ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I noted the other day that there have been a ton of NBA-related first pitches thrown at Major League Baseball games this summer and fall. And while I’m still planning on a massive post rounding up all these pitches, I wanted to wait as late as I could so I wouldn’t miss any of these first pitches.
And then Sir Charles comes along and forces my hand. Last night in Chicago, Charles Barkley threw out the first pitch at a Cubs game. And, first of all, it was juuu-ust a bit outside. OK, I’m being generous: It was way wide right and it bounced all the way to the backstop. But, hey, it was better than his golf swing?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Before I moved into the All Ball Nerve Center earlier this year, I spent just over a decade working for SLAM magazine. This meant that every morning I woke up and took the subway down to Manhattan’s Flatiron District, then walked over to what we called the SLAM Dome — the SLAM offices, located in an office building just across the street from Madison Square Park.
When I started my daily journeys to and from the work space back in 2000, it wasn’t much of a neighborhood — there were a couple of fast food restaurants and some delis around, but it was mostly office space and empty storefronts waiting to be developed. Since then, things have come a long way. Now there are hotels, and fancy restaurants and stores. The city invested in the parks and roads, and you can now find actual crosswalks and sitting areas all over the place.
Last night I made my first return trip in a while, in order to see the fellas from TNT’s “Inside the NBA” do their season-opening show live, basically sitting in the middle of traffic. Here’s how it looked to me …
Things actually began on Monday afternoon, as Turner Sports hosted a luncheon for the assembled New York media. Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal entered the conference room and sat down exactly in the order in which they usually sit on TNT’s Atlanta set. (Ernie later said they had no idea they did that — they just grabbed seats and it happened naturally.) They guys picked right up where they left off last season, cracking jokes and making fun of each other. At one point when Shaq began a story by saying, “You know, when I retired…,” and Charles quickly interjected, “Two years too late!” (more…)
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — You may not have been aware of this, but the NBA season begins one week from tomorrow! And to tip off a long season of coverage, it was announced today that TNT will begin the season with a special show live from New York City.
From the press release…
Turner Sports will officially launch Kia NBA Tip-Off ’13, the opening week of the 2013-14 NBA regular season, with three consecutive nights of doubleheader coverage across TNT and NBA TV. Entering its 30th consecutive year of NBA coverage, TNT will open the season with a doubleheader Tuesday, Oct. 29, beginning at 7 p.m. ET when the Sports Emmy Award-winning studio team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal televise a live pregame show from Flatiron Plaza in New York City. The special NBA on TNT Opening Night 2013 Presented by AutoTrader.com telecast is part of a New York City attraction sponsored by 2K celebrating the start of the NBA season.
Following TNT’s special one-hour pre-game show, which also includes live coverage of the championship ring ceremony for the Miami Heat, TNT’s opening night doubleheader will feature the defending champion Miami Heat and LeBron James hosting the Chicago Bulls and the highly anticipated return of Derrick Rose at 8 p.m. After the Bulls/Heat matchup, TNT will feature a battle of Los Angeles with the Clippers and Chris Paul meeting the L.A. Lakers and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash at 10:30 p.m. Marv Albert will call the Bulls/Heat telecast with analysts Steve Kerr and reporter David Aldridge, with Kevin Harlan providing play-by-play for Clippers/Lakers with analyst Reggie Miller and reporter Craig Sager.
As part of TNT and NBA TV’s comprehensive Opening Night coverage, NBA TV will televise a special edition of NBA GameTime at 6 p.m. Hosted by Matt Winer with analysts Grant Hill, Steve Smith and Chris Webber, the show will preview the upcoming season while also providing live look-ins to the event taking place in New York City.
For NBA fans in New York City, TNT’s critically-acclaimed studio show will be part of an on-site attraction open to the public and sponsored by 2K. The event will take place Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Flatiron Plaza, and will feature a basketball court, NBA 2K14 video game kiosks, and a massive video board perched 30 feet above Broadway and Fifth Avenue serving as a viewing area for fans to watch the live TNT pre-game show and game coverage. Turner will team up with NBA Cares, the league’s social responsibility program, during the day’s activities to promote physical fitness and healthy living for kids and families.
Turner Sports will also set up an NBA on TNT social media vending machine at various locations throughout New York City, giving fans a chance to collect free prizes ranging from copies of the NBA2K14 game, golden tickets for meet and greets with the Inside the NBA studio team and more. Additionally, an NBA 2K14 video game scavenger hunt will take place around Manhattan with clues being distributed via the @NBAonTNT and @2K Twitter handles throughout the day.
In addition to the New York-based events, host Winer and analysts Hill, Webber and Smith will provide the Sprint Halftime Report for the Lakers/Clippers game, along with full post-game coverage during the Inside the NBA presented by Kia broadcast from Turner Studios in Atlanta.
Turner Sports’ opening week coverage will also include doubleheader action on Wednesday, Oct. 30, and Thursday, Oct. 31. NBA TV will feature the Cleveland Cavaliers and NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving hosting the Brooklyn Nets with newcomers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce at 7 p.m., followed by the Lakers visiting the Golden State Warriors and sharpshooter Stephen Curry at 10:30 p.m.
TNT will round out three consecutive nights of NBA opening week doubleheaders with the Bulls hosting the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony at 8 p.m., and the Warriors visiting the Clippers at 10:30 p.m. Albert will provide the call for the Knicks/Bulls game with analyst Kerr and reporter Aldridge, with Harlan describing the Warriors/Clippers game with analyst Miller and reporter Sager.
NBA TV, jointly managed by Turner Sports and the NBA, will also televise the Bulls visiting the Philadelphia 76ers and rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m. and the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant hosting the Phoenix Suns and Eric Bledsoe on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m.
Our favorite curmudgeon/joker/TNT analyst/Weight Watchers spokesperson Charles Barkley has made no bones about his distaste for San Antonio. More specifically, his aversion to their women:
And this was two years ago. The barbs have not been absent this postseason and, well, Round Mound, your bouts of “truth telling” provocation has fallen upon powerful ears. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro….take it away:
Gotta love the ring showcase. In case Charles didn’t get the “they must have heard me” memo, San Antonio Express-News created a flattering photo gallery in honor of his impending visit to the Alamo City:
Let the games begin.
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There was no consensus for the last two spots, as they each picked a different pair from amongst Miami’s Chris Bosh, Atlanta’s Joe Johnson, and New York’s Raymond Felton. Given the lack of agreement, I thought now would be a good time to revisit everyone’s favorite game, Extend, Trade, or Cut.
Just to refresh you on the rules, picture yourself as the GM of a mythical NBA franchise, and pretend that you have to choose between three players. One player you can extend with a new contract, one player you have to trade for some mythical asset(s), and one player you must cut from your roster for eternity (it’s a harsh world). You may choose each option only once.
Joe Johnson: For this exercise, we are only considering his merits as a basketball player. Therefore, you should disregard the fact that he most likely has at present the worst contract in the NBA. JJ’s had a bit of a down year, but some of that was due to an elbow injury, and he seems to have regained his form in January.
Raymond Felton: Has helped reignite the age decade old NBA question, is it the point guard, or is it Mike D’Antoni‘s system? On the other hand, some might argue that Felton has always been a capable PG, but was too restrained in Charlotte under the heavy hand of Larry Brown. Either way, there is no doubt that Felton is having a career year in his first season in New York City.
That’s the choices. What’s your decisions?
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Today is October 10, 2010. There is nothing particularly notable about this date, except that if you were writing a check to someone, you might notice that you’d write the date as 10/10/10. In honor of this confluence of 10s, here are 10 Top 10 lists for your viewing pleasure:
10.Top 10 Plays from 2009-10 As good a place to start as any.