Posts Tagged ‘Ball Don’t Lie’

Where the Tonight Show meets multiple sets of Big Threes

December 18, 2008

Let’s play a quick game of Classic Concentration.

What do you end up with when add together …

The Tohight Show

Karnac the Magnificent

                                                           +
Steve, Chevy & Martin

Steve, Chevy & Martin

                                                           +
Where Amazing Happens

Where Amazing Happens

                                                          =
                                                         ???
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Hilarity & Hoops all wrapped up into one. 🙂

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Courtesy of BDL

One-on-One: Ernie johnson talks TV, being press secretary

Ernie Johnson is hilarious. It may not come across that way all the time on “Inside the NBA,” but when you sit down and talk to him, it’s easy to see why he has become one of the most popular broadcasters on television. Johnson has a wicked sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously, which are both reasons why the show continues to have success.

This is the final Q and A in a series of interviews I conducted with the show’s personalities (Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith) during my behind the scenes look at the “Inside” set in Atlanta.

Ball Don’t Lie: TNT says that basketball’s biggest night is on Thursday. How can basketball’s biggest night only have two games?

Ernie Johnson: Well, sometimes it’s three. (Laughs) Because it’s exclusive, that’s why it’s the biggest. It may appear to be a misnomer … but no, it’s basketball’s biggest night because it’s the only night that has Charles and Kenny.

BDL: Do you think there is any part of “Inside the NBA” that could be better?

EJ: (Pauses) So, you’re asking what would I change about the show?

BDL: Yeah.

EJ: Nothing. I really wouldn’t. I’m older than these other guys, so I grew up watching Carson, they’re totally different shows, but one of the great things I liked about Johnny Carson when I was growing up was the fact that while he was funny, he was really great when some of his stuff wasn’t funny, or the jokes didn’t go over, and he played it off so well, he wasn’t afraid to [say], “We’ll take a shot at this and see what happens.”

And I think that’s kind of [the same attitude] with Tim Kiely the [Inside] producer and all of us. It’s like, “Yeah, we’ll try something.” And if it’s not funny, fine, but we’re not just gonna sit there and do a cookie-cutter show, that you know what’s coming if you watch it once, you say, “I know what’s gonna happen next Thursday, this is the way they do things.” You never know …

BDL: You never know what’s going to happen around here.

EJ: No, and that’s the beauty of the show. A lot of times even when something doesn’t work it’s like, “That was bad, that didn’t work at all,” but it was funny because we didn’t play it off seriously like, “Oh, well that wasn’t funny, we’re sorry. Is it funny that we weren’t funny … yeah. Not everything has to be hit out of the park; it’s just great sometimes the guys react.

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Bar none … this corner’s favourite show on television today:

Ernie, Kenny & Charles

Ernie, Kenny & Charles

by a country mile.

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“What he really meant … “ 🙂

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For Everything Else there’s Mastercard!

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Worthwhile analysis of two NBA games

November 21, 2008

When Kelly Dwyer [BDL] gets the fat part of the bat on the ball … which is generally acknowledged to be the single most difficult action to do proficiently in all of team sports … there’s a good chance that said sphere is going yard.

Without an excessive reliance on hard & fast empirical statistics, i.e. either ‘new-age’ or ‘old school’, when he simply conveys what he sees happening on the floor, in a general sense, from each of the participants, and his arrows’ strikes are true … as they are in these two specific instances, concerning last night’s Celtics/Pistons & Suns/Lakers match-ups, respectively:

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Behind the box score, where the C’s don’t let up and Detroit does
Exhibit A
Coaching matters. Stern decisions have to be made, and a lot of that “buck stops here” nonsense actually helps. It helps drive away excuses, and it helps to make you cringe should you have to spit out “we’ll get ‘em next time” after the game. If it hurts to say that, you’re on the right track. If you’re shrugging your shoulders, then something is missing. And I don’t care that the season is 82 games.

So when you see the Piston reserves acting like pampered former All-Stars, or Detroit failing to close out on shooters, or stepping into open lanes in order to make sure that the open lanes cease to be open lanes, you have to wonder when the buck is ever going to be able to stop.

This isn’t to say that Detroit played the same poor way the entire night, far from it. They just did it long enough to lose handily again. That’s the difference between a pretty good team that occasionally plays great and … the Celtics. The Celtics are just about always there.

Exhibit B
Winter is the architect of the Lakers’ offense, and likely the strongest principle of his famed Triangle offense is the way players are supposed to penetrate the defense. With a pass (preferably, because that means there is an open player somewhere in the teeth of that defense), a drive, a shot, or a rebound.

The last two may not seem like the best moves overall, because shots over the top of the D and ugly offensive rebounds don’t seem to go hand-in-hand with the spacious and aesthetically-pleasing Triangle offense.

But these things are important, especially when the player creating the penetration is among those (like, say, the Laker youngsters that come off the bench) who might not be the most structurally-sound Triangle denizens. There’s a reason Derek Fisher starts, you know.

So there LO is, shooting the ball, or getting into the lane for a lefty runner or hook that might not fall. Not only is his per-game numbers way down from last year, but his per-minute numbers have taken a dive as well. Even with all those chances to pad his stats among the bench corps. And yet, he’s helping. So, so much. Don’t let them convince you that he isn’t.

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it’s a pleasure and a treat to read the man’s prose about the game, and how it works at this level of competition.

First-rate stuff, right there, by the one, the only KD.

That which killed the audio podca[s]t

October 29, 2008

Courtesy of BDL

Initial thoughts:

1. When the mystery is gone the Magic disappears.

2. An applicable quotation from Hardwood Paroxysm [Oct 23 2008]:

“Be careful what you wish for … it may be more awesome than you could possibly imagine.”Matt Moore

3. The first step is always the hardest.

Keep On Truck’n [fellas] … the best is yet to come. 🙂

Love’n It, Live’n It … Love the Life, Guys, Love It

October 27, 2008

Courtesy of BDL

T, minus 1 … and counting.

Can you feel it, too?

More Than [just] An Interview

September 16, 2008

First-class work by JE Skeets, BDL …

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Skeets: What was your most memorable experience about shooting the doc?

Belman: There were so many great experiences, but I have to say that one of the best was when I found my producing partner on the film. After I graduated from college, I spent two years trying to find a way to finish the film in the right way. Meeting after meeting yielded the same result — everyone wanted to buy the footage of LeBron, and make it a highlight reel. Nobody cared about the other players. Nobody cared about Coach Dru. Certainly nobody cared about a friendship tale of boys becoming men.

After two years of the same meeting, I met Harvey Mason, Jr. He was a successful music producer, and one of my friends used to baby-sit for his family. She set up a meeting for me to ask him some questions, to get some general advice. He had no idea what my film was about — he was taking the meeting as a favor.

After 10 minutes of talking about the film, I showed him a trailer that had been edited for the film. As soon as it was over, he started rifling me with questions: about Coach Dru, about the friendship, about everything except LeBron. I knew at that moment that we were going to finish the film together, and he promised me we’d do it right. He took a chance on me just like Coach Dru and the Fab 5 took a chance on me — I’m just so happy that they’re all so proud of the way the film turned out.

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Do yourself a favour … and read the whole thing.

It’s what Life’s about.

In appreciation of the Worm

August 29, 2008

Okay … it’s been a relatively slow week, post Beijing and all.

However, as each day has slipped by the following video clip … via Wednesday’s BDL … just kept lingering in the subconscience of this correspondent:

… as ‘Exhibit A’ pertaining to the only man in the History of the NBA who could actually defend … with aplomb … all 5 positions on the court, against some of the most outstanding athletes (in any sport) of ALL-TIME.

In conjunction with the seemingly outlandish claim of the ZenMaster …

“He could probably play a 48-minute game and play the 48th minute stronger than the first minute of the game,” Jackson told the crowd at UND. “He was that terrific an athlete.”

and what was written in this space last season …

The Worm vs the Winner [Jan 31, 2008]

know that these eyes are in full agreement with the acute observation of Dr. Phil.

Based upon his on-court performance … Dennis Rodman HAS EARNED his place some day in the Basketball Hall Of Fame … and, it will be a d*mn shame if he never gets there.

Degrees of American patriotism

August 19, 2008

According to JE Skeets, Ball Don’t Lie, a reader [referred to as ‘the Patriot’] has called into question the patriotism of Team USA members, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh,

The 10-man rotation, starring the Great Brick Wall of China

on account of their physical stance during the pre-game playing of the US national anthem.

” … Am I missing something here? Is this not the Olympics where you are representing your country against all other countries? Even in a regular NBA game you should put your hand over your heart during the national anthem so it boggles me even more so they did not do it during the Olympics. Maybe Chris Bosh has spent too much time in Toronto and forgot how that works. Dwight claims to be Superman, but other than apple pie and baseball, nothing is more American than Superman — no excuses for him. I lost all respect for these two stars. My vote is to force these two to sign with a European team like the rest of the clowns that have left the good ol’ USA in search of the almighty dollar.”

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Are you missing something there, ‘the Patriot’?

Well … for the record … please let it be known in the blogosphere that individuals with this specific attitude toward others make this corner disgusted.

Commendations to all Olympians, everywhere … irrespective of the country they’re from … for displaying the best of our human traits … in pursuit of excellence, and through collaboration with one another.

Soulsville USA

August 11, 2008

Courtesy of Kelly Dwyer [Ball Don’t Lie]:

Isaac Hayes passes away

Please read ^^^. 

In salute of a giant.

The unmistakable sound of Stax Records and ‘the Man’ who made IT happen.

Who is ‘the Man?’

The world is, at once, a poorer and a richer place today.

About last night – BDL Live Blogging

May 9, 2008

FYI …

Participated in a live blogging event yesterday with those in charge at Ball Don’t Lie (Kelly Dwyer & J.E. Skeets), plus others. If you check the record out for yourself, right here …

BDL Live Blog: Hornets at Spurs, Game 3

you will see illustrations of some of what’s been talked about in this space for quite some time, re:

* The answer for the Spurs
* The relative importance (or not) of certain game stats when evaluating Winners vs Losers in an NBA game
* The importance of Individual Match-ups in deciding the outcome of an NBA game
* The role of Momentum in an NBA game
* A specific game changing play in an NBA environment 
* The Moment of Truth in an NBA game
* What a Top Notch Coach Looks For (and sees) as a Turning Point in an NBA game
* What other NBA observers perceive (or not) about the game played at this level of competition

Your feedback is always appreciated here.

PS. The technology used by the BDL crew (and others) to bring this sort of event to the masses seems to be first-rate. Check it out for yourself at … COURTITLIVE.COM.

The Zeitgeist in Seattle

April 16, 2008

In full support of the good folks in the great American Northwest who are doing everything possible to prevent THEIR team, the Seattle Supersonics, from re-locating to Oklahoma City, against the wishes of the Sonics’ existing fanbase.

Save Our Sonics

A great idea from The South Florida Fan Blog … and, from The AltRaps Blog.

If you’re a Toronto Raptors fan, or a Vancouver Grizzlies fan, or an NBA fan, in general, sign that on-line petition and know that you too can make a difference … heading toward the NBA’s Board of Governors’ Vote tomorrow (Thursday, April 17, 2008).

There is no more powerful force than that of an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo