Posts Tagged ‘The Starters’

MUSCLEWATCH 2015 (Update 2)


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s that time of year when we have to ask, are you strong enough to be our man?

MUSCLEWATCH season is upon is, and we are nearing the time when we declare a champion. Kyle Lowry and Andrew Bogut seem to be frontrunners, with no true winner decided as of yet.

But first, before we get to the muscles, what, you may ask, is MUSCLEWATCH? Basically, it began decades ago when my friend Matt and I noticed our local paper would always report that players had gained 15 pounds of MUSCLE in the off-season. No matter the sport, it was never 12 pounds, never 16, never 9, never 18, but it always seemed to be “15 pounds of muscle.” So we began keeping an eye on the papers looking for references to the magic 15 pounds of MUSCLE. 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 Thaddeus Young and Rudy Gay.

And remember, MUSCLEWATCH cannot be successful without your help. The most effective way to let us here at MUSCLEWATCH HQ know if you see any MUSCLEWATCH news is to tweet and use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH.

Let’s go!

• As we learned this week, MUSCLEWATCH can be divisive. Our friend(?) Tas Melas from NBATV’s “The Starters” announced in the clip above that he was done with MUSCLEWATCH, sadly, before eventually relenting and halfheartedly announcing he was back in. SMH.

I guess our favorite member of “The Starters” needs to be Trey Kerby, who reported his own MUSCLEWATCH update a few weeks ago. MUSCLEWATCH salutes you, Taco Trey!

• For many NBA players, keeping weight on is just as hard as adding weight, considering how much running they do throughout the course of a season. In this article about Hawks big man Mike Muscala, he details his daily eating schedule during the season. Don’t forget to eat your breakfast!

• We may need to consider some sort of lifetime MUSCLEWATCH achievement award for Mike Conley, who didn’t actually gain any muscle, but did get a weight room named after him at his alma mater, Ohio State. That’s got to be worth something, right?

• We’re still looking on an exact number of weight lost from Kyle Lowry, who clearly dropped a lot but has thus far refused to give an exact amount. Lowry has looked amazing in the preseason, averaging 30 points a game, so obviously it’s working.

Can we do some detective work? Last season Lowry was listed at 205 pounds, and this year he’s being listed at 196. He certainly looks as though he lost more than 9 pounds, but maybe that’s just because he’s not seven feet tall. I was considering Lowry a front-runner for a MUSCLEWATCH title, but perhaps that was just all the MUSCLEWATCH in my eyes.

• As we mentioned before, Andrew Bogut lost 22 pounds by cutting out processed sugar. Now he’s leading fast breaks and pulling dribbling tricks…

• Orlando’s Aaron Gordon is back from a broken jaw, but he lost 10 pounds while on a liquid diet.

• Nets big man Cory Jefferson has added the magic “15 pounds of muscle”!! Congrats, CJ…

• Does Kawhi Leonard belong in MUSCLEWATCH? Perhaps we will never know.

• Also a few vague updates on a couple of Knicks players. We need details!!

Zach LaVine has added 10 pounds. Couldn’t find five more, huh?

Reggie Jackson almost balances shot on rim

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Our friends The Starters enjoy pointing out “wedgies,” where a shot gets caught between the rim and backboard. If a shot ends up sitting on the rim, they call it “a pigeon.”

Last night against Orlando, we almost got a pigeon. Oklahoma City’s Reggie Jackson got to the basket and flipped up a shot that rolled around and…almost just stopped on the back rim. The ball stayed on the rim so long you can see players standing up from the bench in the background.

Eventually the ball fell from glory, as after a while it spun wide and became just another ho-hum NBA rebound. I guess the ball just didn’t want it enough. SMH.

VIDEO: Jackson shot

Who did the best Booker?

VIDEO: Booker Shot

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The craziest shot of the season thus far in the NBA came a few days ago, when Utah took on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Utah had the ball out of bounds with 0.2 seconds on the shot clock, which is not enough time for a catch-and-shoot situation. With the Thunder defending the rim, the Jazz threw a bounce pass to the baseline, which Trevor Booker basically tapped it up and over his head and directly in the basket. Check it out in the video above.

Booker later claimed he’s been practicing this shot for years. And after seeing it go down, other people have started giving it a shot, as well. Here’s a video of the Suns trying it after practice, where TJ Warren and Zoran Dragic eventually got it to go down…

VIDEO: Suns Booker Shot

On NBA TV’s “The Starters,” the guys gave it an attempt…

VIDEO: Starters Shots

And last night on Fan Night, Chris Webber wanted to see if he could (eventually) sink the shot…

VIDEO: CWebb shot

All these attempts got us thinking…who managed to pull off the best Booker? Was anyone better than Booker himself? Let us know in the poll below…

Dante Exum and Joe Ingles play football on the basketball court

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Besides being teammates on the Utah Jazz, Dante Exum and Joe Ingles have something else in common — they are both Australian. As such, they both would seem to be experts at Australian Rules Football. At least, I assume they are, because they’re Australian. I don’t really know anything about it, not because I don’t want to know, but because I just didn’t grow up watching it and even now I’m not sure when/where it’s on TV. (Holla at your boy, Leigh Ellis!)

Anyway, at a recent Jazz rehearsal in Salt Lake City, Exum and Ingles met up with a few members of the North Melbourne Football Club and found out what happens when you take an AFL ball to an NBA court.

VIDEO: Exum Ingles AFL

(via TNLP)

A big week for birthday cakes and the NBA

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — This is apparently a great week to be an NBA player having a birthday, or even if you’re just an NBA player who enjoys eating birthday cake.

Just one day ago we saw Danté Exum presented with a birthday cake. Little did we know it would mark the start of a trend.

Two nights ago, “The Starters” presented Bucks rookie Jabari Parker with this cake.

Last night, after Trey Burke visited “The Starters” on NBA TV, he was presented with a cake, which he promptly smashed into the face of my main man Trey Kerby.

(gif via @CJZero)

Meanwhile, out in Portland, Damian Lillard got a birthday cake from a camper at his basketball camp featuring a photo of his Horry Scale shot against Houston from the playoffs.

If that wasn’t enough, Lillard also got a cake with an adidas shoe in the middle of it…

Dante Exum sings Happy Birthday to himself

VIDEO: Exum Sings

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The good news is that rookie Jazz guard Danté Exum turned 19 years old on Sunday. The bad news is that the Jazz have a tradition of making rookies singing “Happy Birthday” to people celebrating as something of a hazing ritual, so the Jazz decided to have Exum sing “Happy Birthday” to himself. Luckily, this was caught in the video above.

This was not, however, the only time Exum received well-wishes. On Sunday night, Exum visited “The Starters,” where he was presented with a different cake and helped out singing a different kind of song…

VIDEO: Exum Starters

2014 Social Media Awards Update

By Joe Boozell

The NBA offseason is officially here, but social media is an outlet that allows fans to interact with their favorite players beyond the parameters of an NBA schedule. Which is fortunate, because how else would we survive an entire offseason without romantic advice from NBA superstars like Kyrie Irving? (Click the top left for sound.)

The social media universe appreciates a man who has his priorities in tact, as Irving is the winner of the “Best Vine/Video” award.

Voting is live for the NBA social media awards, with the “LOL Award”  next on the docket. Here is a look at the award winners thus far.

Jrue Holiday takes home this year’s “Best Selfie” award, but big props have to go to Anthony “The Brow” Davis for the assist:

Blake Griffin is the winner of this year’s “Best Hashtag” award. But like Holiday, the Clippers’ star big man had his fair share of help. Griffin was assisted by his big brother, Taylor Griffin, a snazzy green polo and, of course, a fresh pair of jorts. #theoriginalduckface

The awards run through Sunday, June 22. So keep on voting!




The 2014 Social Media Awards

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The NBA has always been a league that has embraced social media — from bloggers who helped usher in the sports blogosphere to players being early adopters and having huge presences on Facebook and Twitter, to fans interacting though things like Twitter and Instagram.

To recognize the NBA’s continuing social media influence, and the influence of social media, NBA Digital will host its third annual NBA Social Media Awards, celebrating NBA players and teams for their social engagement throughout the 2013-14 NBA regular season. And while in years past the SMA’s have had various formats — who could forget the 2012 Awards when Rick Fox and I celebrated by shoving Shaq into some trash cans — this year brings a new “10 in 10” format. For the first time, NBA Digital will present 10 social media awards in 10 categories over the course of 10 consecutive days with fan voting across, Twitter and Facebook.

Voting is live now, with one Social Media Award winner being declared each day following a 24-hour polling cycle. This year’s awards will be divided into a variety of categories recognizing NBA players and teams and the best social activity across social engagement. This year’s categories will include:

• Best Vine/Video – Friday, June 13
• Selfie Award – Saturday, June 14
• Best Hashtag – Sunday, June 15
• LOL Award – Monday, June 16
• “AWW” Award – Tuesday, June 17
• Best #TBT – Wednesday, June 18
• Social Rookie – Thursday, June 19
• Best Post – Friday, June 20
• Team Social MVP – Saturday, June 21
• Social MVP – Sunday, June 22

Fans can follow all of the conversation, engage with nominees, analysts and more using the hashtag #NBASMA.

In addition, NBA TV’s The Starters will provide fans with daily #NBASMA updates via their TV show, podcast and blog.

We’re live now! Go on, get out the vote!

Nick Young tries being a ‘Starter’

By Jeff Case

Lakers star/swag master Nick “Swaggy P” Young turns 29 today, but on Friday, he got a little bit of an early gift.

Young was in Atlanta to tape an NBA Style segment for NBA TV (you can watch that here), and while he was in town, “The Starters” had him on set to take a crack at helping Leigh Ellis with the Tweet of the Week.

Swaggy P tried his best, but may need some more teleprompter practice …

VIDEO: Nick Young pays a visit to “The Starters”