Posts Tagged ‘Scottie Pippen’

Happy birthday to a few Hall of Famers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Here at the All Ball blog, we like to wish the occasional happy birthday to NBA players of varying importance. And today just so happens to be a day where a trio of Hall of Famers (well, two are in and one is likely to be in) all share a birthday.

Let’s start with Chauncey Billups, a.k.a. Mr. Big Shot, a five-time All-Star and the MVP of the 2004 NBA Finals with the Detroit Pistons. Billups retired in 2014, and considering his extensive accolades, the Hall of Fame seems like it should be on the horizon sometime soon.

VIDEO: A look back at Chauncey Billups’ career

Also, happy birthday to Bob McAdoo! McAdoo won two NBA titles as a player with the Lakers, and then two more recently as an assistant with the Miami Heat. The NBA’s MVP in 1975, McAdoo was the NBA’s scoring leader three times and was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

VIDEO: A look back at Bob McAdoo’s career

Finally, happy birthday to Scottie Pippen! One of the most versatile players of all-time, Pippen won six titles as a member of the Chicago Bulls. A member of the 1992 Dream Team and an eight time member of the NBA All-Defense First Team, Pippen was enshrined to the Hall of Fame in 2010.

VIDEO: A look back at Scottie Pippen’s career

Scottie Pippen responds to Shaq, says count the rings

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Yesterday, Shaquille O’Neal took to Instagram to make his case that an all-time Lakers team would win easily against an all-time team of Chicago Bulls players. As you can read in the comments here, you guys had plenty of thoughts and ideas on the topic.

Well, so did Bulls legend Scottie Pippen. The former Bull took to Instagram to point out that while Shaq’s Lakers may have won three titles, Pippen’s Bulls came away with six rings…

Shaq responded in kind, employing something of a sarcastic hashtag. #youwereok

Pippen then went with the obvious about Shaq, invoking his free throw shooting…

Easy big fella… if only you were as good at free throws as you are talking smack! @shaq

A photo posted by Scottie Pippen (@scottiepippen) on

Shaq then walked back his previous criticism a bit, proclaiming Pippen the best sidekick ever…


A photo posted by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

Pippen created a photo montage arguing that if anyone should know about being a sidekick, it’s Shaq…

Speaking of being a sidekick… if I recall correctly you know a thing or two about that as well. @shaq

A photo posted by Scottie Pippen (@scottiepippen) on

Shaq then finished the argument (for now) by invoking Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals, when the Lakers came from behind to get a win to eliminate Pippen and the Blazers…

Shaq says all-time Lakers would destroy Bulls greats

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s always fun to argue about NBA history. Who is the greatest player of all-time? What is the greatest team ever? Could this guy beat this guy? Would this team be able to beat that team?

As it turns out, even former NBA players enjoy being part of the conversation, like how Shaquille O’Neal recently took to Instagram to stir things up. What would happen if a team of former Lakers greats (Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Elgin Baylor, Shaq and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) faced off against a team of Chicago Bulls greats (made up of Derrick Rose, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Horace Grant)?

According to Shaq, the Lakers great would “beat em by 50.”

We would beat em by fifty "what you think". Let me know and don't hold back

A photo posted by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on



Pippen has a different opinion:


Update II:

Shaq responds to Pippen:


What do you think? Is Shaq right?

The Breakdown: The Shrug

VIDEO: The Shrug

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The 2015 NBA Finals begin tomorrow night, but 23 years ago today was Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers, which marks one of the great moments of Michael Jordan‘s career: The Shrug.

If you don’t remember The Shrug, the video is above. Let’s go to the tape for a moment-by-moment breakdown…

0:18 — We see fans streaming into the building, let by a screaming young man wearing a tank top and shorts, who may or may not be dressed to actually play in a basketball game instead of watch it.

0:30 — The Portland Trail Blazers are taking the court, which apparently entails them walking up a few flights of stairs in an old stairwell with wires and cables hanging poking out. Which is quite a juxtaposition to what we normally see these days, with refined architecture and squeaky-clean arenas.

0:36 — The Bulls huddle up and just in front of the camera, Cliff Levingston puts his left hand over Michael Jordan‘s right ear. At first I thought he was just messing with MJ, but Jordan didn’t recoil, which suggests this is something he’s used to. Suddenly, it all makes sense, when Levingston barks out, “WHAT TIME IS IT??” right in Jordan’s ear. So the hand over the ear move is purely practical. This may be one of Levingston’s most important contributions to the Bulls.

1:28 — The Blazers open the game red-hot, making their first seven field goal attempts and jumping out to a 21-15 lead. It is here we get our first glimpse of a younger and sleeker Phil Jackson, looking like a crooked politician in one of the Michael Keaton “Batman” movies.


1:42 — The Bulls players circle up, and while several players are talking, there’s one Bull who isn’t saying a word: Michael Jordan. He comes out of that huddle focused, chomping his gum so hard. You just know bad things are about to happen to the Blazers.

1:47 — Oh man. Danny Ainge tries to get the ball to Clyde Drexler in the post. Jordan jumps the entry pass, steals it, dribbles directly up the court at Ainge, then he avoids Ainge while somehow making him sail into the scorer’s table. No wonder the Celtics won’t make any trades with the Hornets.

1:57 — This is just a peak ’90s moment. These may be the male leads from a Paul Reiser vehicle. (Also, one high five wasn’t enough. GIVE ME TWO HIGH FIVES FOR THAT FADEAWAY JUMPER. Also, my man in the background has an awesome mustache.)


2:09 — Jordan is starting to cook. Meanwhile, Ainge is sooooooo mad. How mad? Mad enough to pound his fist! That’s really, really angry, you guys!

2:25 — OK, game reset: The second quarter is beginning, with the Bulls leading 33-30.

2:37 — Welp, Drexler isn’t giving in. He get a steal and goes coast to coast, and finishes with a nasty dunk in traffic. Drexler was always a much more spectacular dunker than I felt he got credit for. I kinda feel like this Bulls fan after seeing that dunk…


3:05 — Jordan hits a couple of threes, which leads to a shot of Levingston on the bench waving a towel and screaming, “He. Is. Hot. Whooo!” If there were a spiritual successor to Levingston in this year’s Finals, I’d have to go with Draymond Green.

3:11 — Love this from Johnny Bach, Bulls assistant coach: “I said to Phil, ‘Phil, do you sees what’s happening?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’ (laughs) We couldn’t believe it.”

3:36 — This is how you know MJ is cooking: Scottie Pippen misses a layup on the break and MJ’s right there for the follow-dunk. The Blazers are also leaving him room to shoot, which is probably a topic for a different day.

3:49 — Cover that man! I mean, look at this…


On this play, Jerome Kersey‘s actually pulling up his shorts to prepare to defend MJ as Jordan is sticking a three in his face…

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2.34.47 PM 1

4:08 — And then right after we hear that MJ has set an NBA Finals record with 5 three-pointers in a half, he goes and hits his sixth three pointer — again, wide open — and as he runs back down the court next to Cliff Robinson, Jordan throws up The Shrug.


Why is he shrugging? Because he can’t believe all of these shots are going in? Or because he can’t believe they aren’t really defending him, much less double-teaming him and making him give up the ball?

Anyway, it’s all downhill from there, mostly literally for the Blazers. Jordan had 35 in the first half, and finished with 39 in a 122-89 blowout win. The Bulls went on to win the series in Game 6, their second consecutive Finals win (and second of six).

Michael Jordan made a career out of giving us moments. But this one may have been his greatest moment of all of them.

Throwback Thursday: NBA Statues

VIDEO: The Starters: Dominique Wilkins Statue

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: NBA Statues

The Atlanta Hawks will immortalize legendary forward Dominique Wilkins with a statue unveiling at Phillips Arena on Saturday. Wilkins was a 9-time All-Star and averaged 26.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals during his 12 seasons with the Hawks.

As Atlanta prepares to set Wilkins’ history in stone, this Throwback Thursday, we look back at other NBA legends who have been immortalized through statue.

Gallery: Throwback Thursday: NBA Statues

Which NBA statue do you like best? Leave your comments below!

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with John Leguizamo

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks

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. Today we check in with the multihyphenate (writer-actor, producer-director, and on and on) John Leguizamo. Though he was born in Colombia, Leguizamo’s family moved to New York soon after, and a lifelong love affair with basketball and the New York Knicks began. His latest project is the loosely-autobiographical film Fugly!, out now on demand and on iTunes.

ME: I’ve seen you at lots of Knicks games through the years. Did being a fan of the Knicks start as soon you and your family moved to New York?

LEGUIZAMO: Yeah, definitely. I love basketball — that’s what I played growing up. You know, the sport you play is the sport you end up loving to watch. Somehow, it’s reliving the childhood and the life you never had. So yeah, I was a big Knicks fan back in the day — Clyde and up to Patrick Ewing, Sprewell, Starks, LJ, and up to now, the triangle offense, I’m here.

ME: Even these days, when the franchise is rebuilding, are you still fully invested?

LEGUIZAMO: It’s tough. The triangle offense is a tough thing to figure out. I mean, I guess it worked for Phil Jackson in Chicago and L.A., but how is it going to work on these cats who’ve played so differently all their lives, man? I don’t know, it’s a tough thing to watch. It’s like…(laughing) sending troops into war without weapons. I don’t know. It’s like, “Try and use your fist this time instead of a bayonet!”

ME: Also, to be fair, Phil had Jordan and Pippen in Chicago and Shaq and Kobe in L.A. So there may be a bit of a personnel issue with this Knicks team.

LEGUIZAMO: You mean you don’t think Carmelo is Kobe Bryant? (laughs) I mean, who was Michael Jordan anyway? No athlete will ever equal the excellence of that cat, but Kobe was pretty close, man.


ME: Let’s get your predictions for the Christmas Day games. First up is your Knicks hosting the Washington Wizards.

LEGUIZAMO: Aw man. I mean, the Knicks will surprise you out of nowhere man, and maybe this is the time they’ll all come together — J.R. Smith and Shumpert — and maybe they’ll still come together for that. So I’ll give it to the Knicks. I mean, they come out of nowhere sometimes and they figure it out, and somehow the triangle offense comes together and somehow they’re loose and free. Or they get totally shut down, I don’t know.

ME: Right, sometimes it’s more like the Bermuda Triangle offense.

LEGUIZAMO: (laughs) Definitely the Bermuda Triangle. I think the Aztecs used The Triangle when they fought the Conquistadores. And what happened to the that empire?

ME: Yeah, didn’t work out so well. What do you do on Christmas Day? Will you watch games, or what’s your plan?

LEGUIZAMO: Well, we travel far. Our families are gypsies, so last year we went to Peru, and this year I’m going to be in Africa on a safari, not a shooting safari but shooting with my camera.

ME: Sounds amazing. OK, next up is the San Antonio Spurs at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

LEGUIZAMO: Thunder didn’t show up the other night. I mean, Kevin Durant is back, but I’m gonna go Spurs.

ME: Yeah, it’s hard to pick against them. Cleveland Cavaliers at the Miami Heat.

LEGUIZAMO: Aaahhhhhh! Oh dear, that’s gonna be wild. I love LeBron now that he went to the Cavs; somehow he regained my respect and love. But that’s gonna be tough, Look at Dwyane who came in the other day with crazy points. I don’t know, I’m gonna go with the Heat.

ME: Two more. Lakers at the Bulls.

LEGUIZAMO: Bulls. Derrick Rose. That’s all I gotta say, two words: Derrick Rose.

ME: Last one, Los Angeles Clippers at maybe the surprise team of the season, the Golden State Warriors.

LEGUIZAMO: Wow, that’s a tough one. I mean, I love the Clippers, man, I love CP3, and after all they went through, I’m going to do the emotional choice instead of the smart choice (laughing), I’m going to go Clippers.

Throwback Thursday: All-time steals leaders

VIDEO: Best Point Guards: John Stockton

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.

Today’s Topic: All-Time Steals Leaders

Throwback Thursday begins a new series today as we shift our focus to All-Time Statistical leaders. We will look back at the best players in NBA history at each of the major statistical categories.

This week we countdown the Top 10 all-time steals leaders.

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

Gallery: TBT: All-Time Steals Leaders

If you had to count on one player to get you a clutch steal, who out of these ten players would you pick? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: Offseason Blockbusters

VIDEO: Relive some of Charles Barkley’s best plays as a member of the Phoenix Suns

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.

Today’s Topic: Offseason Blockbusters

Just this week, the Cleveland Cavaliers officially introduced All-Star Kevin Love and with that move in mind, we take a look back at some of the biggest offseason trades to go down in recent history.

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

Gallery: TBT: Offseason Blockbusters

Which of these trades do you remember most? Leave your comments below!

Pippen, Barkley teach Harden to have a short memory

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Foot Locker keeps rolling out the NBA-related commercials. In this latest spot, Houston’s James Harden gets advice from Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen on how to keep his mind right while playing in the NBA. I didn’t say it was necessarily good advice…

VIDEO: Short Memory

Jordan Flu Game Details Emerge

1997 NBA Finals Game Five: Chicago Bulls v Utah Jazz

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few months ago we learned that the Jordan XII’s Michael Jordan wore during the famous “Flu Game” — also known as Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals — were going up for auction. At the time, there weren’t many details known, other than Jordan gave the shoes to a Utah Jazz ballboy after the game, and that ballboy had hung onto the shoes for nearly two decades now.

But in a piece in today’s Salt Lake Tribune, that ballboy, named Preston Truman, is sharing his side of the story of how he ended up with the iconic kicks, a tale that involves applesauce, graham crackers and being in the right place at the right time.

It’s a fun read, and reveals some cool details from behind the scenes of one of the most memorable NBA games of all-time. From the article…

[Truman] was one of the first in the building to know that Jordan would play that night when, as Bulls coach Phil Jackson gathered the team to go onto the court, Jordan finally got up and put his jersey on. He watched Jordan struggle back to the bench during timeouts; he ran Jordan a spoon for three small cups of applesauce at halftime; he heard Jordan tell doctors “F— no” when they suggested he sit out for a while.

Truman’s parents would later tease him because the broadcast showed him — a lifelong Jazz fan — patting MJ on the shoulder after he wrapped him in a towel.

When Jordan hit the clinching shot and leaned into Pippen’s arms, barely able to stand, Truman estimates he was 5 feet away.

“I was like ‘I think I’m going to see this again and again.’”

(via Salt Lake Tribune)