Author Archives: Ananth Pandian

Matt Bonner’s Summer Time ShakeDown

Everyone’s favorite San Antonio Spurs power forward, Matt Bonner, is well known for his love of sandwiches as he detailed in his Sandwich Hunter blog for I personally love to eat something crunchy with a sandwich like a heaping handful of Kettle Brand Chips but it seems like Bonner has a more healthier approach to the sandwich sides game, baby carrots.

Bonner has teamed up with the smoothie, juice, salad dressing and carrot powerhouse that is Bolthouse Farms  to create a series of YouTube ads for their new seasoned baby carrot snack, ShakeDowns.

What are ShakeDowns? From the company’s website:

ShakeDowns® are simple. They’re fresh cut and peeled baby carrots with natural seasoning. Just release the seasoning, shake the bag and get the flavor all over your carrots. Then enjoy ShakeDowns® in Ranch or Chili Lime. With single serving or multi-packs, you can feed your snack cravings, however big they get.

Since baby carrots are often thought of as baby carrots, the company has created fun ads in the past to market ShakeDowns. So teaming up with Bonner for their new ad campaign, a NBA player who has made comedy videos like the Coach B series,  makes  a lot of sense.

So how did this collaboration with Bonner come together? According to , Bonner knows one of the other actors in the commercials, Canadian Idol winner Ryan Malcolm:

That morning was especially crunched because the basketball player Matt Bonner was on set and only available until noon. A former Toronto Raptor, Bonner was a last-minute get for Bolthouse Farms, which is testing Shakedowns in Texas where Bonner now plays for the San Antonio Spurs. Proximity secured a deal for him to appear in the videos after learning that Ryan Malcolm, the singer and Canadian Idol winner who appears in all the videos, was friends with the athlete.

Bonner’s final take – “Sharing is caring. I’m Matt Bonner and I approve my message.”

Back on set, Bonner reconvened with the crew after the final take is approved. “I’ve never shot five commercials in two hours in my life,” he said.

Hopefully, these commercials will serve as an audition tape for Bonner to finally appear in commercials for the Texan supermarket chain, H-E-B, like many of his Spurs teammates have already done. If not, let’s hope more companies seek out Bonner for his commercial acting skills as I think we can all agree that seeing Matt Bonner in a commercial is the ideal way to sell a product.

 Top image via Bolthouse Farms Facebook Page


Andre Drummond’s Summer of Love

Believe it or not but Pistons’ center, Andre Drummond, just turned 20 this past Saturday. His age is quite deceiving with his height and build but Drummond dispelled draft day rumors of teenage laziness by putting together an impressive rookie campaign and earned himself an invite to this summer’s USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp. The future of “Deee-troit Basketball” looks to be quite promising with Drummond anchoring the center position but it may come as a surprise that Drummond recently became the “man” for millions of teenage males for a non-basketball reason.

Remember back in May when Memphis Grizzlies small forward, Quincy Pondexter, made a date with Miss Tennessee 2012, Chandler Lawson, through Twitter? Many were amazed at Pondexter’s Twitter game but it looks like Drummond may have him beat, as he was able to connect with someone through Twitter that he has had a crush on for a long time.

With Drummond being twenty, it makes sense that he would have a crush on teen sitcom star, Jennette McCurdy, from Nickelodeon’s teen sitcom, Sam & Cat. McCurdy was also in another Nickelodeon show, iCarly, which Drummond must have grown up watching and now with his new fame, he began to reach out to her.

Drummond announced his “love” of McCurdy back in July by Instagramming a photo of her with the Women Crush Wednesday hashtag, #WCW:

If that Instagram needed any clearing up, when a follower tried to get Drummond to follow back by talking about other teenage sweethearts, Drummond proclaimed his favoritism towards McCurdy:

Drummond even retweeted this tweet of McCurdy’s to get her to follow back:

Then on the same day he sent out another #WCW Instagram:

Even though McCurdy was still not aware of Drummond’s overtures, his followers were, and they tried to get her attention, much to Drummond’s delight as he retweeted their pleas:

Perhaps in one last final attempt, Drummond Instagrammed a third #WCW photo of McCurdy:

Then in a move that Drummond probably believed would only happen in his dreams, McCurdy tweeted this:

With his heart seemingly racing, Drummond played it cool and responded formally but McCurdy’s response must have really put him over the edge:

Drummond then set a “date”:

The Pistons first trip to a Los Angeles is November 17th to take on the Lakers. This is a date that Drummond must have instantly circled on his calendar. Will McCurdy actually show up or was she just “leading” him on?

Much to Drummond’s delight, McCurdy’s interest in Drummond seems to be legitimate as  she recently wished him a happy birthday:

As teenagers, we have all had crushes on other famous teenagers, and for Drummond to actually connect with his, is quite remarkable. If he brings the same level of intensity that he brought to his pursuit of McCurdy to the court this season, the rest of the league better watch out. Now that he doesn’t want to disappoint his newest fan, Jennette McCurdy, you can safely bet we are in for a vastly improved second year from Andre Drummond.

 Top image via Andre Drummond’s Twitter.


In The Paint is an ongoing HP series where we will learn about the different basketball artists on the Interwebs and break down the inspiration for some of their work

This week we are “In The Paint” with the Edward Scissorhands of the basketball art world, Nathan McKee.

What are some of your earliest basketball fan memories? Have any of them translated to your basketball art?

Most of my early sports memories all go back to the Trail Blazers since I’m from Portland. I think a lot of them revolve around my dad’s memories & him telling me stories so I think that they are my memories but they are actually his. Like him taking my brother & I to the 77 championship parade downtown or Bill Walton jogging by our house every day. But I was like 2 so not sure how much I actually remember.

Michael Jordan_7

I do remember watching the 1990 NBA finals between the Pistons & Blazers; game 4 Danny Young hit a miracle 3 that he didn’t get off in time and they ended up losing which has stuck with me forever. Also, the Jordan shrug in Game 1 of the Bulls/Blazers finals where he scored six 3 pointers in the 1st half to destroy us. So my earliest memories mostly consist of my dad’s memories & the Blazers losing.

My basketball memories definitely worked their way into my work as I tend to recreate a lot of players from my youth like Bill Walton, Patrick Ewing, Jordan, etc.

What is your art background and what inspired you to make basketball art?

Sheed Sabas final

I’m pretty much self-taught. I’ve always drawn since I was a kid but as I got older I started doing a lot of screen printing and stenciling. The more I got into basketball, the more I realized how much style & motion was involved with it as well as players’ personalities in their expressions. It drove me to try and capture that on paper. I also really liked the interactions I got from people when they saw my pieces and the dialogue it opened up; at one of my shows, someone that I wouldn’t even expect to be into basketball, saw a Rasheed Wallace piece I did and all of a sudden they are talking like a teenager about that one time he did this or that. I think that’s cool that something like basketball can get people to talk to each other without actually knowing each other especially at something like an art opening.

Why paper cut? As someone who is terrible with scissors, I am curious about the amount of construction paper you use per paper cut. Also, can you describe your specific style and explain more about your overall process?

Dee Brown

There’s a handful of reasons why I got into paper cuts. One is that I don’t really think I’m that skilled at drawing so it allows me to create imagery without the use of ink or paint. Also, I love the amount of time & patience it takes to make a piece which allows me to have some Zen time. When I first started experimenting with paper cut, I was living in Chicago & it was a great transition from stenciling as far as process and not having to freeze my ass off using spray paint outside in the winter!

I also like the simplicity of paper as far as flatness & color. I feel from far away it gets the point across but at closer look it becomes more complicated by seeing how many cuts it actually took to make a piece. A lot of people actually think they are paintings from far away.

Chris Paul

The size of the piece determines the amount of paper it will take. I’ve gotten really crafty over the years with utilizing every piece of the paper instead of just sections of it. So sometimes it will just take a couple of sheets to get it done.


Follow Nathan on Twitter and check out his site for more great basketball art.


Brian Scalabrine is still living that White Mamba life

People love Brian Scalabrine.

Remember this 2012 story from ESPNChicago? Forget about Kanye, Brian Scalabrine is a god.

Last night at a promotional event for 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey in Boston, I had the pleasure of being in the presence of the god that is the White Mamba. Scal is a spokesman for 2 Gingers, mainly because of his red hair.  At the event, Scal was behind the bar making the company’s signature drink, the Big Ginger. He was making drinks like someone would do at a house party, just guessing on amounts but it was still quite the show:

After thirty minutes of pouring drinks he began to work the room, taking pictures, giving out high fives and fist bumps. His energy throughout was quite impressive as he has been extremely busy in the last couple of days; assistant coaching the Golden State Warrior summer league team in Vegas and playing musical chairs with dwarfs dressed as leprechauns at a minor league baseball game in Lowell, Massachusetts.

As you can see, it’s still good to be the White Mamba.

Top image via @Scalabrine

2013 LAS VEGAS SUMMER LEAGUE: Day Two Crowd Shots

While live blogging day one of the Las Vegas Summer League, I would glance around the arena during breaks in play and noticed the large number of random NBA jerseys that would be scattered around the crowd. So for my second and last day there, I spent my time photo-documenting the plethora of random jerseys that NBA fans wore to the Thomas and Mack Center and Cox Pavilion.

Here are the highlights:


A Raptors fan rocking an old school Tracy McGrady jersey.


Mr. & Mrs Sign Lady made the trip to Vegas and were the only fans that I saw who held up signs for any of the games.

The new owner of the Kings, Vivek Ranadivé, was also in Vegas and took this picture with the Kings fan in the arena:


Not a jersey but found this interesting. The arena announcer had the players’ names and numbers on a “Guess Who?” styled stand for quick reference.

This was from Day 1, but I found this interesting about Walt “Clyde” Frazier’s clothing choice:

Howard Kobe

These two friends called each other the night before and coordinated their outfits just for the irony.


Old school LeBron James Cavs jersey alert. The look is made complete by the cargo shorts.




Not a jersey, but this NBA Off-Season Knicks “Rileys” shirt is one of my favorite esoteric basketball hipster t-shirts.


Spotted Lakers super fan Jack Sparrow on Day 1 in the stands and was glad to see him back for Day 2. I told him this and he responded, “Of course man, gotta show my love for my team.”

Friend of the site, Knickerblogger‘s Robert Silverman, snapped the back of Sparrow’s jersey:

This year the sun must have been really bright indoors, because at last year’s Summer League, Jack Sparrow didn’t rock his sunglasses:

I am looking forward to seeing a Tonto themed Knicks fan at next year’s Summer League.


2013 Las Vegas Summer League Live Blog: Day 1

Will only be in Vegas for a couple of days so am going to live blog the games that I will be in attendance for.  


Game 1: New York Knicks vs. New Orleans Pelicans

12:45  PM PST - Larry Johnson is in the house wearing cargo pocketed capris. Besides LJ, other NBA alumni in the house include Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams, and Tim Hardaway.

The Knicks are wearing black shirseys which up close look like they have a built in tank top.

One half to the gym is empty and the other half is 2/3rds full. A good number of Knicks jerseys and Lakers jerseys are evenly spread throughout the crowd. Late arriving Vegas crowd?

Former Bucks and Kings center, Jon Brockman, is playing with the Pelicans and his beard is as glorious in person as you would expect.

Eric Snow is apparently an assistant coach with the Pelicans and to put it kindly he is looking svelte.

Walt “Clyde” Fraiser in just a NBATV Polo has to be a fashion crime.

The Knicks already lead Vegas Summer League in one category: mohawks.

1:22 PM PST:  And the first quarter of the 2013 Vegas Summer League is in the books; was it one for the history books? Probably not.

Jon Brockman is being Jon Brockman, physical and just making Jeremy Tyler mad.

Tim Hardaway JR vs Austin Rivers was an early theme which as I have never seen Hardaway JR play before today shocked me. He was actively taking it to the basket and being aggressive.

Rivers has to improve on his terrible season last year and looks like he is at least trying to show people he is a NBA player.

Iman Shumpert’s blonde streak in his flat top is going to start a new trend.

2:00 PM PST: A high scoring-ish first half of basketball as the Pelicans lead the Knicks by 3; 37-34.

JR Smith’s brother, Chris Smith, is playing for the Knicks and made a small impact in the beginning of the half. He sadly is not wearing as on court flair as JR usually does. Probably won’t make the team because of this.

Play got stopped due to the ball hitting a ref and cutting his chin. What added insult to injury for this ref was that he was the lone NBA ref as his comrades are two other D-League refs.

Brian Roberts of the Pelicans had some rough sequences, getting blocked and turning the ball over on a steal but turned it around near the end of the quarter and is a big reason the Pelicans are up at the half. Austin Rivers has continued to attack and even hit a three pointer…he was wide open though but gotta give him credit when its due.

For some reason the arena announcer cannot pronounce Iman Shumpert’s name to save his life. Shump is definitely the biggest star in this game and is not getting his proper star treatment.

The arena announcer did give us a fun fact about the court. The court is made by Horner Sports Flooring which has been in business since 1891! The age of the company really amazed the announcer.

I walked around for most of the quarter, sitting in various seats and ended up sitting behind Walt Frazier and Mike Breen who are calling the game for NBATV. At one point the monitor showed Mike Woodson sitting in the stands, Frazier pointed to Woody’s midsection and looked at Breen. Breen just mouthed the word “fat” and they both had a hearty chuckle.

2:25 PM PST: The third quarter happened and the Knicks cut the lead to two, even though the quarter belonged to Austin Rivers and the Pelicans.

Iman Shumpert seems to be going through the motions throwing alley-oops and loosely playing defense. He does seem to be focusing on his ball handling so perhaps point guard Shump is in his future.

The arena announcer pronounced New Orleans as “Norlens”; nice to try but not  anywhere close to the colloquial “Nawlins”

2:38 PM PST: Jeremy Tyler has dunked the Knicks back into this game.

Darius Miller is apparently a three point machine for the Pelicans.

The full spelling of Pelicans can’t fit on the scoreboard here:



2:50 PM PST:


The Knicks lose by 5 and the Pelicans win their first NBA Summer League game as the Pelicans.

I hope I see Iman Shumpert at Tao later tonight.

Game 2: Atlanta Hawks vs. LA Clippers

3:30PM PST: This game has a much faster pace than the first one drawing more “oohs” and “ahs” from the now packed gym.

Dennis  Schröder is a skinny man. Isn’t Germany known for brats and beers? He does have one extremely vocal supporter in the stands who keeps encouraging him with shouts of,  “All the way from Germany!”

The Clippers are rocking white shirseys. Samardo Samuels fills his quite nice.

John Jenkins has a beautiful stroke.

Jerome Randle has handles for days.

Tyronn Lue is back in LA as an assistant coach for the Clippers. …


Lucas Nogueria aka Bebe for the Hawks is just a fun person to look at with his tattoos and crazy afro. He has thrown a couple of good dunks and even has shown flashes of being a defensive stopper.

 3:50 PM PST: Samardo Samuels is taking a special interest in bullying Bebe – yelling and slapping the ball at dunks.

Hawks guard, Lou Williams is sitting courtside rocking jorts. The Clippers lead at half 53 to 37.

4:15 PM PST: Bebe was a fan favorite on Draft night and is now cementing that favoritism with his dunks on dunks. The Hawks love the three ball, unfortunately for them it is not falling. Johnny Flynn of Johnny Flynn fame is on the Clippers Summer League team but has not played yet. Hawks center, Mike Muscala, has displayed a nice touch from the outside.


Despite this being a blowout, the game is quite entertaining…as entertaining as a blowout Summer League can be.

At the end of the third the Clippers lead by 19: 77-58

4:45 PM PST: Boban Marjanovic, a hulking 7-3 center for the Hawks is quite awkward but threw down a dunk that was good for some mild excitement.

Samardo Samuels is trying to win the unofficial Summer League Slam Dunk contest.

A wide open Reggie Bullock is automatic from behind the three point. Looking like a solid pick by the Clippers.

With 3:46 left Jonny Flynn finally makes an appearance for the Clippers.

Muarry State’s Ed Daniel is on the Hawks roster and like Bebe has quite an Afro. Of note is that he has a Twitter account dedicated to his Afro. 

Dennis Schröder is often compared to Rajon Rondo but unlike Rondo he isn’t afraid to shoot.

The Hawks made it a game near the end of the fourth quarter but the Clippers come away with the 90 – 83 win.

Game 3: LA Lakers vs. Charlotte Bobcats

5:15 PM PST: With their “wine” colored jerseys, the Cavs have the best jerseys so far in Summer League.

The Lakers are in white and purple shirseys.

Kyrie Irving is sitting on the Cavs bench just being Kyrie Irving.

A dunk by Tyler Zeller of all people ended a 4 minute scoring drought for the Cavs.

For being close to Los Angeles, the crowd has been very quiet in their support of the Lakers.

Compared to the last game, this game is moving at a snail’s pace.

The Lakers are leading the Cavs by 8, 18-10.

5:45 PM PST: The arena announcer has done a poor job of pronouncing names today but is somehow able to properly pronounce and annuciate Robert Sacre’s last name.

Halfway through the second quarter and the Cavs have only scored 6 points. Dion Waiters has none of them.

Robert Sacre loves to take jumpers which are not his strong suit.

The Cavs are somehow back in this game and are only down 3 at the half.

 6:10 PM PST: The second half starts with Tyler Zeller laying up what could have been a wide open dunk.

Dion Waiters finally get some points on the board with a hard drive to the basket. Waiters has been focusing on passing and facilitating the offense but sometimes you just need to do what you do best.

With 7:57 left in the third quarter, the Cavs finally take the lead; 31-30.

Josh Selby is showing energy for the Lakers, sadly the pro-Lakers crowd is not.

Matched up against Selby, Carrick Felix has begun to make some hustle plays prompting the Cavs bench to show the only sign of emotion in the arena.

The arena is very dead. Third game fatigue?

6:48 PM PST:  The Phoenix Suns walked in fresh off of practice which has caused some excitement in the crowd. The Morris twins are sitting courtside and despite the fact one of them is wearing a hat, I can’t tell them apart.

With five minutes to go in the game, Dion Waiters only has 3 points but the Cavs lead by 6.

The Cavs Summer League Coaching staff is doing a great job keeping their team fired up.

This game could have ended ten minutes early and I am pretty sure no one would have noticed.

The Cavs wine and golded the Lakers down in the second half and come away with the 70-62 victory.


Am skipping the last game of the night so that’s all from me tonight. Thanks for following along.


In The Paint – With Pui Yan Fong

In The Paint is an ongoing HP series where we will learn about the different basketball artists on the Interwebs and break down the inspiration for some of their work.

This week we are “In The Paint” with the illustrious Pui Yan Fong.

What are some of your earliest basketball fan memories? Have any of them translated to your basketball drawings?

I remember watching the Slam Dunk anime when I was really young, but the Nike freestyle commercial (2000) was a big part of why I started playing basketball. I thought it was great how they made music from the screeching sounds of shoes and dribbling basketballs on the court. I was definitely more interested in learning how to spin the ball on my finger and dribbling with my knees than learning how to play properly.
In terms of being a NBA fan, the earliest memories were of the Vince Carter era of the Toronto Raptors. But no, I don’t think my basketball experiences have any influence on my basketball illustrations.
What is your art background and what inspired you to make basketball art?

I’ve been drawing since I was a few years old, and took art classes throughout my childhood. Then I studied illustration for 4 years at Ringling College of Art and Design. I started doing illustrations of hockey players at first, and then I ventured into basketball. Simply put, I am a big sports fan and it makes sense for me to do sports illustrations. The basketball ones have been particularly fun, in trying to get players likeness and detail.
For your character illustrations, the players are often the same color as their uniforms, is there any meaning behind this?

No, there is no special meaning behind this. I do it for aesthetic reasons – it keeps the illustration simple, and lets the other colors, basketball, and sleeves stand out.


Can you describe your specific style and explain more about your overall process?


Well usually what I do first is look up reference pictures of the players. I really want to capture the player’s facial features and playing style through the illustration. Sometimes I exaggerate the player’s body proportions – like Blake Griffin’s arms.
Most of the poses are of a drive or dribbling because I want the player’s face and team logo to be as clear as possible. I haven’t figured out how to get other poses to look right yet, ha.
In terms of the actual process, I work all on Photoshop. I use a lasso tool to rough out the general shape of the player, and then use a brush or eraser tool to smooth things out. Then I draw out the main lines of the jersey, shorts, and wrinkles. The face would be next. The team logo and tattoos are usually last. It would probably be easier for me to do them on Illustrator, but I like drawing freehand!


Follow Pui on Twitter and check out her site for more great basketball art.



Milwaukee’s Fashion Hope: Zaza Pachulia

As our own Jack Winters wrote about over the weekend, the Milwaukee Bucks are making some strange and yet somewhat typical Bucks-ian moves this offseason. Perhaps one of their more bizarre moves was signing Zaza Pachulia to a three year deal when they already have young and developing bigs in Larry Sanders, John Henson, and Ekpe Udoh. Pachulia is of course an insurance policy in case of injury, but as Ian Segovia of Bucksketball says:

Pachulia will be a fine back-up big for Milwaukee. As would the other 15 back-up big man on the roster who are all paid a lot less than Pachulia does and Drew Gooden too.

So why would the Bucks sign Pachulia when they actually don’t need him? The answer lies in the city of Milwaukee and fashion.

According to the website Bundle’s list of the 50 “Most and Least Fashionable Cities in America”, Milwaukee was ranked 43rd in 2012. In 2013, Milwaukee ranked ninth in the real estate website Movoto’s “10 Worst-Dressed Cities” list. The cold weather has to have a major affect on the choice of clothing that Milwaukeeans wear, but there are some more fashionable winter looks that they could be pulling off and the person to show them these looks is Zaza Pachulia.

In 2010, Pachulia won the “prestigious” award as Atlanta’s Best Dressed Male Celebrity at the 2nd Annual Atlanta Fashion Awards. Even his fellow teammates agreed that he was the best dressed player on the team:

As evidenced from these quotes, Pachulia just lives and breathes fashion:

 “When I’m dressed nicely and when I feel good, I play well and my day is going good,” he said. “It’s kind of crazy but it’s how it is.”

“Everything is for myself, for me to feel good,” he said. “It’s kind of selfish, but you only live once. So I’ve decided to make myself happy.”

“Shopping is my hobby,” he said. “Shopping and fashion, it’s what I love to do. If it’s something nice I really don’t care about the price.”

(Via “ZQ“)

Signing Zaza Pachulia as an unofficial fashion makeover consultant for the city of Milwaukee is the main reason the Bucks signed him. He has three years to improve Milwaukee’s standing in the fashion world. It is a tall order but as Zaza has said in the past, “Nothing easy!

(Top image via

In The Paint – With Muideen Ogunmola

In The Paint is an ongoing HP series where we will learn about the different basketball artists on the Interwebs and break down the inspiration for some of their work.

This week, we are “In The Paint” with Muideen Ogunmola aka Block Nation, an accomplished illustrator who has worked on Reebok Basketball marketing campaigns and gets shouted out by Baron Davis on Twitter:

When Baron Davis give you love, you know you are doing something right.

What is your art background and what inspired you to make basketball art?

I grew up in Detroit and went to college at The College for Creative Studies. After I graduated I was hired by Reebok as a Graphic Designer. That’s where my career really concentrated on basketball graphics and special projects for athletes. I think in my personal work I am inspired by individual players and their big personalities. When picking someone to illustrate I really just go with a player I have been thinking about or someone that gets my attention. Sometimes they are current and sometimes they might be an older player.


My two favorite illustrations I have done are the Kevin Garnett and Shaq. Both of these players have huge personalities and I tried to showcase the power of the KG chest pound and the Shaq dunk.


Looking at your work, you have worked on a variety of marketing campaigns for Reebok basketball – what was your own favorite work that you did for Reebok?

I think I have two favorite projects from working at Reebok. The first is from a couple years ago when Allen Iverson was towards the end of his career. The project was a pattern that was hand drawn and needed to showcase all of his career milestones. It turned out really good and there were so many details to look at. I included illustrations of his tattoos, football connections and other important highlights.

Ai pattren black

The other project was a 3-piece shoe box for John Wall. I hand drew a giant mural that highlighted his career from high school and college to the NBA. It included colors and mascots from each stage in his career and was divided between the 3 boxes vertically.


When the shoe boxes were stacked on top of each other the mural was complete.


They were both my favorite because in a corporate setting I was able to use my drawing skills to take the design to the next level, rather than using flat computer graphics.

Can you describe your specific style and explain more about your overall process?

I have a long process in creating my artwork. It usually starts as a small idea or a thumbnail sketch. When one starts to work I will draw it larger and work out the composition. Then I’ll scan it in and redraw it on the computer and color it up. There are some mini stages in between but that’s about it.

When I want to paint the illustration I will redraw the sketches onto a larger canvas and go at it. I am really into energetic, bright colors.

Follow Muideen on Twitter and check out his site for more great basketball art.

My Finals Memory: The Step Over

“I don’t even have money for a cheeseburger.” – Allen Iverson

Iverson said this during his divorce case in 2012 and we all shook our heads in dismay. Has it come to this? Iverson, who according to a February 2012 Forbes article made over $200 million in his career, couldn’t even afford a cheeseburger?

Was this the same guy who was the 2007 Rookie of the Year, an 11 time All-Star, a two time NBA All-Star MVP and the 2001 NBA MVP?  Do you remember A.I. in 2001? 2001 was a fine year for Iverson and him stepping over Tyron Lue in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals will always be ingrained in my memory.

Despite his character flaws, I will always have love for A.I. and The Starting Five phenomenally summarizes why like me, so many love him:

His humble beginnings are something that many of us can relate to in some form or another. Just coming up with the deck stacked against him the way it was is enough to garner respect from anyone…It didn’t matter if he came in at six in the morning, missed practice and arrived just before tip-off, if Iverson was in uniform he gave us all he had, all the time. Never dogging it, and after his antics got old, we were still willing to live with it because we knew he was worth it.

When it comes to basketball, Iverson will be remembered for his crossover on Michael Jordan and this step over. Sure Jordan is Jordan, but this step over is simply amazing as it was during the NBA Finals and Iverson had an unbelievably game – 48 point, 6 assist, 5 rebound and 5 steals. A game and a move that will always bring a smile to my face.


Top image via Got ‘Em Coach