Posts Tagged ‘Paul Pierce’

Paul Pierce and Otto Porter taste baby food

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Here’s an ingenious video where two Wizards at different stages in life try and identify baby food flavors. Otto Porter is a second-year player and still a bachelor, while Paul Pierce is in his late-30s and, according to Wikipedia, is a married father of three. So clearly, Pierce has an advantage here. Respect to Porter, though, for casting a wide net with his final answer: “Vegetables.” I mean, technically he’s right.


VIDEO: Pierce v Porter

(via SB Nation)

NBA Players in Halloween costumes

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Halloween has come and gone, which means it’s time once again to see what some NBA players went dressed as this year. We already checked in on the Oklahoma City Thunder, but let’s check out the costumes of some other NBA players…

LeBron James went as Flo from the Progressive Insurance ads…

Carmelo Anthony was…I don’t know what this costume is…

Paul Pierce was Captain America…

Deron Williams and his wife went as Khal Drogo and Khaleesi from “Game of Thrones”…

(more…)

Something Stinks On Brooklyn’s Bench

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — During last night’s Knicks/Nets game, cameras caught several members of the Nets looking as though…well…let’s just say something appears to smell bad. Shake your head, Joe Johnson…

brooklyn-nets-bench

(via The Big Lead)

Celtics Pay Tribute To KG, Pierce

By Jeff Case

One of the most anticipated homecomings of the season took place last night when the Boston Celtics hosted the Brooklyn Nets. It marked the first game ex-Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce played at TD Garden since being traded to Brooklyn last summer.

Both players have deep emotional ties to the franchise, with Pierce being drafted by the team in 1999 and playing 15 seasons there, helping the Celtics go from Eastern Conference afterthought to a title-winner (2008) and perennial contender. A big key to those contending days came via of the addition of Garnett in the summer of 2007. KG won Defensive Player of the Year honors in his first season with Boston (2007-08) and was arguably — with Pierce — the heart of those contending Celtics clubs.

None of those feats were lost on the Celtics as a franchise, as they had been planning a big video tribute for the duo for weeks, per the Boston Globe. Even before fans got to see those tributes, KG and “The Truth” got plenty of love from the hometown fans during the player introductions …


VIDEO: Garnett, Pierce introduced before Nets take on Celtics

Then came the in-game tributes for KG and Pierce, both of which stirred up plenty of emotion for Boston fans.

KG’s tribute was first:

And then, after the first quarter, Pierce was honored:

The reaction from the crowd was appreciated plenty by the duo, who saw the Nets win the game 85-79.


VIDEO: Garnett, Pierce talk about their return to Boston

(h/t to The Brooklyn Game)

Kris Humphries Evokes Rick Mahorn

Any time you have Kris Humphries and Rick Mahorn in the same sentence, you know something special happened.

They couldn’t be more different, in perception and on-court presence. I mean, could you imagine this happening to the former Pistons and Sixers bruiser?

But that may not be completely fair. Humphries gives decent effort and has a knack for the timely defensive play or two. He didn’t disappoint Sunday night against his old team in Brooklyn. While the electricity pivoted around the return of Hall of Famers to-be Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, Humphries had his own bit of motivation and dipped into his old-school bag of tricks to make Mahorn proud:


VIDEO: Kris Humphries pulls out chair from Andray Blatche

Instead of being the post warrior, he was the post magician. It’s a brilliant maneuver and has a 100 percent success rate. How isn’t this move pulled off more? Perhaps because subterfuge in battle is most effective when used seldomly? I’m not sure, but it needs more application. The look on Andray Blatche’s face while looking at a fired-up Humphries from his keister afterward was priceless.

It’s fitting that Humphries’ poster mate Blake Griffin fell victim to the same tactic almost two years ago:


VIDEO: Al Harrington pulls seat from under Blake Griffin

Long live the old school.

Horry Scale: Evan Almighty


VIDEO: Turner’s Game Winner

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — And the hits just keep on coming. It feels like it was just yesterday that I wrote about this flurry of game-winning buzzer-beaters (GWBBs) that we’ve seen of late. (That’s because it was just yesterday that I wrote about this flurry of game-winning buzzer-beaters (GWBBs) that we’ve seen of late.) The news never stops, you guys.

Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain: 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.

With the rules in place, tonight we look to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, where Evan Turner doesn’t care how many Horry Scale entries it takes to get a win for the Sixers…

DIFFICULTY
In terms of the shot itself, it goes down in the game log as “Turner Driving Layup Shot.” But in actuality it was so much more. Evan Turner is actually the player who inbounded the ball on this play. Sixers C Spencer Hawes released away from the basket and caught the lob pass, at which point Turner took off on a sprint. He ran to Hawes for a dribble hand-off and basically used Hawes as a pivot point, U-turning back in toward the rim. At this point the Nets had two guys on Turner — Brook Lopez and Shaun Livingston. Turner adroitly gives a little hesitation and then fires down to the left block for a layup. Just as Turner leaves his feet, Paul Pierce slides in and takes the contact from Turner. Is this a charge? Is it a block? We’ll leave that for Joe Borgia, because in this case it’s officially neither: No call is made. Turner releases the ball with about 1.4 seconds remaining. The ball then bounces around the rim, kissing the iron three different times as the clock expires, before finally dropping through for the 121-120 Sixers win. It wasn’t a long shot, but there were many things that broke Philly’s way on the play.

GAME SITUATION
Not only was the game in overtime, but Pierce had hit a three-pointer a few seconds earlier to put Brooklyn ahead 120-119. With six seconds left to play in overtime, the Sixers had to inbound the ball under their own basket. Inbounding the ball under the basket is always tough — the backboard itself limits several passing angles that would be available from any other spot on the court. The play the Sixers came up with, which we broke down above, was pretty great — the Nets obviously didn’t expect Hawes to be the target on the play, and once Hawes had the ball, the Sixers used a sneaky backscreen to free Turner. Also worth noting is that the Sixers had lost seven straight games coming into this one and are about to leave on a six-game road trip to the West Coast. So not only did they need the win, but losing their eighth straight in an overtime game would have made things even more difficult to stomach.

CELEBRATION
I counted nine members of the Sixers who get involved in the initial celebration, mobbing Turner. That’s seventy-five percent of the night’s active roster, an important threshold to hit for our grading purposes. I feel like the celebration was also a bit subdued because whenever there’s a GWBB where the shot is released so close to the buzzer, there’s always that moment of indecision where you’re not sure whether or not the shot will actually count until the referees review the replay. In this case it was rather obvious, but it’s not official until it’s official.

GRADE
I’m trying to go more with my gut on these, after I had to admit I underscored Jeff Green‘s season-opening shot. So for this shot, with the creative inbounds play, the contact on the shot, the dramatic bounces on the rim, the game being in overtime and the Sixers ending the seven-game L streak, I’m going with Four Horrys.

horry-star horry-star horry-star horry-star

What say you? How many Horrys would you give Evan Turner’s game-winning buzzer-beater?

NBA Behind The Scenes: The Photo Game (Part Two)

FOR PART ONE, CLICK HERE

BROOKLYN Earlier this week, I spent an evening shadowing Nathaniel Butler from NBA Photos as he photographed the Trail Blazers-Nets game in Brooklyn. During the game, Butler gave me a camera and let me shoot the action. What follows are some of the images I took that night, with my thoughts and comments below each picture. These pictures have not been cropped or color-corrected or anything else. This is what I shot … for better, or for, probably mostly, worse.

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As the Blazers took the floor to warm up directly in front of me, Nic Batum started hoisting 15-footers from the right wing. I picked up my camera, zoomed in a bit, half-pushed the button down to make sure the image was focused, and then fired off the shot. What I didn’t account for was that Batum would jump when he shot, so my photo chopped off his arms and the ball.

NSB_0977

Once the game started, sure enough the Nets ran a play to get Kevin Garnett a shot at the top of the key. I saw the play developing and as soon as KG caught the ball and squared up, I took this picture. Unfortunately, as you may notice, I managed to capture all of the players out of focus. But the basket support and the fans in the front rows are crystal clear. Also, terrific job by me to cut off the shot clock. (more…)

The Brooklyn Nets Are Old School

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — How old school are the Brooklyn Nets? So old school they’re willing to bring back short-shorts, Chuck Taylors and afros. At least, that’s what they would have us believe in this new video from Funny Or Die…
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The New Brooklyn Nets from Deron Williams

VIDEO: Nets Go Old School

(via B/R)

Paul Pierce Explores Brooklyn

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERPaul Pierce has only been a member of the Brooklyn Nets for a few months, so it’s perhaps understandable that he hasn’t had much time to get out and explore the neighborhood. In this new video from American Express, Pierce hits several Brooklyn hotspots, from Brooklyn Bowl to Juliana’s Pizza. As Pierce says in the video, “It feels like I’m home.”
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VIDEO: Paul Pierce In Brooklyn

Talk Show: Mario Batali

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Here in New York City, plenty of celebrities pop up in the front rows at Knicks and Nets games, although it’s not always clear just how many of them are actual NBA fans. New York-based chef and television personality Mario Batali fits both bills. Batali grew up in Seattle as a Sonics fan, but these days has allegiances to — gasp! — both the Knicks and Nets. As Batali explains, “I’m not such a fierce Geo-specific fan.”

In between running his acclaimed restaurant empire and appearing daily on ABC’s “The Chew,” Batali says he finds time to not only follow the NBA but even plan family trips to out of town games. I caught up with Batali last week on the set of “The Chew” where he was posing with the crystalized “BIG IS ON” basketball that is currently making its way around New York City.

ME: I know that a lot of NBA players have eaten at your restaurants. For example, Emeka Okafor has told me he loves your food.

MARIO: I’ll tell you one thing about Emeka: That guy can eat enough to make every kitchen happy in the world. Like, he’ll have two appetizers, two pastas, and then he’ll have a steak for two. He eats it and he loves it, he gives you goosebumps. He’s just delightful.

ME: And you’re a big NBA fan?

MARIO: Huge NBA fan.

ME: You’re originally from Seattle, right?

MARIO: (laughs) Back when we had a team!

ME: So you grew up a Sonics fan?

MARIO: Definitely. For me, the greatest thing to collect right now is original, vintage Sonics hats and shirts. They’re beautiful. That logo — come on. They hardly did one better.

ME: So that was, like, Lenny Wilkens-era Sonics?

MARIO: Spencer Haywood

ME: Slick Watts?

MARIO: Absolutely! Downtown Freddie Brown! Come on, we had the guys.

ME: I know you lived in Italy for a while. Was basketball as popular in Europe then as it is today?

MARIO: I was there in the ‘80s, and it was already — after soccer — the biggest sport. Absolutely, no question about it. We got great players who either had problems or didn’t quite make the team and they were over there playing basketball, going crazy, living in these tiny little towns. It wasn’t like all Rome and Milan, you know. Here all the teams are in major, major cities. They were in Venice, they were in Verona, towns with like 200,000 or 300,000 people. It totally changed the way Italians looked at American sports. And for the positive. The world loves American sports. We do it better than anybody else, except soccer.

ME: I’ve seen you at Knicks games. Are the Knicks your team?

MARIO: Knicks and Nets.

ME: Both? Can you have two rival teams?

MARIO: Yes! Here’s the story. Since I’m from Seattle and I’ve been disenfranchised, I can have two teams. I take a lot of heat from The Original Fan. The Original Fan says I can’t like the Jets and the Giants, but I like Eli and I like Geno. And I like Mark Sanchez. And in basketball, I like Paul Pierce. How can I not go for Paul Pierce, right? He’s a Boston guy, but he’s on my team now.

ME: You have two teenage sons. Are they fans of both teams also?

MARIO: They’re Carmelo fans. They were Mike D’Antoni fans. But they’ll be happy to go see the Nets, too. They go to school in Brooklyn so they drive right by the Barclays Center, which is an impressive building. And the Garden is also impressive, but you can drive by and not even notice sometimes. I take my sons each year on an NBA trip. We traditionally go somewhere for a long weekend with Dad, and we’ve gone to see the Hornets — this year we’re going to see the Pelicans. But we’ve been to Cleveland, during and after LeBron, we’ve been to Dallas, we’ve been to Los Angeles to watch the games. We’ll travel for basketball.

ME: Which athletes eat the most when they’re at your restaurants? Do football players eat more than basketball players?

MARIO: Linemen. Nick Mangold, baby (laughs). But no, actually I would say Nick doesn’t eat more than, say, Emeka. In terms of water displacement Emeka might displace more water than even Nick. But there’s a respect in the sports world, particularly the basketball world, where they totally dig our field, and they’re totally into what we do as well.

ME: Last thing: If you had to cook and serve a basketball, how would you prepare it to make it even semi-edible?

MARIO: The best way to cook a basketball would be to slice it into paper-thin strips like spaghetti, and toss it with a little Bolognese.