Today would have been David Bowie’s 70th birthday.
I love David Bowie. You probably love David Bowie, too. To honor the late Mr. Stardust, it’s only fitting that we compile a list of one of a generation’s brightest star’s songs, and relate them to what we know and love: Kentucky basketball.
“Space Oddity”— Malik Monk & De’Aaron Fox
Space Oddity is a complex song—and one that we’ve all heard. The lyric association that I’m making in particular is “This is Major Tom to Ground Control/ I’m stepping through the door/ And I’m floating in a most peculiar way/ And the Stars look very different today,” line.
Ground control, in this case, is the oop passer: Malik. Mr. Tom is totally De’Aaron. He’s floating peculiarly, no doubt. So peculiarly that he bumps his head into the backboard. Ground control did him right though. He may not be “sitting in tin can” but he’s “far above the world.”
Also, can we talk about how both of these guys are oddities of space and matter. Neither looks all that muscular, but both can get up so, so high. De’Aaron’s legs are super thin, but that doesn’t stop him from breaking any and all attempts of press defenses or throwing down on some dudes.
“Dancing in the Street”— Isaiah Briscoe
This is, for my money, the most underrated (and strangely low-budget) Bowie video. No, it’s not entirely him, but that’s what makes it so Briscoe. Briscoe can’t take over a game on his own the same way that Monk/Fox can, but that doesn’t make him any less valuable. He brings a crazy intensity to the game, especially the defensive end, that can’t be overlooked.
Maybe he’s a bit one-dimensional on offense—sticking to layups, mostly—and Bowie/Jagger are kind of doing the same thing the whole time (literally dancing in the street), but that one dimension is pretty darn potent. I mean, who isn’t hype after watching the first minute of that video?
“Cat People”—Bam Adebayo
(watch this video to get primary reference)
I have no clue whether Bam is a cat person, but he is technically a Wildcat. But all the players are Wildcats; I only make this association because most every time I see him throw down a dunk similar to this assortment of jams (no, not this) I think of the most intense scene from one of my favorite movies (Inglorious Basterds—skip to 0:50 for the gist of it). If “putting out the fire… WITH GASOLIIIINE” were a thing, those dunks would be Exhibits A-D.
“Let’s Dance”—Dominique Hawkins
We’re all clear on the fact that Dominique Hawkins can play defense, which requires great footwork. Coincidentally, so does dancing, something Bowie could most definitely do, and sing about. Heck, it’s probably my favorite song of his. Though the above video is from some time ago, it shows how important the Hawkins’ skill set is, and I think Bowie would be proud of the footwork.
Hawkins can probably clean it up on the dance floor.
“Under Pressure”—Derek Willis & Mychal Mulder
I’ll be the first person to tell you that shooting is hard. Sometimes you can get in your own head and the harder you try, the worse you perform. But if there’s one lingering question this team has, aside from unreliable defense in spots, it’s about who will step up and shoot the ball when Malik is having an off night. For now, our two best candidates to answer that question are D-Will and Mychal Mulder. Willis is shooting nearly 10 percent worse from downtown than he was last season, but still has time to turn it around.
Mulder, on the other hand, has shown a hot hand when he gets minutes, but still struggles to get on the same page defensively. We know he can SKY too. Here’s to hoping both respond to the pressure.