Posts Tagged ‘San Antonio Spurs’

Spurs’ Team Selfie Takes Twitter By Storm

By Nick Margiasso IV

Hey, Oscars … anything you can do, the San Antonio Spurs can do better. Tuesday afternoon, the Western Conference’s top-seeded squad took a cue from last month’s now infamous and star-studded selfie posted by daytime talk show celeb Ellen DeGeneres at the aforementioned award show, posting one of their own to kick off the team’s upcoming fan night festivities.

So, eat your heart out Ellen and friends!

–Coach Pop & the crew

Follow the team on Twitter @spurs.

Best of times, worst of times for mascots

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week we noted the reported retirement of Bango the Buck as well as the return of The Raptor in Toronto. This week we check back in to find a mascot missing his eyes, as well as a mascot with a penchant for making amazing shots…

Let’s start in Denver, where Nuggets mascot Rocky shows off his ability to make all sorts of incredible trick shots…


VIDEO: Rocky scores

Meanwhile, down in San Antonio, Spurs mascot Coyote bounced off of Denver’s Aaron Brooks, and the collision caused his eyes to pop out. Which has to be a bummer.


VIDEO: Coyote loses eyes

(Rocky via TNLP)

Ginobili goes extra mile to meet expedition-minded Argentines

By Jeff Case

The list of Argentinian players who have logged time on an NBA court is pretty small, but perhaps the best known/best loved among those names is Spurs swingman Manu Ginobili.

Ginobili has endeared himself to many basketball fans around the globe during his 12 seasons in San Antonio (including, of course, Charles Barkley) for his on-court play, sense of humor and his quick wits (especially if you’re a bat).

That brings us to Juan Rizzati and Santiago Uranga, two Argentinians who are in the midst of an Argentina-to-Alaska trek in an old Fiat 600.

Along the way up north, the duo stopped in San Antonio for a Spurs game. They told team officials of their travel plans and their ultimate goal and Ginobili was more than happy to meet the pair before a recent Spurs home game:


VIDEO: Argentinian travelers meet Manu Ginobili

Needless to say, this will probably be one of the highlights of the trip for Rizzati and Uranga.

Win a truck tricked out by Tim Duncan

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Just last week we joked about whether or not Tim Duncan may or may not actually be a robot. Of course, Tim Duncan isn’t a robot — well, probably not. And we know this because even though he keeps it very quiet, Duncan has interest in things above and beyond basketball, like car customization. In fact, Duncan owns an auto shop in San Antonio where he finds his zen by getting dirty.

Now a San Antonio auto dealer has teamed up with Duncan to give away a truck personally customized by Duncan…


VIDEO: Duncan Truck

(via TNLP)

Do Sleeved Jerseys Help Shooting?

Miami Heat  v San Antonio Spurs

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week, after the Miami Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James was not happy. He finished the game shooting 6-of-18 from the field, and he had one immediate suggestion for his poor shooting night.

“I’m not making excuses, but I’m not a big fan of the jerseys,” LeBron said. “Every time I shoot it feels like it’s just pulling right up underneath my arm. I already don’t have much room for error on my jump shot. It’s definitely not a good thing.”

(His teammate, Dwyane Wade, had a different response: “It ain’t the reason we lost. You’re just not used to it. They [the Spurs] didn’t have a problem with it. It is what it is. Let’s not make this about a jersey, please. We got our butts kicked. That’s it.”)

Ever since the NBA introduced sleeved jerseys last season, response seems to fall on both sides. Both players and fans have been vocal about their feelings — some love them, some hate them. Although as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at the All-Star Game, “From a fan standpoint, the greatest indicator is how are they selling, and I’ll say we’re having trouble keeping them in the stores. There’s enormous demand for those jerseys. Fans like them and I happen to like them, too.”

LeBron may not enjoy wearing them, but perhaps LeBron is the outlier here? While King James says he hasn’t been as successful in the sleeves, according to statistician Ed Kupfer, who works with the Houston Rockets, teams wearing sleeved jerseys have on the whole shot better than teams in tank tops.

Kupfer later clarified that this was eFG%, or “effective field goal percentage,” which basically factors in that three-pointers are worth more than two pointers. (Here’s an explanation.)

But even in raw numbers, three-point percentages seem to be up while wearing sleeves…

And sure, I understand that we’re dealing with a much smaller sample size here when it comes to the sleeved jerseys, but numbers never lie, right? Or maybe they do?

Either way, perhaps there are some players who are just beyond sleeves…


VIDEO: Bird in 1988

(via B/R)

Tim Duncan Helps District Attorney Win Election

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — For very many years, I used to regularly refer to Tim Duncan as The Tim Duncan Robot. I did this as a tribute to Duncan, because no player of his era has played with the same kind of emotionless, ruthless efficiency and dedication to perfection, night after night after night. So it made me chuckle this morning when I listened to a recording Duncan made for his friend, San Antonio political candidate Nicolas LaHood, who was running for District Attorney. Who better to record a robo-call than the Tim Duncan Robot?

(By the way, you know how Duncan is so committed to winning? His buddy LaHood won his race by about 50 votes.)

(via Hardwood Paroxysm)

Manu’s Foot Rips Through Left Shoe

Manu Ginobili has spent a career defying the ordinary on the court, routinely diming through opponents’ legs, using his punch-drunk lefty style to throw defenders off and squeezing through the most unlikely crevices to get his shot off. He also helped popularize the Euro-step (which was being executed as early as the 1960s, as Elgin Baylor shows us) to a fresh generation.

But one step Wednesday night in San Antonio might be as noteworthy as any he’s taken. Guarding Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey on a drive right before the half, he slipped. Trying to get up, he slipped again, before realizing that his left sneaker had become obsolete.

Who is more surprised: Manu or Nike? There are certain things that happen in life that, as grandma puts it, just don’t make no sense.


VIDEO: Manu Ginobili tears through left shoe while defending

Here is a close-up of the ruptured shoe in question, courtesy of Nike Kicks associate editor George Kiel. Looks like Ginobili is jumping on Team LeBron for his next pair.

The 2013-14 All Ball YOLO All-Stars

j.r.-tucker

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If there’s one thing I’ve learned from attending a dozen All-Star Weekends, it’s that at its core, All-Star Weekend is about the fans. The fans actually select the starting line-ups, and fans travel from near and far to hit up Jam Session and All-Star Saturday Night and the Rising Stars Challenge and, of course, all the parties.

In some broader sense, the All-Star Game is about recognizing the best players from each conference. Sure, there are a couple of rim-rattling dunks and the occasional long-range shot that falls. And if you’re lucky, really lucky, the game is close down the stretch, and then everyone’s competitive juices kick in and you might just get a memorable finale. The main purposes of most participants in the actual All-Star Game? They wear funky uniforms, get a little run in, hang out with their buddies, and then they go back to their own teams for the stretch run and the Playoffs.

But that’s not why I’m watching the All-Star Game. And I think most people tuning in or even attending All-Star are looking to have a similar question answered: Are we not entertained? No matter what the Fun Police tell you, at All-Star weekend, nobody is looking at efficiency stats or plus/minus ratings. We want to see Shaq playing point guard. We want to see Gilbert Arenas joining the Elvis impersonators and dunking off of a trampoline. Simply put: We want the All-Star Game — and the entire weekend, really — to be fun.

So you can argue all you want about who does and who doesn’t deserve to be named to the actual Eastern and Western Conference All-Star teams. Instead, I present to you my annual YOLO All-Stars. (If you didn’t know, YOLO is an acronym for You Only Live Once.) These are the guys who deserve to be All-Stars based on my own vague All Ball Blog criteria. I considered all of the following elements: hilarity; social media proficiency; general swag; likelihood the player will do something memorable; dunking/dribbling/shooting ability; previous Shaqtin’ A Fool appearances; mentions on the All Ball Blog.

To be clear, those categories are listed in no particular order, with no importance or weight to any given specific category. These are just the players I think it would be fun to see in an All-Star Game. If we want to be entertained, these are the players that will give it to us. Meet your 2013-14 NBA YOLO All-Stars…

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Starters
C – Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers — Always a blast on Twitter, and a man who appreciates good humor.
F – Chris Bosh, Miami Heat — Will be in charge of all videobombing.
F – LeBron James, Miami Heat — Not only is he a force on Twitter, which is good enough to qualify for the YOLO All-Stars, but he’s also the reigning MVP, so that wins him an invite.
G – J.R. Smith, New York Knicks — In the YOLO All-Star Game, untying shoes will be encouraged.
G – Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers — UNCLE DREW!

Bench
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks — The Greek Freak is perhaps the most unconventional athlete in the league, so you never know what he’s going to pull off next. He also loves smoothies, and with the All-Star Game being played in the newly-named Smoothie King Center, what could be more perfect?
Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors — One of my favorites on social media.
Andray Blatche, Brooklyn Nets — Eurostep!
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons — Will be in charge of Vine videos throughout the weekend.
Metta World Peace, New York Knicks — Still the best.
Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers — He may not have made the actual All-Star Game, but I can’t knock his hustle. Besides, he dunked on a ref, which is awesome.
Kevin Seraphin, Washington Wizards — Anyone with a pet snake named Snakey and a skeleton that rides a Segway is a lifetime YOLO All-Star.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Starters
C – Robin Lopez, Portland Trail Blazers — He’s a nerd and he’s proud of it.
F – Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves — We’ll have him making coffee for everyone.
F – Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder — If LeBron is on the East, we might as well put KD on the West.
G – Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers — My favorite dribbler in the NBA.
G – James Harden, Houston Rockets — The beard is fun on its own, but Harden’s also made a heavy push into social media the last few years. Maybe he can perform at halftime.

Bench
Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers — You can’t have a YOLO game without Swaggy P.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers — Founder of #4BarFriday.
Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies — Perhaps my favorite NBA player to challenge his team owner to a game of one-on-one.
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs — Broken nose and all, Bonner is always entertaining.
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors — Always a candidate to dunk on someone. Or to review an episode of “Breaking Bad.”
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings — Hard not to select someone who’s nickname is “Boogie.”
JaVale McGee, Denver Nuggets (Injured) — Really the perfect player for this game.
Nate Robinson, Denver Nuggets (Injured) — Go long, Nate will throw you the pineapple.

So there’s my YOLO All-Stars. Who would you put on your YOLO All-Star team? Let us know below in the comments!

Bird Takes In Wizards Game From Front-Row Perch

 

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night’s Wizards/Spurs game in Washington D.C. was a terrific battle, a game that went into double overtime before the Spurs were finally able to outlast the Wiz, 125-118. And just when you’ve think you’ve seen everything at an NBA game, something else wacky happens. As the first half was drawing to a close, a bird not only got loose in the Verizon Center arena, it decided to hang out on the top of the backboard.

Pretty chill bird, there, and they managed to get the flappy bird to fly away without much of a delay. But what it reminded me of was an incident during the 2009 playoffs. During Game 2 of the Hawks/Heat series played in Atlanta, the Hawks’ live mascot, a hawk named Spirit, got loose in Philips Arena. Spirit perched on the backboard cam and then the apex predator went up into the stands and hung out on a railing among Hawks fans. Luckily, nobody was hurt in either Atlanta or D.C.

If you ask me, these situations are really for the birds.
-

VIDEO: Spirit the Hawk Makes Appearance

Gregg Popovich Continues Compelling Sideline Interview Tour

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We have previously observed Gregg Popovich‘s ability to turn any sideline interview into performance art. Last night, as the injury-plagued Spurs trailed heading to the fourth quarter against the Bulls, Coach Pop used the sideline interview with ESPN’s Mark Jones to really boil the game down to its essence…


VIDEO: Pop’s Two Word Interview