Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
The 2019-20 NBA season officially tips-off on Tuesday, Oct. 22 – only 11 days away from the moment I write up this post. Two games will christen the 74th season of the ever-growing basketball league: Pelicans-Raptors (8:00 p.m. on TNT) and Lakers-Clippers (10:30 p.m. on TNT).
The backend of the nationally televised double-header features two teams that are widely expected to contend as the Western Conference’s top choice to make it to the NBA Finals. The first game will showcase the Kawhi Leonard-less Toronto Raptors (now on the Clippers) and the Fighting Zion’s of New Orleans – who also lost its star player to a Los Angeles-based team. Funny how the NBA makes the schedule work, isn’t it?
The Pelicans will have to fight like hell to make the playoffs in the West, where a historically deep conference could produce 12 teams with at least 40-plus wins. The Raptors should have enough continuity within its roster to maintain a winning formula despite the Finals MVP moving to the west coast. They also play in the incredibly top-heavy Eastern Conference. Both teams out of L.A. could finish as the top two seeds in its conference – although Denver, Houston, and Utah might have something to say about that.
The BBNBA is going to make another strong appearance this season, with star players and several up-and-comers headlining teams from the top to the bottom of the standings. Even without injured veterans John Wall (Wizards) and DeMarcus Cousins (Lakers), Kentucky is going to have an ever-present showing in what looks to be the most wide-open race for a championship in over a decade.
In preparation for the new year, I’ve compiled my rough draft of what I believe will be the final standings for the upcoming season. Factoring in the magnitude of landscape-changing free agent signings and sign-and-trade deals, several teams now boast two-star tandems as we slowly shifting away from the “Big 3” era. This could be another year where playoff teams are separated by only the slightest of margins. So here’s what I got.
Some quick notes before we get into the BBNBA portion of this post:
- I am putting a ton of stock in the Utah Jazz. Coming off a 53-win season in 2018-19, the Jazz made significant moves in the offseason, bringing in the always-underrated Mike Conley to run the show next to budding superstar Donovan Mitchell. They also brought in sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic while sacrificing Ricky Rubio (Suns) and Derrick Favors (Pelicans) in the process. My belief is that Conley’s ability to penetrate and shoot the ball at a much higher rate than Rubio will help ease the pressure off Mitchell. I’m still not all that bullish on Mitchell as a future All-Star, but I believe that working alongside the 32-year old Conley will mask some of his flaws. And while Utah was a solid team from deep last season, the addition of Bogandovic (who shot 41.3 percent from three on 4.8 attempts per game in two seasons with the Pacers) will space the floor even more for Conley and Mitchell. Losing Favors will hurt the interior defense, but that isn’t something that can’t be handled by the two-time defending Defensive Player of the Year in Rudy Gobert. Favors was also mainly a non-shooter, so replacing him with an elite one is only going to improve the offense. I don’t think 57 wins and the two-seed is a #HotTake.
- The Golden State Warriors are going to be an interesting project this season. For starters, Kevin Durant is in Brooklyn and Klay Thompson could miss the entire regular season. Steph Curry will once again highlight this team with Draymond Green doing the brunt work on defense and D’Angelo Russell filling in for Thompson’s scoring as he recovers from an ACL injury. But this is relatively unfamiliar territory for the once-dominant dynasty. They aren’t close to being the favorites. Making the playoffs will be harder than it has been for them since 2012. Even 50 wins in the West doesn’t guarantee a top-five seed. While I think they get close to that mark thanks to a potential MVP-worthy season from Curry as the offensive focus, there are just way too many teams with more depth and overall talent than the Warriors can put on the court. That being said, I would still be shocked if they don’t make the playoffs. And if they get Thompson back in time for the playoffs, they could be a seven-seed that no team wants to face in the first round.
- Unfortunately, some of the most fun, young, and fast-paced teams will likely miss the playoffs. This includes the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, and Dallas Mavericks (and even the Oklahoma City Thunder). 40 wins won’t cut it out West and these teams could struggle to hit that mark. But if you need a new favorite team to root for and you have a League Pass subscription, these are the teams to stay up for.
- The Eastern Conference is going to be dominated by two teams and everyone else will limp behind them. The NBA’s best regular season team from last year, the Milwaukee Bucks, lost starting shooting guard Malcolm Brogdon but returned the majority of its core while bringing in veterans Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews. MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is hell-bent on making the Finals after an early exit last year. Trailing right behind the Bucks will be the monster starting five of the Philadelphia 76ers, who lost Jimmy Butler but brought in Josh Richardson and Al Horford in what will be the tallest and longest starting lineup in basketball. Also, Ben Simmons hit a three in the preseason, which might not sound like a big deal, but it can be. Up until that point, the All-Star had never hit one in a game; He proved he can and his teammates ate him up. There is value in the confidence he gained from making that three (that being said, he’ll maybe attempt 20 threes this season at the most, but Simmons just needs the threat of being able to hit that shot to open up his game). After those two teams, it’s a steep drop off. Toronto and Boston will have playoff-capable rosters with Brooklyn, Indiana, and Miami following them to nearly round out the East. This leaves one poor team unequipped to compete with the Bucks (or the Sixers), which I’d bet to be the Detroit Pistons, who have won somewhere between 37 and 44 games over the last four seasons. Mediocrity is Detroit’s middle name.
Now, let’s talk about some former notable Wildcats and where they might find themselves.
KAT and Booker: Stuck in No Man’s Land
Starting with the teams in the cellar, Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves) and Devin Booker (Suns) are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Neither of their teams is expected to make the playoffs, but both will be the team’s most valuable player by a wide margin. The Phoenix Suns finally have a competitive roster (bringing in Rubio and Dario Saric was huge) with a few of the young guys hopefully finding their groove (Deandre Ayton, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Mikal Bridges), but not enough to make a run for the postseason. The Suns won’t even get to 32 wins if Booker doesn’t have another All-Star-caliber season, which I expect him to do.
The gap between the best player and the second-best player is even more significant in Minnesota. Towns is already one of the best offensive bigs in the league and might share the title with Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, but he doesn’t have the co-stars that Jokic does. I have officially given up on Andrew Wiggins having a breakout season – a ship that I should have sailed on years ago – and the players that intrigue me (Jarrett Culver, Josh Okogie, and Keita Bates-Diop) are still way too young. Robert Covington, an excellent defender and shot maker from deep, might actually be the Wolves second-best player. That is not a recipe for success. Towns and Booker will both have better seasons than their 2018-19 campaigns and could both very well make an All-Star team, but their individual success is going to be hounded by the limited rosters that surround them.
De’Aaron Fox’s sophomore season was anything but a fluke
As I stated earlier, making the playoffs for the Sacramento Kings is going to be a massive challenge considering who lies ahead of them. But if they are going to have any shot at doing so, it’s going to be because De’Aaron Fox has another breakout season.
Fox is primed to run the league. His learning curve is tremendous and should carry over into his third NBA season. He’s unstoppably quick and building a consistent jump shot. He can break down even the best defenses and find the open man with either hand. His leap from year one to year two was unprecedented, but now there are expectations. The Kings found a way to stay in the playoff conversation for nearly the entire season thanks to the third-highest pace in the league – using ample youth to simply run the opponent to death. Now the Kings’ gameplan is clear around the Association, however, a well-organized roster will make this a team that no one looks forward to facing. It’s going to be 48 minutes of up-and-down action with Fox dictating everything. Sacramento won 39 games last season. Now it’s time to build.
What happens with SGA in OKC?
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s season hinges on the availability of Chris Paul. If OKC decides to keep him all season instead of trading him away for more assets, this could easily be a 40-plus win Thunder squad – although it might come at the cost of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s development. SGA has played well in the preseason thus far but in more of a point-forward role next to Paul and sometimes Dennis Schroder. The ideal version of SGA is the one who starts and ends games as the lead guard, as he showed he could do last season with the Clippers. Playing next to Paul will surely help him learn, but there is no better way to improve in the NBA than by experience. A Thunder team that bottoms out and unloads Paul (and possibly Steven Adams and Danilo Gallinari) will see a sizable dip in win probability. A Thunder team that keeps the roster it currently has could sneak into the playoffs. They are the team that I feel the least confident in predicting. But I can say this with certainty: Gilgeous-Alexander is going to be a star sooner rather than later.
The rookie impacts
We all know about the Tyler Herro buzz in Miami; how he’s buying into the Heat’s culture and impressing superstar Jimmy Butler before even playing a game. The rookie is going to make the early-season rotation for the Heat and is one of my Rookie of the Year dark horse candidates, but the Miami organization will only go as far as Butler takes them. This team will have playoff aspirations in the East where few teams are expected to be serious contenders. Advancing into the postseason shouldn’t be too difficult. But a sluggish start out of the gate could lead to the coaching staff trusting the veterans to get things back on track, at the cost of Herro’s minutes.
As for P.J. Washington, he joins a team I predict to be the worst in the league by more than just a couple of games. The Charlotte Hornets lost the only player that gave them any semblance of hope (Kemba Walker) and replaced him with Terry Rozier’s career field goal percentage of 38.0 percent (yuck). The good news is Washington should corral as many minutes as possible. The worse Charlotte does, the more likely they’ll be to substitute aging players Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams with Washington and Miles Bridges.
Lastly, we have Keldon Johnson, who is still somewhat of an unknown prospect for the San Antonio Spurs – although I’d chalk that up to the Spurs being a quiet franchise as opposed to Johnson’s potential, which he has plenty of. If healthy, San Antonio is going to feature a deep rotation. Injuries last season forced the Spurs to work with less than they expected. Now they can go 10-deep before even calling Johnson’s name. He’ll likely have little chance to make an immediate impact on the Spurs quest to make its 23rd straight playoff appearance.
Just how good can Anthony Davis make the Lakers?
We’ll wind down this post with Anthony Davis and his new team the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James finally has that coveted second star he’s been searching for and an offseason not littered with extracurricular basketball. The idealized duo of a healthy Davis and James should be the most impactful in the league – yes, more impactful than Kawhi Leonard and Paul George across the street.
LeBron has been preaching it over the last few months; Davis is now the offensive (and defensive, for that matter) focus for the Lakers. Everything will run through him with LeBron making it all happen. How is anyone expected to guard two of the five best players in the world when they’re on the court at the same time? (Just ask anyone who’s been tasked with the unpleasantry of defending Kevin Durant and Stephy Curry that last three seasons) Surround James and Davis with shooters and there isn’t anything a defense can do to stop the Lakers. It all comes back to health though, but surprisingly not concerning Davis. Outside of sitting games last season during that whole weird trade drama, Davis hasn’t had a significant injury in three years. The 34-year old LeBron is coming off the worst injury of his long career. How the coaching staff manages that will determine the success of this duo.
A former Cat has suffered a minor setback. Today, the Milwaukee Bucks announced that Eric Bledsoe fractured the cartilage between two of his ribs during Wednesday’s game vs. the Utah Jazz. According to Matt Velazquez, Bucks GM Jon Horst said no bones are broken nor surgery required, but Bledsoe will be sidelined for two to three weeks, or whenever the pain has lessened to the point he feels he can play.
In his second season in Milwaukee, Bledsoe averaged 15.9 points and 5.5 assists. The Bucks tip off the season October 24 at Houston.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 10th, 2019 @ 10:15am
California’s Fair Pay to Play Law is opening the door for student athletes to earn money for their name, likeness, and image, but one former Cat says that wouldn’t have affected his decision to leave Kentucky after one year.
“F— no,” De’Aaron Fox told NBC Sports’ James Ham on Tuesday. “What? Man, I’ll tell you this: if I was at Kentucky and we were able to get paid, I still would have left after a year. I still would have left after a year. But I think it’s a great step forward, for sure.”
De’Aaron Fox on whether he would have stayed at Kentucky if he was getting paid as a collegiate athlete. Sorry about the language…. pic.twitter.com/8EunqWCkjG
— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) October 8, 2019
Fox was drafted fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2017 NBA Draft. Endorsement money will go a long way to helping student athletes, but top five draft pick money is life changing. After the clip made the rounds on Twitter, Fox tweeted as much, saying that his comments were in no way a shot at Kentucky.
And if you think it’s a shot at Kentucky… you’re literally an idiot ?????
— De'Aaron Fox (@swipathefox) October 9, 2019
Props for honesty.
By Maggie Davis on ©October 09th, 2019 @ 9:30pm
There’s a new Instagram account sweeping the nation, and it’s… something.
Basically, the account LeRaffe James takes all of LeBron James’ Instagram photos and transforms them into giraffes. How do people come up with stuff like this? Also, how long does this take?!
THAT’S the power of the internet.
If you were wondering, the answer is yes: former Cat and current Laker Anthony Davis has even made a few appearances on the account. How does The Brow look in animal form?
Don’t worry, there’s also a similar Steph Curry account.
View this post on Instagram
Well… What do you think? Completely weird or totally wonderful?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2019 @ 3:30pm
Coming off impressive debuts, former teammates PJ Washington and Tyler Herro will square off in the NBA preseason tonight.
On Sunday, Washington came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points in 20 minutes off 6-7 from the floor, including 3-4 from three-point range. Last night, Tyler Herro also came off the bench to lead his team in scoring with 18 points. You can watch the Hornets vs. the Heat at 7:30 p.m. on NBA League Pass, if you’ve got it.
Before we get into tonight’s schedule, here’s how your former Cats fared last night:
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||107-89 W vs. SAS||14||4-8 (0-0)||8||1||0||2||2||+3||23|
|Tyler Herro (MIA)||107-89 W vs. SAS||18||7-13 (2-5)||3||3||1||1||1||+29||24|
|Keldon Johnson (SAS)||107-89 L to MIA||5||2-2 (0-0)||1||0||0||0||1||+0||4|
|Trey Lyles (SAS)||107-89 L to MIA||DNP-Rest||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||119-104 W vs. DAL||24||7-12 (4-8)||4||1||0||1||3||-1||26|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||119-104 W vs. DAL||2||1-3 (0-0)||0||1||0||0||0||-5||13|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||119-104 W vs. DAL||8||3-8 (0-0)||7||2||1||0||1||+2||24|
|Karl Towns (MIN)||111-106 L to PHX||19||7-13 (3-8)||10||5||3||1||2||+19||19|
|Devin Booker (PHX)||111-106 W vs. MIN||15||4-8 (1-2)||4||5||0||0||5||+5||21|
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||105-94 W vs. POR||10||3-10 (0-2)||1||2||3||0||3||+5||22|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)||105-94 W vs. POR||4||2-7 (0-0)||5||0||0||0||0||-5||11|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||105-94 L to DEN||10||2-8 (1-2)||12||2||0||1||4||-8||17|
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) October 9, 2019
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 9, 2019
Tonight’s schedule (NBA League Pass unless otherwise listed):
- 7:00 PM: Dallas Mavericks vs. Detroit Pistons
- 7:00 PM: Guangzhou Long Lions vs. Washington Wizards (John Wall – injured)
- 7:30 PM: Miami Heat (Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro) vs. Charlotte Hornets (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Malik Monk, PJ Washington)
- 7:30 PM: Orlando Magic (Isaac Humphries) vs. Atlanta Hawks
- 8:00 PM: Utah Jazz vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Eric Bledsoe)
- 8:00 PM: New Orleans Pelicans (Darius Miller – injured) vs. Chicago Bulls, ESPN
The NBA season officially tips off on October 22.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©October 08th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
Move over Zion…
It was only one half of preseason basketball, so that means it’s time to overreact: Let’s go ahead and name Tyler Herro the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.
Against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night during the Miami Heat’s first preseason game, Herro had the entire Internet bowing at his feet.
Here’s what I’m talking about…
— NBA (@NBA) October 9, 2019
Herro block time. pic.twitter.com/YLlWVkasZ7
— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) October 9, 2019
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) October 9, 2019
Herro 5/5. On pace to be best scorer ever. pic.twitter.com/FV7dzbYpIe
— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) October 9, 2019
In the first half, Herro posted 14 points on 6-8 shooting (2-3 from three) to go along with a steal and a block in 12 minutes. Boy Wonder was heating up the court like a five-year veteran.
Tyler Herro continuing his ascension to early Rookie of Year pressure on Zion.
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) October 9, 2019
The Tyler Herro Jersey Retirement ceremony is Monday.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 9, 2019
Herro just did something no one last year could do with any consistency
— Miami Heat Beat (@miaheatbeat) October 9, 2019
Cancel the regular season. Herro has already won all the awards.
But seriously, watching this has me too excited to watch Herro ball for the next 15 years.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©October 08th, 2019 @ 7:30pm
With the 2010s nearing the end of its run, many publications have begun to reflect on what has been a great decade for sports, so you know that Kentucky basketball would find themselves smushed somewhere into the conversation.
Over at Sports Illustrated, the media outlet had various members of its team vote on an All-Decade team for college basketball seasons running from 2010-19. Naturally, Anthony Davis found his way onto the list, and actually headlined the First Team.
When we look back on the last decade in college hoops, these five players were a cut above the rest https://t.co/rjAiQDbU1P
— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) October 7, 2019
Joining Davis on the First Team are Zion Williamson (Duke), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma), Kemba Walker (UConn), and Doug McDermott (Creighton).
Davis had a historic season in 2011-12 on several levels; An NCAA Championship, National Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, 38 wins, and the most blocks in the country. The dude even won an Olympic gold medal. It literally doesn’t get any more impressive than that.
As the star player for that famous Wildcat squad, SI also recognized the 2011-12 Kentucky team as the best of the entire decade, which featured a few future NBA players.
The best of the best: Ranking all 10 college hoops national champions since 2010 https://t.co/P7uzvakLpc
— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) October 8, 2019
In my completely unbiased opinion, there hasn’t been a more complete college basketball team in my lifetime.
Davis posted averages of 14.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks per game while shooting over 62 percent from the field. His scoring numbers weren’t eye-popping by any means, but he was without-a-doubt the most influential player in all of college basketball. His presence on the court alone changed the entire strategy of the opposing team on both sides of the court. He was a truly unique basketball specimen – one of the first actual NBA “unicorns”. It has surprised absolutely zero people that Davis has had such a successful career in the NBA despite being only 26 years old.
A lot of people are going to be shocked to learn just how good Davis is once he starts his first season as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, but the reality is he’s always been a future Hall-of-Famer. He still shined in New Orleans as a member of the Pelicans, but now his abilities are going to be put on the highest stage. The bright lights of LA will only amplify his talents.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©October 08th, 2019 @ 6:30pm
The NBA’s regular season doesn’t officially begin until Oct. 22, but there is plenty of preseason action happening on Tuesday night to hopefully appease your basketball hunger – and plenty of former Kentucky Wildcats will take the court.
Before we get into which members of the BBNBA will be in action, it’s important (to me) that I note that preseason in the NBA shouldn’t be viewed as an accurate predictor of how well these guys are going to play once the season gets rolling. 82 regular season games allow for ups-and-downs of all kinds and every player goes through ruts and spurts of brilliance. These games are merely a chance for the organizations to try and learn more about who they have on the court while giving players on the backend of the rotation some minutes to prove themselves. That being said, preseason basketball isn’t useless by any means – just don’t pay too close attention to the box scores. Especially for the trio of rookies that once represented Kentucky, this is a time for them to get a feel for the NBA’s physicality. A good showing in the preseason can mean everything or nothing, the same way a poor showing can mean the exact same thing. Now let’s get into it.
7:30 (NBA League Pass): Miami Heat (Herro, Adebayo) @ San Antonio Spurs (Johnson, Lyles)
If you haven’t been paying attention to the hype surrounding Tyler Herro and his much-anticipated rookie season for the Miami Heat, I would start now. Herro and the Heat will take on his former blue-and-white teammate Keldon Johnson and the San Antonio Spurs in a game that will be unfortunately only be streamed on NBA’s League Pass.
This will be the second preseason game for Johnson, who registered seven points (on 2-14 shooting *yikes*) and two rebounds in 22 minutes of action against the Orlando Magic on Oct. 5. As for Herro and the Heat, they’ll be playing the first of five preseason games after holding an open-scrimmage on Sunday. Herro has been hyped up rather heavily by the folks down in Miami and there are already some expectations that he could come in and be a rotational piece from the jump.
Look for Johnson to have a bounce-back game after a poor shooting performance and expect to see multiple Twitter videos of Herro if he does anything even remotely interesting.
8:00 (ESPN): Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder (Gilgeous-Alexander, Diallo, Noel)
In what will be the game of the night (and the only one broadcasted on national television), second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will make his debut for the Oklahoma City Thunder alongside the recent addition of Hall-of-Fame point guard Chris Paul.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is special ?
(IG: allthingsshai) pic.twitter.com/cl9fgFepYi
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 7, 2019
I have some (potentially dangerous) expectations for SGA this season as a sophomore guard in OKC. He shined as the lead guard for the Los Angeles Clippers last season, helping aid the team to a playoff berth despite having no true star player. He showed an endless amount of flashes as a rookie and the only reason the Clips parted ways with him was so they could acquire Paul George and Kawhi Leonard – and even then the franchise still didn’t want to get rid of him. He has all the makings of a future All-Star and learning under the “Point God” should expedite that process.
I would still put money on Paul being traded at some point of the season, probably to a team with championship aspirations (or at least hopes of a deep playoff run) such as the Heat or Denver Nuggets, but for now, he’ll run the show with SGA filling in as the secondary ball handler. A matchup against the Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks should make for a fun Tuesday night of preseason hoops.
10:00: Minnesota Timberwolves (Towns) @ Phoenix Suns (Booker)
Finally, we’ll end the evening in Phoenix, where Devin Booker and the Suns will play host to Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Both teams will open up its preseason run with two superstars heading into the 2019-20 season with high expectations on their young shoulders. For Towns and the Wolves, this is a reset year of sorts. No Jimmy Butler drama. No more Tom Thibodeau. Minnesota had a full offseason without those two and head into the year looking for some consistency. I wouldn’t say there are realistic playoff hopes for this team (or the Suns, for that matter), mainly due to an unfairly stacked Western Conference, but Towns is entering a “make-or-break” sort of year.
We know that he’s one of the most dominant big men in the entire world, and you could argue he’s already the most complete big on the offensive side of the court. I have a bet going with one of my friends that Towns joins the elite class of players to record a 50/40/90 season (field goal percentage/three-point percentage/free-throw percentage) and I still believe he can hit that. But he’s going to burden most of the scoring for a Minny team that lacks high-level scorers, which could hurt his percentages as he goes on throughout the year. Even still, KAT posted 51.8/40.0/83.6 shooting splits in 2018-19, so I wouldn’t say it’s too far-fetched that he bumps up that free-throw percentage closer to 90 percent. With all this being said, it’s Towns’ defense that everyone is going to be paying attention to (for, like, the third year in a row).
Karl-Anthony Towns gave his close friend and college teammate Devin Booker glowing scouting report on two of his former teammates who are two of Booker's new #Suns teammates.
Ricky Rubio and Dario Saric. pic.twitter.com/8ayFuxWFkn
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) October 8, 2019
As for Booker, he’s going to be put under the spotlight once again. The Suns will finally have a competent(ish) team this season with Ricky Rubio running the point and Dario Saric (both former Wolves players) now in the fold along with Deandre Ayton entering his second season. But as I said, this team won’t be expected to make the playoffs. Booker and Towns will get some good minutes in the first half, but will likely take it easy for the most part. Good luck finding this game on the Internet, as well.
*UPDATE* I’m a fool and didn’t post the late game on ESPN, thank you to the comment section.
10:30 (ESPN): Denver Nuggets (Murray, Vanderbilt) @ Portland Trail Blazers (Labissiere)
The ACTUAL final game tonight will be broadcast on ESPN with Skal Labissiere making his Portland Trail Blazers debut. He’ll be the backup for Hassan Whiteside, who was traded from the Miami Heat over the summer. He’ll battle against two former ‘Cats, Jamal Murray and Jarred Vanderbilt. Murray is viewed as the future co-star alongside All-Star Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets’ potential postseason success hinges on Murray’s ability to take another leap. If he can do so, Denver has a legitimate chance to challenge the two powerhouse teams out in Los Angeles (along with every other team in the West). Labissiere and Vando should get some nice run in the second half if you can manage to stay up that long.
It’s almost that time of year for non-stop basketball, so you might as well go ahead and get a preview of what should be an amazing NBA season.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©October 08th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
We already know that former Kentucky forward Anthony Davis had one of the single-greatest college basketball seasons of all time during his 2011-12 campaign in Lexington. His status as an NCAA champion, NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, consensus national player of the year, consensus first-team All-American, NABC Defensive Player of the Year, USBWA National Freshman of the Year, SEC Player of the Year, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft proves that.
We also know that Davis is one of the best players in the entire NBA. His status as a 6x NBA All-Star (2014–2019), NBA All-Star Game MVP (2017), 3x All-NBA First Team (2015, 2017, 2018), NBA All-Defensive First Team (2018), 2x NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2015, 2017), 3x NBA blocks leader (2014, 2015, 2018), and NBA All-Rookie First Team (2013) proves that, as well.
But could he actually be one of the most talented players to ever pick up a basketball?
Superstar agent Rich Paul certainly seems to think so.
“He’s just as talented as anyone who’s ever played this game,” Paul said of his client, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “6-11, makes 3s, blocks shots. I think he’s one of the better passing big men in our game. In my opinion, this is what makes him different from Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. Like, if you put Anthony Davis on that Bucks team last year, they’d be playing in the Finals. He knows how to make guys better. That’s not a knock to Giannis, but that’s just what [I think].”
The quote comes from a story detailing Davis’ trade request from the New Orleans Pelicans last year and the flurry of interest across the league that ultimately landed him in Los Angeles to play with LeBron James and the Lakers.
And now that he is in Los Angeles, Davis said his goal is to take his production to a whole new level, even considering the added pressure of being one of new faces of arguably the most prestigious franchise in NBA history.
“I think a lot of stuff that I did in New Orleans, people saw and heard about. But then again, people said, ‘Well, it was New Orleans.’ I think the big question is, ‘All right, let’s see what he can do on a big stage. Obviously the playoffs are the playoffs, but let’s see what he does on 35 [national] TV games now,” Davis said. “Nobody was really waking up [for a game] in New Orleans. Every game now is like, ‘All right, if we beat the Lakers [we accomplished something].’ [With the Pelicans] we could lose games and people were like, ‘OK, well, no one expected them to win this game,’ or whatever. Now every night you have to show up. If not, the next day here comes your name through the tabloids.”
Last season with the Pelicans, Davis averaged 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 1.6 steals per contest, proving his worth as a consensus top-five player in the league. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, immediately after Davis’ trade to the Lakers was executed, LeBron James “promptly held conversations with higher-ups in the organization and expressed his views on why it’s imperative that Davis becomes the focal point of the team’s offensive identity.”
James has confidence in the former Wildcat to take over the team. But will he actually be able to prove his status as one of the most talented basketball players of all time?
By Jack Pilgrim on ©October 08th, 2019 @ 3:30pm
Former Kentucky center Isaac Humphries is getting an opportunity in the NBA, but he got attention for all the wrong reasons on Monday evening.
Suiting up for the Orlando Magic, the 7-foot-0 big man went up to contest a dunk attempt from Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons.
Needless to say, it did not work out for him.
Mad respect for jumping, but also RIP Isaac Humphries ??pic.twitter.com/o3aEsvyoYS
— Olgun Uluc (@OlgunUluc) October 8, 2019
Props to Humphries for hanging in there and trying to make a play, but sheesh… That’s rough.
In five minutes of action, the former Wildcat missed his lone field goal attempt – a 3-pointer – and grabbed two rebounds in Orlando’s 115-91 victory.
Humphries signed with the Magic on an Exhibit 10 deal back in July, which is a one-year minimum deal that holds a training camp guarantee. With this, the former Wildcat can either have his deal converted to a two-way contact at the end of camp, or he will be waived with the opportunity to sign a $50,000 deal with the team’s G-League affiliate.
If not, Humphries will have the opportunity to play professionally overseas.
Originally suiting up for the Los Angeles Clippers during the NBA Summer League this summer, the former Kentucky center averaged 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.0 assist per contest.
He also played with the Atlanta Hawks on a 10-day contact late last season, where he averaged 3.0 points and 2.2 rebounds in five games.
In his final season at Kentucky in 2016-17, Humphries averaged 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds off the bench, including a breakout 12-point, five-rebound performance against North Carolina in the Elite Eight.
Best of luck to Humphries as he continues his professional basketball journey.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©October 06th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
Kentucky basketball held its sixth annual Pro Day on Sunday, but it was a former Wildcat that was trending after an NBA preseason game.
Former Wildcat guard James Young, who plays for Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Premier League, went off for 31 points in an exhibition matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Young shot 9-20 from the field, including 4-6 from deep while converting on all nine of his free throw attempts. The 6-foot-6 guard also added six rebounds to his stat line, but his team was blown out by the superior NBA squad, falling 123-88 in Memphis.
The 24-year old signed with Maccabi Haifa back in early August after playing in and out of the G League over the last couple of seasons. Young is teammates with a couple of former NBA players; Brandon Rush and Norris Cole.
Young was selected by the Boston Celtics with the No. 17 overall pick back in the 2014 NBA Draft, but he has yet to carve out a consistent role in the Association. Hopefully, this performance will open up the eyes of some pro scouts. For now, he’ll spend the season in Israel.
Young and Maccabi Haifa will play another preseason game later this week, going up against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 10 p.m. EST.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©October 06th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
Former Kentucky guard Brandon Knight hasn’t been the same since a string of leg/knee injuries beginning in 2015 hampered his on-court ability.
After going through his first healthy offseason in roughly two-to-three years, the Cleveland Cavaliers veteran is finally feeling like his old self and the players and coaching staff are taking notice. He’s been a standout at Cavs’ forward Kevin Love’s pre-camp workouts in New York.
In an interview with Chris Fedor of cleveland.com, Knight says that he finally feels comfortable for the first time in over two years.
“I just try to be myself. I think I stood out just because people haven’t seen me, like the actual me, in over two years,” Knight told cleveland.com. “I was really just myself and I think I shot the ball well. I think that’s one of my strengths. I’ve been working on my body a lot, being quick, being explosive. From what guys saw at the end of the year I think that’s what guys probably thought they would see coming into the year.”
Knight spent most of last season on the Houston Rockets, but knee soreness limited him to only 12 games. He was traded to Cleveland in February, where he appeared in 27 games for the Cavs, making the starting lineup for the final 26.
In those games, Knight averaged 8.5 points and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from three alongside rookie guard Collin Sexton.
Heading into the 2019-20 season, the Cavs have a loaded backcourt after drafting Vanderbilt product Darius Garland with the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Knight will join Sexton, Garland, Jordan Clarkson, Matthew Dellavedova, and rookie Kevin Porter Jr as the guards for this year’s Cavaliers squad.
Knight has finally started to look like the player that was averaging nearly 20 points per game alongside Eric Bledsoe when the two played for the Phoenix Suns back in 2014-15. Not having to deal with constant rehab throughout the summer has allowed him time to work on his game and grow on the court.
“I feel like I’m there. Or even a little bit better,” Knight continued, according to cleveland.com. “A little bit smarter, my pace is a little bit better, so I feel good. It’s still early. Just trying to maintain that throughout the season and just trying to stay on top of doing the right things for my body.”
In the same article by Fedor, he reports that Knight’s minutes restriction from last season might be lifted.
Knight is still only 27 years old; on the cusp of entering his “prime” years in the NBA. If there were ever a time for him to hit his stride, it would be now. While the Cavaliers are expected to sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings this year, it means Knight will have plenty of minutes to experiment with and work his way back into form. But it also means Knight could be used as a potential trade chip, especially if he plays well through the first few months of the season. The Cavaliers have been in the business of acquiring as many assets as possible over the last year-plus and will likely continue that into the future.
The Cavaliers new head coach, John Beilein, formerly the coach of the Michigan Wolverines, has installed an offense that Knight said mirrors the sets he ran during his impressive season under John Calipari at Kentucky. That version of Knight was arguably one of the best point guards Lexington has seen in decades. Eight years later, we might finally get a glimpse into the actualized version of the player that was once drafted as the eighth overall pick in the NBA Draft.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©October 06th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
Over at The Undefeated, Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox has been keeping a running diary of his trip to India, where the Kings went head-to-head against the Indiana Pacers in what were the first NBA games to ever be played in the country of 1.3 billion people.
During the second game of the back-to-back, Fox heard chants of “MVP” from the crowd of nearly 5,000 fans while shooting free throws. The former Wildcat detailed that experience in his fifth entry of the ESPN diary.
“I heard the fans chanting, ‘MVP, MVP,’ when I was shooting free throws,” Fox wrote. “I appreciate the chants, but I got a lot of work to do to get there. It is funny that I heard MVP chants for the first time in India.”
Fox posted 10 points and six assists during the Kings’ second preseason game on Saturday, although he shot poorly from the field, going 1-6. This came one day after the point guard went for 16 points, eight assists, and three rebounds during an overtime loss on Friday.
The Kings will head back to the states with two losses under its belt, but Fox’s performance was more about the impact he hopes to have on basketball around the globe and the fans in India.
“To the fans, thank you,” Fox continued. “We hope we put on a performance. It’s literally the highest level of basketball in the world, so I just hope that they enjoyed this and we left them with a great first impression. And for those that probably never touched a basketball before, especially the kids, I hope we were able to make it fun enough so that they’d want to play it themselves.”
Go ahead and check out the entire journal from Fox, who collaborated with ESPN’s Marc J. Spears. It’s packed with so many interesting details about Fox’s journey to the other side of the world and the cultural differences he experienced.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) October 6, 2019
Fox talks about his favorite part of the trip (visiting the Taj Mahal) and the team’s “Bollywood Party” hosted by team owner and native of India, Vivek Ranadive. Fox was also sporting a custom-made Indian outfit along with the rest of his teammates for the party.
There's no party like a Mumbai party! ?? pic.twitter.com/QasQEOlyOt
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) October 5, 2019
(Shoutout to Wenyen Gabriel)
Fox might be a few years away from making a legitimate run at being named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, but the recognition is a cool aspect to what will go down as a ground-breaking movement for the league as they push to market basketball in the South Asian country.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©October 05th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Looking for something to watch this weekend with the Kentucky football team on its bye week?
How about some former Wildcats on the hardwood?
This weekend marks the start of the NBA preseason, where Kentucky’s abundance of stars will see live game action for the very first time this season.
The Houston Rockets (no BBNBA members) technically got things rolling last week, but several other teams made their preseason debuts starting on Friday afternoon.
The Sacramento Kings took on the Indiana Pacers on Friday, where De’Aaron Fox took the floor, finishing the day with 16 points (6-15 shooting), three rebounds, eight assists, and a steal. Wenyen Gabriel and Tyler Ulis are also on the roster, but neither played due to injury.
— NBAballislife (@NEWSatNBA) October 4, 2019
Today, the Kings and the Pacers played once again, with Fox finishing with 10 points (1-5 shooting, 8-10 FT), two rebounds, six assists, and two steals in the 130-106 loss. Gabriel also made his debut, finishing the day with six points (1-5 shooting, 3-4 FT), four rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block. Ulis sat out once again with a right groin strain.
This evening, the Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Golden State Warriors at 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT. Former Kentucky stars Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo will take the floor for the Lakers (DeMarcus Cousins will miss the year with a torn ACL), while Andrew Harrison is expected to suit up for the Warriors (Willie Cauley-Stein is expected to miss all of October due to a foot sprain).
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 4, 2019
And then at 8:30 p.m. ET, the Orlando Magic (Isaac Humphries) will take on the San Antonio Spurs (Keldon Johnson, Trey Lyles).
Tomorrow, the Charlotte Hornets (PJ Washington, Malik Monk, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) will take on the Boston Celtics at 6:00 p.m. ET. Then, the Los Angeles Clippers (Patrick Patterson) will take on the Shanghai Sharks at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBA TV to close out the weekend.
Starting on Monday, all hell will break loose on preseason NBA hoops, with at least five games being played every day through Friday.
The regular season will begin on October 22, with the New Orleans Pelicans set to take on the Toronto Raptors, followed by the Lakers taking on the Clippers.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©October 04th, 2019 @ 9:30pm
It’s no secret that former Kentucky Wildcat and current member of the Milwaukee Bucks, Eric Bledsoe, struggled mightily in last season’s playoffs.
In back-to-back postseasons, Bledsoe has looked like a shell of his regular-season self and both years have resulted in early exits from the playoffs. The Bucks made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2018-19 season before falling to the eventual champion Toronto Raptors in six games, but Bledsoe was hardly efficient.
The First Team All-Defense performer fizzled out when his team needed him the most, shooting 41.1 percent from the field and a putrid 23.6 percent from three during the Bucks playoff run this past spring. There were more than a few times throughout the three series in which Bledsoe couldn’t stay on the court.
Following the birth of his third son on Sunday night, Bledsoe spoke to the media for the first time this season, discussing what changes he’s made over the offseason. But he’s not focusing on his jump shot or dribble moves, rather his mental approach to the game.
While he is surely working on those aspects of his game, he knows that he can’t let one bad play affect the rest of his performance.
“My focus, it was pretty much just mental,” Bledsoe said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in regards to what he prioritized his attention to this offseason. “That’s pretty much it because we won 60 games, man. All of us went through stretches last year where we didn’t play how we wanted but we grinded it out, we found ways to win games. That’s what I think this group is special at. Even though we’re not making shots, we’ve got other things that we can do that can help this team grow.”
Bledsoe received a hefty pay raise in March, signing a four-year, $70 million extension to stay in Milwaukee for the foreseeable future. The Bucks sent away starting shooting guard Malcolm Brogdon via a sign-and-trade deal with the Indiana Pacers over the summer, adding that much more pressure on Bledsoe to prove that he’s worth his new deal. It was also a sign of trust from the front office that they believe in his ability to help drive this team to an NBA Finals appearance.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 4, 2019
This season, the Bucks aren’t going to sneak up on anyone. They have the reigning-MVP in Giannis Anteotkounmpo. They’re coming off a 60-win season, the franchise’s highest total since 1981. They’ll be favorites to win the East once again, and Bledsoe knows the team is going to have a target on its back.
“That’s why I pretty much focused on mental [this summer],” Bledsoe said in the same article. “moving on to the next play.”
Throughout the course of an 82-game season, it’s easy to get into a flow; into a consistent rhythm. Even if you go through a bad stretch of games, there are still more that lie ahead. The pressure of winning isn’t as relevant as it is once the postseason begins. It’s easy to have fun when you’re winning and playing well. It’s not as much fun when you’re slogging through a slump and being limited to the bench. Now he’s just focusing on moving on to the next play.
Expectations in Milwaukee are going to be higher than they’ve been in decades. A run to the NBA Finals is more than attainable. In fact, they’ll likely kick off the season as the favorites to do so out of the East. They’re going to need every piece of the puzzle to fit perfectly and that includes Bledsoe hitting his stride all the way into June.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©October 04th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
The NBA preseason matchup between the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers was historic on many levels.
Mainly, it was the first-ever NBA game to be held in India as the league has made significant strides over the past few years to grow into a market that hosts over 1.3 billion people. Vivek Ranadive, the Kings owner and the first person of Indian descent to own an NBA team, has been pushing for more involvement in his homeland after buying the team back in 2013. It was a landmark day for the 61-year old, who has been working with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as they try to create a market for basketball fans in the South-Asian country.
Inside an arena in Mumbai that holds only 4,500 people, the Kings and Pacers played a game filled with regular season excitement. While Indiana came out victorious in a thrilling 132-131 overtime win over Sacramento, De’Aaron Fox showcased the freshest version of himself.
Fox played 33 minutes for the Kings, who jumped out to a quick 10-point lead after one quarter and at one point ballooned the lead to 21 in the first half. He added 16 points, three rebounds, eight assists, and four turnovers while shooting 6-15 from the field.
— NBA (@NBA) October 4, 2019
De'Aaron Fox (11 PTS) & Buddy Hield (10 PTS) pushed the @SacramentoKings to a 72-59 halftime lead!
— NBA (@NBA) October 4, 2019
— NBA KICKS (@NBAKicks) October 4, 2019
A comeback by the Pacers in the third quarter sparked up the intensity. Pacers forward T.J. Warren drilled a corner three with under eight seconds left to tie the game at 118, ultimately sending it to overtime. Kings guard Buddy Hield missed a three with under two seconds left in extra time that would have sent the game into a second overtime.
The latest addition to the Kings, former Wildcat Tyler Ulis, did not play as he’s been dinged up with a right groin strain. Wenyen Gabriel did not make an appearance for the Kings, either, but is listed as healthy.
If you missed Friday’s game, don’t fret. The two teams will face each other once again on Saturday in the same gym. The game is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. EST on NBATV.
The NBA season tips off on Oct. 22 and that is way too far away for my liking.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 30th, 2019 @ 4:25pm
From Willie Cauley-Stein’s foot sprain to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s uncertainty over his future in Charlotte, the updates we’ve shared from NBA Media Day have been a little depressing so far, so let’s lighten things up. Here are some more sights and sounds from today’s media opportunities, starting with Tyler Herro attempting to sing Enrique Iglesias’ “I can be your hero, baby”:
You took our breath away, @raf_tyler. ?
[SOUND ON] ? pic.twitter.com/rnhGOmbdb0
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) September 30, 2019
His dancing isn’t much better:
— Overtime (@overtime) September 30, 2019
Jimmy Butler raved about Herro on Friday and did so again today, telling NBA TV about the former Cat’s renowned work ethic:
"You tell him what time to be in the gym, he'll be in there two hours earlier." ?
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 30, 2019
Up in Minnesota, Karl Towns showed off a new hairstyle and talked about his passing skills:
.@KarlTowns, the facilitator?
“Passing is something that’s been big in my game forever. … In high school that’s what I was known for — passing.” pic.twitter.com/RTjDNBlH0q
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) September 30, 2019
Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas raved about Karl’s dedication to the team:
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) September 30, 2019
Julius Randle also attempted a dance with two young Knicks fans:
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) September 30, 2019
While Kevin Knox showed off some muscle he’s added since last season:
“This summer I hit the weight room really hard. That was the goal, to get bigger, to get stronger.”
— Maggio ? (@kylemaggio) September 30, 2019
Malik Monk also focused on his body during the offseason, telling reporters that his weight is up to 205 lbs. from 182 lbs. at the end of last season.
— Hornet Maven, from S.I. (@HornetsSI) September 30, 2019
Monk’s teammate PJ Washington said his foot is finally back to normal and he’s open to starting his pro career with the Greensboro Swarm, Charlotte’s G-League affiliate, if that’s what his coaches decide:
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) September 30, 2019
Be sure to check out all of our BBNBA updates by clicking the Cats in the NBA tab at the top of the page.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 30th, 2019 @ 3:30pm
It’s Media Day for several NBA teams today, including the Charlotte Hornets. While scrolling through tweets from beat writers, this quote from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist caught my eye.
“I don’t know,” MKG said when asked how he fits into the Hornets’ youth movement, per Rick Bonnell. When asked how much communication he’s received from the team on his role going forward, MKG declined to comment.
MKG’s averages of 6.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 18.4 minutes per game last season are the lowest of his career since being drafted No. 2 by the Hornets in 2012. Over the summer, he underwent groin surgery and opted into the final year of his contract, which will pay him $13 million this season. At Media Day, he told reporters that kind of financial security was too good to pass up.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist said he is 100 percent coming into the season. When asked why he picked up the player option on his contract, he said family. He thought about opting out. but his two kids played a big role. Also said he loves Michael Jordan.
— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) September 30, 2019
MKG’s pro career has been underwhelming to say the least. Here’s hoping for a healthy and productive season so he can either establish himself in Charlotte or, more likely, find a better fit elsewhere.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 30th, 2019 @ 1:50pm
Some unfortunate news on one of our favorite former Cats. Willie Cauley-Stein suffered a left mid-foot sprain in a workout last week and will be miss all of training camp. Golden State General Manager Bob Myers shared the news at the start of Warriors Media Day today and said the team will give another update on Willie’s injury at the end of October.
“I know he was ready to go,” Myers said, via Connor Letourneau. “Hopefully he’ll be able to watch and pick up on some things without participating, stay as in shape as he possibly can, but yeah, it’s one of those things you just wish didn’t happen.”
Willie signed a $4.4 million two-year contract with the Warriors in July. If you follow him on social media, you’ve probably seen his offseason workout videos:
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Willie Trill Cauley-Stein (@pr00fessortrill) on
Get well soon, Willie.
UPDATE: Willie made an appearance at Media Day in a walking boot and crutches.
Willie Cauley Stein just came through media on crutches. pic.twitter.com/Ypu8s0w8Ek
— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) September 30, 2019
Enes Kanter has had quite a busy summer. The former Cat spent his offseason traveling across America to host free basketball camps for children. The “tour” made stops in 25 different states and affected thousands of kids.
Kanter said his mission was to visit more towns than the “normal” NBA stops in places like New York, Los Angeles and Miami; his tour also made stops in places like Evergreen, Alabama, Anchorage, Alaska, Nampa, Idaho and Fargo, North Dakota.
“We wanted to go to places the NBA has never stepped on before,” he said. “America gave me so much. America gave me a home. I wanted to give back to not just the city I play for, I wanted to give back to all of America.”
Wow!! We did it ?
30 states & 50 FREE basketball camps
Put a smile on kids face is priceless. This is bigger than basketball.
We have so much ability to go out there and inspire millions
Let’s NOT waste our time
Thank you America
Giving back to you is always special
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) September 29, 2019
Kanter wrapped up his summer Saturday with lucky stop No. 50 in Boston, his new city. Nearly 100 kids, ages 8-18, attended Kanter’s free three-hour camp in a local athletic center, which featured shooting drills, five-on-five competition and a question-and-answer session with the NBA player.
For his final camp, Kanter was even joined by a special guest – Tacko Fall. The big man and fellow Celtic had no problem dunking all over his teammate.
Tacko Fall just dunked all over Enes Kanter. pic.twitter.com/rVOoQEchXv
— Nicole Yang (@nicolecyang) September 28, 2019
I’m sure the campers loved that. According to Kanter, that’s what this entire summer was about.
“I don’t want and I don’t need their money,” he said. “I just want them to come and have fun. To put a smile on their faces, that’s what we try to do.”