ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — At one point just before last night’s All-Star Game, I looked down from my seat in the media section and noticed Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, coaching the Western Conference All-Stars, reach down, grab a dry erase board and start scribbling a play. It made me wonder exactly what kind of plays an All-Star team would utilize. But apparently, as the broadcast uncovered, Kerr knew the best way to coach the All-Star Game was to look like you’re busy but not really do all that much…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Back in 2012, Tyson Chandler was named the NBA’s defensive player of the year. Two years later, looks like he’s still got a knack for stopping his man at all costs.
Against the Warriors on Saturday night, Chandler was defending Marreese Speights, who lost a shoe during the run of play. It was pretty impressive when Steph Curry picked up the shoe and tossed it out of the way during a halfcourt set. But on the next Golden State possession, when Curry tried to toss the shoe back to Speights, Tyson Chandler was having none of it…
Steve Kerr has never coached in the NBA before. Nor has he coached in the NCAA, or MLB, or the NHL … or the NFL. But that doesn’t stop him from seeking advice from the most innovative and successful football coaches in the business, so Kerr paid a visit to Seattle Seahawks training camp yesterday. He wanted to see Pete Carroll’s coaching philosophy up close and in person.
The Seahawks, of course, have plenty of NBA fans on the roster. Carroll likes to get each day of camp started with a fun competition, so wide receiver Bryan Walters challenged the Warriors’ new coach to a shooting contest. Doug Baldwin was kind enough to tweet the play-by-play:
Kerr wasn’t the only Warriors staffer to visit an NFL training camp yesterday. NBA legend and Warriors consultant Jerry West was spotted at New Orelans Saints practice today with Saints general manager Mickey Loomis. If nothing else, the Warriors might be one of the toughest teams on the hardwood this season.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Different players prepare for NBA games in different ways. Some guys stay in and nap all day, others squeeze in a light workout or a massage, to have their bodies prepared for a few hours of hard work. And then there was the Toni Kukoc method, as we heard about from Steve Kerr on the latest edition of NBA TV’s “Open Court” series. Check out the clip below, and be sure you stay tuned for Kerr’s turn at the mic… –
A lot of disagreement out there in the NBA atmosphere about the finish to the Heat-Jazz game tonight in Utah, a game the Jazz won 99-98. On the game’s final play, LeBron James slipped a pass to his teammate Udonis Haslem, who missed a potential game-winning jumper just before the buzzer sounded. Many think LeBron should have taken the final shot. Others say he made the correct decision to hit the open man. Who is right and who is wrong? We take sides:
Bron’s strengths are known and undeniable. He led the Heat from down double digits, including two huge shots in the final minute. He just came from another last-possession gaffe in the All-Star game, in which he inexplicably passed the ball across court (into the arms of an opposing player). So with seconds left and a chance to win the game in Utah, he had a chance to redeem. He passed again. Yes, Haslem was open. Yes it was the “right” basketball play. But if you’re the best player, you can’t keep deferring on the final play. I’m not talking about a single play here…I’m talking about a pattern. — Zettler Clay
I’m no LeBron lover, but the guy can’t win for trying. It’s not like he passed up a wide-open shot for himself, he drew the coverage and made the correct play to a teammate for a wide-open shot. This is the NBA – every player on the court save the Joel Anthonys of the world should be relied upon to make open shots, and the mid-range jumper is Haslem’s bread and butter. It’s probably why they drew that play up in the first place. People on Twitter keep saying things like “MJ would never pass there”, but I seem to recall Steve Kerr hitting a rather important game-winner in a deciding Finals game. — Micah Hart
Yes, Kerr knocked down that jumper at the top of the key. But that was an exception to the Jordan mythology. Bron passing on the last shot…is the norm. And hence the rub: People aren’t mad at Bron for making the “right” play. It’s the constant deferring that grates viewers. Here is arguably the most physically gifted player we’ve ever seen, a player who struts his talents and dazzles the whole game…but seems scared of THE moment. Not to mention the fact that, again, he was scorching hot entering the final play. Even a covered Bron close to the rim is a higher percentage than an open Haslem at the key. I would think. — ZC
I get that. And LeBron’s reputation is deserved for how he melted down against the Celtics in 2010 and in the Finals in 2011. But reputation or no, the best way to win basketball games is to play the game correctly. Imagine if the two possessions at the end switched places and had reverse outcomes — LeBron hits Haslem for a wide-open jumper, then misses a crazy one-footed fadeaway over two defenders to end it. Is that somehow a better scenario for the Heat just because he ends up taking the shot at the end? Regardless of how you feel, I think we can both agree what should have happened, and what should happen next time. Give the ball to Dwyane Wade. — MH
We’ve stated our cases as to who is right and who is wrong.