Latest Basketball News
Blake Griffin Involved in Remake of White Men Can't Jump January 18, 2017 16:17
I'm not going to lie, the thought of a remake of White Men Can't Jump fills me with equal amounts of joy and dread, but it's coming, thanks to Black-ish creator, Kenya Barris, and with the help of the LA Clipper's Blake Griffin.
Currently sidelined with a knee injury, Griffin is reportedly helping to produce the remake, under his new production company Mortal Media, which he owns with NFL player, Ryan Kalil. The script will be written by Barris and it will be released by 20th Century Fox.
The original movie starred Wesley Snipes (as Sidney Deane) and Woody Harrelson (as Billy Hoyle), as an unlikely street-ball duo, who hustled their opponents by relying on Harrelson's 'chump'-like look, to ensure people underestimated his skills on the court.
It's easily one of my favourite basketball movies, and can be quoted for days by anyone who grew up loving basketball in the 90's (the South Beach scenes where Hoyle first hustles Deane stand out). Let's not forget just how magically the movie captures a certain period in fashion as well.
No further details have been released about the remake, but here's to hoping that it can do the original justice, and introduce a whole new generation to the joys of White Men Can't Jump. It definitely flew too far under the radar originally, despite ending up as a bit of a cult classic in certain circles.
2017 New Orleans NBA All-Star Jerseys Are Unveiled January 06, 2017 00:00
We always look forward to this time of year - we're settling into 2017 nicely, and the NBA All Star voting is ramping up. Then we have the unveiling of the All Star jerseys! Over the years there have been some seriously iconic NBA All Star jerseys (like this one!), so we're always looking for that new design that's going to make that kind of impact.
Sadly, 2017 isn't going to be it. That's not to hate on these latest Adidas creations, they're quite clean and have some strong design features, like the architecturally inspired 'E' and 'W' that features on the shorts.
The plainness of the kits is in-keeping with current trends for simple and clean design, while the dulled down colours, with the blue or red highlights also sits nicely amongst the wider Adidas design spectrum (think NMD's and so on).
Despite the on-trend design, it's unlikely that these particular All Star jerseys will go down in history, or be talked about in the way the likes some of the 90's ones are, but it's still a pretty good look.
Check them out below, images via Slam Online
Bringing Hardwood Ventures to Life December 22, 2016 17:22
After our recent rebrand from Basketball Megastore over to Hardwood Ventures, we needed to get our store space up to spec, and what better way than to have the North East’s premier sign writer come in and do all of our new signage by hand.
THE REBRAND /// HARDWOOD VENTURES
We’d spent a long time discussing changing our name and branding. While ‘Basketball Megastore’ was a great name for us being online in terms of search engines and such, it didn’t really reflect how we truly viewed our business. To those who didn’t know us, or who hadn’t dealt with us, the name sounded more like a large discounter or lower-end sports store.
In changing over to Hardwood Ventures, we wanted both the name and the branding to reflect a deep-seated passion for the game, and an authenticity in what we do. We wanted to present a higher-quality image that does justice to the work that we put in, and to the brands that we represent.
Hardwood Ventures is our project in paying homage to the hardwood - the traditional home of our favourite sport. We wanted to represent the rich history of the game, as well as immersing ourselves in the contemporary culture of the sport, and looking forward to the future of basketball in the UK and beyond.
In the name, we’re also acknowledging the adventure, and the risk that we take in pursuing this. Everyday brings new challenges, and nothing about this is easy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
North East designer, Alan Wardle, was the guy to bring this all together in the branding that you now see on our store. From pulling together our logo and monogram, to masterminding how our branding should filter through everything that we do going forward. From the website and social media, through to in-store branding and image.
WE LOVE THIS GAME /// ASH WILLERTON
When working with people to bring this all to life, it pays to work with people who are as passionate about their area of expertise as you are in your own, because there’s so much more mutual appreciation, and the outcome is always going to be outstanding.
Through Alan, we were very lucky to be able to hook up with Ash Willerton, a sign writer who is fast making a big name for himself. Having worked with the likes of The Independent and Fortnum and Mason, as well as local independent stores like ours, Ash has worked his magic across a range of impressive projects.
For the store, Ash undertook a few different projects; the full logo on the outside of the store, a monogram for the till area, and a great piece for the front door letting people know exactly what they’re getting themselves in for when they come inside.
The door piece was influenced by the original ‘I Love this Game’ promo, ran by the NBA in the 1990’s. The sentiment couldn’t be more true for us, so Ash free-handed the saying in a unique script and brand colours, then painstakingly painted it onto the glass of the front door (in the dark nonetheless!).
HV /// FRONT AND CENTRE
The monogram for the front counter, and the full logo outside were hand painted with a great amount of precision, super slick straight lines and all. I’m told it’s all in the brushes, but I’m sure it’s more to do with the hand behind the brush, and the hours and hours of practice, and previous experience that allows Ash to make this all look way easier than it actually is.
We’ve been really impressed with the outcome of the whole thing. The new branding looks great on the store and we now feel we have a look that we can be really proud of moving forward.
We have a lot of new things planned for 2017, and now we have the right branding to move forward with. Once again, big thanks to Alan Wardle for his inspired branding and design work, and to Ash Willerton for his time, energy and passion in keeping the craft of sign writing alive while bringing Hardwood Ventures to life.
Allen Iverson Still Setting Trends With Stance Socks October 28, 2016 23:12
If you think about the history of the NBA, and try to identify the people who set new trends, and changed the way that we think about basketball and culture in a significant way, the name at the top of that list is always going to be Allen Iverson.
Few players have managed to stand out as much off the court, as they did on the court. Iverson did both with ease. He grabbed as many column inches for his off-court style and antics, as he did for his killer crossover and deadly passing skills.
While tattoos and a bad attitude are common place in the NBA these days (think Matt Barnes, Willie Cauley-Stein or DeMarcus Cousins) that wasn't always the case. In fact, before Iverson, it was pretty much non-existent.
Iverson strolled in with cornrows, baggy clothes and a f*$k you attitude, and he had the game to back it up. His popularity around the league meant that, in 2005, the NBA had to introduce a players dress code to counteract (or try to counteract) Iverson's influence.
Flash forward to 2016 and Allen Iverson has been inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame; to be remembered forever as a true legend of the game of basketball. He also happens to have partnered with one of the current high-flyers in the trend-setting game: Stance.
Stance and Iverson seem like a match made in heaven. Both see no end to creativity and innovation, and both aren't afraid to put themselves out there and see what happens. For those reasons, it's great to see these guys collaborating on a whole new line of Allen Iverson socks.
This first batch of Iverson socks have very specific motifs taken from his career and legacy in the league. From the Division 1 socks that pay homage to Georgetown, where Iverson made his name in the NCAA, through to the Fame Ring socks that give a nod to his new place in the Hall of Fame.
We're loving this current range, and as people who really got into the NBA around the time that Iverson was doing his thing, we can't wait to see what AI and Stance cook up next.
Head over to our curated collection of Allen Iverson Stance socks here, to see the latest releases.
Adidas D Rose 7 'Halloween' in Tech Steel / Ice Blue / Core Black October 15, 2016 20:36
We're only a matter of days away from the start of the 2016/17 NBA season, and a lot of us are holding our breath when it comes to seeing how Derrick Rose is going to perform in New York this season.
We're definitely hoping that he can stay healthy and really throw it down at the Garden; leaving anything remotely ghoulish to his sponsors adidas, and their upcoming 'Halloween' release of the D Rose 7.
Stepping away from anything we've seen in the D Rose footwear line up, the D Rose 7 Tech Steel / Ice Blue / Core Black has a blue and black coloured upper, with a raging graphic patter across the overlays.
The white BOOST layer is still on full display with this shoe, wrapped up in a translucent outsole to finish off the look.
We're hoping to catch Rose in a pair of these shortly, with the NBA season ready to tip off ahead of Halloween this year. The shoes on the other hand will be arriving in store next week.
Buzzer Beater! Adidas D Lillard 2 'Dame Time' Hits Shelves October 14, 2016 21:55
As a basketball player, is there anything better than hitting a buzzer beater to win the game for your team? Surely not. For some players, clutch plays becomes almost second nature, and Damian Lillard is making a name for himself as one of those players.
The adidas D Lillard 2 'Dame Time' shoe pays homage to Lillard's clutch style of play, and in particular his play against the Houston Rockets in 2014, when he hit a game-winning buzzer beater to help the Portland Trail Blazers progress in the play-offs.
With 0.9 seconds left on the clock, Lillard received the ball on an in-bounds play, and BANG, drops a three pointer to send the Rockets home. Don't remember it, check it out below.
The 'Dame Time' edition of the D Lillard 2 has a few features that give a nod Lillard's buzzer-beating abilities. As well as coming in a shot-clock red colourway, the shoes feature a tonal '0.9' pattern across the upper, along with a clock style '0' on the tongue tab representing Lillard's jersey number.
Aside from that, the shoes have some nice little details specific to Lillard, like this home town built into the sole and his name embossed onto the gold eyelets at the top of the shoe.
On the performance side, the adidas D Lillard 2 features BOUNCE technology to help energize your movement, while a molded TPU heel cap aids stability, meaning speed and agility are locked in when you hit the court.
In the Mix: Clsm Sporting Goods Co. October 12, 2016 13:25
We recently had a quick shoot go down in store for local brand, Clsm. Clsm is a new sporting goods company that pays homage to all that is good about American sports, so when they dropped by they cracked out the product grids and got to work.
Check out the Clsm Rookie drop below, as photographed by Rhiannon Banks.
Adidas Welcomes 2016 Rookie Draft Class October 10, 2016 21:41
Adidas might be stepping aside when it comes to NBA on-court apparel, but they’re still working hard on building their hoops family. This Summer, adidas added 8 new members from the 2016 Rookie Class, to their ever expanding roster.
Thon Maker (Bucks), Taurean Prince (Hawks), Wade Baldwin (Grizzlies), DeAndre Bemby (Hawks), Ivica Zubacof (Lakers), Cheick Diallo (Pelicans), Patrick McCawof (Warriors) and Isiah Cousins (Kings) are the latest ambassadors to sign up to adidas, and they join an already impressive roster of rookie talent.
"I chose adidas to be different. Everybody wants to wear the same brands but at the end of the day, I want to set the tone. I'd rather form a bond and get to the top together than go where everyone else goes," Taurean said. "Being with these other rookies is like growing up with your brother with those dreams to do something great. Once you're able to accomplish that – it's like it was meant to be."
Earlier this year, adidas signed Brandon Ingram (Lakers), Jaylen Brown (Celtics), Dragan Bender (Suns), Kriss Dunn (Timberwolves) and Jamal Murray (Nuggets).
"I've known some of these guys for a long time. We enjoy being in each other's presence and at the same time, we're fierce competitors. I feel like everybody else wants to fit in and for what? We're born to stand out," Jaylen said. "The whole brand, the whole movement – I'm here to create. That speaks to me on so many levels. I'm someone that wants to be different and respected for generations to come. That's what I'm here for."
A few of these new players dropped by the adidas Village in Portland, Oregon to meet adidas staff, test out the latest adidas products and provide feedback that can help the brand develop the likes of their footwear ranges and general basketball apparel.
Stay tuned for some of the top rookies in the 2016 Draft Class featuring in upcoming brand campaigns, activations and global tours.
The Stance Hardwood Classics All-Star Collection August 25, 2016 14:26
In the NBA, few jerseys are as memorable or as coveted as the All-Star ones. Granted, some years are better than others, but that is exactly why the good people at Stance have curated a collection of Hardwood Classic socks that pay homage to certain NBA All-Star jerseys.
The Stance NBA All-Star collection releases in the UK this August, and will feature socks that mimic the styling of the jerseys from the 1980, 1992, 1995 and 1996 All-Star games, as well as there being a pair of socks that just rep the NBA Conferences and acknowledge the great East vs West contest that the All-Star Weekend really is.
Check them out below! The first drop of All-Star socks arrives with us on 26.8.16, so keep it right here.
New Steph Curry Golden State Warriors NBA Jerseys Arriving | Remembering Why He's the Two-Time MVP August 23, 2016 14:32
As we start to build up to the brand new basketball season, and new products start arriving, now is a good time to take a look back at what happened last year and remind ourselves of what we have to look forward to in just a couple of months time!
Today we'll see out first drop of 2016/17 NBA jerseys with the arrival of the Adidas Swingman Golden State Warriors jersey in blue, with Steph Curry's name and number. Warriors jerseys have been in huge demand, so let's take a look at what got fans wrapped up in the Warriors last season, and why Curry was named the leagues first unanimous MVP!
Adidas D Rose 7 'Nations' Arriving Soon August 21, 2016 11:17
We might be deep into the off-season right now, but Adidas hasn’t taken a break in terms of releasing footwear that is ready to hit the court. A great Summer release has been the Adidas Nations pack, which includes the Adidas D Rose 7 ‘Nations’ shoe that is about to land right here very soon. (UPDATE: Available now.)
The 2016 Adidas Nations Collection has been designed with the Californian coast in mind - with the bright blues and greens of the sea and the gold of the sun adding highlights to the shoes.
The Adidas Nations shoes were created especially for players who were taking part in the brands renowned under 19’s basketball camp that took place earlier this month in Los Angeles. Now the shoes are winging their way out to retail shelves around the world.
We will soon be getting the D Rose 7 shoe that features in the Nations Collection. The shoe is the latest signature release from the newly signed New York Knicks point guard.
The D Rose 7 'Nations' features a bright turquoise mesh upper, with highlights in gold and a multi-colour mosaic pattern that is meant to represent the array of nations that took part in the Adidas camp, and the bright white mid-sole features a full length BOOST unit.
Images courtesy of Adidas
Philadelphia 76ers Select Ben Simmons as 2016 No. 1 Pick June 24, 2016 14:20
With all this furore around the UK and the departure from the EU, we’ve barely had time to take full stock of one of the biggest nights in the NBA calendar; NBA Draft night! So let’s take a timeout and have a little peek at what went down.
The Philadelphia 76ers used the first pick of the 2016 NBA Draft to select Ben Simmons - a much coveted choice in the years offering and hopefully a solid pick up for the struggling Sixers franchise.
Simmons, an Australian native who moved to Florida for high school and college, averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists for LSU - becoming the first SEC player to finish top in all three categories. He has already made some serious moves too, having signed a $20 million deal with Nike and will be featured in the Showtime documentary, ONE & DONE, which will come out this October.
Philly grabbed another two players in the first round to pad out the squad with a bit of Euro talent. They took Frenchman Timothe Luwawu with the 24th pick, and Furkan Korkmaz out of the Turkish league with the 26th pick.
Next up, the LA Lakers selected Brandon Ingram, from Duke, with the second pick. A small forward with enough skills to play confidently at the point, and as one of the youngest players in the draft, hopefully another potential rising star for the face of the post-Kobe Lakers.
With the 3rd pick of the draft, the Celtics selected Jaylen Brown. A 6-foot-7 freshman who had struggles this past year in terms of the impact and consistency of his game, so a bit of an unknown for the Celtics. Boston fans will have to hope that someone over there has a plan.
At the 4th, the Phoenix Suns selected Croatian, Dragan Bender. He was the youngest player in the draft, but is considered to be one of the most talented player to be coming through from Europe so there’s a buzz around seeing what he’s going to be able to do for the Suns this coming season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Kris Dun with the 5th pick of the draft who looks like another great young addition to the line-up for the ever developing TWolves side. Dunn is considered to be one of the more capable and creative players to come through in the draft this year and it’ll be good to see how he sits with Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins next season.
It’s always exciting to see these new guys come through and find out where they’re going to be hitting the court next season, only problem being we have to wait a while for that to happen now!
Here’s the run down of the rest of the top end of the draft.
6. New Orleans Pelicans - Buddy Heild
7. Denver Nuggets - Jamal Murray
8. Sacramento Kings - Marquese Chriss (Traded to Phoenix Suns)
9. Toronto Raptors - Jakon Poeltl
10. Milwaukee Bucks - Thon Maker
11. Orlando Magic - Domantas Sabonis (Traded to OKC)
12. Utah Jazz - Taurean Prince
13. Phoenix Suns - Georgios Papagiannis (Traded to Sacramento Kings)
14. Chicago Bulls - Denzel Valentine
15. Denver Nuggets - Juan Hernangomez
Thunder Trade Serge Ibaka to Magic for Victor Oladipo June 24, 2016 13:52
The Oklahoma City Thunder might not have had any draft picks last night, but boy did they make sure that their name was up there in terms of making moves. The Thunder have traded Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the newly drafted Domantas Sabonis.
One of the biggest talking points in the NBA right now is the fact that Thunder star, Kevin Durant, will be a free agent on the 1st of July, and will easily have his pick of NBA teams. Last night’s move by the Thunder is thought to be aimed at offering Durant a roster that might be more appealing.
The Thunder have perhaps had a weak spot at shooting guard since the departure of James Harden in 2012. Dion Waiters or Andre Roberson have been rotating around that spot this past season, with Waiters proving inconsistent and Roberson improving, but not to a level that could convince Durant to stay in Oklahoma to chase a Championship.
Ibaka has been a solid defensive force for the Thunder, although his numbers have dropped this past year to what it was. Back in 2011-12 he led the league in blocks and he was able to make the NBA All-Defensive First Team for three years on the trot. He was an important factor in keeping the Thunder trucking when Westbrook was out injured in the 2013-14 season but suffered his own set backs due to injury too.
We’ll wait and see what happens on the Durant front over the next couple of months, but Oladipo should make a fine addition to the Thunder and hopefully Ibaka can ply his shot-blocking trade with some success in Orlando.
New York Knicks Sign Derrick Rose! June 22, 2016 15:16
The New York Knicks have wasted no time after the Finals in starting to do something about their own place in the league next season. It’s been announced that the Knicks have signed Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls.
Chicago-born-and-bred, Rose was a fan favourite amongst Bulls supporters, although that has wavered slightly in recent years given Roses struggles with injury. The one-time league MVP isn’t the player he was when he won that award, but he also shouldn’t be written off just yet.
The Knicks believe enough in Rose that they’ve acquired him as their new point guard, in exchange for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant.
The Bulls ended up having a disappointing season this year, their first under Fred Hoiberg. Reported in-fighting between Rose and Jimmy Butler (which they both deny) and the deteriorating situation with Joakim Noah has added to Chicago’s woes and no doubt this off season will see big changes, the Rose deal being just the first of many.
Speaking about the move, Bulls GM Gar Forman has said, “Derrick has meant a lot to this organisation and to this city and to this team, and has overcome a lot over the years with all the injuries to get back to the point he was. But in putting our plan together, we felt as a first step this really made sense for us.”
Rose first damaged his knee in the 2012 NBA play-offs, and hasn’t really been the same since. Ht hasn’t been an All-Star since 2012 and his game has altered to accommodate the perceived, or perhaps actual, fragility of his knees as a result of repeated injury and treatment.
Rose will now join Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis in blue and orange under Jeff Hornacek to try and turn things around for himself and for the Knicks.
Let's take a look back at Rose before the injuries, and wish him luck in New York.
Cleveland Cavaliers are 2016 NBA Champions!! June 20, 2016 15:25
Not many people expected this to be the outcome of the 2016 NBA season. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers have shocked the Golden State Warriors in Game 7, to become the 2015 NBA Champions!
Few words can really express what this season has been like. Kobe retiring, the Warriors getting the 73-9 record, and now LeBron James making good on his promise to deliver Cleveland their first ever NBA title.
So let's just sit back and enjoy the NBA's very own Game 7 Mini Movie. What a year.
Karl-Anthony Towns Wins Unanimous Rookie of the Year Award May 16, 2016 14:00
We already had one unanimous award this season, and now it looks like we’re getting another one as Karl-Anthony Towns is named the unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year!
Towns was the No. 1 pick in last years draft, and has spend a very solid season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 18.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.
The Timberwolves managed to improve their record by 13 games this season, helped by having a young group of talented guys who are hopefully going to grow together to be a force in the league in the future.
Towns certainly proved his worth as the first pick this year. He was named Western Conference rookie of the month for each time that award was presented and has shown maturity beyond his 20 years of age.
Let’s take a look at some of his highlights from this season.
Toronto Raptors Progress to ECF For First Time in Franchise History May 16, 2016 13:00
The Toronto Raptors are one of those NBA teams that always get a lot of love around the world. They have a pretty serious following in the UK, but they’ve never really gone anywhere, until now.
The Raptors have finally hustled their way through to a franchise-first Eastern Conference finals!
The Raptors franchise has been on the go for two decades now, and post-season success has always evaded them for one reason or another. This year, the beat the Miami Heat in 7 games to finally progress, and it hasn’t been easy. They have taken each round so far to game 7, meaning that they’ve now played 14 games. Their ECF competitor, the Cleveland Cavaliers, have gotten to the same stage having played just 8 games.
Cleveland have swept all of their opponents in the play-offs this year, so most bets are on them to progress to the NBA Finals, but right now, Raptors fans can enjoy this historic season in Toronto. Check out the game 7 action versus Miami, that took the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Steph Curry is the First Unanimous NBA MVP! May 11, 2016 11:49
Steph Curry has been steaming through NBA records this season like it’s nobodies business, so it’s fitting that, not only would he be named the 2016 NBA MVP, but that he would be the first player in the game to be unanimously voted into that position.
Curry gained all 131 first place votes from the sportswriters and broadcasters who decide on the award, getting a total of 1,310 points.
To highlight how far ahead of the pack he was in that regard, the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard came in second, with 634 points, while LeBron James finished 3rd in the voting with 631 points.
This is Curry’s second MVP award, and has won in back-to-back years. To celebrate Curry’s achievement, the NBA put together a special, 8-minute long career highlights video - check it out below!
Spurs - Thunder Game 2 Ends in No Call Controversy May 03, 2016 12:30
With 13.5 seconds left in the game the Thunder had the ball to inbound and they were up 98 - 97 over the Spurs. What would follow the inbounds would be 13.5 seconds of madness as the Spurs would steal the ball and frantically try to pull this one back.
Check out what happened:
Yes, the Spurs did’t score, and the Thunder held on to win game 2 by a single point, but as it would turn out, there was way more drama to be had than just what was on the surface of those 13.5 seconds.
First up, the biggest issue all round was the fact that, while trying to inbound the ball, the Thunder’s Dion Waiters clearly elbowed Manu Ginobili, who was defending him on the inbounds - and the referees missed the call. The officials admitted after the game that they missed the call, and even though the Spurs couldn't hit the bucket when they did steal the ball, they were rightly upset.
Had that call be spotted during play, the Spurs would have gained possession of the basketball, and had a chance to set up a play for those last 13.5 seconds, instead of the mad stampede that it turned out to be.
Nevertheless, that’s basketball. The referees let the game play out. When the ball was inbounded, Danny Green hit Kevin Durant pretty hard to get the ball back so that the Spurs could make those last second attempts. Then a fan held onto Steven Adams arm after he tried to block Patti Mills, stopping him getting back in on the action.
After Mills missed shot attempt, LaMarcus Aldridge rebounded the ball, but Serge Ibaka was there to grip onto his jersey to keep the Spurs from having any final attempt at the basket. A mess by anyones standards, but there we have it.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are now tied 1-1 with the San Antonio Spurs. Game 3 in on OKC on Friday.
Brudder Films Premiers "Porzingod" - Knicks Fans Still Have A Prayer! April 27, 2016 12:26
It’s no secret that New York Knicks fans have been through it these past few seasons, but once you hit rock bottom, surely there’s only one way to go....? Just incase, John Leguizamo and Adam Mucci are praying to the Knicks gods (in hilarious fashion) to ensure that “Porzingod” can now take them back to the promised land.
The New York Knicks went through an era of greatness in the 1990’s, and have been crowned NBA Champions on a number of occasions, but more recent decades have seen a decline in New York basketball. Now, the blue and orange army is hoping that their rookie star, Kristaps Porzingis, is the answer they’ve been waiting for.
Porzingis had a great impact on the team in his first year, and this short film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, sums up the attitude of many Knicks fans, who are hoping for a brighter future in New York.
Take a look:
Sacramento Kings Reveal New Branding for 2016-17 NBA Season April 27, 2016 11:41
While a lot of us will spend the next month or so glued to the NBA play offs to see who will be crowned champions in 2016, the teams who didn’t make it to the post season are now looking forward to next season, and a new chance to make a new run at success.
The Sacramento Kings have been quick out of the gate in revealing some news about what next year looks like for them with an overhaul of their branding.
The Kings released their new brand identity to fans during a special preview at the Golden 1 Center - the future home of the Kings that is under construction. In a release on Kings.com, Owner and Chairman, Vivek Ranadive said, “When the Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985, the city was transformed. Today, we aim to do it again…This brand kicks off a new era for our franchise as we move into the most technologically-advanced, most environmentally-friendly arena in the world. As Sacramento becomes the next great American city, this identity honuors our heritage while moving us forward.”
The new primary logo is more of a throwback to the Kings classic logo (see bottom of the page), although the crown has been reshaped and the whole thing has been sharpened up, along with a newer typeface. It’s definitely cleaner and more modern than the branding from the past few seasons, and the accompanying elements and alternative logos fit well with the Kings focus on ‘Our City. Our Pride. Our Foundation”.
The lion elements of the new branding have a very strong football feel about them; something you might expect to see on an England shirt or as part of the Premier League branding, rather than on an NBA jersey.
The lion is obviously a very direct link to the term ‘pride’ and about reenergising the city and the franchise in terms of feeling proud of what they can potentially achieve in the future.
The Kings “New Era of Proud” video is a really nice way to unveil the branding too - all the nostalgia of the Kings history wrapped up in a short that finally places the modern day Sacramento franchise at the centre of things.
The Kings website runs through the new branding in a nice way (check it out here), linking the new look to the history and development of the club, with the tag line "Inspired by the Past. Created for the Future." You get a better sense of the branding development from this:
Finally, to this:
Chris Paul Breaks Hand in Game 4 vs Portland, Griffin Aggravates Quad Injury April 26, 2016 15:00
Chris Paul left the game during the 3rd quarter and was found to have broken right hand. Paul is often said to be one of the most competitive guys in the NBA, and his frustration at yet another potential play off failure was apparent last night. Paul kicked a seat cushion onto the court as he left the game and has no intention of talking to reporters after the game.
Paul won’t be playing for the rest of these play offs, which is a big enough knock as it is, but then in the 4th quarter, Blake Griffin also aggravated the left quad injury that has kept him out for large parts of the season already. Griffin went to the bench late in the game, and has been given a 50% chance of making it back to play out the rest of this series, depending on how he is feeling over the next 24 - 48 hours.
Despite much of last nights game being fairly close, it was in the 4th quarter, with Paul missing and Blake at a disadvantage, that the Trail Blazers were able to put the jets on and tie the series. Portland out-scored LA 32 - 20 in that final quarter, to win the game 98 - 84.
The series now goes back to Staples Centre, where we’ll get to see how the Clippers get on without Paul and potentially without Griffin. Meanwhile, Portland will be looking to take this opportunity to further their own play off campaign.
Game 5 is in LA on Wednesday night.
UPDATE 27.4.16 - Blake Griffin ruled out for the remainder of the play offs.
Steph Curry Out for Two Weeks After Straining Right Knee Against Rockets April 26, 2016 14:46
The Golden State Warriors are 3 - 1 up in their first round play off series against the Houston Rockets, but were hit by the news that Steph Curry will now miss at least two weeks after spraining his right knee in Sunday’s game.
After a record breaking regular season (and even picking up a new NBA record already in the play offs with 21 made 3-pointers in a single game) the Warriors will no doubt battle on in a solid fashion without Curry, but he’s a huge miss on the squad.
Curry injured his knee in just before the buzzer went at half time in game 4 on Sunday, after sliding on a wet spot created by Houston’s Donatas Motiejunas, who also skidded across the floor. Curry did come out to try to warm up again after the halftime break, but immediately returned to the locker room, where he stayed for the rest of the game.
The Warriors didn’t flinch. The rest of the team went on a second half burst, hitting 8 three-pointers in the third quarter and stretching out to a 21 point lead.
The concern for Golden State is that winning is unsustainable without Curry. The Warriors lost game 3 of this series by 1 point in Houston, while Curry was sat on the bench with an ankle issue. During the regular season, the Warriors had a 3-2 record without Curry playing.
When saying that the Warriors become slightly more vulnerable without the reigning (and surely soon to be 2-time) MVP, it’s clear to see why in Curry’s numbers. This season he led the NBA in scoring, with 30.1 points per game on average. He also averaged 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds, as well as leading the league in steals with 2.1 per game. Curry also blew the made three-pointers record clear out of the water. He had an insane 402 3-pointers this season - a whole 116 that his record from the season before.
The Warriors will now return home, with Houston in tow to play game 5. Golden State will look to finish this first round series with a win and silence all of this talk about the team lacking without Curry. No matter whether they win it in game 5, or the series gets dragged out a bit more, Curry will still miss the first half of the second round, when the Warriors will have to face a more substantial opponent.
The Warriors will face either the LA Clippers, or the Portland Trail Blazers, who are currently tied 2-2 in their series. The Clippers faced a huge blow last night as with Chris Paul breaking his hand and Blake Griffin aggravating his quad injury. Portland were able to level the series as those familiar dark clouds gather over the Clippers in terms of whether that squad can ever drag themselves beyond the first stages of the play offs.
Portland seem to e enjoying an underdog rally, having lost the majority of their roster along with LaMarcus Aldridge last Summer. They’d certainly make a testing opponent for the underhanded Warriors, with Damian Lillard set to prove his worth in this league.
For Curry, the wait to see how things go with his injury over the next two weeks will no doubt be excruciating. It’s not going to be much more fun for the fans either. Here’s to wishing him well and a swift return to this historic Golden State team.
San Antonio Sweeps Memphis in Time for Tim Duncan's 40th Birthday April 25, 2016 15:23
The San Antonio Spurs are the most under-hyped team in the NBA, but that doesn’t meant that they don’t go out there and get things done.
The Spurs have swept the Memphis Grizzlies 4-0 in the first round of the 2016 NBA play offs. They topped the sweep off last night with a 116 - 95 win in Memphis, led by Kawhi Leonards 21 points.
The straight sweep was the 9th in San Antonio Spurs franchise play off history, a record that puts coach Greg Popovich at the top of all coaches in NBA history in that category.
Finishing the first round in the shortest amount of time possible also means that Tim Duncan gets to celebrate his 40th birthday today while relaxing and waiting for the next round.
The Spurs will face either the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Dallas Mavericks in the next round, pending the outcome of that match up.
While we’re waiting on that, let’s celebrate Time Duncan’s birthday by checking out this look back at his career in the NBA
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