Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Raptors’

Drake introduces the Toronto Raptors

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night, the Toronto Raptors celebrated Drake Night, an annual event where the evening is more or less hosted by Drake, the best-selling artist who also serves as the Raptors’ “global ambassador.” Besides wearing Drake-inspired uniforms and having him courtside all night, the Raptors turned over the pregame introductions to Drake…

VIDEO: Drake introductions


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Like we always do at this time, let’s take a look at the best instances of people getting #POSTERIZED over the last week and, at the bottom of the post, you can place your vote for a winner. And don’t forget, if you see someone get posterized, tweet it with the hashtag #POSTERIZED so we don’t miss it!

This week the Posterized Poll is dedicated to the patron saint of POSTERIZING, the great Dikembe Mutombo. Tonight the Atlanta Hawks host the Boston Celtics (8:00 p.m. EST, TNT), and during a special ceremony the Hawks will retire Mutombo’s number 55 jersey. Mutombo had plenty of highlights during his time with the Hawks, as you can see in the video below.

VIDEO: Mutombo ATL

Warriors unveil throwback uniforms, court tonight on NBA TV


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve seen many NBA teams celebrate their heritage by wearing throwback uniforms, which is always a fun way to bring back classic styles. But for their game tonight against the Toronto Raptors on NBA TV (10:30 p.m. ET), as part of their Hardwood Classics series, the Warriors are not only wearing throwback uniforms, they’re also playing on a throwback court.

The jersey is above. Here’s a look at the court.

According to the Warriors, this is a nod to the 1966-67 season

Originally released during the 1966-67 NBA season, the Warriors’ “The City” jerseys will be worn for a total of eight games this season, with the team’s original center court logo returning to Oracle Arena during all five home games the team will host a Hardwood Classics Night.

Below are additional Hardwood Classics Nights the Warriors will wear “The City” jerseys this season:

Tuesday, November 24 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Tuesday, December 8 at Indiana Pacers
Saturday, January 9 at Sacramento Kings
Monday, January 18 at Cleveland Cavaliers
Tuesday, March 1 vs. Atlanta Hawks
Tuesday, March 29 vs. Washington Wizards
Tuesday, April 5 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Warriors last wore Hardwood Classics jerseys on four occasions during the 2010-11 season, posting a 3-1 record when donning the retro threads. The Warriors last sported “The City” throwbacks in 2006-07, when they wore the alternate uniform in all seven of the team’s home games during the month of March and recorded a 6-1 record in the jerseys as part of the 16-5 finish to the regular season that netted the Warriors the eighth seed in the 2007 Western Conference Playoffs.

Robin Lopez takes mascot battle international

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve chronicled Robin Lopez‘s long-running war against NBA mascots. Now Lopez is taking his campaign beyond the borders of the United States, and making it an international battle. Last night, before the Knicks got a win in Toronto, the Raptor mascot innocently displayed a list of his favorite Lopezes. When Robin noticed he didn’t make the list, we saw a violent side of RoLo that was, frankly, scary to witness…

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?


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The leaves are going from green to shades of red and gold and brown, as summer drifts into fall and the weather becomes more accommodating. But that doesn’t mean MUSCLEWATCH stops. Because MUSCLEWATCH never stops.

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 offseason. No matter the sport, it was never 12 pounds, never 16, never 9, never 18, but seemed to always 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 Thad Young and Rudy Gay.

Whenever you come across MUSCLEWATCH news, please let me know! You can either email me via the link in the header above, or you can send me a tweet, and make sure you use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH.

I received several MUSCLEWATCH alerts on Twitter the last few days, and with not much news happening around the rest of the NBA, I thought we would check in with another round of MUSCLEWATCH.

• We don’t have any exact information here, but someone tweeted me a picture of Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade post-workout, with Bosh looking surprisingly muscular…

• Our friends at CBS Sports discovered a video of Andrew Wiggins‘ workout routine, which made me exhausted just watching it.


• The New Orleans Pelicans have always embraced MUSCLEWATCH, so let’s thank them for this recent article about Anthony Davis putting on a dozen pounds. It doesn’t specify whether this is muscle or something else, but considering the accompanying photos feature Davis pumping iron, let’s assume it’s MUSCLE…


• Toronto’s Kyle Lowry apparently felt the need to take some weight off, and he’s posed for a few photos showing off a more slender physique…

Good AM run with the Fellas!!!

A photo posted by Kyle OQuinn (@kyle.oquinn) on

• Boston Celtics big man Jared Sullinger also pulled a reverse MUSCLEWATCH, dropping weight over the last eight weeks…

Roy Hibbert also hit the diet plan hard before debuting in Hollywood with the Lakers, as he’s apparently dropped 16 pounds since last season…

• As NetsDaily pointed out via Twitter, Chris McCullough is putting in time in the weight room…

Thru the lens #theysleep

A photo posted by Chris McCullough (@briskuno) on

• Finally, perennial MUSCLEWATCH contender Shabazz Muhammad is just getting started, but posted some promising results…

Raptors unveil new unis for 2015-16

By Jeff Case

A day before the 2015 Draft, our main man, Lang Whitaker, wrote a post detailing the new uniforms the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers and (kinda/sorta) Charlotte Hornets will sport in 2015-16.

And just when we we thought we were all done with uniform posts, the Toronto Raptors go and pull us back in again.

The team initially debuted news and photos of the new uniforms in a post on their web site and per the news release, team ambassador Drake unveiled the unis at  OVOFest in Toronto:

Raptors Global Ambassador Drake unveiled a Cory Joseph alternate black jersey with gold and white trim during his OVOFest concert tonight at Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. Joseph, a native of the Toronto area who joined the club as a free agent in July, will wear number six to honour his Toronto roots

Anyway, here’s a look at all the uni options in their full glory …


The Toronto Raptors’ new uniforms for 2015-16.

As well as a photo of Drake unveiling them on stage …

And, as a refresher, here are the looks the Hawks, 76ers, Bucks, Clippers and Hornets revealed this summer …







So, which look do you like best now?


Paul Pierce trolls Raptors after Game 4

VIDEO: The Starters give their takes on Paul Pierce’s trolling

By Jeff Case

The Washington Wizards ousted the Toronto Raptors from the playoffs last night with a 125-94 thrashing to complete a 4-0 series sweep. Throughout this first-round series, Paul Pierce — whom the Wizards added in the offseason — paid huge dividends with clutch shots in Game 1 and Game 3. Considering that Pierce was a villain for the Raptors in their first-round series loss to Pierce’s Brooklyn Nets, they’ve probably had just about enough of him for a while.

Pierce can’t get enough of ribbing the Raptors, it seems, and took to social media after the Game 4 win to get a few not-subtle-at-all digs in on the team/franchise. (h/t FTW)

Drake crazy fa this

A photo posted by The Truth (@paulpierce) on

Paul Pierce's Facebook post

Paul Pierce’s Facebook post



Proof Paul Pierce really doesn’t want to return to Canada

By Jeff Case

The Washington Wizards have a 2-0 series lead on the Toronto Raptors in their first-round series, winning both games North of the border. After the Game 2 win (and as the series shifts to D.C.), the Washington Post reported Wizards forward Paul Pierce was overheard saying he didn’t want to make a return trip to Canada. Why? Because he didn’t want to go through customs.

As players headed to the locker room after the game, Pierce shouted, “I don’t want to go through customs no more!”

Thanks to the Wizards, we have video proof of Pierce saying that — although what the team captured isn’t the same exact quote as what the Post had.



Horry Scale: Smart lifts Celtics

VIDEO:  Smart grabs a falling Thomas pass to score game-winning basket in critical victory.

On the road? Against a good team? On a basket by Marcus Smart? All on the second night of a back-to-back?

Of all the heroes in all the situations in all the places, it would have taken a lot of searching to find a more improbable outcome than Celtics 117, Raptors 116 in overtime Saturday night in Toronto, a huge development in Boston’s attempt to keep its grip on the final playoff spot as the least bad team among the Eastern Conference hopefuls for No. 8.

Smart made six of nine attempts on the night, including the buzzer-beating layup, but after shooting 35.4 percent in February and 32.9 percent in March. His rookie season was ending badly, even as Boston continued to give him big minutes. And then this.


It was harder than it should have been. Smart was open under the basket, on the right side of the lane, thanks to Isaiah Thomas drawing the defense as he blew down the left side, but the dish-off was a little high. Smart grabbed it with his right hand, with no Raptor closer than a couple steps. Then he made an awkward plant to go up. At least the release was clean.


The Raptors led 116-115 on a Lou Williams three-pointer with four seconds left. The Celtics called timeout and advanced the ball to halfcourt. Thomas was near the free throw line at the other end when the referee gave the ball to Evan Turner on the sideline. Advantage: Celtics.

Thomas, fast enough without a head start, had built to lift-off speed by the time he took the pass from Turner about 40 feet from the basket, then went through the Toronto defense. He created the opportunity that Smart finished.


Large. Everything was a challenge except for the distance of the winning shot – the schedule, the location, the opponent. There has to be a special level of gratification. The importance in the standings is obvious. If the Celtics make the playoffs, this will be one of the nights that made it happen.


Eh. Several Celtics charged off the bench to embrace Smart. He got some hugs and smacks on top of his head, but there was no wild party.


The Celtics get marked down only because the win came on a wide-open layup, without a higher degree of difficulty beyond catching the ball. Everything else was big, though, from the situation and the importance to Thomas’ work. Three Horrys.