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Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
While most of the country’s attention has been focused on football today, our basketball team began its quest for gold in the FIBA World Cup this afternoon against Finland. They were pretty darn impressive. The Americans won by a final score of 114-55 – due in large part to a 29-2 advantage in the second quarter.
The two former Cats on the roster made the most of their limited minutes. Anthony Davis continued his hot play from the squad’s exhibition games – finishing with 17 points and 4 rebounds in only 14 minutes of play. DeMarcus Cousins was also impressive, tallying 9 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds in 16 minutes. On another note, Mason Plumlee pulled down 1 board in 12 minutes. *chuckles*
The team plays Turkey tomorrow at 3:30 PM on ESPN. Keep making us proud.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©1:00 pm
True to form, John Calipari is doing a little work on his vacation. Yesterday, Cal spoke to USA Today’s Sam Amick about former Cats and current Team USA members Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, and how he believes the benefits of being on Team USA outweigh the risks. Cal spoke at length about how much he feels being on the national team has helped Derrick Rose and Davis, the latter of which he predicted could be “the best player in the NBA” in five years. Cal said he hopes the same will happen for Cousins, who he believes could be a “10-time All-Star” thanks in part to the maturity and experience he gains from being on Team USA.
Davis and Cousins make it two Cats on the roster, but by 2016, Cal says he hopes John Wall also makes the squad, along with “half of the guys we have in the league”:
“[Cousins] is going to have more of a desire to make that Olympic team in 2016, as is John Wall (who didn’t make the USA roster) and I’m hoping half of the (former Kentucky) guys we have in the league, 20-something, will have an opportunity to make that roster.”
Whoa. Let’s think about this. By 2016, the following Kentucky players will likely be in the league:
- Tayshaun Prince
- Keith Bogans
- Chuck Hayes
- Rajon Rondo
- Jodie Meeks
- John Wall
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Eric Bledsoe
- Patrick Patterson
- Enes Kanter
- Brandon Knight
- Anthony Davis
- Marquis Teague
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
- Terrence Jones
- Darius Miller
- Nerlens Noel
- Archie Goodwin
- James Young
- Julius Randle
- Andrew Harrison
- Aaron Harrison
- Willie Cauley-Stein
- Dakari Johnson
- Marcus Lee
- Karl Towns
- Alex Poythress
First of all, good grief, that’s a lot, and I didn’t even include Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, and Trey Lyles. Cal’s estimate that half of the UK alums in the league will have the chance to make the team is, in true Cal fashion, a bit much, but I could see Davis, Cousins, Wall, Noel, Randle, and maybe Karl getting a shot. Maybe with Calipari as coach? Thoughts? (UPDATE: As many of you pointed out, yes, Karl would probably play for the Dominican team. Forgive me for a brain fart as I was rushing out the door to drive up to Danville.)
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©4:00 pm
Coach K was very close to becoming an Enemy of the Commonwealth earlier this summer when reports surfaced that he was going to pick Mason Plumlee over DeMarcus Cousins for Team USA; however, he redeemed himself (slightly) when he kept Boogie on the final roster. In fact, Krzyzewski told ESPN this week that Cousins has cemented himself as Anthony Davis’ backup in Team USA’s rotation.
Boogie told USAB.com that making the team was “a huge accomplishment” that he’s been working all summer towards, and makes him realize how far he’s come from his childhood in Mobile, Alabama:
“Me and my mom talk about it all the time. My story is crazy. Anything that I’ve been through, anything that I have accomplished, it was always the hard way. Nothing ever came easy for me, and that is just something that I have kind of accepted. I know it’s never come easy for me, and I think that is why I am the way I am.”
DeMarcus, Anthony, and Team USA take on Finland in their first game of the FIBA World Cup Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Keep making us proud, guys.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©1:00 pm
YouTube NBA channel Pro Basketball recently had some fun with the NBA Rookies, asking them a variety of silly questions, which prompted a variety of silly answers. For example, when asked what their favorite go-to karaoke song was, both Julius Randle and James Young chose songs by Drake. Actually, Julius said he could sing “any Drake song,” with hand motions and everything, while James Young picked Drake’s “0 to 100,” and even belted out a few lines for us, which you can see above.
Pro Basketball also asked…
Who would play you and your love interest in a movie of your life?
Julius had no comment, while James thinks he’s a dead ringer for Nick Young, and Iggy Azelea could play his bae.
Alright, I can kind of see it.
NBA Player you’d most like to dunk on?
Julius took the safe route, laughing and saying “We’ll see what happens.” (BOOOO, give us an answer.) Meanwhile, James gave the most popular and predictable answer: LeBron James.
What’s your favorite junk food?
Julius likes the sweets, and said he goes for anything with brownies and ice cream or “one of those pan cookies and ice cream.” James could be looking a a future endorsement deal with his answer: “Cheeseburger, oh my god. Bacon Cheeseburger from Five Guys.”
What’s the coolest job other than the NBA?
Julius said something around basketball and working with kids, while James went an unexpected route and said either a judge or the CIA.
Move over Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown, Judge James is taking over.
Bleacher Report asked a bunch of NBA rookies what they plan to do with their first paycheck. What did Julius Randle and James Young say? Randle admitted that he already bought his dream car, a Porsche Panamera, “all black,” which looks like this in case you’re wondering:
Meanwhile, Young said he plans to take care of his mother and grandmother. Aww.
I’ll admit that Russ Smith’s answer made me laugh: “Instead of buying something, I’m gonna try to get something for free because I couldn’t get nothing for free in college.” You do you, Russ.
H/t Anthony Wireman
Quick: who’s the most popular person in Arkansas? Well, if Twitter is any indication, it’s Archie Goodwin. Buzzfeed put together a list of the 50 Most Popular Twitter profiles by state, and Archie was tops in Arkansas, with 102,000 followers. Burr.
Who has the most popular Twitter feed in Kentucky? Rajon Rondo, with 1.66 million followers. Yes, that’s more than John Calipari, who only has 1.28 million followers. Only.
See all of the states in the video below:
H/t Chris Futrell
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©3:54 pm
Team USA is currently killing Slovenia in their final tune up before the FIBA World Cup begins on Saturday, and DeMarcus Cousins laid down this ridiculous dunk with the help of Kings teammate Rudy Gay.
Anthony Davis is also having a good game, with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 4 steals. He did that all in about 18 minutes. Good grief.
Here are two of those points:
The game’s still going on ESPN2 if you’re interested.
Anthony Davis is in Spain for the FIBA World Cup, and finally accepted Calipari’s ice bucket challenge earlier today, and issued a challenge of his own to UK assistant coach Kenny Payne.
If I’ve learned anything from all of these, it’s that there is no graceful way to get out of a chair when you’re freezing cold.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©10:30 am
Julius Randle continues to make himself at home in Los Angeles, and yesterday, had the honor of throwing out the first pitch at the Dodgers/Mets game. On a scale of Snoop Dog (good) to John Wall (terrible), how did Julius fare? Pretty high, but not too bad:
Here’s another video including an interview with Randle, who should probably stick to basketball:
As the biggest names continued to pull out of the Team USA picture heading into the FIBA World Cup, Anthony Davis’ significance and importance to the 12-man roster continued to grow. Now that the roster has officially been set, the young Davis is poised to be one of the leaders and best players on the entire roster. For a guy who was 19 and the last one off the bench two years ago at the Olympics, the quick jump shows how his stardom is emerging rapidly in the world of professional basketball.
The New York Times had a great article in yesterday’s paper that essentially opened the door for the conversation that Davis might be the superstar on this edition of Team USA. Davis could wind up being the catalyst for whatever run this team makes in the FIBA games.
On his incarnation of Team USA, Davis will have plenty of room to prove himself. His teammate Stephen Curry said, “It’s a great opportunity for him to be one of our featured big men, and a huge catalyst for what we’re trying to do.”
In early exhibition games, Davis has created highlights on both ends with sledgehammer dunks, spectacular blocks and some jump shots off plays designed to get him those shots. With the dearth of quality big men on Team USA, Davis may be Team USA’s most vital contributor.
In 2010, Durant, then 21, led a young United States team to the world championship. That summer, it became clear to the world that Durant would become what he is today: one of the greatest players of his generation.
Davis, next in the line of freakish talents like James and Durant, now has his chance.
“You don’t become special unless you want to be,” Coach K said. “But he’s got everything.”
The trade sending Kevin Love to Cleveland became official today as the 30 day no trade period following the Cavs signing of top pick Andrew Wiggins elapsed, allowing for the trade to be completed.
The three team deal between Minnesota, Cleveland, and Philadelphia will send the 2013 and 2014 top picks Anthony Bennett and Wiggins to the Timberwolves along with Thaddeus Young and a $6.3 million trade exception from the 76ers who will get Alexey Shved, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and a 2015 first-round pick from Minnesota.
ESPN raised some eyebrows yesterday when they reported that the Phoenix Suns made a late sign and trade offer for Love with former Cat Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe, a restricted free agent, and the Suns still remain far apart on a long term deal. Bledsoe wants a max contract (five years, $85 million or four years, $64 million in a sign and trade).
Bledsoe has already rejected a four year, $48 million offer from the Suns and will likely just sign a $3.7 million qualifying offer for the upcoming season and become a unrestricted free agent next summer.
The Love deal makes the Cavs the prohibitive favorite in the Eastern Conference and for the NBA Title and likely ensures that rookie head coach David Blatt’s will be spending more than just this year in Cleveland.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©8:23 am
Some great news to start your morning: both Anthony Davis AND DeMarcus Cousins have been named to Team USA’s final roster as the group heads to Spain for the FIBA World Cup. The announcement was made this morning, and despite some concern that Coach K was going to be a butthead and pick Mason Plumlee over Boogie, it looks like he wised up and put both big men on the roster. Who didn’t make the cut? Gordon Hayward, Kyle Korver, Damian Lillard, and Chandler Parsons.
Here’s the final roster:
DeMarcus seems pretty pleased about the news:
Looking for something to do tonight? Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Team USA are currently playing the Puerto Rican National Team over on ESPN2.
Team USA routed the Dominicans on Wednesday 105-62, and tonight’s game is hugely important for DeMarcus Cousins, who is still trying to secure a spot on the final roster. Jerry Colangelo says the staff will make the final roster cuts after the game tonight, and will inform the team on Saturday morning before they head to Spain. At this point, Anthony Davis is considered a lock, and Boogie’s chances look okay, but a big game would really help.
Video game graphics are out of control these days and here is proof of it in this new leaked screenshot of Anthony Davis from the 2015 edition of the popular NBA2K series. The game is set to be released in October and it is going to sell like a bajillion copies.
I’m more of an NBA Live ’95 guy myself.