Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reccaping My 2012 McDonald's All American Experience

The 2012 McDonald's All American Games were a truly remarkable experience. Watch this video below to find out about my time in Chicago:

Thanks again and hopefully I can attend more McDonald's All American events in the future!

CLNS Radio is coming to Philadelphia very soon!

CLNS Radio, a tremendous radio network, is expanding to Philadelphia in May! Here's the scoop straight from CLNS Radio:

CLNS is taking their platform to the Philadelphia market in May. CLNS – Philadelphia’s coverage will include Sixers, Phillies, Flyers, Eagles and WB/Scranton Penguins!
This is awesome for CLNS Radio. My friend Nick Gelso is doing big things and if you haven't checked them out, please take some time to! Not only will they provide insights you don't hear elsewhere, they will appeal to you as people who are fans of the game, not some guy working for ESPN. They care about the game and their passion is clear.

They do even more than just provide insights and passion. They do giveaways, great promotions and post exclusive videos. It's a network with their hand in everything and it's refreshing to see such enthusiasm. What they're cultivating at CLNS Radio is something every sports adorning nation needs to cultivate!

The CLNS Radio expansion to Philly will only increase the awesomeness of this project (I'm not being paid for this plug, I'm saying it because it's true!!). CLNS Radio is a premier sports hub!

NBA Unveils T-Shirts.. With Twitter Handles on the Back

The NBA has decided to really integrate social media into these new T-Shirts. While I'm as big of a fan of Twitter (follow me!) as anybody, these are hilariously overdoing it! According to Gizmodo, this shirt is just one of many that will be available. Let's just say I don't want one!

Especially not for the 24 bucks the NBA Store has the Lin jersey listed for. This is a nice attempt from the NBA to further popularize Twitter as a way to follow the league, but it's just not the best place to expose it. Further utility (not just the dumb way they read off Tweets) of Twitter and social networks into national broadcasts and content provided already would be better. The NBA will get that message in due time.

For instance, maybe TNT could have Shaq read some tweets on air and give some meaningful @ reply's to fans. Not only could Shaq provide some comedy and insight, he could add to what TNT offers. That's just one example, the possibilities with social are endless!

Do you dig the NBA shirts with the Twitter handles on the back?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Kevin Durant Jams on Pau Gasol

Kevin Durant is a force to be reckoned with. Lethal from the outside, sly off the dribble and a true scorer, stopping Kevin Durant is a tough task. Last night against the Lakers, Kevin Durant showed his driving and finishing ability with this dunk:

Nice finish from Kevin Durant. Poor contest from Pau Gasol! Don't mess with Kevin Durant, he'll make you pay!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stan Van Gundy Clowns on Raptors Fans

Stan Van Gundy is one of the best interviews in the NBA as far as coaches go. Candid, hilarious and insightful, Stan Van Gundy brings a bit of everything to the table. This clip is no different, where Stan Van Gundy talks about the Raps fans response to earning a free slice of pizza:

Great reaction from Stan Van Gundy!

Marcus Paige Interview

Marcus Paige, 2012 McDonald's All-American, sat down with me for an interview. Here it is:

Thanks for your time Marcus. Marcus Paige is an excellent role model for the young kids as he does great in the classroom too!

Tyler Lewis Interview

Got a chance to talk with Tyler Lewis today. Here's the video:

Thanks for the time and good luck Tyler Lewis!

Monday, March 26, 2012

McDonald's All-American Practice Notes

Garry Harris goes up for a dunk!
Henny Ray Abrams/McDonald's
The 2012 McDonald's All-American event today started with team practices. Here are some notes, thoughts and observations from practice:

  • Tyler Lewis caught my eye in warm up drills with his dribbling, shooting and quickness. Looks like he really needs to work on his strength, but Tyler Lewis has a great offensive foundation.
  • Marcus Paige shot the ball lights out from downtown during the West scrimmage. He had split second openings and that was just long enough for him to drain a couple from deep.
  • Family integration into practice and this whole experience is awesome. Parents and other family members and friends are not only present, they are socializing with others while cheering their favorite players on.
  • Defense was lackluster. During scrimmages it picked up some, there were a few nice blocks, but during drills, there were real lapses from the East boys. Surely this isn't an environment where stifling defense is expected, but a little more effort would be nice.
  • Camaraderie between these players is already there. These players don't play together, but when good players meet and play together, it doesn't take long. Of course they're friends off the court, but  it translated on the court. Eventually, in these players futures, opportunities to play together may arise. They'll be ready for it.
  • Kyle Anderson said his throat was hurting, but he still practiced. Didn't seem crazy sharp and complained more than desired. Hopefully he'll feel better as the week rolls on.
  • Athleticism came out in the scrimmages. Rim rattling dunks, quick guards speeding up the floor and a few blocks made it a hoot. These athletes are remarkable and this is there first national showcase.
McDonald's All-American week 2012 rolls on! More to come soon from Chicago!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Brandon Jennings Hits Half Court Prayer

Brandon Jennings was thought to be a below average shooter when he was entering the NBA. Brandon Jennings silenced those haters early by scoring and shooting well. Last night, to end the third quarter against the Pacers, Brandon Jennings showed more shooting skills:

Awesome shot from Brandon Jennings! It'd be easy to win a game of HORSE with that one! Keep it up Brandon Jennings.

Friday, March 23, 2012

McDonalds All-American 2012 Coverage Coming Soon

Tomorrow I'm heading up to Chicago to cover the McDonalds All-American events. Will bring exclusive coverage right here to NBAtipoff! You ready for the McDonalds All-American awesomeness?

Here's some highlights from all of the mens roster to get you pumped:

McDonalds All-American 2012, here I come!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kobe Bryant Nails Blind Reverse Layup

Kobe Bryant is known for his abilities to make incredibly difficult shots. Well, here's another, as Jason Kidd fouls Kobe Bryant, but doesn't stop him:

Great finish and persistance from Kobe Bryant!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Madness Infographic

March Madness is in full effect. Colleges are buzzing, student athletes are giving it their all, and fans are gearing up for the madness. To help YOU gear up for March Madness, here's a stat packed, awesomely designed infographic:

March Madness
Created by:

Thanks to Jen for the graphic!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ellis Debuts Against Former Team Tonight

By Rob Small

There were 10 deals as the NBA trade deadline approached and 16 teams got into the mix. The first teams to drop a big deal were the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors and both teams were in for a shake-up.

Bucks get:
Monta Ellis, Guard
Ekpe Udoh, Center
Kwame Brown, Center (injured)

Warriors get:
Andrew Bogut, Center (injured)
Stephen Jackson, Guard/Forward (traded to San Antonio for small forward Richard Jefferson and retired point guard T.J. Ford)

Monta Ellis was traded to Milwaukee and will, perhaps, create a high-powered offense point guard Brandon Jennings. Center Ekpe Udoh, who has shown flashes of promise recently, will try to fill the void Andrew Bogut left after the trade.

Ironically, Ellis and Udoh's next game will be in the Bay Area to play their first game as Bucks against the team that traded them. In a sense, this will be Ellis' chance to say good-bye to the team that drafted him out of the second round in 2005.

He won the Most Improved Player Award the next year and became an offensive star playing in Oakland, averaging 19.6 points per game for his career.

For the the Warriors, they won't be able to use Bogut for a while. They'll re-evaluate the left ankle he fractured in a couple of weeks. Fans won't be seeing Stephen Jackson because he was traded for Richard Jefferson yesterday.

What they can expect is a chance to say thank you to Ellis, who was one of two players left from the memorable "We Believe" playoff run in 2007 when the eight-seeded Warriors beat the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks, the first time the top seed was beaten in the first round of a seven-game series.

If there was a game to watch tonight, the game down by the bay would be worth it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dwight Howard Alley Oop

By Rob Small

Depending on what the Orlando Magic do, Dwight Howard's catch-and-finish from Jameer Nelson in San Antonio could be his last dunk for Orlando.

After stating that he would finish the season with the Magic, Howard told RealGM that he wants to play with the Magic for one more season and apologized for the "circus" he has created.

"I have gotten some bad advice," Howard told RealGM. "I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city. They didn't deserve none of this. I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart. I will do whatever I can to make this right and do what I was put in Orlando to do."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

D'Antoni Resigns, Howard to Test Free Agency

By Rob Small

For an NBA trade deadline a few surprises have surfaced in the past 24 hours. So far, the lone trade was last night's five-player deal that sent Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks and Andrew Bogut to the Golden State Warriors.

Mike D'Antoni resigned as head coach of the New York Knicks as a "mutual decision" to part ways. Assistants Dan D'Antoni and Phil Weber are out as well. Former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson took over as interim coach and led the Knicks to a 121-79 blowout of a Portland Trail Blazers team that sat out Jamal Crawford.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Crawford could be on the move in a 3-way deal that would send him to the Minnesota Timberwolves and the T'wolves' Michael Beasley to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Last, but not least, Dwight Howard looks free agency bound. After reports surfaced that he would waive his early termination option and playing another season with the Orlando Magic, Howard said that he is committed to finishing the season with the team and become a free agent, which could force the team to deal him by tomorrow's deadline.

There may not have been any trades today, but they'll be plenty to watch tomorrow as the deadline approaches at 3 pm. EST.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kenneth Faried Blocks Rudy Gay

Kenneth Faried is an underrated big playing for the Denver Nuggets. If you haven't seen what Kenneth Faried can do, you've been missing out! Dude can play on both ends of the floor. Here's an example of what Kenneth Faried can do:

Keep working Kenneth Faried! Plays like that will get you a big pay day! How great is Kenneth Faried?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Headed to Chicago for McDonald's All-American 2012

I'm headed to Chicago later this month to cover the McDonald's All-American events. The best high school basketball players in the country will be on display and will have exclusive coverage for you! Videos, interviews, as much as we can bring you, we will! I've got a press credential so I'll be on the inside scoring stories!

Are you excited to experience the McDonald's All-American week more closely? Have any tips/connections to this years class (boys roster and girls roster, scroll down to the second page of this PDF) you have to offer? Know anyone with a place to crash near the Marriot Downtown Chicago (540 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611)? Have any money you'd like to donate for this exclusive coverage and my journey (see donate button at the bottom of this post)? Everything you do, whether reading, commenting, or donating is much appreciated!

I'm also looking for a major sponsor to fund my trip (and others in the future). Do you know any companies that you may have a connection with?

Get ready to get down at the McDonald's All-American game and events! I embark for Chicago on March 24th. You ready for McDonald's All-American 2012 exclusives?

Gerald Green's Windmill Alley Oop

Gerald Green can dunk with the best of them. Gerald Green has impressed in the dunk contest, but never really made his mark as a player. While this post isn't about him doing so, spending time in the D-League has helped Gerald Green. Maybe Gerald Green can stick with his current team, the Nets. Anyway, here's a sick in game alley oop courtesy of Gerald Green:

WOW! Amazingness from Gerald Green there. Never say it's impossible to do anything in life. Keep on persisting, Gerald Green!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Announcement: Magic Johnson Trailer

"The Announcement: Magic Johnson" air this Sunday at 9:00 PM eastern. This looks awesome:

Make sure to watch "The Announcement: Magic Johnson" this Sunday on ESPN!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Lakers Losing Games They Shouldn't

The Lakers are losing games against mediocre teams. Here's a video breakdown and some solutions for the Lakers:

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Kevin Seraphin Progressing

Kevin Seraphin is a nice young big playing for the Wizards. Here's a video breakdown of how he's doing (excuse the watermark!):

Keep on charging, Kevin Seraphin!

Nike+ Sneakers: 5 Things You Should Know

We've all heard of smartphones but what about smart sneakers?  That is the premise behind Nike's most talked about upcoming line of sneakers.  With the June release dates still a while away, now's a swell time to go over what they have to offer.

1. Three different models. So far, Nike has announced three different models for their + line.  They include a basketball sneaker, men's training sneaker called the TR1+, and Hyper Workout+ sneaker for women.

2. Research lab in a shoe. Did you know that many athletes go to a sports lab to measure items like how fast they can run or how high they can jump with computers?  These sneakers actually bypass any huge sports lab by using their built in sensors to send all the same data to your smartphone via a Bluetooth connection.  The sneakers actually have four built in sensors across the shoe to get accurate readings.

3. Built in workouts. Ever wanted to train like an NBA star such as LeBron James or world renowned boxer Manny Pacquiao?  Now you can with these shoes.  They can include the same workout routines as these and many other professional athletes.  Outcome not guaranteed.

4. Brag it up. We all know one or two guys who go on and on about how great their stats are.  Now they can prove it by using these sneakers, data, and even the Nike online boards to post their scores.  Whether the results are glowing or humbling, they are sure to put to rest any unnecessary boasting.

5. Results = motivation. Perhaps the best feature of these sneakers, which are speculated to cost over $100 more than your average pair of Nikes, is their ability to motivate.  By showing you what to do and if you are indeed doing the workouts you want to do, it can be hugely motivating to staying with a workout and improving enough to be motivated to do it.

Are you salivating for these shoes now? Or do they sound overrated? Chime in with your thoughts on the Nike+ sneaker series!

Anthony Jones wrote this article and also writes for Sports Management Colleges which helps those looking for a career in professional sports.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Celtics: To Trade or Not to Trade?

Recent chatter surrounding the Celtics roster and legitimacy has been making the rounds. Sports management colleges are especially taking note of what is going on. Rajon Rondo was rumored to be on the market, but the Celtics have brushed off those ideas (and Rondo has played better even). Celtics fans can't be too happy with the seventh spot in the East. If the playoffs started today, the Celtics would be battling the Miami Heat in the first round. Going up against the Heat is something that may need to happen in the post season, but it's certainly not wanted in the first round. This begs the question: should the Celtics make moves to climb up the standings and contend this summer?

Last weekend I hopped on CLNS Radio's postgame and discussed this. First off, Rajon Rondo should NOT be dealt. Not only is Rajon Rondo integral to the entire team prospering, he, as an individual, is a tremendous talent. Surely the Celtics understand that and the chances of him going are slim.

As far as the whole team goes, a trade is necessary. While Jermaine O'Neal is slated to return in mid-March, the Celtics need a rough and tough big who's focus is defense and rebounding. If that's the solution, can't the Celtics just make a move to accomplish this goal? It's a lot easier said than done.

The amount of players like this are slim, not to mention the Celtics have few pieces they want to sacrifice. Let's back track in order to further define the player the Celtics need. When did the Celtics have a player who's focus was defense and rebounding and how did they finish that season?

The Celtics had such a player in 2008. His name was Leon Powe and he did work! Leon Powe rebounded, battled and made things happen for the Celtics. That year, the Celtics went on to win an NBA title. Clearly the Celtics succeeded with a player like Powe.

Who's out there now that's like that and who can the Celtics offer in return for them? Ivan Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks comes to mind. He's 6-8, just like Powe and he brings similar attributes to the game. Ivan Johnson is tough, resilient and full of Celtic-friendly qualities.

How can the Celtics acquire Ivan Johnson and what are the roadblocks? The Celtics could offer up any of these guys: Keyon Dooling, Chris Wilcox, Greg Stiemsma, JaJuan Johnson and/or future draft picks. While this is a nice mix of young and old guys, giving up one or two of them in order to acquire Johnson (who's making about half a million this year) could work. Greg Stiemsma's salary is the closest to Johnson's. That deal not only works straight up, but it saves the Celtics money this year.

Problem is the Hawks are missing Al Horford likely until playoff time. They may not want to part with Johnson for a more finesse player in Greg Stiemsma. Either way, it's worth making some calls about.

Other options to get another banging big man? Sign free agent Leon Powe (as this article hints at). Positives of this are Leon Powe has played here before and he'd have some familiarity with the Celtics. Down sides are it's unclear what kind of shape he's in and how long it'd take him to really get into gear on the court.

The Celtics have many things they could do. This shortened, crazy quick season and a small amount of flexibility (until this summer!) make it a challenge. The Celtics organization needs to continue taking and making calls and looking to fill this void. While it won't be easy, it's also not simple to accept losing. With those ends of the spectrum at work, the Celtics organization will do all they can to try and make the most of what they can do.

What changes (if any) should the Celtics make to their roster? With those changes (or as currently constituted) how far can the Celtics go in the playoffs?

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Ekpe Udoh Dunks Emphatically

Ekpe Udoh is not a name you hear to often. He's a solid young big for the Warriors and Ekpe Udoh is continuing to get better. Check out this dunk courtesy of him:

Nice one Ekpe Udoh! Look out below, Ekpe Udoh is in the house!

Monday, March 05, 2012

NBA Games to Watch, Week 11

The second half of the NBA season rolls on. Trade rumors are swirling, teams are pumping it up a notch and the games keep coming! As a fan, it's hard to be bored with this season! What games are worth watching this week? All times are eastern!

Monday at 8:00 PM, the Thunder look to storm on the Mavericks. The Mavericks are still rounding into shape and the Thunder have looked crisp. The PG matchup, Jason Kidd vs. Russell Westbrook, will be key. These guys not only get their teammates going, they provide a full array of stats and intangibles. While that matchup may not be a barometer of who wins this game (too many other key players), it will be a guide to seeing who comes out on top.

This could be a possible playoff matchup. The problem I see for OKC is how do you defend Dirk? Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins aren't guys who are great defending the perimeter. While KD may have the length to do it, do you want him to guard the best player and use a bunch of energy? This is an issue we could see in this game and in a future playoff matchup. Dallas will take advantage of this and win.

Tuesday at 8:30 PM, the Knicks battle the Mavericks. While Pacers-Hawks was a close second, this will be another test for Jeremy Lin. He's faced this team already, in addition to the Heat and Celtics. Against the tough defenses, Jeremy Lin has inevitably had a tough time. Maybe he can make more strides and limit his turnovers and mistakes in this game. Keep in mind that on Febuary 19th the Knicks won a close one against the Mavs. Even though the Mavs will be coming off of a back-to-back, they'll remember that loss and avenge it.

Wednesday at 7:00 PM, the Sixers will try and outplay the Celtics. Rajon Rondo is carrying the Celtics. His numbers, contributions and talent are off the chart. He's the constant key to this team succeeding. The Sixers are still on the come up and they'll fight in this game. Expect players to dive for loose balls, battle down low and put on a thrilling show. Sixers will take this game, they're too quick for the older C's.

Thursday at 8:00 PM, the Bulls look to run through the Magic. On a two game Thursday, this looked best. Chicago clearly has the better team, but you never know when the Magic will actually bring a solid 48 minutes. Hopefully they will considering this is a nationally televised game. Chicago wins, they're just a contender, while the Magic are a playoff team at best.

Friday at 8:00 PM, the Timberwolves hope to bite the Lakers. Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and crew vs. Kobe, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Sounds exciting. It'd be cool to see Kobe guard Rubio some. If Rubio comes out with a big game, expect to see Kobe rise to the challenge. The Timberwolves will keep this competitive throughout, but the Lakers savvy will outmuscle the Wolves youth.

Saturday at 7:30 PM, the Heat try and bring the Pacers into the sauna. What's great about this matchup? The Pacers usually play contenders tight. While they can be super inconsistent, they typically bring it in a game like this. Not only will the Pacers bring it in this game, they'll win. Why? The Heat will commit too many turnovers and Darren Collison will get the Pacers to capitalize. Pacers get out on the fastbreak and win.

Sunday at 3:30 PM, the Celtics and Lakers matchup. Todays version of a classic! Will be great to watch. Rondo will of course be a problem for the Lakers. In the finals, Kobe takes the assignment of guarding him. Hopefully he will this Sunday. Derek Fisher is a defensive liability regardless of who Kobe guards. Fisher can't run with Ray Allen off of screens easily and they may post Allen up against Fisher. Mike Brown and the Lakers have to work through that. The Lakers will try, but the Celtics and Rondo will be too much for them. Celtics win.

What NBA game is catching your eye this week?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Josh Smith Posterizes Serge Ibaka

Josh Smith has a tendency to fly high and dunk with ferocity! When I saw this play live, I was amazed. Josh Smith obliterates Serge Ibaka with this dunk:

Gets the blood pumping, doesn't it? Awesome finish Josh Smith!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Martell Webster Wedgie's Alley Oop

Martell Webster is a high flying swingman for the Timberwolves. Even though he may make mistakes sometimes, he's a damn solid player. This post is about another one of Martell Webster's mistakes! Ricky Rubio throws an alley oop too far away from the hoop and the end result is amusing:

You don't see that too often! Thanks for giving us a difference from the norm, Martell Webster!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Kyrie Irving Breaking Ankles

Kyrie Irving is a tantalizing rookie point guard for the Cavs. He looks to be a franchise player, with all the skills and poise to lead a team. Here he shows his handles and quickness, freezing Iman Shumpert:

Nice move and finish from Kyrie Irving! Thanks to The Hoop Scene! Hope to see more highlights and leadership like that from Kyrie Irving.