ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — On Tuesday earlier this week, I took a flight from New York City to Los Angeles. When we all gathered at the gate to get on the plane, we had to wait a while for the plane to arrive from its earlier flight. Once the plane arrived and we all boarded and got settled, the pilot came on and told us we would be delayed because they were having problems refueling the plane. Once they finally solved that problem, the pilot came back and told us that we’d have to wait to take off because we were deep in the line of planes waiting for clearance. And then we got switched to a different runway and had to go wait in that line. (Note to any pilots out there: If you begin an announcement to the people on your plane by saying, “When it’s going wrong, everything goes wrong,” before the plane is even in the air, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Just saying.)
On Wednesday, the Indiana Pacers won at Utah, and then had a late-night flight scheduled to San Antonio, where they play on Saturday. And that’s where the drama began, as Bleacher Report’s Adam Fromal broke it all down.
First, bad weather forced their plane to land in Houston instead of San Antonio. So they decided to take a bus to San Antonio.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” is set in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, and the show has had plenty of NBA references, from the autographed picture of Larry Bird behind Leslie Knope‘s desk to guests appearances from Roy Hibbert and Detlef Schrempf. (Hibbert discussed his role last year on the Hang Time Podcast, along with former “Parks and Recreaction” writer Chelsea Peretti.)
Last night’s episode of “Parks and Rec” continued this trend, when Pawnee’s high school basketball team squared off against their nemesis Eagleton, which had a star player who seemed a bit mature for high school…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We are deep into training camp and media days, which can mean only one thing: MUSCLEWATCH 2013 is fully upon us. And even as I am knee-deep in MUSCLEWATCH reports, coming in from around the NBA, imagine my surprise last week when I flipped on NBA TV and found MUSCLEWATCH reaching its largest audience yet:
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last season the Golden State Warriors went all fashion-forward and rocked jerseys with short sleeves. No, they weren’t Evansville University, but they were an attempt by adidas and the NBA to do something different. Me, I kind of liked the look, because while I can’t wear a tank top jersey out to dinner, a jersey that is essentially a t-shirt is a bit more acceptable.
Now the Indiana Pacers are taking the plunge — at least temporarily. According to Pacers PR man David Benner, the Pacers will wear short-sleeved jerseys in their summer league games.
The 2013 playoffs have provided many fantastic memories and moments, on and off the court. Players have had a chance to showcase their skills on the biggest stages, and show off their personalities at the podiums. While there have been many unique looks, there have also been a few trends embraced by multiple players. In this spotlight, we’ll take a look at “Stars in Stripes” and the red/pink/orange color scheme that seems to continually pop up in arenas across the country.
As always, keep up with the conversation on Twitter using #NBAStyle.
Mike Conley, featured in last week’s spotlight, pairs a modern beige jacket with a casual black and white striped shirt.
Carmelo Anthony looks classic in a white sweater with thin red and blue stripes.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Indiana Pacers may have lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but Roy Hibbert has stayed winning. Even as the Pacers go fishing, Hibbert is staying busy via social media, because the Roy Hibbert Challenge is now, apparently, a thing, with its own hashtag and everything.
This all started during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, when Hibbert went to the bench in the third quarter. Tired and out of breath, Hibbert plopped down on the bench, was handed a 20 oz. bottle of Gatorade, and, as the broadcast went to commercial, Hibbert proceeded to drain that bottle. Like, fast. A couple of bloggers picked up on this, captured it via Vine and animated GIF, and we all moved on.
One day later, Hibbert tweeted at several people who had tweeted about his conspicuous consumption, and it was on.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Pacers C Roy Hibbert hasn’t always been the beast in the paint he currently stars as for the Indiana Pacers. As a kid, Hibbert admitted to Mashable, he spent a lot of time stirring up online mayhem:
Yeah. I’m not gonna lie. I used to be in AOL chat rooms a lot causing trouble back when you had dial-up modems.
But as the internet matured, so did Hibbert’s athletic ability, and he developed himself into a first-round draft pick out of Georgetown. (Perhaps it helped that Hibbert didn’t have to spend all that time waiting around on dial-up modems any longer.) While it probably didn’t hurt that he’s 7-2., Hibbert’s emergence is not all just height. How has Hibbert built himself into an NBA All-Star?
First of all, he’s strong as heck. Here’s a video of Hibbert deadlifting 540 pounds. -
(There some comments on the Youtube page for that video arguing that what Hibbert is doing is not a true deadlift. Whatever. It’s 540 pounds. I threw my back out lifting up my five-month-old son the other day, and he weighs like 17 pounds. Whatever it is Hibbert is doing, it is impressive.)
Then, to put his strength into practice, Hibbert turned to mixed martial arts training. Last summer, when we had Hibbert on as a guest on the Hang Time Podcast, we had to juggle the schedule a bit because Hibbert had to go to MMA training. You can check that out here… -
The final part of the Roy Hibbert puzzle has been his social media presence. Dude is terrific on Twitter, speaking on politics, making wry observations, even shouting out my favorite TV show:
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER – I have been on the job here at the All Ball Blog since the playoffs started, and somehow we have not had a true Horry Scale-worthy shot in the postseason. There have been a few close calls, sure, but no true buzzer-beating game-winners. That is, until last night, when LeBron James scored a bucket at the buzzer to give the Miami Heat a 103-102 OT win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. -
For those of you who are new around these parts, like myself, 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 (was it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or did it need more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.
How does King James rate? Break down!
Actually, the shot itself wasn’t all that difficult. It was a layup. Lefty, sure, but still, it was a layup. And basically a wide-open layup, at that. Could the shot have been more difficult? For sure. (For instance, it could have been a jumper, open or contested.) But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t difficulty involved in the play, because the real difficulty was drawing up a play to get LeBron so wide open. Watching the play again, Erik Spoelstra initially used LeBron as a decoy, pretending to a set a screen for a cutting Ray Allen, and then ‘Bron spun and flashed to the ball, received the pass, turned and basically just sprinted right by his defender, Paul George. All that early movement had the Heat players running to corners, leaving the middle of the floor wide open, not only of Heat players but also Indiana defenders.
This brings up another way that this play could have been more difficult: If big Roy Hibbert had been in the game guarding the paint for the Pacers. Hibbert averaged 2.6 blocks this season for Indiana, and he had two Wednesday. Indiana coach Frank Vogel removed Hibbert on defense a few times down the stretch, because he didn’t want Hibbert to get stuck on a switch against a smaller player, or have to go out and guard Chris Bosh on the perimeter. And maybe this is just me, but if it were up to me, I’d rather lose on a long jumper from Bosh than a layup by LeBron.
What do you think, Roy, want to second-guess what would have happened if you’d been out there on the play?
The stakes were pretty high, as far as the Heat were concerned: Overtime. Dwyane Wade? Fouled out. Timeouts remaining? None. Heat? Down one. Two-point-two seconds on the clock. Doesn’t get much more tense than that.
It wasn’t the NBA Finals, but being in the playoffs, in the Conference finals, it was as close as you can get without actually getting there. And it wasn’t an elimination game, but other than all that, it doesn’t get much more important.
Whoever was directing this game for TNT did one of my favorite things, where as soon as the shot dropped, they switched to a camera way up at the top of the stadium so we could see the arena explode as the home team stole the win at the buzzer. It’s hard to see in the video above, but LeBron basically did the “stoic” celebration — staying calm, like he’s been in that situation before. My favorite celebration might have been the one from Dwyane Wade on the bench, who jumped about four feet into the air. Sore knee? Who me?
4 Horrys. I may be more lenient than previous teachers you guys have had here, but for me, LeBron’s game-winner ticked all the boxes. The only thing keeping it from being a Five Horry shot for me was that it was a layup. But then, that was due as much to LeBron’s insane athletic ability as it was to anything else. Also, I can’t come right out of the gate awarding Five Horrys to people. So there are still heights waiting to be reached.
While many NBA players have different interpretations of high fashion and the latest trends, some are sticking with basic suits, while still mixing it up a bit. Perhaps the most important facet of today’s suit is an ability to break up the pieces and wear them with other items in your wardrobe. Let’s take a look at several different styles, including trends that can become part of any closet. Keep up with the conversation using #NBAStyle.
THE EXPERTLY TAILORED SUIT
Derrick Rose, Amar’e Stoudemire and Zach Randolph are in favor of finely tailored, slim cuts.