Yesterday, I attended my third-straight Women’s Clinic at Memorial Coliseum, and for the third-straight year, →
Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
Nerlens Noel is ready to get back on the court and start his NBA journey after 20 months away from basketball, according to the 76ers. Yesterday at media day Noel shows his excitement and joy to be able to finally start playing compeitive basketball after being injuried against Florida. While the injury might have kept him off the court competiviely, Noel used his recovery time to step back and work on other things to help his game get better, such as basketball education/knowledge, his outside game and specifically his jump shot, which we didn’t see at all during his time at Kentucky.
“I bring the most on the defensive end of the floor. I’m able to affect passes as well as shots. I can also start fast breaks, getting the rebound and then quickly getting the ball to [Michael Carter-Williams] or Tony [Wroten]. At Kentucky, I didn’t shoot one jump shot, so it was important for me to get in the gym and start shooting jumpers and shooting them with confidence. This confidence will definitely translate into the season. When I get in a groove and start hitting two or three in a row I think it’s really going to take me some places.”
While Noel expects to have a big role for the 76ers alongside center Henry Sims, he also has a big job off the court as well by helping new teammate Joel Embiid as he goes through a similar track Noel did in his rehabilitation after a foot surgery.
You can read his quotes about his struggles sitting on the bench for a year and how he plans to help Embiid learn lessons Noel wishes he would have learned sooner here.
We are one month away from the start of the NBA season and teams are getting ready by doing interviews and posing for pictures this week. Today on KSR we have some of the best images from NBA Media Days, featuring many familiar faces to Big Blue Nation. I think you’ll recognize these millionaires and wish some of them were still in Lexington wearing blue.
“Young & Smart” – James Young and Marcus Smart model their new “We Are Young & Smart” t-shirts in Boston.
Injured Rondo - The former Kentucky guard models a new sling on his left hand, days after he underwent surgery to repair a metacarpal fracture. He is expected to miss six weeks.
Nerlens and his new friend, Joel Embiid – Embiid believes his fellow 7-footer will win the NBA Rookie of the Year.
The Real T. Jones - Terrence Jones looks ready to teach ‘em ’bout Kentucky in Houston.
Wall adds a veteran in Washington. – Paul Pierce said yesterday he believes the Wizards can reach the NBA Finals.
Burr – Archie Goodwin is ready for his second season with a new 10 lbs. of muscle he added over the summer.
Boogie Selfie – In Sacramento, DeMarcus Cousins took several selfies with teammates and reporters during Media Day. He needed help to frame up this shot.
Bledsoe’s Back – The 70 Million Dollar Man is back in Phoenix and ready to shine with the Suns.
The UnderKanter – Utah is working to re-sign Enes Kanter before the season begins.
Back for a 17th season. – Nazr Mohammed will play forever.
Superstar – Anthony Davis is ready to take over the NBA in 2014-15.
This morning, adidas unveiled the new “J Wall 1″ shoe, which will be in stores on October 31. So far, it will be available in two different colorways, with more on the way throughout the season. It retails for $115, and will be sold at adidas.com and Foot Locker. Here’s the black version:
Wall also released a signature apparel collection:
All of the merchandise features Wall’s new JW logo, which even has a cool backstory:
Each piece of the collection is branded with the new John Wall logo which incorporates Wall’s initials, “JW” and is designed with the “J” crossing-over to the “W” as a nod to his quick playing style and ability to cross over defenders. The cross-over element is also representative of Wall’s off-court style and how he transitions from a fearless player on the court to a laid back, fashion forward person off the court. In addition, the “JW” within the logo pays homage to Wall’s late father, John Wall Sr., who passed away when Wall was nine years old.
Keith Bogans celebrated his induction into the 2014 University of Kentucky Hall of Fame this afternoon with Kentucky fans at halftime of the football game. Moments after Bogans waved to a roaring crowd, reports came out that he had been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. The news comes just days after Bogans was traded to the Cavaliers. A busy day for Keith Bogans.
Remember Poop Tooth? He’s somewhere in the KSR Hall of Fame after earning his nickname here on this very website. Now he’s in Los Angeles getting crossed up by Julius Randle in the Lakers practice facility. Good to see he’s still doing well.
This clip supports Coach Cal’s prediction that Randle will start as a rookie and contend for NBA ROY.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©2:00 pm
Julius Randle recently did an interview with Fox 11′s Liz Habib in which Habib mentioned how John Calipari told her at the ESPYS that he thinks Randle will be a starter this season and be in the mix for Rookie of the Year. In what is a familiar refrain for UK fans, Cal said that he believes the pro game will be easier for Julius than college, where, like Shaquille O’Neal, he regularly faced triple teams. Randle told Habib that he saw Cal last weekend in Vegas at the Floyd Mayweather fight, and Cal told him then that he wanted Randle to go after the Rookie of the Year award.
Currently, it looks like veteran Carlos Boozer will start at the four-spot for the Lakers, but if Randle’s season goes as well as Calipari envisions, it won’t be long before Randle takes over. This season, two former Cats could be in the running for Rookie of the Year, as Nerlens Noel is still considered a first-year player after missing last season due to his knee injury. Randle and Noel will face stiff competition from Andrew Wiggins (Timberwolves) and Jabari Parker (Bucks).
Check out the full video of Julius’ interview below:
Good news for one of our favorite former Cats: the Boston Celtics have traded Keith Bogans to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The deal sends Bogans and two future second round draft picks (via Sacrament0) to Cleveland for John Lucas III, Dwight Powell, Erik Murphy, Malcom Thomas, two future second round draft picks, and a trade exception.
Since Bogans’ contract is non-guaranteed for the next two seasons ($5.3 million this year and $5.5 million next year), the trade gives Cleveland some ammunition for a big trade next summer, but it’s still cool that the 11-year NBA veteran will have a chance to play with Lebron. Buried behind several guards, Bogans only played in six games for Boston last season, but played in 74 games for Brooklyn in 2012-2013.
Bogans is the leading scoring guard in UK history, and will be inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame this evening. He and the rest of the 2014 Hall of Fame class will be introduced to the crowd tomorrow at halftime of the Vandy game, and I’m sure he’ll get a huge ovation.
Dan Patrick hosts a new show called “Sports Jeopardy!”, and last night, contestant Kenny Chung incorrectly answered a question about a UK basketball player. The category was “Sports Jones” (answers being players with the name “Jones”) and the question was “This Kentucky power forward came into his own for the Rockets in 2014, starting 71 games.” Chung rang in with “Patrick Patterson,” when the answer was actually Terrence Jones. Teach ‘em bout those categories, Terrence.
In the clip, Chung mentioned his closetful of sports jerseys, which is too ridiculous not to share:
— Kenny Chung (@kbchung8) September 25, 2014
Clearly, Matt would not approve of this.
So Eric Bledsoe is staying in Phoenix after all. The two sides finally agreed on an extension today, a deal worth $70 million over five years. The former Cat and the Suns negotiated all summer long, neither backing off or budging until today. Phoenix had offered four years, $48 million, but Bledsoe wanted more and rolled the dice by holding out longer. It finally paid off in the end, just in time for training camp.
Take a second to think where you were seven years ago. Eric Bledsoe, he was living in a car in Birmingham seven years ago. He’s making 14 million dollars per year in the NBA today. Me, I was eating ramen noodles seven years ago. I ate ramen noodles today.
BBN is proud of this guy:
NBA writer Kevin O’Connor has a great read on James Young, the former Cat we haven’t heard a ton about since he left for the league after last season. O’Connor analyzes Young’s game and the endless potential he has as a scorer with the Boston Celtics. The most interesting note from the article is O’Connor expects James to spend most of his rookie season in Maine:
At just 19-years-old, Young will probably spend most of his year in the D-League with the Maine Red Claws. There he will be given heavy playing time, which will allow him the opportunity to adjust to the pro-style and improve on all facets of his game.
When it comes to Young, it’s all about upside. He was the third-youngest player in the draft and most certainly one of the rawest of all first round draft picks. It’s more important to look to the future when assessing Young, not so much what will or won’t happen in Boston this season.
For more on Young and what he will bring to Boston in the long run, read the entire piece here.
In somewhat related news, do you know who was a Maine Red Claw last season?
You know who is also making NBA headlines today?
Orton signed a training camp deal with the Wizards, joining his old pal John Wall in Washington.
It looks like Josh Harrellson is headed back to the land of China. According to a release from EuroBasket, Chongqing Fly Dragon of the Chinese NBL has added Jorts to their roster. Josh played for the Fly Dragon back in 2013, and was named Asia-Basket.com’s All-Chinese NBL Player of the Year. Afterwards, he signed with the Detroit Pistons. For the past few months, Jorts has been recovering from a bulging disc in his back, so this is a good opportunity for him to get back in playing shape to make another run at the NBA.
Last week, Jorts posted this picture on Twitter with the caption, “China… The “White Bear” is coming back!!”. Yet another awesome nickname for one of our favorites.
H/t Anthony Wireman
Former Kentucky guard Doron Lamb has a shot to stick around the league this upcoming season thanks to the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs signed Lamb to a deal one week before training camp begins. There is no guaranteed money in the contract, but it is a contract nonetheless. Lamb will have to earn his spot in camp.
In related news, Doron Lamb’s Twitter account is still the best.
Beauty isn't about having a pretty face. It's about having a pretty mind, pretty hreat, and pretty soul.
— Doron Lamb (@DLamb20) September 22, 2014
Nerlens Noel looks amazing at the draft last year, didn’t he? I am glad his hair turned out so well since he apparently went to London to get it done, according to the London School of Barbering. The school is offering a great deal on Pro Demo- Afro Caribbean Haircuts so we can look just like Noel! All we have to do is pay for travel to London to get it.
London….Denny Moes…..Same difference, right? I know websites like this never really use real pictures, I just thought it was funny they picked Noel’s out of anyone in the world.
(H/t: Blue Jesus)
The waiting game has paid off for Eric Bledsoe. After turning down a very attractive offer to stay in Phoenix, it appeared he was headed toward being without a team during the start of training camp. But now the Minnesota Timberwolves are likely going to land him with a max contract offer for the former Wildcat. The reported deal is worth 63 million over four years, the most he can get from anyone.
Remember when Eric Bledsoe was living in a car? Now he’s rich. Soon-to-be 63 million rich.