Posts Tagged ‘Russell Westbrook’

Oklahoma City Thunder introduce new alternate jerseys


VIDEO: New Thunder jerseys

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Oklahoma City Thunder have played it mostly safe when it comes to uniform designs, with white home uniforms, blue road uniforms, and then a navy blue alternate kit they would break out occasionally. But yesterday the Thunder introduced a new look they call their “pride” jerseys: White sleeved jerseys with the team’s logo on the chest, so you get a huge OKC on the front. I particularly like the shorts, with the orange and blue stripes criss-crossing.

Snoop Dogg starts recruiting Russell Westbrook to the Lakers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Los Angeles Lakers may not be very good this season — they are currently 13-40 — but they have a chance to improve down the road, as they could have a pretty good draft pick coming up (depending where it lands), and then have a chance to add parts via free agency. So it’s understandable if Lakers fans are looking toward the future. But rapper and Lakers fan Snoop Dogg is not only looking toward the future, he’s actively trying to change it. Yesterday he took to Instagram to post a photoshopped image of Russell Westbrook, OKC pg and All-Star MVP, who could hit free agency in 2017. Westbrook is not only a great player, but he’s a Los Angeles native. And he’ll probably be a target for the next few years.

Come on home !!

A photo posted by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on

Russell Westbrook hit his head against the backboard

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — During the All-Star practice on Saturday, there was a moment when the Western Conference All-Stars were hanging around out on the court, waiting for their next drill. Then someone threw an alley-oop, and with just one step of run-up, Russell Westbrook soared into the air for a dunk. It basically went unnoticed in the moment — another dunk in a weekend full of dunking — but watching it happen, I was reminded of how, when he’s healthy, there may not be a better all-around athlete in the NBA than Westbrook.

Westbrook showed his all-around ability again last night by scoring 41 points to lead the West to the win and taking the All-Star MVP award. But there was one play in the game that might have gone overlooked but really showcased Westbrook’s incredible athletic ability. During the third quarter, someone tossed Russ an alley-oop, and when he went up to get it, he went so high that he hit his head on the rim backboard…

A few seconds later, Westbrook grabbed his noggin to make sure all was well…

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(GIF via Deadspin)

Russell Westbrook is still waiting for his high five

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Two nights ago during the Thunder/Magic game, when Reggie Jackson pulled off his magical shot, there was a moment later in the game worth reliving. As the Thunder walked off the court for a timeout, Russell Westbrook was high-fiving his teammates, and he ended up whiffing on a high five with Jeremy Lamb. But instead of keeping it moving, Westbrook could not just let it go…

And as ESPN’s Royce Young pointed out, Westbrook apparently has a thing about hanging high fives…


VIDEO: Westbrook KD high five

Moral of the story? Don’t leave Russell Westbrook hanging.

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.

Russell Westbrook out-jumps a seven-footer

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We know Russell Westbrook is one of the most athletic, explosive guards in the NBA today. But sometimes it’s hard to get a handle on just how incredible that athleticism is. There was a pretty good example, however, in the Thunder’s win yesterday over the Phoenix Suns. Westbrook, who is listed at 6-3, faced off for a jump ball against the 7-1 Alex Len. And yeah, I know we can parse this play and say Westbrook may not have technically “won” the tip — i.e. the ball didn’t go exactly the way Westbrook was trying to tip it — but at the very least it’s clear that Westbrook was right there with Len meeting the ball at its apex. Impressive either way…


VIDEO: Westbrook tip

Russell Westbrook is an intense personal trainer

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In this latest spot from Foot Locker, we see what would happen if you — a young, developing basketball player — were tutored by Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook. He will teach you how to be a great basketball player, sure, but make certain you’re ready for a glass of water in the face and a battery of challenging drills before you sign up. SPLASH!


VIDEO: Westbrook Fly

Russell Westbrook dressed to impress last night

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — First of all, let’s make one thing clear: Russell Westbrook was incredible last night. Leading a Thunder team riddled with injuries, Westbrook was nearly unstoppable, finishing with 38 points and 6 assists against Portland in a losing effort.

But that performance was a bit overshadowed by his style performance off the floor, including this Mylar jacket Westbrook wore to the game.

And as often happens, Twitter went in on Westbrook’s gear…

Oklahoma City Thunder players love Halloween

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Every year around Halloween, it seems as if we see a lot of pictures of members of the OKC Thunder in full costume, ready to go door to door for candy. I’m sure many teams do it, but the Thunder sure seems to have a high rate of participation, as we saw last year. We’re still a week away from Halloween, but the Thunder started getting dressed up early, as a bunch of Thunder players posted pics from a Halloween party on social media this weekend.

Russell Westbrook as Officer Mendez from Orange Is The New Black

Mendez is the man!!! Lol

A photo posted by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on

Piper – G. Mendez – Taystee @erinevans1 @russwest44 @ninamari3_ #orangeisthenewblack #therealmendez

A photo posted by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on

Steven Adams as Tom Hanks in Castaway

Halloween party in full effect! 🎃👻

A photo posted by Andre Roberson (@flydre21) on

Nick Collison and Andre Roberson as Ghostbusters…

Who you gonna call? @mcg5 @therealwilsont @flydre21

A photo posted by Nick Collison (@nicholascollison) on

Mitch McGary as Bane and Lance Thomas as Finn…

#ftb @nicholascollison @flydre21

A photo posted by Mitch McGary (@mitchmcgary_33) on

(via NewsOK)

Denver Nuggets mascot makes unsanctioned political appearance

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Sports mascots are, at their core, a conduit for fun. They are their team’s common denominators, a representative of every fan, from the front row to the cheap seats. But out in Denver, longtime Nuggets mascot Rocky the mountain lion made an off-court appearance this week that caught some people by surprise, apparently including his employers.

Earlier this week, Rocky made an appearance at a Colorado Republican rally. As the Denver Post reports

Nuggets marketing manager Graham Wincott, who handles Rocky and his appearances, said the team’s mascot showing up at the GOP event was “an unsanctioned, unpaid appearance that we had no knowledge of.”

Denver sports figures have been to political events in the past, but sports teams and organizations typically stay away from any kind of political endorsements or appearances, which is why the Kroenke brass was surprised by the appearance.

“As a sports team, we want to be apolitical,” Wincott said. “Two things we never touch on are politics and religion.”

The Nuggets’ mascot was bouncing around at the Colorado Republican Party rally Monday at Heritage High School. Top players on the Colorado GOP ticket were at the event, which included 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Wincott said the KSE management team met Tuesday “with the actor who plays Rocky to figure out exactly how it happened and what transpired and get to the bottom of how all this occurred.”

If nothing else, this gives us a chance to check out some of Rocky’s greatest hits, like his recent dust-up with Russell Westbrook or, as in the video below, a classic run-in with his longtime nemesis, Charles Barkley


VIDEO: Rocky vs Lakers/Barkley