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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

Devin Booker stealing the show so far at the Rising Stars Challenge

The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge is currently taking place in Toronto, and while he’s only in the game as a replacement for an injured Nerlens Noel, Devin Booker has stolen the show so far. Devin came off the bench to score 18 points in 8 minutes in the first half for Team USA. Devin is 7-10 from the field, 4-6 from the three-point line, and admitted at halftime he came in with something to prove. Jordan Clarkson was a fan:

Meanwhile, Karl Towns has four points at halftime. Need some BBN feels? Check out this playful shove Booker gave Towns during the introductions:

I miss them.


Sports Illustrated says Devin Booker should have been a Top 5 pick

booker_rookie_10

The Rising Stars Challenge starts in one hour on TNT, and Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Sharp has the perfect way to get ready. Sharp redid the 2015 draft based on how each of the rookies have done so far this season, and, as you might expect, Kentucky’s players are near the top. In fact, some Cats even moved up from their original draft position; however, after an historic rookie season, Karl Towns remained at #1:

1. Timberwolves: Karl Towns (Original draft spot: #1)

Obviously. There were hints of “Porzingis or Towns?” debates early in the year, but then more people watched Towns. He can do everything, and he’s only gotten more deadly as the season’s unfolded. In the past 9 games, he’s averaging 23.2 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 2 blocks. On Wednesday he had 35, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks to beat the Raptors. At 20 years old. Any Porzingis argument is a waste of time at this point in the year. The better question is, “Brow or KAT?”

Considering the roll that Karl’s on, that’s not a ridiculous question. Meanwhile, Sharp says that Devin Booker’s performance so far this year shows he’s worthy of being a top five pick.

5. Magic: Devin Booker (Original draft spot: #13)

He’s handling the ball more than he ever did at Kentucky, he’s running pick-and-rolls with surprising success, and while all this opportunity is partly a by-product of broader dysfunction in Phoenix, he gets credit for knocking it out of the park. All the added responsibility will make him better in the long run. The Magic would be ecstatic to add Booker here, which tells you a lot about this draft class. The 14th pick in the lottery would be a steal in the top 5.

Sharp has Trey Lyles going 8th to the Detroit Pistons (Original draft spot: #12) and Willie Cauley-Stein going 11th to the Indiana Pacers (Original draft spot: #6). To read his reasoning, head on over to SI.com.

[SI: 2015 NBA draft redo: Where do Rising Stars land?]


John Wall has some solid Valentine’s Day advice

John Wall has some solid Valentine’s Day advice

It’s Media Day at NBA All-Star Weekend, and during his rounds, John Wall had some excellent advice for guys trying to impress their ladies on Valentine’s Day.

“Get her flowers and remember her name.” 

Well, that’s certainly a good start. Speaking of Wall, he told reporters that he’s planning to play in Sunday night’s game despite injuring his knee last night. Wall bruised his knee in last night’s game against the Bucks and said he’s undergoing treatment around the clock in Toronto to be ready for Sunday’s All-Star Game.

Here’s a handy infograph of when you can catch your favorite Cats on TV this weekend:


On this date in 1989…

On this date in 1989…

kennyskywalker hair

Kenny “Sky” Walker won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

The only former Wildcat to ever win All-Star Weekend’s Saturday night spectacle, Walker defeated former Champion Spud Webb and Clyde “The Glide” Drexler in Houston to take home the title.  Luckily, Walker didn’t have to take the crown from back-to-back winner Michael Jordan.

If you’ve never seen the show he put on, it’s amazing to see how agile the big man was in the air.

I wonder if there’s another Wildcat out there that could do what Walker did 27 years ago.  Maybe John Wall…What do YOU think?


DeMarcus Cousins plays a car dealer looking for love in new commercial

DeMarcus Cousins plays a car dealer looking for love in new commercial

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 2.49.54 PM

As if we needed further proof that Boogie is the best, I present his latest commercial for Chase Chevrolet in Sacramento. DeMarcus plays “Ima Cousins,” a finance director who’s also looking for love:

What will Boogie get into this weekend at the NBA All-Star Game? I can’t wait to find out.


Devin Booker will replace Nerlens Noel in the Rising Stars Challenge

@suns

Nerlens Noel is unable to participate in Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge because of a knee injury, but I have a feeling you’ll like his replacement.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Devin Booker will fill in for Noel in the game between the league’s best rookies and second-year players, a wise choice because Booker is ballin’ these days and he’s already in Toronto for the 3-point Contest Saturday night. He’ll join Karl Towns on Team USA as they take on Trey Lyles and Team World.

The game will broadcast live at 9 p.m. ET Friday on TNT.


Hornets announce Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a torn labrum

Some players just can’t catch a break. Seven games after returning from a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist injured the same shoulder in last night’s game vs. the Pacers. Sadly, the Hornets just announced that an MRI revealed that MKG tore his labrum yet again. 

It’s the second time in five months MKG has suffered that particular injury, the first coming in October during a preseason exhibition. Last night, Pacers center Ian Mahinmi fell on top of MKG under the basket, pinning his arm to the court:

There’s no timetable for his return, but it’s doubtful he’ll be back this season. The news is especially cruel when you consider that MKG was playing really well over the last seven games, scoring a season-high 20 points off 7-14 shooting against the Bulls on Monday. Since his return, the Hornets are 5-2 and flirting with playoff contention.

The Charlotte-Observer’s Rick Bonnell says MKG could either opt for season-ending surgery or rehabbing the labrum, the latter of which would make him more prone to future injury. The Hornets will re-evaluate him after the All-Star break.

Get well soon, MKG.

[The Charlotte-Observer]


Karl Towns scored 35 points last night

While my main accomplishment last night was branching out and trying a new sushi roll, Karl Towns was doing real work, putting up a career-high 35 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks in the Timberwolves’ 117-112 win over the Raptors.

As that nifty little graphic tells you, Karl’s now the third youngest player to have 35 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks in one game behind Kevin Durant and LeBron James. That’s just one of many historic milestones Karl’s reaching these days. Last night’s double-double was his eighth straight and 30th of the season. Over the last 12 games, Karl’s averaging 22.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks, absurd numbers that make him a clear favorite for Rookie of the Year.

Some highlights:

I need to see this dunk again:

In true Karl fashion, when asked if his production as of late surprises him, he only had criticism for himself.

“I do surprise myself sometimes. Missing two free throws, missing open jump shots.”

Oh, Karl. Never change.


Robert Lewis’ Thursday Morning Wakeup

Photo via USATodayHSS.com

This morning, I’ve got a feel-good story for you from Franklin Road Academy (FRA) here in Nashville. FRA senior Robert Lewis has Down syndrome and, for the past three years, has served as the boys basketball team manager. On Friday, he was given the chance to play in the final minutes of FRA’s Senior Night game, and what did he do to mark the occasion? He airballed a three; however, he more than made up for it on the next possession, hitting a three from the same spot with only five seconds left in the game:

As Kentucky fans, we are spoiled by great basketball, but this is better than any “One Shining Moment” montage. I especially love that the opposing players go out of their way to congratulate him. Just awesome.

On that note, let’s go over today’s agenda…

South Carolina beat LSU last night

After a win over Texas A&M and losses to Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia, it was hard to get a good read on this South Carolina team, but last night, they beat LSU 94-83 in Columbia, which means the Cats better bring their A-game if they want to keep the good times rolling. Kentucky, LSU, and South Carolina are now all tied for first place in the SEC, making Saturday’s game even bigger. 

Meanwhile, Texas A&M lost at Alabama, their fourth loss in the last five games. Just when you think you’ve got college basketball figured out this season, something like this happens to shake it all up.

Shannon Dawson may be taking the offensive coordinator job at Southern Miss

In case you missed it in the post directly below this one, Dan Wolken is reporting that former UK offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson will take the same job at Southern Miss. The Cats open the 2016 season with Southern Miss at Commonwealth Stadium, and suddenly, that game’s a little more interesting.

The second episode of “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” was awesome

I was only ten when all the OJ stuff started up, so I’m fascinated by FX’s miniseries. The first episode was promising, but I finally got to see Tuesday night’s episode, and it was even better. I’d wager that anyone over 30 will remember where they were during the Bronco chase, and even though I’m still not sold on Cuba Gooding, Jr. as OJ, I was glued to the TV yet again. If you haven’t yet, check it out.

It looks like Nerlens Noel may not be able to play in the Rising Stars Challenge

The NBA All-Star Rising Stars Challenge is Friday night, and Karl Towns, Trey Lyles, and Nerlens Noel are all scheduled to participate; however, it seems Noel’s recent knee injury may hold him out. Who could replace him? According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Myles Turner or Julius Randle. I vote for the latter.

Meanwhile, Karl Towns scored 35 points last night, the highlights of which I’ll have on this site a little bit later. Devin Booker, who will participate in the three-point contest on Saturday, almost got a triple double vs. the Warriors, finishing with 15 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds. Watch him go up against Klay Thompson:

College basketball on TV tonight

No SEC games and only two Top 25 games tonight, but if you’re really desperate, tune in to ESPN at 9 p.m. to see if Indiana is legit:

  • 9 p.m.: #4 Iowa at Indiana, ESPN
  • 9 p.m.: #11 Oregon at California, ESPN2

KSR in an hour

Tuesday was so crazy we’ll probably still go over the leftovers.


Kelly Cox | USA Today

Archie Goodwin gets in a Scuffle on the Sideline

Kelly Cox | USA Today

Kelly Cox | USA Today

The Suns are heading into the All-Star break on a sour note.  During a timeout in tonight’s game against the Warriors, Markieff Morris shoved and choked former Wildcat Archie Goodwin while he was sitting on the bench.

It’s unknown what started the scuffle, but it’s clear that Morris initiated the argument.  Both players remained in the game following the sideline fight.


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Re-Injures His Right Shoulder

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Re-Injures His Right Shoulder

michael-kidd-gilchrist-nba-brooklyn-nets-charlotte-hornets-850x560

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed the first four months of the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder.  He wasn’t expected to return to play at all this season.

Instead, he’s been spectacular, averaging 11.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, even knocking down three-pointers.  Then things turned South on this play.

Hornets PR has announced that MKG dislocated his right shoulder (even though in that video it appears to be his non0surgical left shoulder).  Hopefully it’s just a slight setback for the Wildcat that never gives up.  Prayers up from the BBN.


Lexington Legends will host DeMarcus Cousins Bobblehead Night on April 22

Do you love the Lexington Legends? Do you love DeMarcus Cousins? (Of course you do!) Then circle April 22 in your calendar, because the Legends are hosting a DeMarcus Cousins bobblehead giveaway at Whitaker Bank Ballpark on April 22. (It probably won’t look like the one pictured above.)

Sounds like a great excuse to enjoy a night at the ballpark to me.

Speaking of Boogie, he and several former Cats will participate in the NBA All-Star festivities this weekend. Here’s a schedule of when you can see your favorite former Cats on TNT:

Friday’s BBVA Rising Stars Challenge

  • Karl-Anthony Towns – Team USA
  • Nerlens Noel – Team USA
  • Trey Lyles – Team World

Saturday’s Foot Locker Three-Point Contest

  • Devin Booker

Saturday’s Taco Bell Skills Challenge

  • Karl-Anthony Towns
  • Anthony Davis
  • DeMarcus Cousins

Sunday’s All Star Game

  • John Wall – Eastern Conference
  • DeMarcus Cousins – Western Conference
  • Anthony Davis – Western Conference

Devin Booker reminded he is a rookie

Devin Booker may be a participant in the upcoming NBA All-Star Weekend, but he is still a rookie in the league. Booker was reminded of that today when his Suns teammates filled his car with styrofoam peanuts, one of the oldest rookie hazing tricks in the book.

Luckily Booker just bought himself a brand new Jeep, according to his SnapChat:

Rough life for the 19-year-old.


Hector Amezcua | The Sacramento Bee

George Karl is (Somehow) Still the Kings’ Head Coach

Hector Amezcua | The Sacramento Bee

Hector Amezcua | The Sacramento Bee

The Cal to the NBA rumors were this close to reaching a new boiling point.

Once a playoff team, the Sacramento Kings continue to slide down the Western Conference standings, losing eight of their last nine games.  After last night’s 20-point loss to the Cavs (their fourth in a row), Rajon Rondo said that maybe 3-4 guys showed up to the Monday morning shootaround.  “How can you expect to win?” he asked reporters.

Following the game, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Kings planned on firing head coach George Karl during All-Star break that begins Wednesday.  Today they took the drama to the next level.  According to Stein, in a face-to-face standoff with Karl and the Kings front office, they’ve decided to keep Karl.  General Manager Vlade Divac said in a statement, “George is our coach and we’re collectively working through our issues.”

For Kentucky fans, it’s relieving to not have to hear anymore Calipari-Vivek rumors, but for Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein, it might just mean they’ll have to endure a tumultuous second half of the season.

The Kings currently have second-longest active NBA playoff drought at nine years, and according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, there’s a 95% chance it will be extended for another season.


@NBACom

Karl Towns’ Jaw-Dropping Dunk on the Pelicans

@NBACom

@NBACom

Anthony Davis is one of the best defenders in the NBA, but tonight he couldn’t stop his fellow former Wildcat and #1 overall pick.  Dante Cunningham had to pay for Davis’ mishap.  The Brow should apologize to Cunningham after the game.  Watching Karl abuse the backboard is painful.

OUCH!