoma, and everything stops in Oklahoma when the Thunder play, as well it should. So I’ll be watching with my Dad and my cousins and everybody. And I really want to see the Cavs/Heat game.

The Chicago Bulls present The Gift of the Game

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Every year about this time, we start to see the same movies airing on TV over and over, the holiday classics: Christmas Vacation, Miracle on 34th Street, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, etc.

Now the Chicago Bulls have created a new video to add to the holiday classics canon. Their video, The Gift Of The Game, which tells of a Christmas miracle involving Benny the Bull and a Bulls team that understands teamwork is the key to success. Special shoutout to Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol, Doug McDermott, and Mike Dunleavy for their narrating skills.


VIDEO: Bulls Gift

Pau Gasol dances with Elmo and friends

By Jeff Case

Chicago Bulls forward/center Pau Gasol is one of the more dependable low-post performers in the NBA and, also, one of the more personable guys in the league, too.

In the past, we’ve seen him tackle a couple of different things off the court, such as singing karaoke, doing good deeds for UNICEF, holding in a beard-growing contest with his brother, Marc, throwing out the first pitch at a White Sox game and more.

So what’s Mr. Gasol up to now? Why, dancing with Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Murray Monster on the set of Sesame Street, of course … (more…)

NBA People Throwing First Pitches (Pt. 1)

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

JOAKIM NOAH
There has been a strong Bulls presence on the mounds. We catch Joakim first at a White Sox game, where he took two tries to get it right. Because it’s important to get it right.


VIDEO: Noah White Sox

Then, a few days later, Noah tried it again across town at Wrigley Field for a Cubs game, where things went much better…


VIDEO: Noah Cubs

PAU GASOL AND NIKOLA MIROTIC
Two new Bulls stopped by a White Sox game and tossed consecutive first pitches. Both went pretty well…
(more…)

Pau Gasol And Kendall Marshall Actually Go Way Back

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With the StevesNash and Blake — as well as Jordan Farmar all injured, the Lakers signed free agent point guard Kendall Marshall. Marshall had spent last season with the Suns and a short time this season in the D-League, and in just 14 games with the Lakers, Marshall is averaging 10 points and 9 assists per game.

If Marshall looks like he’s met some of these Lakers before, it turns out that’s because he has…a really long time ago. Check out the photo Marshall posted on Twitter today, from a moment at the 2003 All-Star Weekend in Atlanta when he met a 22-year-old Pau Gasol. As Gasol tweeted in response, “Time flies!!”

ASW '03. I was 11. ha @paugasol

A photo posted by Kendall Marshall (@shammgodsantiago) on

Los Angeles Lakers Attempt To Name Santa’s Reindeer

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’re not already in the holiday season, here’s video of a reporter (apparently from the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles) asking members of the Lakers if they can name all nine of Santa’s reindeer. Some players do pretty well, some have a little more trouble with the question. I agree with Pau Gasol — Rufus has always been one of my favorite reindeer.


VIDEO: Lakers Name Reindeer

Pau Gasol Loses Bet, Shaves Beard

By Jeff Case

.

Pau Gasol is known for his smooth footwork in the low post, a reliable jump shot and, to a lot of Lakers fans, his up-and-down play throughout his 5 1/2 seasons in Los Angeles. Another thing Gasol is well recognized for, perhaps, is his combination of flowing locks and a beard that he’s sported since before the 2005 season.

Gasol’s beard/hair combo last season was pretty tame compared to some of the levels it has gotten to over his years in L.A. For example, check out how he looked when he first arrived in Lakerland in 2008

That look may be a distant memory come 2013-14 as Pau recently had to shave off his beard after losing a bet to his (equally bearded) brother, Marc Gasol of the Grizzlies. As part of Marc and Pau’s Gasol Foundation charity, the pair started a campaign called “The Healthy Competition” that ran from June 10-Aug. 2. Marc and Pau served as coaches, challenging children in L.A. and Memphis, respectively, to get healthy. The children were outfitted with Nike Fuel Bands and the coach whose team burned the most fuel would win the bet for their coach. The stakes of the bet? The loser shaves off his trademark beard, of course.

In the final leaderboard, Marc’s Memphis team edged Pau’s L.A. team, 1,352,639-1,328,320. Being a good sport, Pau Gasol busted out the clippers, shaving cream and a razor and took to YouTube to pony up.

.

.

You can see more of Pau’s beard-shaving exploits on his YouTube channel if you so desire.

And in case you forgot what he looks like beard-less, we’ve got some photos of a clean-shaven Pau for you.

(H/T PBT)

The Return Of MUSCLEWATCH

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With summer winding down and players getting ready to report to training camp, I thought it was time that we went ahead and starting getting ready for…wait for it…MUSCLEWATCH(TM)!

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. Last year’s winner was Thaddeus Young, who managed to add 20 pounds of muscle in the offseason. (A close runner-up was Enes Kanter, who lost 51(!) pounds.)

Which is where you come in. My eyes and ears are trained to be on guard for MuscleWatch developments, but I can’t be everywhere all the time. So if you read about a development as it relates to MuscleWatch, hit me with an email or a tweet (there are links up above on the header). If you tweet, use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH. We will update developments on All Ball as necessary, and before the season starts we will have a full MuscleWatch 2013 compendium.

In the meantime, I leave you with Pau Gasol‘s video on Vine in which he pumps iron and seems singularly focused on one thing: Winning MuscleWatch 2013…
-

(Pau via TNLP)