Hoopheads are overflowing with nostalgia, almost anyone that follows the sport knows this.
The Houston Rockets intelligently tapped into this by creating a video of highlights in the style of NBA Jam—the old school arcade game with classic one-liners that have withstood the test of time.
I missed the initial launch of this video piece on Thursday night, when they appropriately tied it into the widely accepted throwback Thursday / unofficial day of nostalgia. When I first launched it, not only was I pleasantly surprised at the video production that integrated elements from the game, I was joyously overtaken by the custom voiceover work that also matched up to the original game.
According to the tweet put out by @HoustonRockets, the video was also played in the arena.
Overall, I thought this was a fantastic execution that brought to life elements of the present and the past in a way that made perfect sense. Well done, Houston Rockets marketing team, thank you for taking me back to the days of he’s heating up and he’s on fire!
“As long as my elbow’s pointed at the rim, I feel like it has a great chance to go in, I learned that from Kobe Bryant.”
Kyrie Irving lit up the San Antonio Spurs to the tune of 57 points—a career high, as well as a franchise record—and ultimately led the Cavs to victory.
Not only did Irving impress in the box score hitting 7/7 from downtown, he did it in big time NBA fashion by hitting a last-second three pointer to send the game into overtime.
It’s not often that a teammate of LeBron James outshines him in spite of LeBron’s 31 points, but this wasn’t just any teammate, and it wasn’t just any night. It was a magnificent display of back-and-forth action between the defending champions—the fundamental obstacle that has so often ruined LeBron’s victory party—and a team on the up-and-up.
It was also one of those games where an individual shines so bright that all you want to do is spam your friends on Twitter with multitudes of fire emojis because superlatives don’t suffice. The crossovers and improbable dribble penetration through multiple Spurs were enough to leave us in awe, and just when it seemed unlikely that Kyrie would convert, he would pull basketball rabbits out of a convoluted hat of defenders.
In collecting 57 points, Kyrie surpassed not only his 55 point game earlier this season, but also LeBron James’ 56 point Cavs scoring record.
With 4.3 seconds left in regulation, and having just hit a 3 pointer to bring the Cavs within three points on the previous possession, Kyrie broke free and elevated to hit a big time shot that would take the game into overtime:
After 36 years as the broadcasting voice of the Los Angeles Clippers, Ralph Lawler was honored by the team with #LawlerNight and March 9th was officially declared “Ralph Lawler Day” by the city of L.A.
On hand to honor the man who has been through thick and thin with the Clippers was his broadcast partner Mike Smith, as well as a number of former Clippers players.
City Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr. presented Lawler with a framed proclamation officially recognizing “Ralph Lawler Day.”
“I’m just thrilled that you’re all here. I’ve always felt that I work for the fans,” commented Lawler showing the genuine class that has endeared him to Clipper fans everywhere as well as colleagues in the media.
“I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this, I just show up for work every day. It’s MY pleasure believe me. Thank you all so much.”
In addition to the halftime celebration, several key media personnel provided video recorded messages for their estemeed colleague, including the voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully.
Several current Clippers players, as well as head coach Doc Rivers also provided congratulatory messages for Ralph in the form of videos.
Although the Clippers organization took it upon themselves to acknowledge an outstanding man who takes his craft seriously, as much now as he 36 years ago, the celebration felt somewhat incomplete, or at least rushed.
That’s not to say that the Clippers don’t appreciate Ralph, rather that the occasion—if it was going to be promoted heavily and made out to be a special event—lacked the oomph of class that such an outstanding tenure truly deserved (especially when you consider the multiple decades of truly abysmal basketball that Ralph has had to call).
Although Ralph received a framed jersey, as Petros from the Petros and Money Show pointed out on the 3/10 broadcast, Lawler has received framed jerseys from the previous owner of the Clippers. At the very least, the Clippers could have and probably should have retired the honorary jersey Lawler received.
[Ralph Lawler] is the only Clipper who deserves to have his jersey retired. — Doc Rivers
Every fan in attendance also received a commemorative shirt with Lawlerisms printed on the front and back.
He’s the Tommy Hinesohn (Celtics broadcaster) of the Clippers. When you have a guy that’s been in the organization his whole career and has given his life to an organization, you should pay him respects.
Regardless of how the event turned out, congratulations to Ralph Lawler: an outstanding personality in LA Sports and the NBA at large. May destiny favor the future for a broadcaster who has professionally kept afloat despite the many decades without true success by the team he covers so passionately.
Hopefully in the near future he’ll get the best tribute of all: to be able to make his iconic bingos, oh me oh my, and the lob, the jam! calls in an NBA finals series for the Clippers.
The man, the myth, the legend, Craig Sager, returned to the sideline last night after an 11-month battle with cancer.
Teams, players, fans, and the league all poured out their love for Sager over social media. Sager has made a name for himself by wearing outrageous patterns with clashing colored blazers, and let’s face it, during his absence, those crazy colors and patterns were missed.