Latest Basketball News
Basketball Tech Uncovered: What Is adidas Boost? January 25, 2017 16:18
It's no secret that adidas has been hard at work developing new shoe technologies over the past few years, in order to grab a bigger share of the basketball footwear market (and of the footwear market in general), and Boost has been a huge part of those developments.
Here at Hardwood Ventures we currently see Boost on a daily basis, in shoes like the Crazylight Boost, D Rose 7 and Harden Vol. 1, but what exactly is Boost, and why is it changing the face of adidas basketball footwear?
ON A MATERIAL LEVEL
On a material level, Boost is an innovative cushioning, that is made up of loads of tiny pellets, formed from a material called Thermoplastic Urethane. Even in pellet form, this material has properties that are rarely seen together at the same time, but are ideal for use in footwear.
As described by Mikal Peveto, adidas' senior director of innovation, these Thermoplastic Urethane pellets are "super soft, but also super springy". When they're formed together in the midsole of a shoe, the inherent properties of those individual pellets are almost magnified to provide excellent cushioning, but also excellent energy return.
ENERGY RETURN, WHAT?
The term 'energy return' is used to describe a function of Boost, but it's more of an adidas marketing term because what Boost actual does, is control the loss of energy. You can't get more energy out of your shoes than you put in, so a big feature of Boost is that it hugely limits the amount of energy lost when your foot hits the floor.
With Boost holding on to more of that energy that you're putting into walking, running or jumping, effectively this means that you should be able to perform the same exercise or action, with less effort. Or you should be able to run up the court faster, or run further than normal, without expending more energy.
(Sadly this doesn't extend to putting any serious inches on your vertical - keep doing those squats.)
BOOST ON FOOT
Boost offers a better energy return than anything else on the market right now, and having tried Boost personally (in the adidas D Rose 7), it's crazy soft to walk and run in. It definitely lives up to the performance hype AND it looks good, which has been a key aspect of Boost being able to transcend the performance market, and cross over into straight fashion and streetwear.
In store, sometimes just talking about Boost and it's properties isn't enough, you really have to get it on-foot to truly showcase how good it feels, and how different it is to the other midsole materials in the market right now.
There's on overwhelming sense of adidas making some serious gains in the basketball footwear market on the back of technologies like Boost. It's going to be interesting to see how things develop from here.
Adidas Harden Vol. 1 - James Harden's Game Changing Signature Shoe January 25, 2017 15:08
The arrival of the adidas Harden Vol. 1 marks a new movement within the adidas signature shoe game. James Harden and adidas are working together to create a collaborative partnership that produces basketball footwear and apparel unlike anything else in the market.
Driven by Harden's style of play and his performance needs, the Harden Vol. 1 features a range of specific technology and design flares, that adhere to his core on-court requirements and creativity.
The adidas Harden Vol. 1 features:
- Leather toe shroud for premium protection
- Full length BOOST for all game energy return
- Adaptive support with asymmetrical lacing
- Fractal traction pattern for game changing grip
Nike Doesn't Plan to Continue with Sleeved Jerseys January 24, 2017 14:47
With the announcement that Nike would be taking over as the official jersey supplier to the NBA come the 2017-18 NBA season, a whole load of questions have been thrown out there in regards to how Nike will change things up.
A key point that Nike have recently made, much to the delight of most fans, is that Nike does not plan to produce sleeved jerseys. That information, which was revealed in the WSJ, came along with information that Nike will only be releasing authentic and swingman jerseys into retailers that they're partnered with, and not replica jerseys.
The production of replica jerseys has been handed over to US-based sports company, Fanatics, so replica's will only be available via Fanatics and the official NBA store.
Nevertheless, we can breathe easy in that Nike will not be putting out sleeved jerseys (at least for this initial season - they've not said that they'll never make them, just that they don't plan to). LeBron James will no doubt be pleased, as Nike's biggest current global basketball representative, he was very vocal about his dislike of the sleeved jerseys when adidas started to produce them in 2013.
LeBron notably tore the sleeves open on his jersey in 2015 as the ultimate show of defiance, and given Nike's relationship with LeBron, I'm sure they'd have taken notice of what he had to say on the matter.
Nike NBA swingman and authentic jerseys will be available to purchase right here for the 2017-18 NBA season.
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.
Nike NBA Jersey Images Leaked with Jersey Adverts November 09, 2016 00:00
There's much anticipation surrounding the fact that Nike is taking over the license for NBA jerseys and on court apparel for next season, and here is a leaked picture of what we can possibly expect from Nike when the 2017-18 season comes around.
Images of what can be assumed are Nike Philadelphia 76ers jerseys and shorts, were leaked on Twitter by user @PhillyStein_ and passed around quickly in the media. Here's what they look like.
There's always a lot of debate surrounding the idea of having adverts on NBA jerseys, but starting next season, it will be a thing. Judging by these leaked images of of the Sixers NBA jerseys (on the white version), the advert doesn't look too imposing, although the Sixers have picked StubHub, which is a whole other debate of it's own in regards to the ethics of having a ticket touting site as your sponsor.
We'll have to wait to see if more images emerge to confirm the validity of the leak, but either way the change over to Nike NBA uniforms is going to be huge!
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.
What Can We Expect from Nike NBA Jerseys Next Season? September 01, 2016 15:24
For the most part, the move of the NBA on-court apparel rights over to Nike is still shrouded in mystery, but there are plenty of places to gather clues from in terms of what's to come when Nike takes over the design, creation and distribution of NBA jerseys and apparel.
In a conversation with SLAM Magazine earlier this year, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was happy to speak a little on the matter, despite the switch to Nike not coming until next year. Silver said that the NBA have a “wonderful relationship with Adidas, but Adidas was not endemic to basketball. They are at root a soccer company. I think on the other hand, with Nike, as I heard Mark Parker, the CEO say, basketball is the soul of Nike.”
That one sentence alone has to have hardcore basketball fans drooling - the idea that the NBA is going to get back to working with a company who eats, sleeps and breathes basketball as much as we do.
NIKE SWOOSH LOGO
Nike have signed an 8-year deal with the NBA, and have paid a hefty sum to make the bold move to have the Nike Swoosh visible on all on-court apparel, including the jerseys. The addition of the brand logo comes with the NBA also moving to trial adverts featuring on the jerseys.
This will be a big departure from what we're used to seeing with Adidas. While the Adidas logo featured on warm up apparel, it was never on the on-court jerseys. In terms of advertising, Adidas and the NBA have ran a trial with the All Star jerseys, feating a small KIA logo on the chest. We'll wait to see what comes of the move next year.
There has been no release of information in regards to the materials that the jerseys will be made from, or how that will (or maybe won't) differ from Adidas, however these won't be the first jerseys that Nike have ever made, so we do have some points of reference, and Nike is big into it's innovations, so I can't see them making this sort of move on the NBA, and not using it as a platform to wow the sports world wherever possible.
Nike of course made the uniforms for Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics, so we can perhaps assume that Nike will follow a similar model when it comes to producing the NBA jerseys. If so, the jerseys are definitely going to be lighter, cut differently and made from vastly different materials.
The uniforms at the Olympics, much like a lot of current football kits, were made, in part, from recycled plastic bottles. Yes you read that right. Of course we're talking about plastic bottles that have been processed in extreme ways to produce a yarn that can be woven as part of the overall fabric. (Read more about the process in regards to football kits here.)
Nike is also a very player-centric organisation in the sense that they want to produce kits that players want to wear; kits that tackle the problems that players face on the court. Apparently ahead of the Olympics, Nike had lots of players at their Sports Research Lab in Oregon, to test different factors that concerned them most, such as breathability and mobility. The outcome of the tests were that the jerseys needed to be lighter, and help channel air at specific points, like across the chest, to make the playing experience better for those wearing the jerseys.
All in all there are undoubtedly going to be big changes when the switch takes place, and basketball fans across the world are going to be tuned in to see how the biggest basketball brand globally chooses to impact the sport we love.
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
Kobe Bryant Scores 60 Points in his Final Game | Secures Lakers Comeback Win April 14, 2016 11:20
After a lacklustre season for the LA Lakers, which saw Kobe Bryant go on a farewell tour across the league, the Black Mamba did not disappoint on the final day of the regular season.
Kobe bid farewell to fans at Staples Centre in Los Angeles by dropping 60 points on the Utah Jazz and hauling his Lakers side to a come back win. As close to a fairy tale ending as we could of hoped, to end a career that spanned 20 years in the league.
The last time Kobe had a game in which he scored more than 50 points was February 2009. Last night, he even turned on the magic in the 4th quarter, scoring 23 points to push the Lakers over the hill to victory. For some perspective, the entire Jazz team only scored 21 points in that final quarter.
Not one to shy away from speaking his mind, Kobe spoke to the press after the game, saying; “The perfect ending would have been a championship.” His teammates also tried to spray him with champagne in the locker room, and he was unimpressed, telling them that doing that is only for championships.
It’s been tough to watch the Lakers these past few seasons. Even more so this year as they racked up a franchise-worst performance, amongst unnecessary locker room drama. At 37 years of age, and now feeling the huge toll of his time in the league, and with recent injuries weighing on him, there was little that Kobe could do about it on his own.
After everything, Kobe got to leave the court last night with a smile on his face, and thousands of fans inside the arena, and outside, chanting his name. After 20 years in purple and gold, he could walk away on a characteristically dramatic note.
“What else can I say?” Kobe asked. “Mamba out.”
Spurs Equal NBA Record for Regular Season Home Wins at 40-1 April 14, 2016 10:55
The San Antonio Spurs came painfully close to doing what no other NBA team has ever done before, and that’s go unbeaten at home for an entire season.
They came as close as dropping just one single game at home all season, although their final home game of the season also turned into a huge a challenge.
The Spurs have chalked up a hugely admirable 40-1 record at home this season, only losing that single game to this historic Golden State Warriors team last weekend. That matches the all-time NBA record for home wins in a season which was set by the Boston Celtics in the 1985-86 regular season.
Last night, in the final home game of the regular season, the Spurs faced the Oklahoma City Thunder, and while OKC rested Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, the game was taken to overtime for the first time this year in San Antonio.
The Spurs seemed to struggle for much of the game, perhaps attributed to the mental and physical toll of their first home loss against the Warriors on Sunday. The Thunder were able to take an 18 point lead early in the second, but the Spurs fought hard to prevent a second straight loss at home.
Kawhi Leonard had the ball in his hands with a chance to win things at the end of regulation, but missed the jump shot, with things going to overtime. San Antonio finally pulled things together in the extra period, taking the win 102 - 98.
Maybe not the way that they wanted their final home game to go ahead of what promises to be a tasking play-offs in the Western Conference, but a win is a win.
The team can be proud at being able to tie an NBA record that was set by a team that included the likes of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish.
Farewell Mamba - Kobe Bryant Will Play His Last Ever NBA Game Tonight April 13, 2016 12:51
It’s going to be a sad day in the NBA today, as we see the close out of the 2015/16 regular NBA season. Whether you love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Kobe Bryant has had a significant career in the NBA, and that his last ever game, against the Utah Jazz tonight, is going to be heart wrenching for a generation of basketball fans.
Kobe has spent an epic 20 years in the NBA, and every moment of his career (barring the actual draft night) has been spent wearing the purple and gold of the LA Lakers.
Tonight, he’ll play his last ever NBA game at home, at Staples Centre, in front of a sold out audience. When he walks off the court, Kobe will leave as the NBA’s third-all-time-leading scorer, having helped the Lakers to 5 NBA Championships in his time there. He started playing for the Lakers aged just 17, and now, at 37, he’s still as confident, competitive as ever.
The only bad thing about Kobe exiting right now (other than the loss of him as a player) is that he has to go out on a Lakers side that is flirting with the edges of being one of the most horrendous basketballs teams ever. They certainly don’t live up to the Lakers squads that Kobe has played on there, having claimed the title of worst Lakers team in franchise history. Hopefully this be something that people will forget about when they look back over Kobe’s career.
Tonight, the Lakers will play the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are battling for the final play-off spot in the Western Conference. They have to win this game to stand a chance of clinching that spot, while they are also relying on Sacramento beating the Houston Rockets to keep James Harden and co. out of that coveted spot.
The Lakers, on the other hand, at a mere 16-65 on the season, have little to play for other than pride, and to give Kobe a night that he can remember. It’s expected that Kobe will play as much of the game as his battered body can possibly manage - that would mean the whole game if he can really pull out all of the stops tonight. We’re also guaranteed to see his Lakers teammates passing him the ball at every opportunity so that the fans get to see the Mamba properly at play for one last time.
Speaking to the press about his star players last game, Lakers coach Byron Scott has said that he’d love Kobe to go out on a fallaway jumper, in the dying seconds of a tied game. This is basketball, so anything is possible, no matter how bad the supporting cast may be for tonights game.
All we can do now is sit back and watch, and pay homage to one of the greatest players to take to the court in the NBA.
Boston Celtics Deal Warriors a Shock Home Defeat April 02, 2016 11:39
We had to double check that it wasn’t still the 1st April this morning when we looked to see that the Boston Celtics have put an end to the Golden State Warriors epic home-winning streak. It wasn’t an April fools article, it was the true.
Led by Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics have done what no other team has managed to do in the NBA for the past 14 months - they beat the Warriors at the Oracle Arena.
The Warriors were down by 3 points as the game clock was winding down in the 4th quarter, and Curry popped his trademark shot from beyond the arc with 5.3 seconds to go, only this time he missed. Harrison Barnes grabbed the rebound and managed another rushed 3-point attempt but it wasn’t to be.
Speaking to the press after the game, Curry said; "Every one of them I think is going down. But it didn’t… All things considered, it was a pretty good look at it. ... We've gotten away with some games that we probably shouldn't have won with some shots like that. And tonight it wasn't our night."
Thomas was instrumental in keeping Boston rolling in this one, scoring 18 of this 22 points in a critical 3rd quarter. The Celtics as a whole made sure that every play counted and hustled with serious intensity - an impressed display considering this was the second night of a back-to-back.
Golden State hadn’t lost a home game since 27th January 2015, and so have recorded an NBA record 54-home game winning streak across the regular season. The Warriors now stand at 68-8 on the season, in which they are fighting their way to the coveted 72-10 NBA best record, set by the Chicago Bulls in 1995-96.
Golden State have 6 games left in which to reach that target, or beat it, although they have a very tough run in the last 4 games, where they play San Antonio twice within 4 days, once at home and then once in San Antonio, where the Spurs are still unbeaten.
This is going to prove to be a very interesting end to the end of the 2015-16 NBA season!
NBA Announces that Los Angeles will Host 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend March 24, 2016 10:38
The NBA has announced that Los Angeles will be the host city for the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend. The event, which will be in it’s 67th year, will take place at the Staples Centre; the shared home of the LA Clippers and LA Lakers.
The announcement, made today by NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, will see Los Angeles host the event for a record 6th time. They previously hosted the event in 1963, 1972, 1983, 2004 and 2011, the last two of which were held at the Staples Centre.
“Los Angeles is known for first-class hospitality and entertainment, making it the perfect host for NBA All-Star,” said Silver. “The city is home to some of the most passionate basketball fans in addition to extraordinary facilities, including Staples Center and L.A. Live. We thank Mayor Garcetti, Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer, Lakers President and Co-Owner Jeanie Buss and AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman for their support in bringing All-Star back to L.A.”
All-Star events will begin on Friday 16th February 2018 with the Rising Stars Challenge and conclude on Sunday 18th February with the NBA All-Star Game.
Next year’s All-Star Weekend will be held in Charlotte, and both cities will have a lot to live up to after the great All-Star Weekend that was hosted in Toronto last month.
Let’s take a look back at the last time the NBA All-Star Weekend travelled to LA, with the All-Star Game mini movie.
East or West? You Decide with the Mitchell & Ness All Over Snapback March 21, 2016 16:51
We're getting the week off to a great start, with the arrival of these special edition Mitchell & Ness NBA All Over snapbacks. You really have to pick a side when choosing which cap to go for (unless you get both!) as each snapback pays homage to either the NBA Eastern Conference or the Western Conference.
Grab yours now to stand out from the pack!
Milwaukee Bucks Unveil Updated Renderings of New Arena March 17, 2016 16:47
During the last off-season, the Milwaukee Bucks unveiled one of the nicest re-brands that we’ve seen in the NBA for a while, and now they’ve released updated renderings of what their new area could look like.
The Bucks released these new images of their planned multi-purpose arena, which would host world-class sports and entertainment in the downtown district of Milwaukee. The images are part of plans that are yet to be submitted to the city for approval by public officials, before construction can start on the new arena, which is planned for the Summer.
In a press release on the Bucks website, Bucks president, Peter Feigin has said “We’re just months away from seeing the new home of the Milwaukee Bucks and our collective efforts to revitalize Milwaukee begin to move from vision to reality."
"These plans reflect the commitment of our ownership, generosity of Senator Kohl and historic collaboration with public officials to build a world-class sports and entertainment destination in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. We look forward to working closely with public officials and the entire community over the next several months to finalize the design and construction plans so that we can begin to create long-lasting jobs and economic opportunity in Milwaukee.”
The 714,000 square-foot arena would be the new home for Milwaukee Bucks, and with that in mind, it features an intimate bowl at its centre, which is optimised for viewing basketball games, and other sports where it pays to be closer to the action. The majority of the seats will be at a lower level, to give a better view of games, while the arena will still be flexible enough to transform to host concerts and ice events.
Check out the images of the new Milwaukee Bucks arena below:
Golden State Warriors Match Chicago Bulls Record for Longest Home Winning Streak March 04, 2016 12:14
One fan was waving a Curry For President placard as the Golden State Warriors took another step towards another epic NBA record last night, as they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder for the second time in 7 days.
The Warriors chalked up their 44th straight home win - equalling the Chicago Bulls record for the longest home winning streak in NBA history, which was set between 1994 and 1996. Last night’s win was also their 55th win of the season - a number that they’ve reached at a truly astounding pace, far faster than any team in NBA history.
The Warriors played the Thunder in Oklahoma last Saturday, in a game that Steph Curry dominated. He surpassed his own record for 3-pointers in a season, and tied the singe game record for three made, with 12, on his way to beating OKC in overtime. It was a game for the ages. The venue was different last night, with the Thunder travelling to the Oracle in Oakland, but the outcome was the same.
The Thunder kept the game close, in fact they were leading to start the 4th quarter, until the Warriors switched into overdrive and outscored the Thunder 39 - 23 in the final period. The Thunder were still reeling from a horrendous defeat at the hands of the LA Clippers the night before. The Thunder blew a 17 point lead in the 4th quarter of that game to give the Clips a win, and no-one in the Thunder camp was impressed.
Cracks were still evident in the Thunder camp against the Warriors. Russell Westbrook, who isn’t exactly known for his shooting efficiency anyway, went 3 of 8 from the field in the first half, and 5 of 16 in the second half.
Kevin Durant had an efficient scoring night, but he had 9 turnovers in the game - his second most in a game this season. The Warriors made sure that they took advantage of that, and made sure that they maintained a higher standard - the Warriors as a team only committed 9 turnovers in the whole game.
There were moments of three point magic from Curry last night for the Warriors, but not in the same way as the previous game against the Thunder. Curry shot 5 of 15 from beyond the arc, but he showed his on-court smarts by taking his game inside instead. He had 12 points, on 6 of 8 shooting in the paint, giving the big guys a serious run for their money.
Golden State will play the LA Lakers at the Staples Centre tomorrow night before returning home to play the Orlando Magic at the Oracle Arena on Monday night, where they have the chance to break the NBA record for the longest home winning streak. We can’t wait.
Stance x NBA Noches Socks Released March 02, 2016 15:54
Every year, the NBA celebrates fans and players from Latin America and U.S. Hispanic communities; paying tribute to their involvement and support of the game of basketball.
The Latin nights program, called Noches éne•bé•a (eh-nay-bay-ah) , will last from 1st - 8th March 2016, with a selection of NBA teams wearing alternative NBA Noches jerseys to mark the occasion.
The NBA have also teamed up with Stance socks to create a range of NBA Noches on-court socks, that the players will wear alongside the alternative uniforms.
All this week you’ll be able to see players from the likes of Los Bulls, El Heat, Nueva York, Los Lakers, Los Spurs and Los Suns, all wearing these Latin American inspired socks.
The NBA Noches Stance socks retain all of the features we’ve come to expect from Stance’s on-court NBA socks but will have a limited edition design in team colours, that draws from Hispanic culture.
Leicester Riders Win BBL Trophy Final Beating Newcastle Eagles 85 - 77 February 29, 2016 15:56
This weekend saw the second lot of British Basketball League silverware go up for grabs, with the BBL Trophy Final taking place at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
The Leicester Riders would take home the title, after beating the Newcastle Eagles 85 - 77 in a tense meeting between the two teams. The Riders were ahead by as many as 17 points in the 3rd quarter of the game, but just as with the BBL Cup, it wasn’t possible to completely shake off the Eagles.
The Eagles pulled the score back to a tie at 72 during the 4th quarter after Scott Martin and Joe Chapman drilled back-to-back three pointers. Unlike the BBL Cup, where the Eagles worked that momentum into a win, the Riders rallied at the end of the game, going on an 8-0 run to put the game out of reach.
That 8-0 run was triggered by a big bucket from Andrew Sullivan, who would go on to be crowned as the trophy MVP after leading his Riders squad with 22 points. Sullivan returned to the Riders this season, after spending time with the London Lions, and provided a crucial boost to the team in the dying minutes of the game.
The Leicester Riders win the BBL Trophy for the first time and will hope to continue to rise to the challenge for the remainder of this BBL season. Especially after the milestone of opening their very own dedicated basketball arena earlier this year.
The Newcastle Eagles will look to pick themselves up and finish out the season strong, despite the chance of back-to-back clean sweeps being taken away.
Steph Curry Beats his Own NBA 3-Point Record as Warriors Outlast Thunder February 28, 2016 10:46
The Thunder led for big stretches of the game, off the back of 37 points from Durant - including a critical period in the 4th period - but the Warriors put on a show for the ages, levelling the score in time for the regulation buzzer, and winning this thing in overtime.
While the game itself was was hugely exciting, all eyes were once again on Curry, and rightly so. Curry equalled the NBA record for made 3-pointers in a game, with 12, and passed his own NBA record for three’s made in a season.
Curry shot 12-16 from beyond the arc in the game, including a thrilling bucket with 0.6 seconds left on the clock in overtime, that came from well beyond 30 feet, sealing the game for the Warriors, giving them the 121 - 118 victory.
This was Curry’s second consecutive game with at least 10 three pointers, as he continues to blaze a trail in 3-point shooting. He has made at least one 3-pointer in 129 straight games, having surpassed the NBA record of 127-straight games, set by Kyle Korver, in the Warriors last game.
Curry’s current 3-pointers made count is 288, a couple up on his own NBA record of 286 made threes in a season from last year. There are still 24 games left in this season, so can you imagine where this is going. He’s well on pace to get over 400 made threes this season.
Speaking to the press about, Curry said “I never would have thought at this point in the season I would be closing in on 300 and all that kind of stuff," he said. "That doesn't make sense to me. I've always tried to push the envelope and keep getting better, but a lot has to go right to get to this point.”
The Warriors and the Thunder will be meeting again this coming Thursday, and give what we saw last night, we’ll certainly be tuning in again.
Warriors Become Fastest NBA Team to Reach 50 Wins in a Season February 23, 2016 15:46
The Warriors are now 50 - 5 this season, which is ahead of the pace that the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls reached 50 wins, on their way to setting the record of a 72-10 season.
While the Warriors seem on course to at least matching the Bulls record from that season (if not beating it), you get the impression that Golden State don’t think too much about it, and are just driving to maintain some kind of form as we edge closer to another set of play-offs and another shot at the Championship.
It was certainly an up and down game for the Warriors in Atlanta last night. Mid-way through the third quarter, the Warriors were up 70-47, but the Hawks lit up in front of their home crowd to go on a 28-6 run to end the third. The Hawks even gained a lead early in the 4th quarter to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
The Warriors would hold on to take the win, off the back of 36 points from Steph Curry and 27 from Klay Thompson.
As usual, it seems as though teamwork was the key, with Golden State racking up 30 assists in the game. That’s the 29th time this season that they’ve reached that number, which is a franchise record. The previous record was set by this team last year on their way to the NBA title, which might tell you something about the path that they’re on right now.
The Warriors now continue their East coast travels as they head to Miami to play the Heat on Wednesday.
Anthony Davis Puts Up Franchise-High 59 Points and 20 Rebounds February 22, 2016 12:09
While a lot of us were watching the Cleveland Cavaliers play the Oklahoma City Thunder last night, Anthony Davis was on the other side, casually putting on a beast of a show for his New Orleans Pelicans, and everyone who had showed up to watch the game versus the Pistons at the ‘Palace’ in Detroit.
Davis scored 59 points and had 20 rebounds. He shot 24/34 from the field for a 70.6 field goal percentage. To put that stat line into context, the last person to have than kind of line was Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 with the Lakers - he had 61 and 23.
Before that, the closest to reaching that level was Chis Webber who had 51 points and 26 rebounds for the Kings in 2001. Before that again, Moses Malone in 1982, who had 53 points and 22 rebounds for the Rockets. That puts Davis up there with some serious talent, and gave us a glimpse of what the future could hold for this 22-year old who has been given the reins in New Orleans.
Davis was hyped by a lot of people before this season, with the talk being that he would go for an MVP type campaign. The reality has been that he’s struggled to make a big enough impact to help his injury-troubled squad to be where they want to be.
With 27 games left to play, the Pelicans are 5 and a half games out of a play-off spot. Last season they just scraped into the play-offs in dramatic fashion, as the battle came down to the last day of games, but they were quickly knocked out in the first round.
In the game last night, the Pelican’s only really survived because of Davis’ performance. The Pistons played a close game, only losing 106 - 111. A rally near the end of the game meant it wasn’t a done deal until the buzzer sounded, then Davis and his teammate could celebrate his achievement with a mark in the win column.
We can only hope that Davis takes last night as a big confidence boost and that it helps him to block out some of the negative white noise and focus on really letting his talent flow for the rest of this season.
Damian Lillard Scores 51 as Blazers Blowout the Warriors February 20, 2016 17:23
Damian Lillard might just have had the best game of his career last night, against the Golden State Warriors, sending his Portland Trail Blazers to a 137 - 105 blowout win over the defending champions.
Lillard had a career-high 51 points, joking after the game that he hadn’t “scored 50 since 9th grade.” He combined that with 7 assists and 6 steals for a dominant performance that bought his team a rare victory over the Warriors.
The Blazers as a team played at a faster pace then normal, essentially challenging the Warriors at their own game, and had 28 assists on 52 field goals as well as just 13 turnovers, to the Warriors 20.
Lillard became the first player since Reggie Miller in 1992 to have 50 points and 7 assists without any turnovers. He also tied a franchise record with 9-made three pointers in the game.
The Warriors were within 6 points of the Blazers at halftime, but Lillard and co. put up a crushing defence in the 3rd quarter that caused 13 of the Warriors 20 turnovers and allowed the Trail Blazer to outscore Warriors 36 to 17 in that quarter.
Steph Curry led the Warriors with 31 points, while Draymond Green had 14 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists, but also 9 turnovers. They allowed a season-high 137 points, with the 32 point margin of loss also being their worst.
The Warriors had three players taking part in last weekends All-Star festivities, and one of those guys, Klay Thompson, said that the team just “weren’t as focused as we should be” coming into the game.
Last night’s loss puts the Warriors at 48 - 5 on the season, giving them a little less room to manoeuvre in terms of maybe breaking the Chicago Bulls record of 72 - 10 in a season.
The Warriors are playing the Clippers in Los Angeles tonight where we’ll see if they can pick things up again. The Clippers beat the second best team in the West, the San Antonio Spurs, this week, so could put up a good fight.
The Blazers will welcome the Utah Jazz to Portland on Sunday, where Lillard will continue to battle to push his team towards a play-off berth.
Klay Thompson Tops Curry in NBA Three Point Competition February 14, 2016 15:53
The NBA Three-Point Shootout was easily one of the more eagerly anticipated competitions this All-Star Weekend. With the three-pointer becoming such a spectacle in the game right now, we couldn’t wait to see who would come out on top in a dedicated contest.
No surprise that the competition finally came down to an all-Warriors affair, with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson (ok and Phoenix Suns rookie, Devon Booker) fighting it out in the final to see who would be crowned three-point champ.
This year, it was Thompson who lit things up to win the trophy although it was seriously close in the end. Booker went first, and scored a respectable 16 points in the final, before Curry stepped in and dropped 23. Thompson though roared to a competition-high 27 points in notably dramatic fashion.
Thompson had two racks of balls left to go (with a possible 16 points available), and still needed 11 points to beat Curry. This year, each player got to decide where they would place a rack full of money balls - and Thompson chose to have his as his last rack, meaning he had 10 points available right at the end.
Thompson nailed all 5 of the money balls at the end, to put himself 4 points out in the lead, giving him the winning score of 27 points.
The other players to take part in the contest were C.J. McCollum, Khris Middleton and Kyle Lowry, who all went out in the first round with 14, 13 and 15 points respectively.
James Harden, J.J. Redick and Devon Booker all scored 20 points in the first round and had to go for a rare tiebreaker shootout, where Booker went through with 9 points, over Harden’s and Redick’s 8 points-a-piece.
Check out Thompson's winning performance below.
Karl-Anthony Towns Becomes Tallest Player to Win the NBA Skills Challenge February 14, 2016 12:58
It was a bit of a surprise to see the line up for the 2016 NBA All-Star Skills Challenge when it was announced, after all we’ve never seen big guys in the mix before, since the skills challenge has typically focused on what the top guards in the game can do.
DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green, Anthony Davis and Karl Anthony Towns were representing for the big guys, while Isaiah Thomas, Emmanuel Mudiay, C.J. McCollum and Jordan Clarkson were representing for the guards.
The final came down to Towns versus Thomas, in which 7-foot tall Towns edged 5-foot-11 Isaiah for the win, after sinking his three-pointer first. That makes Towns the tallest ever winner of the skills challenge and an example of how things have been changing in the NBA.
Check out Towns’ run to the title
Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine Shine Bright at 2016 NBA Dunk Contest February 14, 2016 12:38
The NBA All-Star Dunk Contest wasn’t top of my list for viewing this weekend, mostly because in recent years the contest just haven’t lived up to the hype and I come away disappointed, but how wrong I was about this one.
Zach LaVine was back defending his dunk title and Aaron Gordon was right there with him to put on one of the best dunk duals, arguably in NBA history.
Gordon put on an electrifying show, that resulted in him picking up a record 6 straight perfect scores from the judges. He brought out his Orlando Magic team mascot, Stuff, ON A HOVERBOARD, and did a run of dunks that really upped the ante.
LaVine proved his dunking prowess when he picked up the win in last years contest, and despite Gordon’s challenge, he also came away with this years title, after a set of dunks from the free throw line.
Dunk contestants are often criticised for not coming up with new dunks, but LaVine brought us the first ever dunk from the free throw line, off a lob pass. He also did a windmill from the free throw line, and a between the legs dunk from just a step inside the free throw line. All insane feats of athleticism by anyones standards.
Talk can’t really do it all justice, so sit back and take a look at these young guns pulling off some crazy dunks for our entertainment.
Knicks Fire Derek Fisher Ahead of All-Star Break February 08, 2016 16:37
The New York Knicks have fired head coach, Derek Fisher, just before the All-Star break.
Fisher coached the Knicks through their worse season ever last year (they went 17-65), but things have been improved this season, with the Knicks currently at 23-31.
That being said, the Knicks just lost 5 games straight, and have now lost 9 of their last 10 games, putting them solidly outside of the running for an Eastern Conference play-off spot.
Fisher was originally hired by Phil Jackson, without any prior coaching experience, to help turn the Knicks franchise around, but it’s reportedly been considered for some time that Fisher wasn’t successfully making the jump from NBA player to NBA coach.
Then there's the fact that Fisher has been making waves off the court with incidents like his altercation with Matt Barnes last year.
The Knicks have named Kurt Rambis as the interim head coach, with sources reporting to ESPN that Brian Shaw and Luke Walton are two candidates that Jackson would be considering to take over the roll.
Ewing Athletics Release Toronto All-Star 33 Hi February 08, 2016 11:54
With the 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend fast approaching, Ewing Athletics have lined up an awesome new release that pays homage to sports teams in this years host city, Toronto.
The All-Star weekend is taking place outside of the United States for the first time, and what better place to go than Toronto, the home of the Toronto Raptors; the only surviving Canadian NBA franchise.
Ewing Athletics is releasing a 33 Hi silhouette that is decked out in Toronto-relevant references. It features colours from all three professional sports teams that play in Toronto (Raptors, Blue Jays & Maple Leafs) across a premium suede upper.
The tongue features a modified ‘Patrick Ewing’ logo, to have the maple leaf from the Canadian flag front and centre. The maple leaf also features as a pattern of glow in the dark leaves across the toe of the shoe. To top it all off, the shoe has a purple ice sole and berry red lace eyelets.
The 33 Hi is a proper OG throwback silhouette, taking us right back to the mid-1990’s when the Raptors first joined the NBA as part of the Canadian expansion of the league.