Posts Tagged ‘Utah Jazz’

Don’t mess with Quin Snyder!

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night in a preseason game, the Utah Jazz defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 119-86. The Jazz won easily, but that doesn’t mean it was easy. Here is a GIF from the game, courtesy of CJ Fogler, of new Jazz coach Quin Snyder giving his very best angry look. Keep in mind, the Jazz were up by 24 at the time!

The lesson here is DO NOT MESS WITH QUIN SNYDER!

YOU WON’T LIKE HIM WHEN HE’S ANGRY!

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Gordon Hayward says he is the “best in the game”

Utah Jazz Media Day

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Whenever an NBA player is asked if he believes he is better than another player, there’s no graceful way to answer the question. If the player says that yes, he’s the best, then people accuse of him of unbridled egotism. If he says he’s not the best, then people wonder why he doesn’t have enough confidence.

This latter scenario won’t be an issue for Utah’s Gordon Hayward, who in a post on his official website comes right out and announces that he’s “the best in the game.”

Well, almost. Here it is in Gordon’s words…

I know this sounds like bragging. That’s because it is. I’m so confident in my abilities that I would put money on myself, hypothetically speaking.

One on one versus LeBron James? He would get crushed. We would all be witnesses to a straight up annihilation.

The reigning MVP, Kevin Durant? I’m LOLing. Go ahead and put him with Russell Westbrook. Throw Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard in there, just for kicks. They’d still have no chance.

Honestly, take any five NBA players you want and put them on the same squad. It doesn’t really matter. I’d beat them all. It would be like playing a bunch of kindergartners.

I repeat: I’m the best in the game. And probably in all the other major sports, too.

No athlete on earth is as good at League of Legends as I am.

Just so you didn’t miss it, Hayward is saying no NBA player is as good as he is…at the video game League of Legends.

Hey, you can’t say he’s not confident. Now we just need to find out if there’s another NBA player who’s actually as good at League of Legends.

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. 2)

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

ZACH LAVINE
Timberwolves rookie Zach LaVine threw out the first pitch at a Twins game before they played his (former) favorite team, the Angels. I like how fired up he is after meeting Mike Trout


VIDEO: LaVine pitch

ANDREW WIGGINS
Staying in Minnesota, just last night, Andrew Wiggins took the hill to give it a shot. Have to say, I think he threw a strike…
(more…)

Chris Douglas-Roberts is bringing short shorts back

John Stockton drives past Allen Iverson

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERJohn Stockton is one of the greatest point guards of all time, but one thing he is perhaps best known for is his fashion sense. While everyone around during the ’90s wore shorts that were longer and baggier than ever, Stockton seemed to go the other direction, wearing shorts that were, well, pretty short.

I asked Stockton about this last year…

ME: When you retired you said something about making sure your shorts were hemmed up high throughout your career. Were the short shorts a deliberate choice?

STOCKTON: My second-to-last year, I think — my seventeenth year — the equipment manager came up to me and said, “Would like to lengthen your shorts?” I really didn’t know that it was an option. I’d never asked, and they’d never asked me. So we just kind of kept plugging on. Everybody kept talking about my shorts and I thought, “Well, I didn’t change anything…”

ME: You didn’t maybe notice around you that the shorts were getting bigger and longer?

STOCKTON: Yeah, but I was comfortable with it. I also saw other guys with 34-inch waists get 40-inch shorts and then just cinch them, and that…that didn’t make any sense to me.

We bring all this up today because everything old eventually becomes new again. The Clippers recently signed free agent small forward Chris Douglas-Roberts, and as Roberts announced on Twitter, he has some plans to pay homage to a bygone era…

If nothing else, should make for an interesting #NBAStyle segment.

(via B/R)

Jeremy Evans can still jump out of the gym

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few months ago, a photo circulated of Utah Jazz forward (and former Slam Dunk Contest champ) Jeremy Evans showing off his incredible vertical leap in an effort to top the vertical leap recorded by number one draft pick Andrew Wiggins.

Evans may have taken the crown, but apparently that wasn’t enough. Evans had previously been able to touch 12 feet, 8.5 inches. Yesterday he topped that, touching 12 feet, 9 inches…

(via B/R)

Throwback Thursday: Best teams of the 1990s


VIDEO: Relive the top 10 plays from the 1993 Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns

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: Best Teams of 1990s

This week we continue our Throwback Thursday: Best Teams of Each Decade series by looking at the best teams to play in the 1990s.

Make sure to check back next week for our look at the best teams of the 2000s!

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


Gallery: TBT: Best Teams of the 1990s

Previous weeks:

Best Teams of 1940-50s
Best Teams of 1960s
Best Teams of 1970s
Best Teams of the 1980s

Which of these teams do you think would do best in today’s NBA? Leave your comments below!

NBA players dominate kids

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBA players are the best of the best, elite athletes who have reached the peak of their sport, and perhaps even the top of the sporting world. They have honed their craft and skills to reach their place among the greats, and they will do whatever it takes to prove that dominance against any opponent, no matter the size or challenge that opponent presents.

But as we’ve seen several times the last few weeks, as good as NBA players are against their peers, they are absolutely dominant against children. Seriously, kids, don’t challenge NBA players.

For instance, here’s what happened when this kid recently tried to defend JR Smith one-on-one…

Or how about Jazz forward Jeremy Evans? He actually took on two kids, a boy and a girl, and broke one kid’s ankles then dunked on the other one…

And then there’s Chicago’s Joakim Noah, who takes on an army of kids and dispatches all of them…

But fear not, kids! Because every once in a while, even if it is a really rare while, one of the kids stands up for the rest and shows an NBA player that maybe they aren’t quite infallible. Just ask Nick Young

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.

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(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