Posts Tagged ‘washington wizards’

POLL: Which Nick Young 360 was the swaggiest of them all?

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Lakers guard Nick Young has been one of the few bright spots this season for Lakers fans. The Lakers may have missed the postseason, but Young, who calls himself Swaggy P, has provided a steady stream of entertainment, both on the court and off the court.

During last night’s game against the Grizzlies, Young drove baseline and completed a 360 layup. It was an awesome shot, the kind of singular, creative, athletic move that we’ve come to expect from Young. But as we look back through Young’s history, we realized the 360 is a staple of Young’s arsenal.

So we put together a Swaggy sampler of some of Nick Young’s greatest spinning hits. Vote for the swaggiest of them all in the poll at the bottom…

1. Last night against the Grizzlies

VIDEO: Nick Young 360 against Grizzlies

2. 360 dunk last season

VIDEO: Nick Young 360 dunk

3. 360 denied by Andris Biedrins

VIDEO: Biedrins blocks 360

4. 360 against the Grizzlies two years ago

VIDEO: Other 360 against the Grizzlies

5. 360 against the Lakers

VIDEO: 360 against the Lakers

6. 360 over the backboard

VIDEO: 360 over the backboard

Your turn. Rate the swag, please…

Marcin Gortat teaches the Wizards how to speak Polish

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat was born and raised in Łódź, Poland, which is why he’s known as The Polish Hammer. To celebrate his background, this weekend the Wizards held a Polish Heritage night hosted by Gortat. Over 500 Polish fans turned out, as well as a Polish cheerleading troupe and Poland’s ambassador to the United States.

To get his teammates involved, Gortat filmed this video where he teaches the Wizards some relevant Polish words and phrases…


VIDEO: Gortat teaches Polish words

John Wall And Kevin Seraphin Play $25,000 Pyramid

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve seen a lot of Wizards big man Kevin Seraphin this season on the All Ball Blog. He may still be developing on the court, but off the court, he’s clearly capable of producing some terrific highlights.

This latest entry comes to us courtesy of the D.C. Sports Bog, and it shows Seraphin teaming up with John Wall to play a game of $25,000 Pyramid. Which is awesome.
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There might be some cultural differences between Wall and Seraphin — for instance, Wall didn’t seem to immediately seize upon creme brulee as a clue — but the two of them obviously have a connection. For a bonus clip, check out this footage from last year of Wall and Seraphin watching a game together…
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VIDEO: Wall and Seraphin

Check Out This Animated Version Of Damian Lillard In The Dunk Contest

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Yesterday we checked out an awesome animated, illustrated drawing of John Wall‘s winning dunk that Portland-based artist Patrick Truby created exclusively for Turner Sports/NBA Digital. Well, just in case you missed it, Truby also did a drawing of Damian Lillard‘s sick between-the-legs dunk yesterday for Deadspin

lillard

Dwight Howard Reminds Everyone He Won A Dunk Contest Too

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last weekend in New Orleans, John Wall performed what was called the “Dunk of the Night” en route to walking away as the evening’s big winner. Even though it was only six years ago, the last time the dunk contest was in New Orleans was in 2008, and the winner of that dunk contest was Dwight Howard. These days Dwight’s dunks are more of the power variety, but yesterday at Rockets practice, Dwight showed that he can still get creative. James Harden got in on it as well, but Dwight threw down a couple of nasty dunks, including this first one which left teammate Chandler Parsons speechless…

Check Out This Animated Version Of John Wall’s Winning Dunk

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few weeks back, Paul George rocked the NBA by unleashing a 360 dunk during a game. As great as that dunk was, just as neat was an illustrated version of the dunk that quickly went viral, created by Portland-based artist Patrick Truby.

After the success of Truby’s George drawing, our colleagues at Turner Sports asked Truby to illustrate John Wall‘s winning dunk from the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest exclusively for Turner Sports/NBA Digital. Before we get to the animated image, however, I checked in with Truby this morning to find out exactly how he puts one of these animated illustrations together…
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ME: How do you do/make these animated gifs?
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TRUBY: It’s actually a pretty simple — though time consuming — process. Basically I make a gif from video in Photoshop, then I look through all the individual frames and remove the ones I don’t need or are too blurry. This happens a lot when players are moving really fast or are out of focus. Then I illustrate every frame using a drawing tablet. I posted a quick Instagram video that shows a little bit of the process.

ME: How long does it take to make one of these illustrations?

TRUBY: It depends on how long the highlight is and how complicated. When there’s only one player involved, the process goes a lot quicker. If a highlight has more than one player or is from slow motion video, it can take a lot longer. It’s usually between 4 and 8 hours.

ME: Where did you get the idea to commemorate memorable dunks in this way?

TRUBY: I honestly don’t remember. I’ve been drawing for pretty much my whole life but had kind of stopped for a few years. I started an NBA drawings blog just to get back into drawing more. Then I bought my first drawing tablet about a year ago. I was probably playing around with some NBA drawings just to get used to drawing on a screen instead of paper when I realized the gifs would be a fun thing to try.

ME: Who is your favorite dunker of all time?

TRUBY: That’s a good question. I have no idea. I’m way more into great passes. I love a good bounce pass more than anything, they just take way more time to animate. For example, this is my favorite NBA play ever, and it took close to 9 hours to animate. I will say one of my favorite dunks ever is JR Smith flying over Gary Neal.

Very cool stuff. And now, here’s Patrick’s version of John Wall’s most memorable dunk from the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest…

John-Wall-USE

John Wall Wins Dunk Contest Award, Eats Gator, Will Wear Onesie


VIDEO: Wall’s Winning Dunk

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the biggest surprises of All-Star weekend may have been Washington Wizards point guard John Wall winning the “Dunker of the Night” award during the Sprite Slam Dunk contest. Wall, not generally known as a dunker, completed a terrific reverse dunk over Wizards mascot G-Man to clinch the award. Check the video above for a super slow-mo Phantom Cam look at Wall’s winning dunk.

But as it turns out, that dunk was just a brief portion of a momentous weekend for Wall. Also on Saturday, Wall’s former school Kentucky had a game against Florida, the former school of Wall’s backcourt mate Bradley Beal. Despite Florida being ranked second and Kentucky being ranked 18th, Wall made a wager with Beal over the outcome of the game. Wall also set some high stakes, even if Beal was unaware of those stakes. My main man Michael Lee from the Washington Post will take it from here

Wall declared that the loser would have to wear a footed pajama onesie of the opposing school to practice.

“He know what’s up with me. He might not want to want to see me,” Wall said on Saturday morning. “You know how that is, you’ve got a big rivalry going on. He got to wear that Kentucky onesie if we win. I have to wear that Florida onesie if they win. He don’t know that yet. That’s what I made. I’m the big brother so I make the rules.”

Wall never shared those stakes with Beal, whose Gators defeated the Wildcats, 69-59, around the time that Beal was finishing second in the three-point shootout and Wall was preparing to lead the Eastern Conference to a dunk contest win.

After scoring 12 points in his all-star debut for the victorious East, Wall said he still planned to make good on his essentially self-made bet.

“I got to go buy me a onesie…and I will wear it to practice and I will wear it all day long,” Wall said. “I got to go find one. When I find one, I’ll let you know, before I walk in there. The day I get there, I won’t wear it, I’ll tell you and then I’ll wear it the next day.”

When told that he probably didn’t have to go through with it since he never told Beal about the deal or the stakes, Wall shook his head and said, “I’m the older brother, so it’s whatever I say goes. I’m a man of my word and it’s all in the newspaper now.”

If Wall was looking for any measure of revenge against the Florida Gators, he may have found it in a New Orleans restaurant, where he chowed down on some Gator. “That’s one of my favorite foods down here,” Wall noted. “Tastes like chicken.”

The All Ball Crossover Contest (Vol. 1)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Throughout this season, perhaps you’ve seen our ongoing series, The All Ball Posterized Poll. In those posts, we examine which NBA players have been victims of the most vicious dunks.

We are proud to continue the tradition of highlighting the best of the best (and worst) with the new All Ball Crossover Contest. From time to time, we will check in and look at some of the best ankle-breaking dribbling exhibitions we’ve seen. We want to see the greatest moves, of course, but we also want to take note of who got shook.

So who broke out the best crossover in this edition of the Crossover Contest? We culled this selection of videos, and NBA.com’s Zettler Clay is providing the written commentary to accompany what you see.

Check out the videos below and vote at the bottom of the post …

NORRIS COLE ON DERRICK ROSE
Zettler Says: I know, Derrick Rose was only minutes into his first game back from an ACL tear. Still, as Avon Barksdale accurately summed it up, the game is the game. Norris saw an opportunity and made a quick decision. We’re rooting for a full recovery for Rose, if only for a chance at redemption, because this move is nasty.

VIDEO: Cole on Rose

JOHN WALL ON TERRENCE ROSS
Zettler Says: John Wall hits Terrence Ross with the double. If you were to ask for defining Wall plays to teach to youngsters, this would lead the reel. A stutter step to freeze Ross, then a crisp crossover followed by another, followed by speed to the cup. Great read, timing and execution.

VIDEO: Wall On Ross

STEPHEN CURRY ON REGGIE JACKSON
Zettler Says: There’s nobody else in the NBA that could pull this move off, save for Jamal Crawford and Kevin Durant. Curry’s ability to quickly set his feet after a move combined with his deadly deep aim gives his crossover another element. No spot on the court is safe for any Steph defender.

VIDEO: Curry On Jackson

DERON WILLIAMS ON CHRIS PAUL
Zettler Says: Classic end of half isolation clash between two of the league’s best. What gives this play flair is the stealthy rivalry between these two players since they entered the NBA in 2005, one pick behind each other (D-Will was the third pick, Paul fourth). On this night, multiple times, the third pick had the upper hand.

VIDEO: Williams On Paul

J.R. SMITH ON TRISTAN THOMPSON
Zettler Says: This is just Earl Joseph Smith III doing his thing. Thankfully Tristan Thompson took an unnatural fall, which not only made the play pop, but saved his ankle. If he doesn’t hit the deck, his talus is broken. Believe.

VIDEO: Smith On Thompson

And now you get your say. Who had the best crossover?

The 2013-14 All Ball YOLO All-Stars

j.r.-tucker

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If there’s one thing I’ve learned from attending a dozen All-Star Weekends, it’s that at its core, All-Star Weekend is about the fans. The fans actually select the starting line-ups, and fans travel from near and far to hit up Jam Session and All-Star Saturday Night and the Rising Stars Challenge and, of course, all the parties.

In some broader sense, the All-Star Game is about recognizing the best players from each conference. Sure, there are a couple of rim-rattling dunks and the occasional long-range shot that falls. And if you’re lucky, really lucky, the game is close down the stretch, and then everyone’s competitive juices kick in and you might just get a memorable finale. The main purposes of most participants in the actual All-Star Game? They wear funky uniforms, get a little run in, hang out with their buddies, and then they go back to their own teams for the stretch run and the Playoffs.

But that’s not why I’m watching the All-Star Game. And I think most people tuning in or even attending All-Star are looking to have a similar question answered: Are we not entertained? No matter what the Fun Police tell you, at All-Star weekend, nobody is looking at efficiency stats or plus/minus ratings. We want to see Shaq playing point guard. We want to see Gilbert Arenas joining the Elvis impersonators and dunking off of a trampoline. Simply put: We want the All-Star Game — and the entire weekend, really — to be fun.

So you can argue all you want about who does and who doesn’t deserve to be named to the actual Eastern and Western Conference All-Star teams. Instead, I present to you my annual YOLO All-Stars. (If you didn’t know, YOLO is an acronym for You Only Live Once.) These are the guys who deserve to be All-Stars based on my own vague All Ball Blog criteria. I considered all of the following elements: hilarity; social media proficiency; general swag; likelihood the player will do something memorable; dunking/dribbling/shooting ability; previous Shaqtin’ A Fool appearances; mentions on the All Ball Blog.

To be clear, those categories are listed in no particular order, with no importance or weight to any given specific category. These are just the players I think it would be fun to see in an All-Star Game. If we want to be entertained, these are the players that will give it to us. Meet your 2013-14 NBA YOLO All-Stars…

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Starters
C – Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers — Always a blast on Twitter, and a man who appreciates good humor.
F – Chris Bosh, Miami Heat — Will be in charge of all videobombing.
F – LeBron James, Miami Heat — Not only is he a force on Twitter, which is good enough to qualify for the YOLO All-Stars, but he’s also the reigning MVP, so that wins him an invite.
G – J.R. Smith, New York Knicks — In the YOLO All-Star Game, untying shoes will be encouraged.
G – Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers — UNCLE DREW!

Bench
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks — The Greek Freak is perhaps the most unconventional athlete in the league, so you never know what he’s going to pull off next. He also loves smoothies, and with the All-Star Game being played in the newly-named Smoothie King Center, what could be more perfect?
Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors — One of my favorites on social media.
Andray Blatche, Brooklyn Nets — Eurostep!
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons — Will be in charge of Vine videos throughout the weekend.
Metta World Peace, New York Knicks — Still the best.
Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers — He may not have made the actual All-Star Game, but I can’t knock his hustle. Besides, he dunked on a ref, which is awesome.
Kevin Seraphin, Washington Wizards — Anyone with a pet snake named Snakey and a skeleton that rides a Segway is a lifetime YOLO All-Star.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Starters
C – Robin Lopez, Portland Trail Blazers — He’s a nerd and he’s proud of it.
F – Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves — We’ll have him making coffee for everyone.
F – Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder — If LeBron is on the East, we might as well put KD on the West.
G – Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers — My favorite dribbler in the NBA.
G – James Harden, Houston Rockets — The beard is fun on its own, but Harden’s also made a heavy push into social media the last few years. Maybe he can perform at halftime.

Bench
Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers — You can’t have a YOLO game without Swaggy P.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers — Founder of #4BarFriday.
Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies — Perhaps my favorite NBA player to challenge his team owner to a game of one-on-one.
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs — Broken nose and all, Bonner is always entertaining.
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors — Always a candidate to dunk on someone. Or to review an episode of “Breaking Bad.”
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings — Hard not to select someone who’s nickname is “Boogie.”
JaVale McGee, Denver Nuggets (Injured) — Really the perfect player for this game.
Nate Robinson, Denver Nuggets (Injured) — Go long, Nate will throw you the pineapple.

So there’s my YOLO All-Stars. Who would you put on your YOLO All-Star team? Let us know below in the comments!

Bird Takes In Wizards Game From Front-Row Perch

 

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night’s Wizards/Spurs game in Washington D.C. was a terrific battle, a game that went into double overtime before the Spurs were finally able to outlast the Wiz, 125-118. And just when you’ve think you’ve seen everything at an NBA game, something else wacky happens. As the first half was drawing to a close, a bird not only got loose in the Verizon Center arena, it decided to hang out on the top of the backboard.

Pretty chill bird, there, and they managed to get the flappy bird to fly away without much of a delay. But what it reminded me of was an incident during the 2009 playoffs. During Game 2 of the Hawks/Heat series played in Atlanta, the Hawks’ live mascot, a hawk named Spirit, got loose in Philips Arena. Spirit perched on the backboard cam and then the apex predator went up into the stands and hung out on a railing among Hawks fans. Luckily, nobody was hurt in either Atlanta or D.C.

If you ask me, these situations are really for the birds.
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VIDEO: Spirit the Hawk Makes Appearance