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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

“Space Jam 2” is happening…which NBA Cats should be in it?

For people of a certain age (30ish and under?), “Space Jam” will forever hold a special place in our hearts. The 1996 hit staring the Looney Toons, Michael Jordan, and other NBA stars was a cult hit that still resonates with kids today, which is probably why today’s news that the sequel is one step closer to happening is so huge. After years of rumors, the Hollywood Reporter finally confirmed that LeBron James will star in Space Jam 2, which will be directed by Fast & Furious and Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin, who is working on a script with screenwriters Andrew Dodge and Alfredo Botello.

It could be a few more years before Space Jam 2 finally hits theaters, but several NBA stars already want to be involved, including Blake Griffin and Isaiah Thomas. Which NBA Cats do you think have the best chance of making the movie?

Anthony Davis is practically a Monstar already with that brow and reach, right?

Other picks:

  • Rondo as a villain
  • Boogie because Boogie
  • Karl Towns because it would be wrong to make a cartoon about basketball and not include him
  • Tyler Ulis as the new Muggsy Bogues
  • The entire 2014-2015 because they were Monstars

Your turn.


George Karl admits he didn’t get along with DeMarcus Cousins

demarcus-cousins-george-karl-getty

Now that the Sacramento Kings finally fired George Karl, everyone can freely discuss the league’s worst kept secret: Karl and DeMarcus Cousins just didn’t get along. Karl admitted as much in a recent interview with the Sacramento Bee’s Ailene Voisin.

“I never felt I got into a good place with Cuz,” Karl said, “and some of that was my stupidity when I said that no player is untradeable. I still believe that. But I should have been smart enough not to say it, and I in no way, at any time, thought DeMarcus was going to get traded.”

Karl opened up about the awkward handshake he and Cousins shared at the Las Vegas Summer League last summer and the infamous locker room incident after a loss to San Antonio, during which Cousins cussed him out.

“That night the bomb went off,” recalled Karl, his voice rising. “Vlade was right there. When they supported Cousins instead of me, I felt, ‘OK, I’m in the compromise position. Cuz has the power.’ They sent that message many times, too many times sent it to the players. And the players wanted someone to stand up to Cuz, and they wanted it to be their coach. But at that point, I realized that you either compromise or you blow it up, and my job was to make us a better basketball team and get to the end of the year.”

Karl said he wasn’t sure where he went wrong with Cousins, but at one point during the interview, his companion interrupted him to say he should have just given Boogie some love.

“Do you want my opinion?” Kim Van Deraa, his longtime companion, suddenly interjected from across the room. “I think DeMarcus needs to be loved. I kept telling George, ‘Go over and put your arms around him! He needs love.’ 

Karl laughed.

“I don’t disagree,” he said, “but he needs players around him that are better fits. You could tell at the end of last year that Rudy (Gay) and Cuz didn’t work.”

Kim knows what’s up.

[SacBee]


Patrick Patterson: “The North”

Getty Images

Game 7 of the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers tips off in an hour. Before you turn it on, you need to read Patrick Patterson’s piece in The Player’s Tribune.

Patterson discusses his time joining Toronto after being traded from the Sacramento Kings. The Raptors were 7-12 when Patterson arrived and the team lacked identity.

This was a franchise ready to rebuild. From an outsider’s perspective, I understood why. Nobody would have said the Raptors were trending in the right direction, but then they traded away Rudy Gay, who most people figured was their best player. I was part of what they got back.

As you know now, the Raptors made the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Patterson talks about the team’s turning points and how they found their identity over the past couple of years. Patterson credits Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan who took reins of the team, while others figured out their roles to fit the team.

So guys who were used to getting more touches on other teams had to alter their games. It sounds like a simple thing, but the truth is that it’s not easy to get players to take a step back and keep their egos in check at this level.  But we bought into this idea that we could have a winning basketball team.

Patrick Patterson and the Toronto Raptors take a lot of pride in being Canada’s only NBA team. Patterson’s favorite part of Toronto is the how diverse the city is.

When I played at Kentucky, I would look out into the stands, and it would be about 70% white. They were all great fans — it’s the best home court in college basketball — but still, that’s what I was accustomed to.

Patterson and the Raptors are trying to show the world that Toronto is the best basketball city in the world. And that all starts tonight in Game 7 against the Indiana Pacers at 8:00 on TNT.

 


@JohnWall

John Wall is going to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

@JohnWall

@JohnWall

The Washington Wizards’ All-Star point guard will be in attendance for Barack Obama’s last White House Correspondents’ Dinner.  Wall received the invitation from USA Today.  His date for the extravagant evening is his Mother.  A perfect early Mother’s Day gift.

Each year the gala gives the President an opportunity to take the mic and poke fun at all of the reporters who spend their lives poking through the President’s life.  He’ll also probably take the low-hanging fruit and tell a Donald Trump joke or two.

Larry Wilmore hosts the event that begins around 7:00.  You can look for Wall and his Mother on C-SPAN or any of the cable news channels.


SLAM: Karl Towns is a Big, Dominant Kid

Getty Images

Getty Images

Even though he’s done playing for the year, people can’t stop talking about Karl-Anthony Towns. We knew we had a great kid at Kentucky, but those covering the NBA simply can’t believe the kind of kid he is.

I use the word “kid,” because he still is one.  Just two years removed from high school, he told Slam that he’s still a gamer, taking his talents to Call of Duty often.  His college connections have not gone away either.

“Every day,” Towns says about talking to the likes of Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein and the Harrison twins. “We stay in touch with everybody. We mostly stay in a group chat.”

He credits his choice of college with helping him adjust to the professional lifestyle quickly.

“The responsibility’s on you and the fanbase making it feel more like an NBA program, greatest fans in the world in all of college basketball. That feeling of being almost a professional team and being everything to a city, that translates to basketball. You’re the pride and joy of that city and you gotta go out every night and prove it,” Towns says.

The Big KAT is an All-American guy living the dream, but the kid is just getting started.

[SLAM]


Dakari Johnson makes the D-League All-Rookie Team

Dakari Johnson makes the D-League All-Rookie Team

dakari-okc

Even though Dakari didn’t spend a day with Oklahoma City Thunder, that doesn’t mean he had a terrible first year playing professional basketball.  Yesterday Dakari Johnson was named to the D-League’s All-Rookie Team.

Johnson played for the Oklahoma City Blue, averaging 27.6 minutes per game and playing in all 50 matchups.  He averaged 12.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 blocks.  

He wasn’t the only former Cat receiving D-League honors.  After winning defensive player of the year and taking home the championship trophy, DeAndre Liggins earned D-League Second Team honors.

A few highlights from Dakari’s season.

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We just learned a ton of random stuff about DeMarcus Cousins

boogie-getty

This morning, Sacramento radio host Carmichael Dave did an interview with DeMarcus Cousins that’s unearthed a wealth of random facts about one of our favorite former Cats. Kings blogger Tony Xypteras shared the best parts of the interview on Twitter, and I’m going to share them with you because it’s another reminder of why we love Boogie so much.

A sampling…

  • He loves “The Notebook” but didn’t like “Deadpool.” He’s also a big fan of “How to Get Away With Murder” (as am I).
  • He had terrible pain in his feet all season and, at times, couldn’t move after games. Apparently this is a gradual issue that got worse this season and for which he’s currently receiving treatment.
  • At some point in the season, Cousins and Rondo sat down with George Karl and told him the team needed Willie Cauley-Stein on the floor more often.
  • He called bringing the Kings back to their glory days a personal vendetta, and thanked fans for putting up with all the “bullshit” this season.
  • He “loved” having Rajon Rondo in the locker room this season and said Rondo and Caron Butler were constantly on him, and that he would argue with Rondo almost every day. Those two were either going to love each other or hate each other, so I’m glad it’s the former, even if it seems like a big brother/little brother type relationship.

Audio of the interview should be up later, so when it is, I’ll bring it to you. Apparently, part two of the interview is coming, so stay tuned…

UPDATE: Click here to listen to the full interview.


DeAndre Liggins’ team won the NBA D-League Championship last night

DeAndre Liggins’ team won the NBA D-League Championship last night

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Congratulations to DeAndre Liggins, whose Sioux Falls Skyforce won the NBA D-League Championship last night with a 91-63 win over the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Liggins, the D-League Defensive Player of the Year, had 11 points, 10 rebounds, and a game-high six assists in the win, while former Tennessee star Jarnell Stokes took home MVP honors for his 25-point, 12-rebound performance.

“It’s everybody’s goal, to get to this point. And we’re here,” said Liggins in the game recap. “I’ve been around a great group of guys all year. I’m kind of sad that this [is] our last game, but I’m happy at the same time.”

Here’s hoping Liggins can find a spot on an NBA roster next season. Here are his highlights from last night’s win:


100 Days ’til Rio’s Wednesday Morning Wakeup

One hundred days from now, the Summer Olympics will be upon us. From Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 21, the world will turn its eyes to Rio de Janeiro, whether the city is ready or not. The Zika virus, water pollution, political issues, and venue delays have plagued Rio over the past year, making everyone pretty nervous about the Brazilian city pulling off its first ever Olympics. I mean, have you seen the pictures of the dead fish? And they want Olympians to row and sail in there? No thanks.

Regardless, I’ll be watching it like I always do, because I love the Olympics, especially the Summer Olympics. Not only will we have track, gymnastics, and swimming to entertain us, we’ll have at least a few former Cats to watch. DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and John Wall are all on the list of National Team finalists, although Davis won’t be able to play because of knee surgery. Make us proud, boys.

So, get it together, Rio. We’ll be watching. Now, on to much more pressing matters in UK sports land…

Matthew Mitchell be on KSR at 10:30 a.m.

Just this week, one player, two future players, and one assistant have severed ties with the UK Hoops program, the latest in what has been a tumultuous year for Matthew Mitchell’s squad. This morning at 10:30 a.m., Mitchell will come on KSR to discuss the changes, and at 1:30 p.m., he’ll hold a press conference at Memorial Coliseum.

The program did get a much-needed bit of good news yesterday when word got out that former UK assistant Kyra Elzy is rejoining the staff as associate head coach. Elzy worked at UK from 2008-2012 before leaving to join the staff at Tennessee.

Charles Matthews had a minor surgery yesterday

Matthews gave the BBN a scare last night when he uploaded this picture on Instagram:

Thanks everyone for all the love. Really appreciate it!! Minor setback for major comeback. I'll be better than ever.

A photo posted by Charles Matthews (@charles1matthews) on

Don’t worry; KSR is hearing Matthews had a minor procedure and shouldn’t miss any significant time.

Patrick Patterson got his first career playoff start last night

Shoutout to Patterson, who moved into the starting lineup for the Raptors last night, his first start of the season and his first ever playoff start. Patterson had seven points and four rebounds in the Raptors’ win over the Pacers. Toronto now holds a 3-2 lead over Indiana in the series.

The latest update on Marques Bolden is…

…there is no update on Marques Bolden. Carry on.

Tonight’s NBA Playoffs schedule

  • 8 p.m.: Hornets at Heat, TNT
  • 10 p.m.: Trail Blazers at Clippers, NBATV
  • 10:30 p.m.: Rockets at Warriors, TNT

In case your head has been in the sand the past few days, Steph Curry is out for two weeks with a sprained MCL. Take care of business while he’s gone, Warriors.

Pearl Jam rocked Rupp last night

The band uploaded this picture of their setlist on Twitter last night and the guitarist wore a UK shirt:

@dhsteeler

I’m sure many of you were in the audience, if so, how was the show?

Shoutout to BTI

I planned to share the #MoreThanMean PSA with you guys this morning, but BTI beat me to the punch, so I’ll just say thank you to him and everyone else for their kind words the past few days. Twitter bullying is the worst thing about social media, and while women in sports media may encounter it more than others, no one should have to deal with it. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t tweet it. Simple stuff, really.

KSR in an hour

It’s a big one, so get some work done now so you can give Matthew Mitchell your full attention later.


@Suns

Devin Booker playing baseball is something you should watch

@Suns

@Suns

Who knew that Devin Booker could actually play baseball? The former Cat participated in the Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund’s celebrity softball game yesterday; winning the celebrity home run derby and doing some solid fielding in the outfield.

The First Down Fund was established by Larry Fitzgerald helping kids and families in crisis by funding positive activities and health-related organizations that work with families as well.

Check out some videos and pictures of Booker at the game below:

I love baseball.


Cats in the NBA: Sunday Evening Edition

Atlanta @ Boston: Atlanta Leads 2-1

Our guy James Young has logged just one minute in the series against the Hawks but we here at KSR still hold out hope that the Cs will turn to him for a spark later today. For Boston, Isiah Thomas took over in game three to score 42 point and officially give us a series. Boston has been dealing with the injury bug, especially to their outside shooters, which means there is a chance they throw Young in to see what he could provide. It’s a long shot but there is a chance.

Game 4 tips off a t 6 pm on TNT.

Cleveland @ Detroit: Cleveland Leads 3-0

Via SmugMug

Much like James Young and Terrence Jones, Jodie Meeks has yet to see significant minutes in the post-season. That’s mainly due to the amount of time that he missed during the regular season due to an ankle injury and rehabilitation. Now with the Pistons facing elimination it could be time for Stan Van Gundy to give Meeks a shot. Jodie scored 20 in a win over the Cavs in the final game of the season as both teams looked to get some rest for the playoffs. Why not try him again?

Detroit looks to avoid the sweep tonight at 8:30 on TNT.


Terrence Jones and the Rockets aim to tie the Warriors

After pulling off a shocker in Game Three and ruining Terrence Jones and Dwight Howard’s trip to a tropical island on Monday the Rockets now have some signs of life. The 2-1 series deficit is already better than the start Houston had in last year’s Western Conference finals where they fell into a 3-0 hole before losing the series against the Warriors 4-1.

So could Houston find a way to salvage their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad season and take down the best team in two decades? Here’s the keys to making it happen:

Inbound to Harden, Get out of the Way

Not that this is any surprise as this is the only strategy the Rockets have employed for the past two seasons. In Game 3 Harden punished Golden State with 35 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds, including the game winner. James Harden is an offensive force of nature. He’s what happens when lightning strikes a radioactive disc of NBA2k in which every custom character has all of their skill points put into jumping shooting. If you spring for unstoppable finisher, there aren’t enough points left over to put into defense.

The Rockets were up by 17  before Golden State made a late run to claim the lead, in part to the general malaise that has defined Houston’s season.

Hope Steph Curry Has an Off Night

The reigning MVP of the association has missed the last two games after twisting his ankle in game 1. That was honestly the only chance that Houston had and they took advantage. But with the loss, the great one must stop resting up for OKC and return to put H-town back in their proper place. So the Rockets have to hope and pray that Steph is rushing things. That he can’t glide through the lane with incredible ease or stop and pop from anywhere on the court that he pleases. In other words, they are dreaming. The Warriors haven’t lost back to back games all season.

Unleash Terrence Jones

In last year’s playoff win over the Warriors, our man T. Jones taught em about 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. The Rockets won by 13. I’m not saying Terrence was the X-Factor but Houston has a secret weapon on the bench in the young man from Kentucky.

Jones heads into the offseason as a restricted free agent and a big game against the top team in the NBA could make him millions. Unleash the beast.

 

Game 4 tips off on ABC at 3:30. Who ya got?

 


Jamal Murray Accepts the Harry Jerome Athletic Excellence Award

@BeMore27

Congratulations to Jamal Murray, for receiving the Black Business and Professional Association’s (BBPA) Harry Jerome Athletic Excellence Award!

The BBPA’s Harry Jerome Awards is a Canadian national event that recognizes and honors excellence in African-Canadian achievement. The awards are named after Harry Jerome, a premiere Canadian track & field athlete, who won a bronze medal in the 100-meter dash during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Other notable recipients of the Harry Jerome Athletic Excellence Award include: Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Lennox Lewis; Olympic gold medalist, Donovan Bailey; and Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins.

 


Shocked Terrence Jones Wants The Cats in the NBA Weekend Schedule

I can’t stop watching Terrence Jones’ reaction to the James Harden game winner that took down the defending champs last night. He looks like he saw a ghost. He looks like he just found out he’s been traded to the Sixers. He looks like that meme of fake Terio. It’s an all time sports reaction. So, the Rockets will survive to avoid the sweep at least. How about the rest of the former Cats? Here’s where you can catch them this weekend

Friday:

Cleveland @ Detriot: ESPN

Jodie Meeks and the Pistons attempt to win against King James and the Cavs. The first two games featured valiant efforts out of the eight seed but Cleveland proved to be too much.
Atlanta @ Boston

Currently underway on ESPN 2, James Young and the Celtics return home to the Garden to try and get on the board against the Hawks. Young logged one minute of gametime on Tuesday against Atlanta. Will tonight get him even more clock?

Saturday:

Toronto @ Indiana: 3:00 pm on TNT

The Raptors retook home court last night with an impressive rout of the Pacers. Patrick Patterson is on his way to advancing in the playoffs.

Miami @ Charlotte: 5:30 pm on TNT

Aaron Harrison hasn’t logged any minutes in the playoffs yet. But if the game is close in the fourth quarter there is only one man the Hornets should look to for the final shot.

OKC @ Dallas: 8:00 pm on ESPN

Like P-Patt and Toronto, Nazr and Enes along with the Thunder rolled in Game 3 to regain the home court advantage. They’ll try to keep the momentum going tomorrow night.

 


Here’s a look at the DeMarcus Cousins bobblehead

I must say, I was a little worried about how the DeMarcus Cousins bobblehead would turn out. These things tend to go way wrong; just ask John Wall about his most recent one.

But the Legends seemed to do a pretty good job with the baby Boogie they will be giving away at tonight’s double-header. The ‘Call Me’ headband really completes the look. Very well done.

Reminder: the DeMarcus bobblehead will go out to the first 1,000 fans through the door after 4 pm tonight.

(H/T @timseeberger)