The Cats are back to .500 on the season and in the SEC East race →
Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 21st, 2016 @ 3:33pm
We’ve all been there: you get a text from your friends, respond, and soon enough, the conversation just won’t end. Whereas some people feel guilty if they don’t respond and always reply back (me), or others just stop responding altogether (Drew), Tyler Ulis has an even better method of escaping never-ending text chains: the swimming emoji.
Huh? In an interview with Lang Whitaker today, Ulis said his favorite emoji is the swim emoji because it helps him get out of unwanted text conversations.
“There’s no content,” Ulis said. “If I want to end a conversation or I don’t feel like talking to someone, I’ll send them the swimming emoji and it will confuse them and that will be the end of it.”
Brilliant. Meanwhile, Jamal Murray’s favorite emoji isn’t surprising at all:
To see the video of the NBA rookies breaking down their favorite and least favorite emojis, click here.
When he’s not becoming the third youngest player in NBA history to score 30 points in a game, and the fourth youngest player in NBA history to score over 1,000 points in a season, Devin Booker is putting in work off the court.
Yesterday afternoon, Booker spent the evening with Best Buddies as part of the Suns Charities Week of Service, where he met and hung out with an awesome group of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Phoenix, Arizona community.
Best Buddies is an organization dedicated to the inclusion of those with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities, to give everyone a chance at making life long friendships regardless of what limitations you may have. On top of promoting one-to-one friendships of those with and without disabilities, Best Buddies provides opportunities for integrated employment and leadership development. There are Best Buddies programs in 50 countries worldwide, nearly every state in the US, and 18 programs in the state of Kentucky, including one at the University of Kentucky.
Not only did the former Wildcat spend the afternoon with some awesome individuals, he and the Phoenix Suns also donated $10,000 to help support Best Buddies and promote the spread of these school programs throughout the state of Arizona.
As a UK student who is an active participant of Best Buddies and has seen the impact this unbelievable organization makes on individuals with disabilities first hand, there aren’t many things that make me happier than this.
Let’s be real here, if you were the parent of a top level recruit coming out of high school, give me one valid explanation why anyone in their right mind wouldn’t send that prospect to UK? You have one of the best, if not the best shot to win a championship in college, develop as both players and individuals, and you get the best shot at making it in the league. You’re taught to give back to the community and become the best version of yourself. No one else does it like UK.
Booker’s involvement with Best Buddies, DeMarcus Cousins’ yearly Christmas giveaways, John Wall’s countless donations to charities and those less fortunate, Brandon Knight’s back-to-school giveaways, etc. Calipari not only creates first class athletes, but first class, selfless people.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) September 19, 2016
Check out the video of the event unfolding right here:
Keep making the BBN proud, Devin.
Everyone’s favorite Wildcat went video game shopping in New York City recently and DraftKings TV followed along to see what games he loves most.
Watch as Karl-Anthony Towns shares his favorites, ranging from Pokemon to the games he plays with Andrew Wiggins on Timberwolves’ road trips, including Mario Kart 7 and Super Smash Bros.
He also revealed that Kevin Garnett is a big gamer and the secrets to winning on NBA Jam.
See for yourself:
By Brett Bibbins on ©September 18th, 2016 @ 10:00pm
Adidas released their new “Sports Needs Creators” commercial last week, and former Wildcat Jamal Murray makes multiple appearances. As one of the rookies that signed with Adidas, Murray has the potential to become one of the new faces of the brand in the coming years, so this commercial could be the first of many down the line.
Check out the full commercial here:
Murry is also shown dunking over former Dukie and current Laker Brandon Ingram, something I wish we could’ve seen when the Cats took on the Blue Devils during their freshman season.
Murray shows off more of his athleticism in another part of the commercial, flying through the air for a between-the-legs dunk.
Here’s to hoping for a big rookie year for Murray and the rest of the NBA Cats this upcoming season.
By Eli Mitchell on ©September 18th, 2016 @ 4:00pm
Washington Wizards star Point Guard and Kentucky great John Wall attended this afternoon’s Cowboys-Redskins game at FedEXField in a throwback #22 Emmitt Smith jersey. Wall has been a long time supporter of the Cowboys because they are his mom’s favorite team.
Wall was seen throwing up the X in tribute to Cowboys reciever Dez Bryant before catching up with him before kickoff.
John Wall threw up the X before having quick chat with 88 pic.twitter.com/9mGpeLnnmZ
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 18, 2016
The fans at FedEXField were not pleased with Wall’s attire for today’s game, as some are even insinuating that Wall is declaring he wants to leave D.C. for good. There has been much speculation around Wall’s future with Washington after Wall admitted that he and Wizards teammate Bradley Beal don’t really get along when playing on the court together.
Wall has worn Redskins jerseys in the past as well as helping the team recruit star receiver Desean Jackson to Washington in 2014. I don’t believe that Wall wore the jersey of the greatest running back in Cowboys history to troll Redskins fans, he simply showed his support for his favorite NFL team.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 16th, 2016 @ 6:00pm
We all know Willie Cauley-Stein’s no shrinking violet when it comes to body art, and today, he posted this picture of some giant new tattoos on his hands on Instagram:
A photo posted by Willie Cauley Stein (@pr00fessortrill) on
So that’s Bugs Bunny and that’s Daffy Duck, but can someone tell me what CVTVLYST means?
It turns out the fans aren’t the only people disappointed in Kentucky basketball’s new look. A couple of former players saw the new uniforms on Twitter and voiced their opinions online:
Devin Booker gave them a thumbs down:
New UK basketball jerseys👎🏽
— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) September 15, 2016
Trey Lyles seconded Booker’s tweet and gave them the trash emoji:
Lol swear 🚮 https://t.co/d4w9oD4LBC
— Trey Lyles (@TreyMambaLyles) September 15, 2016
Your move, Nike.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 15th, 2016 @ 10:59am
The good people over at Sports Illustrated are counting down the top 100 players in the NBA and, assuming Anthony Davis is inside the top 10, which has yet to be announced, there are nine Wildcats on the list. That’s almost 10 percent of the league for those of you keeping score at home.
DeMarcus Cousins is the highest ranked so far, coming in at No. 12 in the rankings. John Wall and Karl-Anthony Towns are also top 25 players, ranked No. 17 and 23 respectively.
Here’s the Cats’ rankings:
100. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
98. Brandon Knight, Pheonix Suns
88. Enes Kanter, Oklahoma City Thunder
84. Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia 76ers
49. Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns
23. Karl-Anthony Towns
17. John Wall, Washington Wizards
12. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
We’ll learn Anthony Davis’ ranking when the top 10 players are announced later today or tomorrow, whenever SI.com decides to do so.
*** UPDATE ***
The top 10 is out:
10. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
9. Paul George, Indiana Pacers
8. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
7. James Harden, Houston Rockets
6. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
5. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
4. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
3. Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
1. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 14th, 2016 @ 3:45pm
Somehow, this story slipped through the cracks during our football depression, but it’s still worth passing along. In honor of National Video Games Day, the Sacramento Kings had some fun with “Madden 2017,” turning their star basketball player, 6’11” 270 lbs. monster DeMarcus Cousins, into a star football player. Cousins played running back for the Oakland Raiders, and, as you might expect, was a beast, racking up 382 rushing yards and an NFL record six touchdowns. Here’s the “highlight reel”:
Congrats to virtual Boogie and all, but I think the real question is, would DeMarcus really break out this touchdown dance?
The answer is: yes. Absolutely yes.
By Nick Roush on ©September 13th, 2016 @ 10:00pm
Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 NBA Players series continues with more love for former Wildcats. The first 50 in the countdown features four former Cats. Featured in the next group at No. 49 is the Suns’ Eric Bledsoe.
Last year he was ranked at No. 33, dropping due to his uncertain health, now with two knees that have gone under the knife.
It’s reasonable to wonder if the 26-year-old is physically suited for the kind of stardom his game suggests; a team would naturally want to make the most of all that Bledsoe does well and could, in the process, contribute to his gradual wear down.
This ranking is a recognition of the risk that still prizes the player that Bledsoe can be when healthy. Very few high-level guards can match Bledsoe’s defensive pressure. He’s a menace to opposing ball handlers, to shooters curling around screens, and to bigger wings looking to bully their way to the basket.
With the rest of the rankings released later this week, stay tuned to see where they put DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, John Wall and Rookie of the Year, Karl Towns.
Karl-Anthony Towns is the new cover boy for SLAM Magazine. The former Wildcat is featured on a special double-cover and in the magazine’s story on him as the future of the NBA.
The magazine is on shelves now. Enjoy this behind-the-scenes video from the shoot until you can get your hands on one:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 12th, 2016 @ 5:00pm
This week, Sports Illustrated is rolling out it’s Top 100 NBA Players rankings, and this morning, released the first half (picks #100-#51). Not surprisingly, Kentucky accounted for four of the first fifty picks: Devin Booker (#100), Brandon Knight (#98), Enes Kanter (#88), and Nerlens Noel (#84). Here’s a sampling of what the SI crew had to say about each.
100. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
“The buzz around Booker, a 2015 lottery pick, has steadily climbed since he made the most of Phoenix’s lost year to average 19.2 PPG and 4.1 APG after the All-Star break,” Ben Golliver wrote. “His brief cameo at the 2016 Las Vegas Summer League was met with rave reviews, as he displayed the knockdown shooting stroke that got him drafted, some nice playmaking instincts in traffic, and a fiery competitiveness that suggests he’s only just getting started.”
98. Brandon Knight, Phoenix Suns
“Knight’s game struggles to satisfy when used in volume,” argued Rob Mahoney. “The very thing that sets him apart—that nice scoring total—is a function of his skill set being pushed beyond its optimal range. Teams could do worse.”
88. Enes Kanter, Oklahoma City Thunder
“Kanter’s story is similar to many other big men who are trying to find a home in the changing NBA game: he’s a terror on the boards and he’s a low-post scoring machine, but his lack of rim-protecting ability and his molasses lateral quickness make him a major liability on the other end,” Golliver said.
84. Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia 76ers
“So rare is his defensive profile that it begs exception; his steal rate in each of his first two seasons ranks among the best of all time for a big, and only truly elite company (Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson) matched his output in terms of blocks and steals,” said Mahoney. “It was only with Noel on the floor that the Sixers, lacking as they were, came anywhere close to defensive respectability. To get all of this from a player still feeling his way through team defensive concepts is stunning.”
The rest of the rankings will be released throughout the week. Guesses as to how many UK players will be in the top 50? I’m going with five: Karl Towns, Anthony Davis, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Eric Bledsoe.
Chuck Hayes’ playing career might be over, but he’s hanging around the NBA in a new behind-the-scenes role in his post-playing life.
Bret Bearup, another UK basketball great, announced today that Hayes has joined the Denver Nuggets front office.
“Pretty geeked to have fellow UK alum Chuck Hayes join the Nuggs organization,” Bearup wrote.
It’s unclear what it is Hayes will actually being doing in Denver, but he is now the third Wildcat in that organization, along with Bearup and Jamal Murray.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 08th, 2016 @ 2:13pm
It’s not everyday that DeMarcus Cousins’ name is mentioned on the floor of the House, but that was the case today when Alabama congressman Bradley Byrne congratulated Cousins on his gold medal and thanked him for his commitment to the city of Mobile.
“While his play on the court is to be commended,” Byrne said. “I was more impressed by DeMarcus’ work back home in Alabama. DeMarcus recently held a free basketball camp for young children at his alma mater, LeFlore High School. Following the basketball camp, DeMarcus organized an important conversation about relations between members of the African-American community and law enforcement.”
“Like many communities across the nation, my hometown of Mobile has faced our share of challenges in this area. But thanks to local leaders and leaders like DeMarcus Cousins, Mobile can serve as a prime example of how to defuse racial tension and increase understanding between all members of our community.”
See the clip that aired live on C-SPAN:
— Rep. Bradley Byrne (@RepByrne) September 8, 2016
At a time when our country is arguing over protesting national anthems and flags, Boogie is putting his celebrity to good use by actually being proactive for the cause and doing something about it in the communities affected.
Yet he is still painted as one of the bad guys of the NBA when I’d be willing to bet no one in the entire league does as much good as he does off the court.
Now if only Sacramento can get him in the playoffs one year…
By Drew Franklin on ©September 07th, 2016 @ 10:30am
Drake’s “Summer Sixteen” concert tour hit Phoenix last night and the Toronto rapper wore Devin Booker’s Phoenix Suns jersey on stage during his performance.
Booker shared the jersey on Instagram with the caption: “My brotha.”
A photo posted by Devin Booker (@dbook) on