Posts Tagged ‘Ronny Turiaf’

MUSCLEWATCH 2014 (Update 2)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s a Friday in the fall, which means it’s time for…wait for it…MUSCLEWATCH!

What, you may ask, is MUSCLEWATCH? I really hope by now you’re not still asking that question. But basically, it stems from my friend Matt and I noticing years ago that our local paper would always report 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. Previous winners include Thad Young and Rudy Gay.

If you see MUSCLEWATCH info, please tweet it and use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH to help us keep all this info straight.

One question I saw on Twitter that’s worth addressing…

No. Despite my best efforts, it’s impossible to tabulate a precise number. Has anyone counted all the stars in the sky? Do we know how many broken dreams line Broadway? No, no we don’t. It’s better to just understand that there are thousands if not millions of pounds won and lost out there and keep it moving.

WHEN WE LAST LEFT MUSCLEWATCH, there was a lot of sound and fury and MUSCLE, but not a lot of detail. Let’s get into the MUSCLE…

• Once again, actual NBA teams are using the #MUSCLEWATCH hashtag, as we saw in this tweet from the Toronto Raptors regarding Terrence Ross

That tweet was welcome, if a bit vague, so we also appreciate this clarification from Holly McKenzie, from which we learn Ross actually put on the MUSCLEWATCH gold standard of 15 pounds…

HOWEVER! Nobody actually specified if it’s 15 pounds of MUSCLE. And it matters, believe me, it matters.

• Last week we saw a few MUSCLEWATCH names in Minnesota, and we get more detail this, as Anthony Bennett, Ronny Turiaf and Shabazz Muhammad got into some, frankly, really weird workout stuff. Just read the beginning of this story

The children are slipping down Shabazz Muhammad’s back, inches away from falling into a pit of whitewater rapids and fire.
As Muhammad gropes for another handhold, his entire weight and an additional 100 pounds of helpless youth suspended above the perils below, he falters. A pair of guiding hands help steady him but only for a moment. Regaining his balance and summoning some interior-laden surge of strength, he climbs his way to safety while the kids on his back remain unharmed.

They worked out using HELPLESS YOUTH! Children were SLIPPING DOWN HIS BACK INTO A DEATH TRAP WHIRLPOOL! OK, OK, this was all imaginary, but still, this is extreme MUSCLEWATCH. No wonder they call their guy Hell’s Trainer.

Despite the insane workout, Muhammad said he came into camp at 224, which is two pounds more than he supposedly weighed a year ago before the draft. And Bennett, according to the story above, lost “about 10 pounds.” So while they each may be in much better shape, for MUSCLEWATCH purposes they still have some work to do.

Kobe Bryant has had a love-hate relationship with MUSCLEWATCH through the years, and this year is no different. A few months ago, paparazzi photos seemed to suggest that Kobe had put on, well, a few pounds. But then Kobe showed up in camp looking svelte, and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak suggested Kobe had lost 10-12 pounds.

How did Kobe do it? By eating “clean.”

I guess that means a lot of hand washing?

• We need to send a shoutout to Utah Jazz beat writer Jody Genessy from the Deseret News, who has been all over MUSCLEWATCH, including several tweets…

And since we’re talking Jazz, we’ve had our first-ever announcer appearance on MUSCLEWATCH, as Jazz radio voice David Locke was reported to be in phenomenal shape…

I caught up with David this week and he confirmed that he is feeling good, although he noted that once the season begins his bicycling regimen will likely fall by the wayside. Still, a terrific showing all around in Utah. We salute you!

• Bonjour, Monsieur Diaw! Spurs forward Boris Diaw has had some ups and downs with his weight through the years. At Spurs media day this season, coach Gregg Popovich acknowledged Diaw’s struggle…

Boris used social media to respond, as one should, with the following photo and this caption: “No worries pop only one glass of wine and daily workouts!”

No worries pop only one glass of wine and daily workouts!

A photo posted by Borisdiaw (@diawboris) on

Also, thanks to the San Antonio Express News, which put together a 117-photo gallery about which players are and are not arriving in shape in San Antonio.

• WE HAVE A CONTENDER! Add Kendrick Perkins to the long list of guys who have dropped weight this summer, and with Perk, unlike with LeBron and Melo, we actually have a concrete number…

• Up in Boston, Celtics forward Jeff Green has put on some MUSCLE…

And Kelly Olynyk is “definitely stonger,” with a #MUSCLEWATCH in the story!!

• And finally, in Phoenix, Alex Len has apparently added “10-15 pounds.” Of MUSCLE? Well, that’s unclear.

See you next week. Keep MUSCLING!

Ronny Turiaf wired for sound

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com


VIDEO: Ronny Turiaf video bombs Kevin Love’s postgame interview

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Timberwolves big man Ronny Turiaf is one of the best bench guys in the NBA — always engaged, always excitable. (For a case in point, just watch him videobomb Kevin Love‘s interview last night above.)

And even while he’s out injured, he embraces his role as the team’s emotional leader. During a recent game against the Lakers, Turiaf wore a microphone to record what it’s like on the bench during the action. I love how he is more aware of Kevin Love‘s triple-double chase than Kevin Love is…


VIDEO: Turiaf wired for sound

The Minnesota Timberwolves can’t stop playing Flappy Bird

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Have you played the game Flappy Bird on your cellphone? If not, well, that’s too bad, because the game is no longer on the market — the game’s creator removed it from the app store a few weeks back. If you downloaded the game before it left the market, you can still play, but I would advise against this. Why? Because it’s a horribly addictive game. On this point, I can speak from experience.

Flappy Bird is about as simple as they come: You tap the screen over and over to navigate your bird through a series of openings in pipes. Touch a pipe, your bird crashes to earth. That’s it. It’s easy to figure out, easy to control, but the game is just tough enough to make it maddeningly difficult. But as simple as it is, as addictive as it is, there is some terrible zen to be found by hypnotically getting lost in trying to improve upon what you’ve already done.

This has apparently been learned in Minnesota, where as Steve McPherson reports in a fun piece for True Hoop, Flappy Bird has become all the rage in the Timberwolves’ locker room. The top three scorers? Third is Ronny Turiaf with 113; second place belongs to Ricky Rubio with 187. first place belongs to Chase Budinger, who somehow has racked up 327 points. As someone who has spent, ahem, more than a few hours playing Bird, my brain literally cringed a little when I read that score for the first time.

Anyway, as Budinger explains to McPherson…

Budinger will be difficult to top; he has a deep yet nuanced understanding of the game and what it takes to win. “All you do is tap the screen,” he says. “The bird flaps and you gotta go through tunnels. The way to do best at that game is you need to be somewhere alone and quiet. I think on the plane is a good time to play. Or on the bus, even though you’re moving a little bit.”

“Right now,” says Turiaf, “Chase is claiming that when you play without the sound, it helps you get better.”

Apparently, there’s one player who needs to put it on vibrate. Asked who on the team is the worst, Turiaf replies, “By far, and I mean by far: Corey Brewer.”

“I think his high is six,” Budinger says.

Brewer, trotting through the locker room behind Budinger, growls, “Get off me, man. I got seven. Seven’s my high.”

I have to admit, Corey Brewer is a man after my own heart. Or at least my low score.

Luol Deng, How Do You Rate On The Horry Scale?

by Micah Hart



When last we spoke around these parts, we were singing the praises of the Bulls’ Derrick Rose, one of the game’s great closers and someone we expect to see many Horry Scale entries from as the years go by.

Unfortunately Mr. Rose is currently out of the lineup for Chicago, having missed the past six games with a hamstring strain. So when the game came down to the final possession against the Raptors tonight, it brought up a quasi-philosophical question: if the Bulls need a game-winner and Rose isn’t around to take the shot, does it make a sound? (Or something like that).

Looks like we have our answer.

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.

The Bulls may not have Rose, but they still have one more All-Star, and that is Luol Deng. Let’s see how his understudy did:

Difficulty

The time element was the only thing difficult about this shot. Deng set a pick for C.J. Watson at the top of the key, then immediately dove to the basket to put himself in position for exactly what was to come — a potential tip-in situation. I would give Deng credit for a nice box-out to get his hold in the lane, but the Raptors really made it easy on him. To be fair, there is always a lot of chaos in a final-shot scenario like this, it’s easy to lose your man. But Deng faces no opposition at the basket once he gets in the air, and the ensuing tip-in after Watson’s shot comes up short is a piece of cake.

Game Situation

The Raptors led 101-100 after James Johnson hit 1-2 free throws with 15.2 seconds left in overtime, then failed to extend that lead when Gary Forbes missed a pair with 6.4 on the clock. The Bulls then inbounded the ball at midcourt with 6.0 seconds left — plenty of time to get a shot off, but with no room for error since they were trailing.

Importance

Here is what I wrote after Rose’s GWBB back on March 7:

The Bulls fell to the Heat in last season’s Eastern Conference finals, and the two teams appear on a crash course to go at it again this May. With the way Miami has improved, home-court advantage could certainly play a big role in that series, and as such, every win for Chicago will matter from here until the end of the regular season.

Since that win over the Bucks, the Bulls have gone 6-2, but have gained only one game on the Heat in the standings. The sentiment still stands.

Celebration

If I had to make a list of every player in the NBA, then rank them most to least expressive, I’d probably put Deng somewhere next to Tim Duncan down near the very bottom*. So you know Deng has to be pumped to react the way he does after the ball drops — immediately pointing to the stands to celebrate with the fans. Of course by the time the camera pans in on his face the emotion is gone, but we’ll take what we can get from Lu. Bonus points for John Lucas nearly spinning like a top on Deng’s head, plus the shot of Rose watching it all unfold from the bench. By the way, someone tweeted after the game that in the Bulls’ last 82 games covering this season and last, their record is 68-14. Going to be an interesting postseason in the East, no doubt about it.

* Who would be at the top, you ask? That’s easy — Ronny Turiaf.

Grade

3 Horrys. Last-second tip-ins are always a fun sub-genre of the Horry Scale. I’m tempted to debit a half-Horry for the way the Raptors gave this one away, but I won’t. The stakes are always a little higher when you trail at the end, and Deng deserves a lot of credit for making a very difficult situation look relatively easy. Good on the Bulls for doing it all without Rose as well. And the cherry on top? The win made the Bulls the first team in the NBA to clinch a playoff berth this season.

What do you think?

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Why does Ronny Turiaf have such a crazy beard anyway?

by Micah Hart

Desperate to get to the bottom of the mystery that is Ronny Turiaf‘s beard, the New York media pulled out all the stops and sent the one man no Knick player would be able to refuse. Roll it!

Couldn’t you just die? Let’s all remember how cute and cuddly this kid looks now, because I’ve seen what working in the NYC pressure-cooker environment can do to a person.

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You can’t be serious!

by Micah Hart

Have you ever been playing in a basketball game, or watching a basketball game, and seen a referee make a call that you completely disagreed with?  Well, your reaction, whatever it was, pales in comparison to Ronny Turiaf‘s.

Keep in mind, this play came with the Knicks relatively in control, leading 104-95 with a little over four minutes remaining.

This screams for an animated gif Kevin.

Update: Challenge accepted! -Kevin

H/T Posting and Toasting

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