Posts tagged NBA
A week before the Minnesota Timberwolves made Kris Dunn the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, we caught up with the young point guard from Providence to discuss his decision to finish four years of school, his thoughts on the changing landscape of the NBA, how his skills will translate to the next level and his experience working with Speed Stick’s Coach Speedman aka John C. McGinley. Here’s the chat:
CS: Tell me about your decision to return to college for another season, finish up your degree and improve your game.
KS: The main reason why I came back to school was just to get my education. I put a lot of work in my first three years. I stayed in both summer sessions. I felt like I wanted to get that so no one could take it away from me, and just be a good role model for my two little sisters. They’re heading off to high school and so just to show them how important education is and how important it is to graduate college. I’m just trying to set the standard high for my family, really. And you know, graduation day, that was a special day for us. It was a celebration for me, but also for the family and Providence College, so that was good.
On the court, I feel like I only had one full year of experience in college basketball, due to my injuries. And as a point guard, you have to be a leader, you have to be knowledgeable of the game, and felt like I needed to learn more to become a student of the game before heading off to the NBA. I felt like I needed to hone a couple more things in my game to be NBA-ready when it’s time. Working on my ball handling, my decision making, improving my jump shot and becoming a better defender. A lot of people think I’m a good defender, but I could get even better. So those are the main things. Also, just trying to build a legacy at Providence. Providence hadn’t gotten past the first round in 20 years. To be able to accomplish that, it takes a weight off of everyone’s shoulders. My four years at Providence were amazing,
CS: Do you think other college players might follow your lead and try to hone their game, secure that education, and just get those skills up before going to the NBA? That definitely hasn’t been the trend in recent years.
KS: Yeah, I mean everybody has a different scenario, a different situation at home. Some kids might need the money so that is why they go one-and-done. Some kids might feel like they’re ready right away.
KS: I’m not going to be the first to do this. Down the road, there’s definitely going to be another person who does the same thing as me. So if they do that, I’m blessed to know that I showed them that you don’t have to be afraid to go back and stick to your education. If you feel like you need to tighten up your game a little bit more, then you should be able to do that. You should be able to be a kid one more last time before going to the NBA. Because everybody knows the NBA is a business, so it’s not like how college is where you always have your teammates around. Everybody has different lives though.
CS: The general landscape of the NBA is changing. It’s no longer a league dominated by big guys in the paint. You see what the Warriors are doing and you see how the perimeter game is changing things. How do you think your game will translate to the next level?
KS: I think I’ll adjust okay. At Providence College, all we did was pick and roll, so I’m very used to different schemes based on what defenses would do to us. I’m very comfortable in a pick and roll offense. I feel like I can get anybody involved. I’m very capable of getting into the lane, attacking at the rim or finding the open man. I’ve been doing a lot of that at Providence. And I’m very comfortable with my shot as well. Anybody who watches my games — any big time shot I hit, it wasn’t due to lay ups, it was due to my jump shot. That shows your right there how confident I am in my shot. And I feel like my defense is going to be my greatest strength. I feel like I can defend. I feel like I can cause havoc.
CS: What players did you look up to when you were just learning the game?
KS: The player I looked up to when I was little was Kobe Bryant. It was just all because of his mentality. He’s the type of person that – every day – he’s going to bring it. Whether it’s practice or in the game. His killer mentality, not too many people have that. That’s the type of mentality I’m trying to create for myself. Just bring it every day and don’t back down from anybody. That’s what I loved about him.
CS: So you won’t have the choice to decide where you go in the draft. Is there a certain place you’d like to end up? How do you manage those expectations when it’s out of your hands?
KS: No, actually I don’t have a specific place that I want to go to. My dream is just to be drafted. As a broke kid, all I wanted to do was play in the NBA. And to have that opportunity, to have a chance to be in the lottery, that is a blessing itself. Whatever team that selects me, I’m going to go there and work hard and try to impact the team the best way possible. If they need me to defend or if they need me to do whatever they want me to do. I just want to go there and I want to play. And I know it takes hard work to get out on the court.
CS: Have you done any preparation to account for any draft day jitters or just the pressure and the uncertainty of that specific day in your life?
KS: No. Right now, I’m just excited. I’m excited I’m just excited because me and my family have been through a lot of ups and downs throughout the years. Draft night, it’s a moment for us. I think we deserve to be in this situation because we all worked hard as a family. It wasn’t just me. Everybody put effort into helping me get to where I am. I have to appreciate my family. I have a great supporting cast. That night is for me and my family. I came from Northern Connecticut in an impoverished house, so that night is going to be great.
CS: Who is the hardest player you had to defend in college?
KS: The hardest player I had to defend…. Probably my freshman year, probably Pierre Jackson. When he was at Baylor, when he was a senior, he was a really good player. Fast. Changed his speed really well. He had a jump shot. Other than that, I wouldn’t say a specific player, but I would say teams. Villanova, they’re a hard team. They had so many great players. Seton Hall, they had some great players. Michigan State.
CS: What are you most excited about going from the college game to playing with the big guys in the NBA?
KS: Just going against the other point guards in the league. Everybody knows that this league is starting to get so point guard dominant. There’s so many great point guards around the league. And I just want to see my skill level against the other point guards. See what I have to work on and improve on in order to become an elite point guard. I think that is everybody’s standard, every day trying to become an elite player. You’ve got to go against the best in order to understand what you need to improve on.
CS: So I understand you’ll be working with Speed Stick and Coach Speedman at the #Speedman Combine, what’s that about?
KS: Coach Speedman is John McGinley, the actor. He’s unreal. He’s unbelievable. I had a great time with him during my set. So we’re bringing the media through two circuits. In the first circuit, they’re going to have to do their own commercial, their first commercial. They’re going to mess up, of course. So they bring us in to help them get past their first commercial. So we tell them to stay true to themselves, you know, not try to get too down. Don’t try to be perfect in your first run and whatnot. Just have fun with it. Basically John McGinley taught us to feel comfortable and have a good time with it.
Then the second circuit I think is going to be the best one. It’s the pregame ritual. So the media has to do their own pregame ritual. Going through like Russell Westbrook or Kevin and they’ll be dancing before the game. Or in my case, before the game I love listening to music to get myself pumped up so I don’t have the jitters. It should be really fun.
CS: Is John C. McGinley that hilarious in person?
KS: [Laughs] Oh, he’s so funny. It’s unreal. Like, even when he doesn’t try to be funny he’s funny. He’s amazing.
Spike Lee is helping out on the latest NBA 2K game. Here he is the narrator of the latest trailer for the game. It features Stephen Curry. The NBA 2K franchise is back with the most true-to-life NBA experience to date with NBA 2K16. Guide your MyPLAYER through the complete NBA journey, take control of an entire NBA franchise, or hone your skills online competing against gamers from around the world. With animations that provide smoother movement and more realistic articulation, it’s certain to be the most authentic NBA gaming experience yet.
You never know what to expect when you are watching live TV. If you were watching the NBA Playoffs on TNT you were in store to see Shaq take a tumble on the set during the halftime report. Shaq tripped over equipment while he and Kenny Smith were about to go to their big screen to breakdown the plays from the first half. That plan went on hold as Shaq tripped. Shaq kept on blaming Ernie Johnson for the fall.
Shaq then placed a challenge on Twitter to see who could do the best Photoshop work.
As we come to a close for the NBA All-Star Weekend we take a look at Jordan Brand’s celebration of the 30th anniversary of the franchise in New York City.
Famed footwear designer Tinker Hatfield and Jordan Brand’s Howard “H” White were on-site for the exclusive unveil, and Jordan Brand athlete Carmelo Anthony stopped by to visit the space prior to Pearl Pavilion opening to the public.
Jordan Brand’s experiential space for All-Star Weekend, Pearl Pavilion showcases 30 years of the brand, highlighting epic and defining moments throughout MJ’s career and providing the opportunity for fans to step into his shoes to emulate some of Jordan’s iconic last shot moments.
Plus here is MJ and his friends that showed up for Jordan Brand’s 30th Anniversary celebration last night in New York City for All-Star Weekend.
Nicki Minaj attends the Jordan Brand 30 Years of Greatness Celebration on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 in New York.
Today, the Jordan Brand celebrated its 30th anniversary, opening its NBA All-Star Weekend experience at Pearl Pavilion across the street from Madison Square Garden. Two of Michael’s oldest friends and colleagues in the business, famed footwear designer Tinker Hatfield and Jordan Brand’s Howard “H” White took part in a Q&A session, telling never-heard-before stories of the three decades since the launch of the Air Jordan I.
In addition, Jordan brand athlete – New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony – attended the event, checking out the venue’s Hallway of Greatness , a collection of Walter Iooss Jordan photos, and an interactive experience where fans can emulate several of Jordan’s greatest shots ever.
Sports photographer Walter Iooss’ iconic imagery of Michael Jordan on display at Pearl Pavilion, New York City
The rivalry between “East vs. West” is synonymous with NBA All-Star, and now the new game changing Degree® Dry Spray Antiperspirant has sparked a fresh competition, pitting two game changing point guards from each coast against each other. On Saturday, February 14, during NBA All-Star Practice presented by Sean John at Macy’s, All-Star starters Stephen Curry and John Wall will go shot-for-shot in the ‘Degree® Battle of the Game Changers.’ One of these All-Stars will be named the ‘Ultimate Game Changer’ in front of a live audience at Madison Square Garden and on NBA TV.
Curry and Wall will face off in a shot-for-shot competition and fans will help play a role in determining who is crowned the ‘Ultimate Game Changer,’ by voting on one of the shots the two All-Stars will attempt in the battle. Starting Monday, February 9 fans can vote at Twitter.com/DegreeMen and tune in to NBA TV on February 14 to see which fan shot was selected. To take the crown, Curry and Wall also will have to make a variety of shots which will be unveiled at the start of the competition.
It took Michael Jordan 15 years, six championships and 14 All-Star appearances to establish himself as the greatest basketball player of all time. Today, the franchise that bears his name celebrates 30 years by reflecting on the legacy of the man and the shoes, while setting the stage for its next chapter.
As time has passed, Jordan’s game continues to shine brighter and his achievements become all the more remarkable. The mythical moments of Jordan’s career, the double-nickel in New York and the last shot, have set the standard by which all other players are judged.
While time can diminish memories and details eventually fade, epic moments are left to be passed generation to generation. Like a natural pearl, the beauty of achievement stands the test of time. The brand formed by these moments continues to evolve through innovation and style.
This year’s All-Star pinnacle performance collection, the Pearl Pack, draws inspiration from the pearl, in both color and design. For All-Star 2015, the pack features four premium performance shoes, the Jordan Super.Fly 3, Jordan Melo M11, Jordan CP3.VIII, and Air Jordan XX9.
Each shoe in the collection exemplifies elegance and sophistication, from intricate graphics to premium materials. A magnified pearl texture appears on each shoe’s upper, while white-based sheen and reflective threading bring the luminescence of the pearl to mind.
The preferred shoe by Jordan athlete Blake Griffin, the Jordan Super.Fly 3 features a fused upper design, providing lightweight strength and support. The shoe also includes FlightPlate technology, which harnesses the energy of every step for explosive lift-off.
The Jordan Melo M11 is Jordan Brand’s latest performance model, incorporating the brand’s pinnacle technology created for the basketball court: FlightPlate. On the shoe’s upper, a molded collar optimizes fit and enhances ankle support for Carmelo Anthony’s versatile game.
Inspired by the speed of flight, the Jordan CP3.VIII gives Chris Paul an on-court edge over opponents. The TPU chassis keep the foot contained for lateral support, while a lightweight no-sew upper provides breathability and durability.
The Air Jordan XX9, worn by high-flying Russell Westbrook, features a re-engineered FlightPlate technology that includes an additional tendril to improve heel-to-toe transitions. A performance woven upper is constructed to be incredibly light for superior flight.
The Jordan Pearl Pack will be available at select retail stores and Jordan.com on Feb. 7.
All-Star Weekend has always been a significant moment for the Jordan Brand, whether it was a great performance by Jordan, the release of the newest game shoe or simply a place where fans celebrated with the brand during one of the biggest sport moments of the year.
This year, Jordan Brand invites consumers to celebrate its 30th anniversary in New York City with experiences created specifically for All-Star Weekend. From Thursday, Feb. 12, to Monday, Feb. 16, Jordan Brand will open distinctive spaces for fans to join the celebration.
Pearl Pavilion, across from Penn Station, is the Jordan Brand immersive experience and pop-up store. It opens for the first time at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12, and will feature a celebration of three decades of Jordan’s game-changing sneakers and iconic moments. Consumers can step into Jordan’s shoes to relive some of his greatest moments, sharpen their skills through a competitive trialing experience, and shop a curated collection of All-Star product drops.
In Brooklyn, Jordan will open 166 Flatbush, the ultimate sneaker boutique, with special edition product, customization and a variety of special guests, 166 Flatbush will be a can’t-miss experience for Jordan fans.
Consumers who want to learn more about the All-Star celebrations can follow @Jumpman23 on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Those who will be in New York for All-Star and want details on all Jordan activities, along with the chance to register for exclusive access and experiences can visit the Jordan Brand All-Star mobile site at Jordan.com/ASWNYC.
The Golden State Warriors have the best record in the NBA and two-time all-star Steph Curry is a big reason why. An early favorite to win the MVP, Curry’s been lighting it up for a while now. But this year just feels different. Everything’s clicking for Golden State and first-year head coach Steve Kerr. The Splash Brothers are dominating from the perimeter again, yes, but the high octane offensive attack is now balanced by one of the league’s best defenses. Golden State is winning with conviction, too. Enjoying their hottest start in franchise history, the Warriors boast a league-best 11.5 margin of victory to go along with their 38-8 record.
And Curry’s just locked in, man. Top ten in points per game. Top five in assists, steals and free throw percentage. It’s all coming together for the youthful-looking point guard from Davidson.
Now you may think the guy looks like he’s 14 years old, but he’s full grown man of 26. That’s not to say he wasn’t an absolute baller when he was 14. When your dad plays 16 sharpshooting seasons in the NBA, there’s a good chance you’ll develop an appreciation for the game of basketball. Steph’s younger brother Seth is also a professional player who’s plying his trade for the Erie BayHawks, the Orlando Magic’s NBA developmental team.
So the guy’s a natural. Basketball’s in his genes. That’s not to say he doesn’t work hard. You don’t develop such a silky smooth jumper without putting in some time. But as Curry explains in this DegreeMen Game Changer spot, finding your own game is a careful balance.
After this spot ran, Steph Curry and John Wall of the Washington Wizards engaged in a playful/promotional exchange on Twitter. The two all-stars are now set to square off against each other for the title of Ultimate Game Changer in the Degree Battle of the Game Changers. It’s a shot-for-shot type showdown where each player has to match the other and fans get to vote on which shot they’d like to see by going to Twitter.com/DegreeMen after February 9.
We talked with Curry about the upcoming Battle of the Game Changers, first-time head coach Steve Kerr, who he thinks has the sweetest jumper of all time and what pointers he has for people with no shot whatsoever. Here’s the interview:
Make sure to check out the Degree Battle of the Game Changers live on NBA TV during the NBA All-Star Practice on February 14.
The Nike Air Command Force is coming back to store shelves after a two decade hiatus. Originally released back in 1991, and rocked by David Robinson, the Nike retro looks to have sneakerheads drooling. There are two colors seen here in both an OG-inspired leather-based White/Black-Wolf Grey-Volt-Vivid Blue and suede-based Black/Wolf Grey-Hyper Jade-Hyper Pink style code, each of these variations are scheduled to arrive at select Nike Sportswear retailers Saturday, September 20th.
Today Foot Locker has launched on YouTube a series of five new commercials with adidas featuring NBA Draft prospect Dante Exum of Australia. The latest ads are part of Foot Locker’s successful “Approved” marketing platform and poke fun at Exum’s current “celebrity status,” or lack thereof, while centering on the idea that “Life Changes After the Draft.”
In one of the spots, entitled “Paparazzi,” Exum expresses concern about going to a Foot Locker store due to the possibility of paparazzi being there, to which his friends respond by laughing uproariously, knowing he’s a relatively unknown commodity in the United States.
Each of the five spots will debut digitally on Foot Locker’s YouTube channel. The spots will also takeover NBA.com on Wednesday, June 25 and make their television debut on ESPN during the NBA Draft on Thursday, June 26th.
Here is Dante looking to work on his autograph skills.