As a UK fan, I have three all-time favorite players: Derrick Ramsey, Bill Ransdell, and →
Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
On this Independence Day, it has been a time to celebrate some of the strengths of our beautiful country. Sure, not everything about America’s great; the media likes to remind to us every day. But when all is said and done, we still live in a place where you can become a millionaire if you’re good at putting a ball through a hoop. That’s something worth celebrating, at least.
John Calipari is the best in the game at turning college basketball players into millionaires. In his six years at Kentucky, he’s put 25 players in the NBA. According to the Courier-Journal, the total worth of their future contracts is around $726 million. Not too shabby. But how much money have his players ALREADY put in their pockets? According to spotrac.com, here are the total cash earnings of each of Kentucky’s NBA players that Cal has coached:
John Wall $37,717,125
Demarcus Cousins: $29,838,286
Enes Kanter: $25,567,009
Anthony Davis: $23,198,010
Eric Bledsoe: $20,104,069
Brandon Knight: $15,880,357
Patrick Patterson: $14,434,196
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: $14,429,520
Nerlens Noel: $6,487,440
Terrence Jones: $4,655,520
Marquis Teague: $3,052,640
Julius Randle: $3,064,800
Archie Goodwin: $2,176,680
James Young: $1,674,480
Darius Miller: $1,662,476
Daniel Orton: $883,370
Deandre Liggins: $381,193
Josh Harrellson: $381,193
Total Earned: $205,588,364
So far, Cal’s Cats have already earned around $206 million – a total greater than the GDP of three different countries. And this isn’t even considering money earned from endorsements and overseas’ play. With the money guaranteed on their upcoming contracts, it’s clear that the total money earned by John Calipari’s players will soon be exceeding $1 billion.
You listening, recruits?
Apparently Sacramento wants to compete with Phoenix for the BBN’s loyalty. Rajon Rondo will reportedly be signing a one-year deal with the Kings worth up to $10 million.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 3, 2015
Rondo joins Boogie and Willie Cauley-Stein in Sac-town – which should be a really fun mixture of personalities.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 03rd, 2015 @ 5:30pm
In further proof that Karl Towns is the best ambassador the program’s ever had, he posted this picture on Instagram today of him and John Calipari with the caption “Spending my 4th of July weekend with my second dad @ukcoachcalipari. Love this man. #BBN #longliveBBN.”
What do we think Cal and Karl have planned this weekend? Hopefully riding that surfboard back there because that would be hilarious.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 03rd, 2015 @ 5:00pm
Starting tomorrow, Kentucky basketball will be back on your televisions. Sort of. Thirteen former Cats could play in the NBA Summer Leagues, which will take place in Orlando, Utah, and Las Vegas over the next few weeks.
All NBA Summer League games will stream online through NBA Summer League Live. There is a one-time fee of $14.99, but well worth it to see our former Cats play.
Here’s a schedule of who plays when:
Saturday, July 4
3:00 p.m. – Charlotte Hornets (Aaron Harrison) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Dakari Johnson, Marquis Teague)
5:00 p.m. – Memphis Grizzlies (Andrew Harrison) vs. Brooklyn Nets
Sunday, July 5
3:00 p.m. – Memphis Grizzlies (Andrew Harrison) vs. Charlotte Hornets (Aaron Harrison)
Monday, July 6
3:00 p.m. – Orlando Magic B vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Dakari Johnson, Marquis Teague)
9:00 p.m. – Boston Celtics (James Young) vs. Utah Jazz (Trey Lyles)
Tuesday July 7
1:00 p.m. – Orlando Magic B vs. Memphis Grizzlies (Andrew Harrison)
3:00 p.m. – Charlotte Hornets (Aaron Harrison) vs. Brooklyn Nets
5:00 p.m. – Oklahoma City Thunder (Dakari Johnson, Marquis Teague) vs. Los Angeles Clippers
7:00 p.m. – Boston Celtics (James Young) vs. Philadelphia 76ers
9:00 p.m. – San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz (Trey Lyles)
Wednesday, July 8
1:00 p.m. – Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets (Aaron Harrison)
Thursday, July 9
5:00 p.m. – Oklahoma City Thunder (Dakari Johnson, Marquis Teague) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (Andrew Harrison)
7:00 p.m. – Boston Celtics (James Young) vs. San Antonio Spurs
9:00 p.m. – Philadelphia 76ers vs Utah Jazz (Trey Lyles)
Friday, July 10
6:30 p.m. – Sacramento Kings (Willie Cauley-Stein, DeAndre Liggins) vs. Toronto Raptors
8:30 p.m. – Minnesota Timberwolves (Karl Towns–tentative) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Julius Randle)
10:30 p.m. – Golden State Warriors (Doron Lamb) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Saturday, July 11
4:00 p.m. – New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks (Darius Miller–tentative)
6:00 p.m. – Washington Wizards vs. Phoenix Suns (Devin Booker, Josh Harrellson)
6:30 p.m. – Chicago Bulls vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (Karl Towns–tentative)
8:00 p.m. – Boston Celtics (James Young) vs. Portland Trail Blazers
8:30 p.m. – Los Angeles Lakers (Julius Randle) vs. Philadelphia 76ers
10:30 p.m. – Miami Heat vs. Utah Jazz (Trey Lyles)
Sunday, July 12
4:30 p.m. – Phoenix Suns (Devin Booker, Josh Harrellson) vs. Houston Rockets
8:00 p.m. – Sacramento Kings (Willie Cauley-Stein, DeAndre Liggins) vs. Denver Nuggets
8:30 p.m. – Golden State Warriors (Doron Lamb) vs. Atlanta Hawks
10:00 p.m. – Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks (Darius Miller–tentative)
10:30 p.m. – Boston Celtics (James Young) vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Monday, July 13
6:30 p.m. – Golden State Warriors (Doron Lamb) vs. Sacramento Kings (Willie Cauley-Stein, DeAndre Liggins)
8:30 p.m. – Los Angeles Lakers (Julius Randle) vs. New York Knicks
10:30 p.m. – Utah Jazz (Trey Lyles) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (Karl Towns–tentative)
Tuesday, July 14
3:30 p.m. – Washington Wizards vs. Dallas Mavericks (Darius Miller–tentative)
7:00 p.m. – Boston Celtics (James Young) vs. Miami Heat
7:30 p.m. – Phoenix Suns (Devin Booker, Josh Harrellson) vs Utah Jazz (Trey Lyles)
The Minnesota Timberwolves have not finalized their Summer League roster yet, so we’re not positive if Karl’s on it, but they will hold a four-day minicamp July 6-9 prior to the Vegas Summer League, which will definitely feature Karl, Andrew Wiggins, and Tyus Jones.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 03rd, 2015 @ 1:15pm
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is one of my all-time favorite Cats for many reasons, but a main one is how he’s opened up about his speech problems. MKG has battled a stutter his whole life and finally made a breakthrough during his time at UK by working with speech pathologist Meg Shake at the CATS center.
Today, MKG is giving back to children who suffer from the same problems by attending the National Stuttering Association Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. He posted this great picture of him and some of the kids on Twitter this morning.
Earlier this year, Lee Jenkins profiled MKG for Sports Illustrated and interviewed Shake about her work with Michael. The article has stuck with me since, and it’s only appropriate to share an excerpt:
The Final Four was challenging because of unwanted media queries about his speech, but by then it was obvious that the therapy’s purpose went far beyond any press conference. Sound bites are significant in the social media age — if a player clanks a 10-footer at the buzzer, the public demands an explanation and revolts when it too falls short — but the interviews were just an excuse. “This was for when he gives his wedding vows,” Shake says, “and when he gets his honorary degree from UK, and when he goes to his grandchildren’s graduation. It was for a more fluent future.”
Read the rest of Jenkins’ excellent piece here. Keep up the good work, MKG.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 03rd, 2015 @ 11:00am
During the NBA Playoffs, JR Smith was the subject of about a million Vines when he rolled into The Q on a “Phunkee Duck,” a Segway-like device without the handlebars:
Pretty cool, right? As you might expect, the Phunkee Duck took off with pro athletes, including John Wall, who posted this video of himself dancing on one yesterday:
A video posted by johnwall (@johnwall) on
Wesley Woodyard also has one, which you can see in this video that for some reason I can’t embed.
On its website, the creators describe the PhunkeeDuck as “the next step in the evolution of transportation.” How much does it cost? $1,500. Just a drop in the bucket for a guy like John Wall, right?
Who’s the latest Cat on the move? According to a report from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, it may be Tayshaun Prince. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Chris Haynes cites sources that say the Cavaliers have reached out to Tayshaun in an effort to bring in more depth on the wing, but a deal may not come until some other negotiations have fallen into place.
Last season, Tayshaun played for the Memphis Grizzlies, the Boston Celtics, and the Detroit Pistons, averaging 7.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 46% from behind the arc. Not too shabby for a 35-year-old veteran.
One more ‘ship with LeBron? Someone just be sure to tell this guy:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 02nd, 2015 @ 1:15pm
Karl Towns is currently tearing up the greens at Bethpage Black, but when he gets off the course, he’ll be treated to this great behind-the-scenes video from his Minnesota Timberwolves about his first week with the franchise.
Timberwolves play-by-play announcer Dave Benz interviews Karl about the stress of the draft (Karl says he was just glad he didn’t trip on stage), the opportunity to be mentored by Kevin Garnett, and what he brings to the team (versatility, giving Wiggins more space).
I could watch the first twelve seconds on loop.
— MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) July 2, 2015
The NBA free agency period rolls on today, and the latest rumor may put a former Cat in the Big Apple. The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola is reporting that the New York Knicks are considering making an offer to Enes Kanter, currently a restricted free agent with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Yesterday, the Thunder met with Enes to discuss putting together a new deal–rumored to be near max contract figures–but it’s not final yet. They better hurry if they want to keep him in OKC…
Stay tuned. I’m sure this will all change in about an hour.
Rajon Rondo is still on the market, but according to some recent reports, not for long. Yesterday, ESPN reported that the Sacramento Kings requested a meeting with Rondo and last night, the Kings traded Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas, and Jason Thompson to the Philadelphia 76ers to free up some cap room to go after Rondo, Wesley Matthews, and Monta Ellis.
The interest is reportedly mutual, with SI’s Chris Mannix reporting that Rondo wants $10 million for a one-year contract after a rocky year in Boston and Dallas; however, is Sacramento the right fit? The Kings are already a dumpster fire, and adding Rondo would likely only fan the flames. Rondo is a notoriously difficult teammate, George Karl a notoriously difficult coach, and DeMarcus Cousins a notoriously big personality. Get Karl out of the picture and it gets a little easier, but could Rondo and Cousins coexist? That could either be amazing or awful. At the very least, entertaining.
By Drew Franklin on ©July 01st, 2015 @ 7:04pm
Well he went to work, of course. That’s what the great ones do.
While you and I would’ve instantly blown money on the finer things in life, like Armand de Brignac, electronic toilets and bear skin rugs, Anthony Davis took his highest contract in NBA history straight to the gym.
Enjoy him, New Orleans.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 01st, 2015 @ 6:15pm
I don’t think anyone would accuse James Young of being an overly serious person. Young has always been a pretty laid back, relaxed guy. Heck, he earned a reputation as the sleepiest person on the team while at Kentucky.
After drifting in and out of the D-League in his rookie year, Young is approaching his second season with a new mentality. Celtics beat reporter Jay King spoke with Young today, who says he’s sworn off social media. “I’m just worried about me and getting better right now,” Young told King. “Distractions, I’m just trying to put them to the side.”
Young also said he’s put on twenty pounds of muscle since the season ended and increased his vertical by three inches.”Seeing how I was getting pushed around,” Young said. “That’s not going to happen anymore.”
Young will play for the Celtics in the Summer Leagues in Utah and Las Vegas, which are quickly filling up with former Cats. Matt, Drew, and Chris Tomlin are all going to the Vegas Summer League for the first time, so get ready for lots of updates and anecdotes. And late night snaps from Drew.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 01st, 2015 @ 3:00pm
We’ve heard rumors about it for a few days now, but it looks like Brandon Knight’s five-year $70 million contract extension with the Phoenix Suns is official. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski just tweeted that Phoenix has agreed to the terms, which is huge news for our Shakespeare loving former Cat. In additional good news, David Aldridge reports that the Suns will NOT be trading Eric Bledsoe as previously rumored.
If you’re keeping track, that puts the combined value of current contracts for former John Calipari players at approximately $721 million, a figure that doesn’t include Dakari or Andrew’s rookie contracts or the rumored contract coming up for Enes Kanter.
(Salaires via Spotrac.com)
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 01st, 2015 @ 2:00pm
Congratulations to Karl Towns, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, and Tyler Ulis, who were all named the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll this morning. The former freshmen were four of 83 student athletes from UK to receive the honor, the second most of any SEC school. To make the honor roll, student-athletes must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
So all four UK freshmen made the SEC All-Freshman Team AND the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll. All while helping their team to a 38-1 record and the Final Four. And three of them just got drafted in the lottery.
Yeah, that 2014 class ended up being pretty awesome.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 01st, 2015 @ 12:00pm
After Aaron Harrison went undrafted, reports leaked out that he would get a shot with the Charlotte Hornets. Today, the Hornets released their Summer League roster and Aaron is officially on it. John Calipari tweeted his congratulations to Aaron with this prediction: “Aaron will do well. He’s a fighter and my guess is he will be on an opening-day roster.”
You got this, Aaron.