ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As Kobe Bryant preps to play his final home game with the Los Angeles Lakers tonight against the Utah Jazz (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), the tributes just keep coming. And this new commercial from Nike — with guest spots (and singing!) from Phil Jackson to Rasheed Wallace — manages to convey one interesting aspect of the Kobe experience: Win or lose, love or hate, Kobe always found fuel to thrive.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Here’s a video from Pistons guard Brandon Jennings, who apparently came across All Ball Hall of Famer Rasheed Wallace at the University of North Carolina. Sheed my be retired from the NBA, but he can still get buckets — with either hand!
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Rasheed Wallace is responsible for many different things, but one of the best may have been making WWE-style championship belts for the Detroit Pistons after they won a title in 2004. Sheed often wore his belt to games the next season, to show people that the champ was here…
The newest NBA champ is Draymond Green, who took to Instagram to show off his new title belt, which looks as though it came directly from the WWE. Now we need Draymond to wear it to games next season…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Rasheed Wallace is on my short list of favorite NBA people of all time. I loved his game, sure, but I particularly loved his personality and spirit. And while he mostly eschewed interviews and the media while he was playing, many fans missed out on learning that Sheed was one of the more intelligent players of his generation — there’s a reason the Pistons hired him as an assistant coach as soon as he retired.
In this video from Pistons.com, we see Sheed and another former Piston, Rick Mahorn, argue over which Pistons team was better — the ’89 Bad Boys with Mahorn (a team the Pistons are honoring tonight), or the 2004 title team with Sheed. This is great…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just as important as any great dunk is the celebration that follows. And we aren’t only talking about the way the dunker himself lets the world know he threw down, but the way his teammates get into the act and celebrate. To that end, let’s take a look at a couple of recent bench celebrations and see which bench celebrated best.
1. Detroit Pistons A few days ago the Pistons hosted the Atlanta Hawks, and Pistons big man Andre Drummond got a steal and a dunk on Elton Brand. It wasn’t a dunk on as much as it was a dunk around as Brand tried to deliver a foul. Still, Brand went reeling, making it look worse than it probably was. Either way, as it was down the stretch in a close game, the Pistons bench turned in a celebration for the ages.
And how about that Pistons bench? Coaches and players alike went wild, although it’s always hard to top Pistons assistant coach Rasheed Wallace…
2. Golden State Warriors
Last night against the same Pistons team, Golden State’s Klay Thompson dunked on Kyle Singler. Singler’s legs got tangled or went numb or something, and following the dunk Singler did a stiff-legged stumble into the photographers along the baseline.
It’s a bit tougher to see the bench celebration on this one, but even without Kent Bazemore there to lead the way, the Warriors bench knows how to be explosive after a big play. Watch this GIF of the play and see how the bench shows out. (There’s also the great juxtoposition of the bench getting up as Singler goes down.)
So what say you? Which bench had the better reaction?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Rasheed Wallace retired from the NBA at the end of last season, but he quickly found a new job as a coach with the Detroit Pistons, tutoring their talented big men. He has apparently formed some sort of kinship with Andre Drummond, who Vine’d a video of Rasheed almost dunking in practice a few weeks back, and then yesterday posted a new video of Sheed showing off his dunking skills. Rasheed says this dunk is a tribute to Michael Jordan. Maybe more of a loose interpretation?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I was telling someone over the weekend that Andre Drummond of the Pistons is one of the more underrated NBA players on social media. And if he’s intent on remaining in that rarefied air, he just needs to continue posting funny videos and Vines such as the one below that he posted this weekend. In this Vine, Pistons rookie Tony Mitchell shows off his dunking prowess in an impromptu contest against Pistons assistant coach Rasheed Wallace, who at least makes a run at a dunk here. –
– ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It all started, and of course it did, with Rasheed Wallace. In the second quarter of Game Two of the Heat’s series against Indiana, Pacers F Sam Young was T’d up after getting tangled with LeBron James following a play. It was the kind of play where throughout the postseason we’ve seen a double technical called, just to settle everyone down. But in this case, Young was singled out, and Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw got pretty upset about it. So upset that he, too, was called for a technical foul.
And when Ray Allen missed the technical free throw, Brian Shaw said the only thing he could say:
Ball Don’t Lie isn’t just the name of a terrific basketball blog, it’s a phrase introduced to the hoops lexicon by the imitable Rasheed Wallace. Sheed’s been saying it at least since 2006, and probably well before that. It’s a clever way of saying, “I told you so,” after a missed shot. Of course, it usually comes after a foul or technical foul call, which is why Rasheed was the perfect person to popularize the phrase. –
For what it’s worth, Shaw’s usage didn’t go forgotten: His family couldn’t have been more proud…