Posts Tagged ‘San Antonio Spurs’

Throwback Thursday: Classic ring ceremonies


VIDEO: Relive the San Antonio Spurs’ 2014 championship ring ceremony

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Classic Ring Ceremonies

Opening night in the NBA is reason to celebrate in and of itself, but for the team that won the title the season before, it takes on special meaning. Last season’s NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs, got their championship rings on Tuesday night before their home (and season) opening game against the Dallas Mavericks.

With that in mind, we take a look back today at some great ring ceremony moments from throughout NBA history.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Classic Ring Ceremonies

Got a favorite ring ceremony memory or anything else to share on Throwback Thursday? Let us know by using the hashtag #NBATBT or visit for NBA.com’s Throwback Thursday page.

 

Charlotte Hornets introduce biggest burger ever


VIDEO: Lang at Barclays

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — This summer the Charlotte Hornets went out and, building on last season’s success, signed Lance Stephenson and Marvin Williams, setting themselves up as contenders on the court. And they’re also stepping up their game in the…kitchen?

Food options at NBA games is a big deal, as you can see in the video above from Barclays Center in New York. And the Hornets may have jumped into the lead among people seeking calorie explosions with their new option, Hugo’s Boss Burger, which features 8(!!!) pounds of meat and costs $70…

The Hornets’ main competition for NBA food supremacy may come, ironically enough, from the defending champs Spurs, who late last season introduced a sandwich covered in onion rings.

Your move, Cleveland…

Talk Show: Ernie Johnson

Indiana Pacers vs Miami Heat - Game Two

NEW YORK CITY — Tonight’s tip-off of the NBA on TNT marks not only the 31st year that Turner Sports has been involved with the NBA, but also the 25th year that Ernie Johnson has been the man in the middle of it all. As the host of “Inside the NBA,” TNT’s award-winning studio show, Johnson maintains a semblance of control over a panel featuring Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal, during what usually turns into a free-wheeling free-for-all at the end of a long night of games. With the TNT crew in New York City for their season tip-off show tonight live from Times Square, I sat down with EJ yesterday to talk about Inside’s wild ride.

ME: I saw a clip the other day of Charles and you together in the studio, maybe for the first time, back in the early ’90s.

JOHNSON: Yeah, when he was still playing.

ME: Right. And his voice was completely different …

JOHNSON: Oh, I know! “These two teams have some hostility …” He wasn’t The Chuckster.

ME: When he started regularly on “Inside” 15 years ago now, was he closer to what we see now than what we saw in that old clip?

JOHNSON: Yeah, I thought so. Back then, when he was a player, and I think you see this a lot, players aren’t going to say anything while they’re still playing that might get to somebody. If we’re showing video of somebody in a fight and he says, “Those are two guys who couldn’t break a pane of glass,” then he’s going to hear it next he’s playing against them. I think by the time he got to us — that was probably ’92 or ’93 that first time — he had become the most quotable guy in the league, all-interview team. So all of that built up to when he’s done playing, he had to be on TV and hopefully he would be with us. He’s closer to this than he was to that at the start, if that makes any sense.

ME: Whenever I come by the studios in Atlanta, you’re there in your office hours ahead of being on the air. What is a day like for you? How do you prepare?

JOHNSON: I try to be there 6-7 hours before we go on the air. And I think it’s all because after this many years you get a repetition and you know what a game day is like. It’s not unlike a player’s game day ritual. A player’s going to eat at this time and get to the arena by this time. Like Alex Gordon of the Royals, he’s got this game day regimen where he’s at the ballpark by noon, and he’s working out until this time, he’s got a stopwatch, he’s doing this, doing this, doing this. And I kind of have that same deal, where I use this time to recap last night for my files, I need this time to read the articles from around the country about the teams that are playing tonight, then we have the production meeting, so … it all falls out from that. To me it’s always been about the preparation, and if the day comes when you don’t want to do all the prep work, it’s time for me to say, later. But that hasn’t happened. I still love that. That’s the work. The show is fun, the prep is all the work, and if that prep ever gets to the point where I don’t feel like doing it, I need to check out.


VIDEO: NBA Rookies: Inside Inside

ME: I read an interview with you recently where you said your role on the show is basically being a rogue traffic cop.

JOHNSON: That was that Rolling Stone interview.

ME: Right. You’re usually the one asking the questions of the analysts and the players, but you have opinions yourself and you’ve been doing this 25 years, so, let me ask you, who do you think wins the West and the East this season?

JOHNSON: I think Chicago would be the favorite right now, and I think San Antonio would be the team to beat in the West right now, but again, so many things happen. You know, Kawhi Leonard has played one preseason game and now he’s got this eye thing, so, you don’t know. And Kevin Durant, does he come back 100-percent, or is that something that nags him? So that’s why it’s hard to do that. And you know what? I will share my opinions on that show when I feel like I need to. I got three guys here who have been in every conceivable NBA situation. They’re the ones who fans want to hear from. Sometimes you can tell how I feel because I’m going to throw a question out there that reflects where I’m coming from. But then like in a league-wide situation, I wasn’t hesitant at all to speak out on the Donald Sterling thing last year. That first day I said, “Look, if those are his words, the league has no place for him.” I think knowing your role is a big part of that, and knowing how to get these guys where they want to be, and knowing that if I ask Shaq this, Charles is going to broadside him, that’s where the rogue traffic cop comes in.

ME: How has it changed through the years about working with these three guys?

JOHNSON: I don’t think it’s changed very much. The first night that we ever did a show, Kenny and Charles walked out, and Charles asked Kenny what he was going to say about something, and Kenny said, “You’ll find out.” And that hasn’t changed. That’s been the way we do business. We’ve never said, like, “Hey this year why don’t we have everybody in the production meeting and rehearse each segment twice so we know exactly how long it’s going to last.” That would kill the show. It’s continued in what it does well, and that’s spontaneous, off-the-cuff, unrehearsed, unpredictable. And so no, I don’t think we’ve changed a whole lot.

ME: I guess the most obvious change was when you added Shaq a few years ago.

JOHNSON: You bring Shaq into that dynamic, and he’s the world’s biggest kid. I think what got his attention about the show is all the fun that we have, all the laughs, and that’s what he likes to do. As soon as got a grip on the fact that he had to do some homework. And I told him that the first couple months we all worked together. I said, “As much funny stuff as Chuck says and as outrageous as some of the stuff might be, he comes to the studio every night with at least five things he wants to unload before the night’s over. So do the same thing. Have a take on this team or that team.” And he’s done that. The three guys are so different and come at it from different perspectives, and it’s up to me to move it around.

ME: Charles said he doesn’t know how much longer he’ll do this. How long do you think you guys can keep this up?

JOHNSON: I didn’t think we’d be here today. Because what was it, 2000 when we started? I thought, you know what, when the novelty wears off for Charles, whatever time we can get and have the chance to work together, it’ll be fun. I never thought that coming into the 2014-15 season, we’d be talking about, “Here comes another year with all of us.” And then adding Shaq the last few. In this business you never have the next show guaranteed. And so, I always think whatever we’ve done has been a blessing to do it. Believe me, when we sit out there to get ready to do a show, there’s not a time you don’t look around at these guys and say, “Do you know how many people would like to be sitting in my chair?”

Tim Duncan made a Punisher car

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERTim Duncan‘s love for the comic book character The Punisher has been well-documented. He was in a Punisher comic book, and the man has a Punisher knee brace, for goodness sake.

So perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when Duncan showed up at the Heroes and Festivals convention this weekend to sign copies of his comic book and he unveiled a Punisher-themed car made by his BlackJack Speed Shop. According to MySA, the car will be raffled off for charity at a later date. Don’t be surprised if Duncan buys all the tickets.

(via TNLP)

San Antonio Spurs to give away replica championship rings

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week while we were in Chicago on the Hang Time Road Trip, our co-host, Rick Fox, suddenly produced his three NBA championship rings. He gave one each to Sekou and myself to wear for a video we were shooting, and so Sekou and I temporarily put a ring on it.

The truth is, I was so nervous the entire time I had that ring on that I was not comfortable at all, and I couldn’t wait to give it back to Rick. Championship rings are one of the most prized possessions in sports, and while I was proud of Rick for winning a handful, I wanted nothing to do with being in charge of one of those things, even for ten minutes.

Now if it was a replica ring? Oh yeah, sure, hand it over. Which is exactly how the Spurs are celebrating their home opener this season in San Antonio. Every fan attending the Spurs/Mavs game on October 28 will receive a replica championship ring.

According to the Spurs, “The commemorative NBA Championship rings feature the iconic Spur logo on the front and the team’s 2013-14 regular and post-season records above the NBA logo on the left panel. The opposite panel is etched with a replica of the Larry O’Brien trophy with five studs, representing each of the Spurs’ five championships. The giveaway is limited to one commemorative ring per ticketed guest and is ONE SIZE ONLY for all.”

commemorative_championship_ring_1

We saw some cool giveaways from the Grizzlies, but this one might take the prize…

(via TNLP)

Matt Bonner goes sandwich hunting in Germany

By Jeff Case

Perhaps the most famous foodie in the NBA, San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner is a well-documented lover of sandwiches (and, really, any kind of grub). As the Spurs are overseas this week readying for preseason games in Germany and Turkey, Bonner has taken in the local sights (and chow) while he’s in Berlin.

And what better place for Bonner to give his expert critique than the famous Hasir Restaurant. It was there that Bonner tried the Döner Kebap sandwich, which is nearly as popular in Germany as hamburgers and hot dogs are.


VIDEO: Matt Bonner tries out the Döner Kebap sandwich

Spurs, mascot take in Germany’s sights

By Jeff Case

By design, the NBA preseason puts just about every team in a variety of environments other than their home stadium. From a jaunt to nearby-ish locales (such as the Toronto Raptors heading to Vancouver yesterday to take on the Sacramento Kings) to the NBA’s Global Games (the full schedule is here), the preseason is an opportunity for non-NBA cities to get a look at the world’s best basketball players.

The defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs are part of the 2014 Global Games slate and have two games overseas this week: Oct. 8 vs. Alba Berlin in Berlin, Germany and Oct. 11 vs. Fenerbahçe Ülker Istanbul in Istanbul, Turkey. The team left for Germany last Friday and has been there since, practicing and such as it readies for the Wednesday night game.

But when they’re not practicing, some of the Spurs (and the team’s mascot, Coyote) took in the sights in Berlin. First, here’s the mascot …


VIDEO: Coyote treks about Berlin

And here’s Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills chatting up and visiting with the locals …


VIDEO: Mills, Splitter meet with fans in Germany

 

 

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!”

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!

Patty Mills Can’t Stop Singing

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Hey, sometimes you can’t just turn it off. When you have the music in you, you have to let it our, whether you’re in the shower or on a road trip. Last year we saw Patty Mills (with help from Boris Diaw) giving karaoke a try. And yesterday Mills gave us a video of himself driving while soulfully singing “The Tracks Of My Tears.” He’s even got the fake microphone and everything…

Tony Parker nails another trick shot

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few weeks ago we saw Tony Parker and a trick shot artist making all sorts of crazy shots in a viral video. At the time, I questioned the veracity of the video. Now a different video has emerged that would seem to validate Tony Parker as some sort of trick shot genius. Check the Vine below, in which Tony P nails a halfcourt show with his back to the basket. Do we believe him? Is Tony a trick shot savant?