Posts Tagged ‘Utah Jazz’

MUSCLEWATCH 2015 (Summer Edition)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERMUSCLEWATCH traditionally makes its debut each fall as NBA teams assemble for training camp. But sometimes the muscles just can’t be ignored, as has been the case thus far this summer.

But first! 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.

Anyway, with Summer Leagues happening around the NBA the last few weeks, I’ve been getting MUSCLEWATCH reports on Twitter, and I felt that today would be a good day to round them up for posterity.

Let’s actually begin a few weeks back, as prospects were preparing for the NBA Draft. Here we see Willie Cauley-Stein, days before being drafted by the Sacramento Kings, sit down for an interview with ESPN’s Henry Abbott. Early on in this interview, Cauley-Stein mentions gaining 20 pounds of MUSCLE since his college season ended, a staggering figure by any account. Ace interviewer that he is, Abbott seizes on this tidbit and tries to get some details from Cauley-Stein about this important MUSCLEWATCH moment…

My favorite moment of the interview? Probably when Abbott asks Cauley-Stein if he knows who I am, and Cauley-Stein responds with an actual shrug…

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 9.54.17 AM

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Celtics forward James Young has also made MUSCLEWATCH news, although he may be employing some fuzzy math. According to initial reports, Young had put on the magic 15 pounds of MUSCLE…

That’s when the controversy starts. One report says Young apparently gained 20 pounds over the last year, with a 10-pound burst of weight coming more recently?

Or maybe it’s 15 pounds plus 5 more?

Either way, Young is clearly aiming to make a MUSCLEWATCH name for himself heading into the season.

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An early MUSCLEWATCH championship candidate is clearly Oklahoma City’s Mitch McGary, who has reportedly shed 30 pounds…

According to McGary, the weight loss is a result of several factors…

McGary credits the weight loss to cooking classes, a healthier diet and rigorous workouts. By eating better and transforming his body, McGary believes he’ll put himself in a better position to stay healthy and play the best basketball of his life.

“I’m sick of being injured and not being able to play at full strength 100 percent,” McGary said. “So this summer was really key for me. I stayed in Oklahoma City and just been working my tail off to get into shape.”

“You were always eating at your parents’ house, and then you go and start living on the pizza and wings diet in college, man,” McGary said. “It’s not cool not knowing how to cook for yourself when you go home and you’re trying to eat out every night. I’d rather just stay home, cook myself up some chicken, some fish, and have a nice dinner at home.”

After only a few months trying his hand at cooking, McGary now proudly shares his creations with fans on social media and jokingly boasts of being a beast in the kitchen.

“Man, I’m nice,” McGary said. “They call me ‘Chef.’”

I think a Mitch McGary cooking show is something the world needs. Congratulations to Chef McGary!

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Down in New Orleans, we have a few MUSCLEWATCH notes. First of all, Tyreke Evans has allegedly dropped weight, according to new Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry

Also, guard Eric Gordon is just a few pounds behind Evans…

Also, as always, thanks to the Pelicans for using the proper #MUSCLEWATCH hashtag on their official Twitter account…

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The Timberwolves may be a young team still building, but forward Shabazz Muhammad is trying to grab a MUSCLEWATCH crown right now. According to the T-Wolves, Muhammad is reuniting with a legendary MUSCLEWATCH figure…

We first met “Crazy Frank” last season, back when he was referred to as “Hell’s Trainer.” Muhammad says he’s planning to lose more weight, which seems like a foregone conclusion.

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Some odds and ends…Bulls GM Gar Forman says Jimmy Butler has put on some weight…

Lakers forward Julius Randle is shedding bad weight while adding good weight…

Anthony Bennett has done serious MUSCLEWATCH work through the years…

Dante Exum is off to a promising start…

And finally…we don’t have any concrete figures, but Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo looks like he’s putting in time in the weight room…

Bryce Cotton can jump through the roof


VIDEO: Cotton alley-oop

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Late in the regular season, the Utah Jazz picked up point guard Bryce Cotton, who ended up playing 15 games and was rewarded with a long-term extension. His most memorable moment, however, may have been the play above, where Cotton skied to catch an alley-oop over the Dallas Mavericks.

Even though the Jazz season is done, Cotton has continued putting in work. And as we see in the clip below, while working out at P3 Sports Science, Cotton showed off a 45-inch vertical leap, besting Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine‘s 44-inch leaps.

Derrick Favors working at McDonald’s

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Utah Jazz had a great season, particularly in the second half, as the young franchise started to build toward something bigger down the road. But just because their season is over, it doesn’t mean the young Jazz players are sitting around doing nothing. Here’s Derrick Favors, for instance, doing work in a Utah McDonald’s, helping to raise awareness for the Ronald McDonald House. Although as Favors says, maybe let’s keep him away from the “computer” behind the counter…


VIDEO: Favors McDonald’s

Throwback Thursday: John Stockton


VIDEO: Great plays marked John Stockton’s storied career

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. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: John Stockton

When the 1984 Draft was held, the big names from the college ranks were well known by most: Michael Jordan, Sam Bowie, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Willis, Sam Perkins and Charles Barkley, just to name a few. Those players were all off the board by the time the Utah Jazz made their first-round pick at No. 16, when they chose Gonzaga point guard John Stockton.

Few would have guessed it at the time, but the Jazz were picking a player who would go on become the NBA’s all-time leader in two major statistical categories: assists (15,806) and steals (3,265). In his 19 seasons with Utah, Stockton led the NBA in assists nine consecutive seasons, was a 10-time All-Star, a two-time gold medal-winner with Team USA, one of the 50 Greatest Players of All-Time and played in the playoffs every season of his career (as well as in two NBA Finals).

In honor of Stockton turning 53 today, we take a look back at the storied career of one of the best playmaking point guards in NBA history:


Gallery: John Stockton’s career

What are your favorite Stockton memories? Leave your comments below!

Who are the best and worst dressed players on the Utah Jazz?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’ve ever thought to yourself, Hey, I wonder which members of the Utah Jazz are the best- and worst-dressed players on the team, then have we got a video for you. The Jazz dropped two videos exploring these very questions, and it turns out that there is a consensus when it comes to best-dressed, and then when it comes to the worst-dressed players, there are some clear opinions, particularly from Derrick Favors and Dante Exum.


VIDEO: Best Dressed Jazz


VIDEO: Worst Dressed Jazz

Andrew Bogut will not share a towel with you

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In the heat of battle, basketball players are sometimes forced to share things that under normal circumstances perhaps wouldn’t be shared — water bottles, for instance. During last night’s Warriors/Jazz game, Golden State big man Andrew Bogut got tossed a towel that he used to wipe himself down. But when Utah’s Rudy Gobert tried to share Bogut’s towel, Bogut refused and took a stand, both for himself and for hygiene…

Greg Ostertag is now playing rec league hockey

2005 NBA Media Day

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERGreg Ostertag was always something of a conundrum. Big, strong, with touch and skill, he was equally goofy (I mean, he had a Fred Flintstone tattoo) and great. Ostertag retired in 2006, and other than a brief return to the D-League in 2012, we haven’t heard much from the other Big O.

Perhaps because he’s been playing hockey? According to a recent story in USA Hockey magazine, Ostertag is currently scraping the ice in Arizona, where he spends two nights each week playing rec league ice hockey.

I don’t know a lot about hockey, but I bet you don’t see a lot of 7-2, 280-plus pound hockey players. As USA Hockey magazine writes…

“One day, I just decided to go find something to do besides playing golf every day,” says the 41-year-old Ostertag. “I was lucky to have a guy in Utah send me a pair of skates. Then I went to a rink, started skating around, and, once I got my feet under me again, I got into a league. I’ve been doing it ever since.

“I don’t do it to stay in shape. I do it because it’s fun. I love playing hockey, and I love being around the guys. I’d do it five days a week if I could and if I had time.”

Ostertag, who plays both forward and defense, takes pride in his ability to win faceoffs and set up wingers with better wheels than his. And, of course, after years of playing college and pro basketball, he understands how to use his massive frame to his advantage.

“I don’t handle the puck great, but I know how to get into position, and sometimes I get lucky,” Ostertag says. “I try to be a screen as much as I can and get out of the way at the last second. I don’t know if I’m man enough to get hit by that little rubber sucker all the time. Some of the guys I play with can shoot the puck pretty hard.”

Throwback Thursday: Karl Malone


VIDEO: Relive Karl Malone’s storied career

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. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Karl Malone’s milestones

When he walked off the court for the last time after the 2004 NBA Finals, Karl Malone left the game as a two-time MVP, the No. 2 scorer in NBA history, the game’s all-time leader in free throws and forever changed the power forward position.

But back on this date in 2000, Malone added to his lore as an all-time great scorer. With a layup with 8:53 left in the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he passed the 30,000-point plateau and thus took his place in NBA annals alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 career points) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419).

Two years and one day later, he further etched his name in the all-time scoring books. With his 18 points in a 90-78 win over the Chicago Bulls at the then-Delta Center, Malone became the second player in NBA history to register 34,000 career points, trailing only Abdul-Jabbar.

Today, we take a look back at Malone’s storied career:


Gallery: Karl Malone’s career

What are your favorite Malone memories? Leave your comments below!

Utah Jazz mascot challenges Trevor Booker

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Earlier this week we took a look at Trevor Booker‘s incredible buzzer-beating shot, and watched as several humans tried to recreate the shot. But we didn’t see a bear try to recreate the shot, not until now.

Here’s Utah Jazz mascot Bear not only giving The Booker a shot, but also calling out Trevor Booker and challenging him to sink one of Bear’s trademark over-the-head-from-halfcourt shots. Your move, Booker…


VIDEO: Bear Booker

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…