The Finals are here! It features one team we expected at the beginning of the season and one team that many thought would never be back. They are, of course, the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs respectively. (Ouch, look no further than yours truly to see how far I was off on the Spurs, ha!) I am personally very intrigued by this matchup — the first ever to feature 4 previous NBA Finals MVPs (LeBron in '12, Wade in '06, Parker in '07, and Duncan in '99, '03, '05).
So who you got?!
I've got the Spurs in 6. They're firing on all cylinders after the sweep of Memphis, Parker is at an MVP level and can take advantage of the matchups vs. Miami, and Coach Pop is a mastermind of adjustments. Plus, Miami's supporting cast around LeBron was shaky vs. Indiana; can they rebound for the Finals? What do you all think?
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ESPN's Animated Pump-Up for The NBA Finals
Be sure to also get pumped up for tonight with some of the greatest Finals moments artistically animated by ESPN above!
Finally, I couldn't let this NBA post get away without a shoutout and congrats to TBJ — The Basketball Jones! They are the premier, daily NBA podcast and just yesterday reached an amazing milestone of 1000 episodes. I have been listening to every episode this postseason especially, and love their mix of intelligent analysis on the games combined with humorous games they create on their own to cover the ins and outs of the NBA. For any big NBA fan, they're flat out a must-listen. To get a sense of their show and sense of humor, here's Eeeepppisode 1-0-0-0 (*Skeets voice*), which they did a special video rundown for of 20 of the best moments of their 7 years and 1000 epps. Lots of funny videos to see below and more from the ep on their blog here. Subscribe to TBJ on iTunes for their daily podcasts, including today's Game 1 preview. Shoutout to the tastemaker @Euggra for introing me to #TBJ.
Let's end the post though on some hip hop, shall we? As a tribute to TBJ, former Spurs guard and NBATV Analyst, Brent Barry takes on Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" to list all of the players named "Jones" in NBA History. This is good. And also contains shoutouts from Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley. Maybe Eminem shouldn't be collaborating with Kendrick Lamar and TDE and get Brent Barry on the phone? Ha!
The Finals are upon us! And if you want to be the ultimate fashionhead amongst your friends for the next couple weeks, look no further then the fresh new hat collection release from Just Don. Designer Don C combines his signature python snakeskin with the classic NBA Finals logo (seriously, that cursive is instant class) and between the various colors and years on the side patches (also a nice touch), you can cop a cap for your favorite Finals. Plus: a couple of vintage Bulls Finals hats are included in the collection. Both are fresh must-haves if you can put down the dollars. The high-end luxury sportswear goes for $400 only at RSVP Gallery.
Not technically in the Finals Collection, but included above, are three of the freshest new releases from Just Don that'll go great with your Grape Js. The black/dark purple Bulls, a Charlotte Hornets lid (the Hornets are coming back!), and a Charlotte Hornets-themed Bulls hat, with the extremely nice touch on the red underbill. These three are variations of the '87 draft caps that a certain first round draft pick that year made most famous...
Scottie Pippen, as a rookie, looking ahead to 6 titles
Related: NBA Finals predictions, anyone? I may just have a post on this tomorrow...
Gotta show some love to the NBA's latest, genius marketing campaign to get us pumped for The Finals. Today, they released the Kobe Bryant edition "Forever Kobe", immortalizing a posterization over Nets journeyman center Todd MacCulloch in the Finals 11 years ago, and fulfilling a bucket list checklist of mine to mention Todd MacCulloch on Gowhere someday.
Dirk's was even more epic I'd say (seen below), and now that it's a consistent "Forever BIG" series I can't wait to see if they dabble into legends like MJ (of course). No doubt you'll be seeing these commercials throughout the rest of the playoffs, but since this is the interwebs, press play above and below.
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Oh, and for the equally NBA-obsessed, here's one more epic thing for you today: Matt Bonner reflecting on what Jeff Van Gundy was saying is the "lowest jump-ball in NBA history", ha!
We take a quick look back at the Miami series and the season as a whole with our disappointment still offset by pride. Given the circumstances, the 2012/13 Bulls were incredibly entertaining and still managed to overachieve. We also dip into some offseason speculation and project next season's roster. Finally, we offer our bold (dumb?) predictions for the remainder of the playoffs. Thank you all for listening and a fun season!
For part one of a late night Old School Sundays special, we have something that NBA and hip hop fans will both thoroughly enjoy... and it's only 30 seconds long. That's because it's a 30 second spot from 1987 when Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Kevin McHale, Mark Aguirre, Bernard King, and MVP Larry Bird took turns for a stream of consciousness rap session. Yes, this actually happened. And the 340K views it has is nowhere near the total this video warrants.
I was inspired to watch this again, and go a step further and post it for you all, because of a Twitter question posed tonight by our friend, RedEye writer Jack Silverstein:
So... to rank the flow: King, Aguirre, McHale, Isiah, Magic, and Larry (ironically the same as Jack's, which I didn't even read til after, hah!). Bird gets bonus points though for his hilarioius smile/smirk gloating about the MVP. How do you rank the flow?
We analyze and discuss how the Bulls fell short in Game 3 despite their valiant effort. What needs to change heading into Monday's Game 4? Even though the series is far from over, we also examine the Bulls chances against the Heat in the future with a full roster and try not to sulk in this year's lost opportunity. Be sure to also listen to the very end to help celebrate the show's birthday!
Hello Brooklyn! And last week, it was Goodbye Brooklyn for Nate Robinson and the Chicago Bulls. After the team's Game 7 win and Game 1 upset over Miami, the city is swept with #SeeRed fever. And that's not to discount the Blackhawks as the city is fully behind them for their playoff run. Needless to say, it's an exciting time to be a Chicago sports fan.
But to bring it back to the topic at hand, Nate Robinson's State Of Nate web series gives us a TV-style behind-the-scenes look at the life of a rising NBA star. Nate Rob's latest episode, filmed and directed by TeeJay Regan comes at a quick turnaround, documenting his stay in New York City for the Bulls' first round playoff series versus the Brooklyn Nets. This was one of the series' best episodes yet as Nate took us on a tour of numerous shopping boutiques all across the borroughs (with Rip Hamilton), dinner at his favorite spot in the city with Daequan Cook and Taj Gibson, and of course a little insight into the day of the game. Some other highlights: the art work he got presented to by @ArtMobb and all of the fans he has from NYC (from when he used to be a Knick), most notably the taxi driver in the beginning.
If you don't have the time to sit with this at this moment, at least check out the new NBA ad spot for Nate Rob: "We Are All Watching: Nate Robinson". Chilling! Definitely give State Of Nate a look-see above when you do get the time, and get amped for a big Game 3 at the Madhouse on Madison tonight! #GoBulls