Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Raptors’

Raptors mascot plays tennis with Genie Bouchard

By Jeff Case

Eugenie Bouchard is one of the rising stars in the women’s tennis circuit, ranking No. 7 in the WTA and also, a Canadian. She was at the Toronto Raptors-Orlando Magic game last night at Air Canada Centre and during a break in play, was challenged to a tennis match by the Raptors’ mascot (who was clad in a Bouchard-like blonde wig and tennis outfit).


VIDEO: Genie Bouchard plays tennis with the Raptors’ mascot

 

NBA Players in Halloween costumes

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Halloween has come and gone, which means it’s time once again to see what some NBA players went dressed as this year. We already checked in on the Oklahoma City Thunder, but let’s check out the costumes of some other NBA players…

LeBron James went as Flo from the Progressive Insurance ads…

Carmelo Anthony was…I don’t know what this costume is…

Paul Pierce was Captain America…

Deron Williams and his wife went as Khal Drogo and Khaleesi from “Game of Thrones”…

(more…)

Patrick Patterson working in Toronto sporting goods store

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It was just last week when we saw Jeremy Lin working at an adidas store in Taiwan. But apparently the Raptors had something similar brewing, as forward Patrick Patterson pulled a shift at a Toronto-area sporting goods store. It’s a bit harder for Patterson to convince people he’s not an NBA player — he’s considerably taller than Lin — but Patterson does seem to have a blast. I like when he tries to convince the woman that he actually does have a part-time job alongside his career in the NBA.


VIDEO: Patterson Job

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!

NBA People Throwing First Pitches (Pt. 3)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — All summer long, we’ve seen NBA players throwing out the ceremonial first pitches at baseball games. Not just major league games, and not just from active NBA players, but from NBA-related folks (coaches, retired players) all over the place.

I’ve been collecting these videos for a few months, and now we present them, all of them, in several parts, because there’s a lot to get through.

And so, here are a bunch of NBA people throwing out the first pitch at baseball games…

PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE

CHANDLER PARSONS
CP went from Houston to Dallas this offseason, but before taking the court for the Mavericks, he took the mound for the Texas Rangers and may have thrown the best NBA pitch of the summer. (As he admits, he’s a former high school baseball player.)


VIDEO: Parsons pitch

JAMES HARDEN
Parsons’ former teammate James Harden spent his summer in Spain with Team USA, but before leaving stopped by an Astros game (while rocking jorts) to throw a first pitch…
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Dikembe Mutombo and Amir Johnson dancing

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Thanks to the Toronto Raptors, here’s a video of Amir Johnson and Dikembe Mutombo dancing while visiting the SOS Children’s Village in Johannesburg as part of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders initiative. I think Mutombo wins this dance-off…

DeMar DeRozan leaps over Kyle Lowry for dunk

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan has always been one of the most athletic players in the NBA, though he doesn’t show off his leaping ability as often as he used to during his first few years in the league. But last week, while in the Philippines, DeRozan caught an alley-oop from his Toronto teammate Kyle Lowry and finished the dunk while jumping completely over Lowry…

(via TNLP)

DeMar DeRozan dribbles through Walmart

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBA players traditionally use their summer break to work on parts of their game that can use improving. Last summer we saw Detroit big man Andre Drummond and Nate Robinson employ unique strategies to improve their dribbling, as both practiced dribbling through crowded airports.

Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan appears to have borrowed this tact, and in this Instagram video he tries to perfect his handle as he dribbles up and down the aisles at his local Walmart.

(via TNLP)

Jonas Valanciunas is a (folk) dancing machine

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas was born and raised in Lithuania. So even though his professional basketball career has taken him around the world, currently placing him in Toronto, the Jonas brother has held on to his roots. In this video he posted on Instagram, he decides he’d like to bring traditional Lithuanian dance back to the forefront. As he writes in the caption, “Lots of great singers and dancers in Lithuania for Lithuanian Song & Dance Festival. I’ve been trying to get @thetorontoraptors dancers to learn real Lithuanian dancing – maybe this season? :))”

Throwback Thursday: All-time best Raptors


VIDEO: NB90s looks back on Vince Carter’s glory days in Toronto

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: The top Raptors of all-time

 

On May 22, 1994, Toronto was scheduled to enter the NBA as an expansion franchise for the 1995-96 season. It was on that day that the team’s nickname, the Raptors, was unveiled and an NBA team was fully realized. Today, we look back on the greatest players to ever suit up for the Raptors, from the early days in the “dino” jerseys to the current group this season that took home the Atlantic Division title and set a franchise record for wins.

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


Gallery: TBT: Top Raptors of all-time

What do you most remember about the Raptors? Leave your comments below!