Russell Westbrook

The holidays are here and that means food, drugstore family and football.  No wait, this is Christmas and that means food, family and BASKETBALL.  It’s easy to get confused because Christmas is to the NBA what Thanksgiving is the NFL.  An annual tradition that dates back to 1947 of all day basketball folly.  In 2011, the slate of games grew to 5, tipping off at 11am, and has stayed as large and as long ever since.

This year we’re looking at anything and everything from coast to coast match ups, a Finals rematch (or preview), East vs. West face-offs, and a Staples Center showdown, all complete with the requisite NBA Christmas uniforms, which I am not mad about this year.

If you’re looking to pick and choose when to watch vs. when to eat, sleep or spend time with the fam, here’s the game by game rundown.

11am CT New Orleans at Miami

A match up of the somewhat surprisingly intriguing Heat vs. the under performing Pelicans.  The Brow is always a fun watch and seeing him take on Hassan Whiteside in the paint shouldn’t disappoint.  But New Orleans is ravaged by injuries and an inability to adjust to the new coaching staff.  While I’m much more partial to New Orleans for eating, drinking and dancing, I’d pick Miami in this one.

1:30pm CT Chicago at OKC

The NBA so wanted Derrick Rose vs. Russell Westbrook to mean what it used to.  Unfortunately three knee surgeries has taken its toll on one much more than the other.  Despite this, the Bulls beat the Thunder earlier in the season behind a great game from Rose, who has since lost his facemask, the height of his hair, and his shot.  Both teams are playing under new head coaches who made the jump from college ball, but OKC is surging, while the Bulls count their lucky playoffs stars that they’re in the East.  I want to take the Bulls to turn it around and bring this one home because they always seem to surprise me on Christmas but without Joakim Noah, I have little faith this holiday season.

4pm CT Cleveland at Golden State

Get out the eggnog early because this is going to be good.  You can call it a Finals rematch or a Finals preview, but the top teams in each conference are at full strength with Cleveland seeing the return of Kyrie Irving this week, and they’re about to go at it.  Golden State boasts one of the best crowds in the NBA, who have been getting to games an hour early just see Steph Curry warm up.  And Lebron, well he’s mad.  Golden State makes history with every win so I’m picking the Warriors, if only to hope for a Riley Curry sighting at the post game press conference.

7:00pm CT San Antonio at Houston

Eat dinner quickly so you can be on the couch for an in-state battle of two completely opposite teams.  The Spurs quietly have the second best record in the NBA with only two less wins than the Warriors.  Pop is still sitting during games since it’s not April, and Kawhi Leonard shows us nightly how much bigger, stronger and faster he is than other top shooting guards in the league.  He’ll face another one in James Harden on Friday, but Harden’s Rockets have not done anything quietly this season.  Already working with an interim head coach and Dwight Howard trade rumors, the Rockets have been incredibly mediorcre so far, and outright bad at times.  They are however coming off of a 3 game win streak and have the talent to put on a show at home.  But if NBA fans know one thing, it’s to never bet against the Spurs.

9:00pm CT Los Angeles at Los Angeles

Many family Christmas gatherings may be able to relate to this match up – two passive aggressive siblings, living under the same roof, cut from the same cloth, with so little in common on any level.  On one end of the floor, the Lakers are a mess.  In the midst of the Kobe retirement tour, they boast two young stars in the making in Randle and Russell, who go in and out of the lineup for no apparent reason.  Kobe may score 34 points, or he may have 3 or 4 air balls.  Meanwhile, the Clippers are as good as they’ve ever been, but it doesn’t look to be good enough.  Their team is filled with controversial players who have never made it quite as far as they should have, and it doesn’t look like they ever will after the first few months of the season.  Kobe will be looking to go out with a bang in his 16th Christmas game, but I’d still take the Clippers to use the holiday to get their season back on track, as they continue to chase the shadow of the Warriors.

And that’s a wrap on Santa’s gift to all NBA fans this year.  Wishing you a very merry NBA Christmas, from our SDI family to yours!

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NBA Christmas is almost upon us, viagra and that means the return of All Star fan voting. The NBA is one of, if not the most digitally savvy professional sports league, and this year is no different than those in the past with new digital and social avenues to vote to see your favorite players in Toronto in February. This year, for the first time, you can vote simply through google search. Just google “NBA VOTE ALL STAR” or “NBA VOTE TEAM NAME” to cast your votes. For example, you’d type in NBA VOTE 76ERS and check the photo of Nik Stauskas to see the Canadian guard on the court at tip off in the All Star Game.

That wasn’t serious. Please don’t do that.

In addition to Google search voting, you can also vote on NBA.com/vote, the NBA App, by posting with a players first and last name along with #NBAVOTE on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or by taking it real old school and texting a player’s last name to 69622 (MYNBA). All current NBA players are eligible, but the voting ends January 18th at 11:59pm ET. The starters will be announced January 21st on TNT.

Fans can vote for 10 unique players every day and on each voting platform, so with a very large voting pool, the most deserving players will likely end up with the start, and if they don’t, they’ll be selected by the head coaches in their conference as All Star reserves.

I’ll definitely be casting a few ballots. An all Bulls, all Wolverines, all Chicago area, etc. But for my first votes, I was inspired by the years that Yao Ming led All Star voting because of his passionate fans in China, so I decided to cast my first ballot via google search for players that I’m passionate about after a quarter of the season:

  1. Jahlil Okafor – For being not the first or last 7 ft tall NBA player who will attempt to use a fake ID 7 months removed from hoisting a trophy amid mass national attention.
  2. Lance Stephenson – For having a brother named Lantz and all of the rap videos.
  3. Jamal Crawford – For general perfection at any age.
  4. Russell Westbrook – For buying the Lord’s house.
  5. Kobe Bryant – For not being able to or caring to try to name the Pistons player who wanted to shake his hand.
  6. DeMarcus Cousins – For notching at least one expletive-laden rant before the quarter mark of the season.
  7. Zach Lavine – Because I heard him on a podcast once, and he seemed cool.
  8. Draymond Green – For starting a Twitter fight with a beat reporter, probably for good reason.
  9. Kristaps Porzingis – Because this photo.
  10. Joakim Noah – Because he’s a top 3 NBA human. Juliet Litman said it, therefore, it’s bible.

Happy All Star voting everyone!

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Gabrielle Union’s Blinging Engagement Ring

usmagazine.com

I hope that everyone had a fabulous Christmas! I know that Gabrielle Union did. That 8.5 carat engagement ring would put a smile on anyone’s face. Her beau Dwyane Wade finally popped the question over the weekend right before an NBA Christmas party.

The Heat’s guard posted a photo of the engagement ring with the caption “She said YES!!! @gabunion” Well, sovaldi of course she did. I mean, recipe she would look kind of crazy saying no…especially after accepting the championship ring.

Everything about this couple exudes ‘true love.’ Wade has even told Oprah that she makes his eyes sparkle. I got the same effect when I saw that ring. The only thing more beautiful than the cushion cut diamond is the way that he proposed.

His youngest son, Zion, held a sign with Union’s name, his nephew, Dahveon Morris, held a sign that said “Will you?” and his oldest son held a sign that said “marry us?” If you don’t at least think of shedding a tear after reading that, you have no heart. Wade also gave his team matching green jackets since he was in the “giving mood.”

Okay…now back to the ring! The cushion cut diamond was made by the fabulous Jason of Beverly Hills. Who…by the way will make my ring as well. Just, you know, FYI. The “Being Mary Jane” actress and the two -time champion will have a very happy life together. I am going to predict that wedding will be just as fabulous as the engagement!

 

Chandler Parsons Shaves his head for a Good Cause

dailymail.co.uk

Houston Rockets guard Chandler Parsons recently shaved his head in support of a remarkable 10 year-old boy. Patrick Hobbs-DeClaire is a cancer patient who happens to be Chandler Parson’s biggest fan. Parsons was inspired by the young man after meeting with him last week.

www.dailymail.co.uk

“His dad was telling me how he isn’t even scared of death. He is more worried about not looking like his twin brother anymore, so me being his favorite player, I decided to shave my head to look more like him and hopefully give him some support and encouragement from me.” Parsons says.  (via Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle)

The Rockets were able to defeat the San Antonio Spurs on Christmas day. Parsons  scored 21 points for the Rockets (19-11). It looks like he knew that a very special fan was watching.

Rusell Westbrook’s Pre-Game Leather Overalls                                      

Russell Westbrook arrived at Madison Square Garden sporting leather overalls, a gold chain, and a beanie with the words “Killin’ It” across the forehead.

The OKC point guard indeed ‘killed it’ on Christmas day against the the New York Knicks. In fact, his hat should have said, ‘Slaughtered It.’ OKC gave the New York a blood-bath with a 123-94 final score. The Carmelo-less Knicks were even booed by their own fans.

Westbrook scored 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. This was his  first triple-double this season and seventh in his overall career. OKC assisted in making the Knicks’ record  0-7. Ouch.

Serge Ibaka’s All Black Ensemble

Instagram (mr_avecclasse)

Oklahoma City’s power forward, Serge Ibaka struck a pose in an Instagram photo with the caption “I’m having a Thunderful Christmas!!! How about you?”

His Christmas was ‘Thunderful’ indeed, as the Thunder managed to have the most dominant victory of the night. He scored 24 points with 10 of 14 shooting.  Looks like he is a winner on…and off of the court. He strikes a GQ pose looking delectable in all black. Not every man can pull off over-the-knee boots. Serge does it well.

 

Miami Heat Wives, Chris Bosh in Ugly Christmas Sweaters 

The holiday season brings out the goofiness in everyone..basketball wives/girlfriends included. Last Friday, the Miami WAGS threw an ugly sweater event. Savannah James looks adorable in her polka dot Christmas kitty sweater and Gabrielle Wade Union looks like an 89-year old book keeper in her snowman vest.  Adrienne Bosh, on the other hand, might not have captured the true essence of the evening because she is wearing a cute sweater. I know…boo! Her husband, however, redeemed her. On Christmas day, Chris Bosh arrived at the Staples Center rocking an electric sweater (literally).  The sweater lit up with the Abominable Snowman across the chest.

nba.si.com

The Miami Heat  They was able to defeat the Kobe-less Lakers for their 6th straight win. Bosh scored 23 points and 11 rebounds.They are now 5-0. Happy Holidays to them!

That’s it for now Divas. I’ve got some Christmas leftovers to, um, take care of.  I will be back to keep you fabulously posted next week!

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Russell Westbrook gets an Underwear Endorsement

Russell Westbrook is anything but a stranger to the fashion scene. The Oklahoma City H.A.M. has been known to make bold –and sometimes questionable–fashion statements. Just last week, cialis he was spotted wearing a pre-game tiger suit.  It is no surprise that he has even been considered the Kate Moss of the NBA. He and Kate have yet another thing in common. They have both modeled underwear.

Westbrook has reportedly signed a six-figure deal with underwear company Kings and Jaxs.  According to TMZ, view  Westbrook will model the underwear, while having “creative and design input.”

The 6’3 point guard flaunts his muscles while rocking the King and Jaxs underwear with a button-up polka dot print top.

TMZ Sports

Westbrook recently returned to the game after a meniscus tear that he sustained during the 2012-2013 post-season.  His unfortunate injury led to the downfall of OKC as they were unable to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies and advance past the second round of the playoffs. Westbrook is now back (way ahead of schedule might I add) and he is  playing with vengeance. Although it is evident that the he  needs a little bit more time to get his game together, there is no denying that the OKC Thunder is a better team. Westbrook is averaging 19 points on 34 percent shooting and 4.5 turnovers per game. Yikes. He could stand to practice a this thing called, um, shot selection. We mustn’t, however, overlook the fact that The OKC Thunder’s record is 4-0 since Westbrook’s return.  OKC is undeniably a more well-rounded team with Westbrook–Or “Sasha Fierce” as Kevin Durant would say.

NBA Unveils Christmas Jerseys

Bulls.com

The NBA has unveiled the new Adidas Christmas Day BIG LOGO Swingman jerseys. This high-quality polyester jersey features the teams’ logos. Although I am not the biggest fan of short-sleeved jerseys, I am really liking these. The BIG LOGO jerseys look light and comfortable. I would definitely sport this jersey to a game. The promo is also a must-see. Watch the Promo Here!

Rajon Rondo Talks Fashion on ‘Off the Court’

Nba.com

We, here at SportsDivas are obsessed with players that can execute impeccable style on and off of the court. I must say, Rajon Rondo is one of them.  The Celtics point guard recently discussed his passion for fashion on the NBA’s “Off the Court” segment. “Off the Court” is  presented by American Express, and showcases NBA players’ interests apart from basketball.

Rondo’s passion for fashion goes just a bit deeper than attending shows during fashion week. In the summer of 2011, he interned at GQ magazine to hone his craft. I have got to give him props because he has come a long way since the oversized polo and denim that he used to sport back in the day. Celtics fans are awaiting his return, but there is no telling when he is coming back. Rondo is apparently anxious to play again, as he has tried to play 3-on 3 without a doctor’s approval.

Rondo is determined to get back on the court, but he will definitely need to slow his roll. He needs to adopt Derrick Rose’s “110 percent” philosophy if he really wants to prove himself worthy of a max player contract at the end of next season.

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Source: www.blogabull.com

And the winner of worst offensive performance goes to…the Chicago Bulls. YIKES is the best way to describe the 102-72 blowout delivered by OKC Sunday night. After a big win in Charlotte Friday, decease the Bulls believed they could possibly contain Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, diagnosis the best offensive duo in the NBA. But, cialis our guys came up short, real short. If you turned off the painful display of Bulls basketball and opted for the Oscars, you made the right decision.  Sunday night’s loss was ugly and left a pit in Bulls’ fans stomachs about the team’s vulnerability. Still, this blowout will the the topic of conversation come Monday. Here are the unfortunate details.

What You Need to Know: 

  • Chicago was down a point guard again Sunday as Kirk Hinrich is still nursing an elbow injury. Nate Robinson got the start for the Bulls and went head-to-head with OKC’s Russell Westbrook. An NBA All-Star known for his explosive style of play (similar to our DRose) Westbrook made Robinson suffer all night long. Robinson really struggled setting the stage for the Bulls offense, rushing the offensive pace which resulted in players taking sloppy shots. Los Bulls need a solid playmaker running the show.

    Source: www.oregonlive.com

  • With a main dish of Russell Westbrook (23 points) and Kevin Durant (19 points, 16 rebounds 6 assists) and a side of Serge Ibaka (17 points, 10 rebounds) you’ve got yourself a delicious and dangerous OKC combination. To be honest the Thunder didn’t play all that well the first half, but they picked up the pace a bit in the final stanza to make sure Chicago went home with their egos wounded.
  • Luol Deng led the Bulls with 13 points and 4 rebounds – yes that was as good as things got for Chicago in Oklahoma City. The Bulls shot 29.1% against the Thunder – that’s not a passing grade. Let’s just say there’s definitely room for improvement.
  • The injuries continue to torment our Bulls. Taj Gibson went down awkwardly and sprained his left knee – the severity of the injury was not reported. Fingers crossed it’s not serious.

Your Take Away Piece:

“Chicago’s pride is definitely bruised a bit from this Sunday night mockery. As a team the Bulls are known for their defensive strength, but their offense needs to get it together and deliver some consistency. Lately they’ve shot the ball like scared little bunnies against the big bad wolves of the NBA (Miami, OKC). Los Bulls need to build some confidence back in their offensive ability and keep on fighting.”

What’s Next:

It’s a new week, let’s wipe the slate clean. Chicago needs to forget the butt whooping they received in Oklahoma City and focus on winning some games at home this week. Next up are the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday at 7 PM on CSN Chicago. 

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Things got real on a national stage during Thursday night’s showdown between the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder. For 48 minutes the Bulls gave the Thunder a competitive game, buy but in the end OKC’s 97-91 victory came down to their endurance and reliable closers. Let’s just say Kevin Durant was Mr. Clutch.

Despite a loss, troche the Bulls proved they could hang with the big dogs of the NBA even while Derrick Rose rehabs his knee. However, they need to determine which player will become their “go to man” in do or die situations. It was a high intensity game, but niether team executed a flawless performance as there were a combined 43 turnovers committed – can we clean up the sloppy mess, por favor? Keep on scrolling to get your Bulls-Thunder highlights!

What You Need to Know: 

  • Kevin Durant proved he is a premiere player in the league stepping up when the pressure was on. He made 10 of his 24 points late in the fourth quarter alone! He made back-to-back shots in the final minute of the game to seal the deal for the Thunder. Russell Westbrook didn’t put up crazy shooting numbers (he had 16 points) but he has really developed his game as an elite NBA point guard and finished with 12 assists.

    (Jonathan Daniels/ Getty Images)

  • As always the Bulls gave the Thunder a run for their money on defense. Joakim Noah was relentless on the offensive boards with 13 rebounds. Offensively, Luol Deng displayed his smooth moves and 27 points – I’m not sure who has the bigger wing span, Deng or Durant? Richard Hamilton had a great offensive game as well finishing with 20 points and 8 rebounds. He really looked like the pep has returned to his step!
  • Carlos Boozer found himself sitting on the bench when things really mattered. When will Boozer REALLY show up this season? He is expected to dominate on offense and instead he’s taken up residency on the struggle bus. He had 11 rebounds, but only 9 points. If your position is “power forward” your name should never be associated with the word “rainbow” – no more pansy soft shots, we need brut strength!
  • The Thunder have more than just Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as weapons. Serge Ibaka produced 21 points, nine rebounds, four blocked shots (the one on Hinrich was just embarrassing) and made Noah work for those rebounds. Newly acquired Kevin Martin was a surge of energy racking up 15 points and six rebounds off the bench. They’re going to be a tough team for many years to come.

Take Away Piece: 

It’s always hard to watch your favorite team fight so hard throughout a game and come out with a big L, but tonight’s loss was as good as a loss can get. Despite a missing superstar, the Bulls kept up with the Western Conference Champs, who are honestly a better team this year than last. This means the Bulls can compete throughout the season and contend for a decent playoff position in the Eastern Conference. We’ll take it!

What’s Next: 

The Minnesota Timberwolves are coming to town this Saturday for another showdown at the UC. Same place, same time (7 PM start), new channel. You can tune into the game on WGN America. No plans for Saturday night? Maybe you can score some sweet seats or just head over to the west side and get in on the Bulls action.

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