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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

(Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Ringer checks in on UK’s G-League/overseas players

(Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kentucky’s players in the NBA obviously dominate the spotlight on this website, but The Ringer’s Paolo Uggetti has a really great profile on the guys who had to take a different path in the pros. Uggetti caught up with Marquis Teague, Archie Goodwin, Daniel Orton, Aaron Harrison, Terrence Jones, Derek Willis, and Kyle Wiltjer, who are all playing in either the G-League or overseas, and asked them about their time at Kentucky and how much they miss it. (Spoiler: A lot.)

Even though Wiltjer, who is playing in Greece, transferred to Gonzaga, he still calls his time in Lexington “the best two years of [his] life,” as does Daniel Orton, who left school immediately after his freshman season, damaging Kentucky’s APR rating and his relationship with John Calipari.

“It was the best time of my life,” Orton says. “When you really look back, it’s like, damn. That was something really special there.”

Do yourself a favor and go check out the article in full. Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.

[The Ringer]

BBNBA: De’Aaron Fox Records Second Double-Double of Career

BBNBA: De’Aaron Fox Records Second Double-Double of Career

(Hector Amezcua The Sacramento Bee)


Only four games were in action on a slow Monday night in the NBA, but still some solid performances from former Wildcats. De’Aaron Fox dropped in 11 points and 10 assists for his third career double-double while teammate Willie Cauley-Stein added nine points and seven rebounds. The third member of the Kentucky Kings, Skal Labissiere, missed his second consecutive game after suffering a bruised left hip. Labissiere injured his hip during Friday’s game against the Orlando Magic when he landed hard on the court after trying to secure a lob pass near the rim. He is expected to return soon.

Eric Bledsoe had himself an overall night, scoring 14 points while adding six rebounds and five assists. Bledsoe and the Milwaukee Bucks are fighting for playoff positioning at this point in the season. They’ll easily make the playoffs but are a two-game losing streak from falling to eighth place in the East and a two-game winning streak from potentially jumping into fifth place. The East isn’t nearly as sticky as the West, but seeds three through eight are all going to be a battle.

Check out the rest of the stats below.


PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)121-103 W @ MEM146-13 (2-4)65203+724
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)101-106 L @ OKC114-12 (1-3)110112-333
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)101-106 L @ OKC94-7 (0-0)70112+428
Bam Adebayo (MIA)99-115 L @ POR41-10 (0-1)93113-824
Patrick Patterson (OKC)106-101 W vs. SAC21-5 (0-4)70100-520
Andrew Harrison (MEM)103-121 L vs. MILDNP-Wrist----------------
Skal Labissiere (SAC)101-106 L @ OKCDNP-Bruised hip----------------
Dakari Johnson (OKC)106-101 W vs. SACDNP-CD----------------


Tonight in the NBA

7:00: Pacers (Poythress) @ Sixers (Young)

7:00 (NBATV): Timberwolves (Towns) @ Wizards (Meeks)

7:30: Thunder (Patterson, Johnson) @ Hawks

7:30: Raptors @ Nets

7:30: Mavericks (Noel) @ Knicks (Kanter)

8:00: Clippers @ Bulls

8:00: Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk) @ Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Rondo, Liggins)

8:30: Magic @ Spurs

9:00: Pistons @ Jazz

10:00: Cavaliers @ Suns (Booker, Ulis)

10:30 (NBATV): Nuggets (Murray, Lyles) @ Lakers (Randle)

Player to watch

Tonight’s player to watch is Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns and the currently Jimmy Butler-less Timberwolves recently won a huge game over the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Sunday night. Towns scored 31 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the win and he’ll look to put up similar numbers against the Washington Wizards (who are still without John Wall). The Wolves are 3-3 without Butler and Towns has been doing everything in his power to keep his team afloat until his All-Star teammate returns. The Wizards are starting to even out after their hot streak without Wall (turns out John Wall is important to the team) and a matchup against another playoff team should make for some great basketball to get everybody ready for the madness that will ultimately consume us all over the next few weeks.

Go Cats and go KAT.


Sports Illustrated: How former Wildcat Dwane Casey went from center of Kentucky probation to elite NBA coach

PHOTO: Getty Images

Back in 1975, Dwane Casey became just the fifth African-American to every play at Kentucky. Just two seasons later in 1978, Casey helped lead the Wildcats to a National Championship.

After going undrafted in 1979, the former Wildcat became an assistant coach under Joe B. Hall for a season before going to Western Kentucky for five years. In 1985, Casey came back to Kentucky as an assistant and head recruiter under Eddie Sutton.

And then the Chris Mills scandal happened in 1988, leading to the basketball program being placed on probation.

Casey was placed on NCAA probation for five seasons, he resigned at Kentucky, and he left the states completely until 1994 to stay out of the local spotlight.

The NCAA later rescinded their ban, saying Casey wasn’t involved in the money package that was “accidentally” opened by Emery Worldwide freight services intended for Chris Mills’ father. Still, though, college basketball programs kept away, as the only program to ever even sniff Casey was Western Kentucky.

Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins broke down the largest scandal in Kentucky basketball history, and how difficult it was for Casey to recover.

He was interviewing for his first head-coaching position in 1989, with the University of New Orleans, when employees at Emery Worldwide freight services in Los Angeles claimed they discovered $1,000 in a package addressed from Casey to Claud Mills, Chris’s father. After the ensuing investigation, the NCAA placed Kentucky on three years’ probation and handed Casey a five-year show-cause penalty, essentially banning him from college basketball. Kentucky offered him a job in minority affairs, but he still wanted to coach, and there weren’t many places he could do it.

Casey sued Emery for $6.9 million, and after he settled the defamation case in 1990 the NCAA lifted his ban. It turned out Casey had been on the road when the package was sent—recruiting—and the only evidence found in the envelope was a videocassette of a high-school game Mills played. Casey ironed out his record, but not his reputation. “Nobody remembers the settlement and the proof,” he laments. “The perception is set.” When Western Kentucky interviewed him later for a head-coaching vacancy, the school president assured him that the UK case was old news.  Then he sat in front of the committee. First question: “What happened at Kentucky?”

After spending five years coaching in Japan, the Seattle SuperSonics gave him a chance as an assistant coach in the NBA, where he helped lead the team to four division titles over ten years with the team.

The NBA didn’t care. Every July, Casey returned from Japan and coached a mishmash unit in the L.A. summer league, headlined by the Clippers’ Gary Grant and Olden Polynice. He loved it. He didn’t have to recruit. “Dwane had an NBA personality,” recalls George Karl. “Humble with an aggressive mind.” On the summer day in 1994 when Karl interviewed Casey at agent Bret Adams’s office in Columbus, Ohio, the SuperSonics coach wore a T-shirt and shorts; Casey wore a meticulously pressed suit. Karl and Adams were friendly with Sutton, who had resigned from Kentucky at the same time as Casey but rebounded much faster, as head man at Oklahoma State. Sutton lobbied for Casey. Karl had already hired Tim Grgurich, an assistant under Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV, to his Sonics staff. Now he was throwing another life raft to another college castaway. “I have a real nervousness,” Karl says, “about the NCAA stopping good coaches from being good coaches.”

After proving to be one of the top young assistants in the NBA, he finally got his first head coaching gig with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It was a short tenure, getting fired after just a season and a half, but it kickstarted a long and impressive run as a head coach in the league.

After a brief stint on the Mavericks coaching staff, the Toronto Raptors hired Casey in 2011, where he has remained ever since. He brought the team out of a rebuild and into contention in the Eastern Conference. As of now, the Raptors are the No. 1 seed in the East, and will likely remain that way going into the Playoffs. He has groomed two of the NBA’s best guards, DeMar DeRozen and Kyle Lowry, and the team has only lost one game since the All-Star break and two games since the month of February began. The Raptors are the hottest team in basketball, and Casey has been given heavy praise as a result.

In fact, Casey was named coach of  Team LeBron in the All-Star Game back in February, where he gave LeBron James’ 13-year-old-son a recruiting pitch for Kentucky.

“I’ll probably get in trouble for that,” he said, and James howled.

As an African-American head coach in the NBA, he hopes he can set a lasting impact on similar up-and-coming black coaches in both college and the NBA, regardless of the adversities that may come.

It is a job, befriending African-American players and signing them. Some assistants are gone most of the week recruiting and back on game days, exposed to amateur basketball’s underworld, the risks and temptations. All four assistants currently facing federal charges in the FBI’s college hoops probe are African-American. The more common punishment, however, is a pigeonhole.

It takes an iron man to dig out.

“I hope I can stand up and be an example that helps change the narrative,” Casey says. “ ‘He understands the game from a technical standpoint. He can teach the game. He can change an offense. He can put in a zone. He can do more than recruit.’”

The article also dives into Casey’s recruiting designation of top African-American recruits such as Shawn Kemp, his strong roots developed in Kentucky, and the lasting respect he has earned as a head coach in the NBA.

The piece by Lee Jenkins is fascinating and incredibly well-done. Take a look here.

Big Bracket Nation: Website holds a Calipari player tournament

The good people over at The Ringer need your help in deciding John Calipari’s best player.

Big Bracket Nation,” the website is calling it, will determine which of Cal’s best players from UMass, Memphis and Kentucky is actually the best of the bunch. It’s a field of 32 former stars who played under Cal in college, and the bracket is seeded across eight spots in four different regions.

The No. 1 seeds are Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and Karl-Anthony Towns, with Marcus Camby, Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker and Derrick Rose seeded right behind them at No. 2 in each region. The whole thing is pretty self-explanatory, although it’s worth noting that the Harrison twins are lumped together as one player.

You can see the entire bracket here:

To decide which players advance, simply click here to visit The Ringer to place your vote in each match-up.

To me, two notable first-round showdowns are Monk-vs-Fox and Murray-vs-Ulis, and I don’t think anyone who played at UMass or Memphis stands a chance against BBN in this thing.

Jodie Meeks recorded a season-high 23 points in the Washington Wizards 102-129 loss to the Miami Heat. (Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

BBNBA: Jodie Meeks Drops A Season High

Jodie Meeks recorded a season-high 23 points in the Washington Wizards 102-129 loss to the Miami Heat. (Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)


It was a quiet night in the NBA for the Cats, only three players scored at least 10 points while John Wall, Andrew Harrison, Devin Booker, and Nerlens Noel continue to rehab their injuries.

Jodie Meeks was one of the few to crack double-figures, posting a season-high 23 points (3-6 from three) despite a depressing team loss to the Miami Heat. The Washington Wizards have come back down to earth a bit in the absence of John Wall. The Wizards are struggling to keep up with opposing backcourts and the return of Wall to 100 percent is going to be key over the next few weeks if Washington wants to make some noise in the playoffs.

*Jodie Meeks just so happens to drop a season-high the day before Kentucky takes on Tennessee in the SEC Championship, the team he scored 54 points against over nine years ago. Really makes you think, huh?*

Tyler Ulis had himself a solid game while Devin Booker sat out to due to a strained tricep, recording 11 points and 10 assists, his second double-double of the season. Patrick Patterson also chipped in 10 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s much-needed win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Check out the rest of the stats below.


PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Jodie Meeks (WAS)102-129 L @ MIA237-15 (3-6)42001-927
Tyler Ulis (PHX)115-122 L @ CHA115-11 (1-2)110203+1022
Patrick Patterson (OKC)104-94 W vs. SAS104-7 (2-4)42100+1520
Michael-Kidd Gilchrist (CHA)122-115 W vs. PHX84-7 (0-0)52202+2729
Bam Adebayo (MIA)129-102 W vs. WAS63-5 (0-0)81002+1917
Malik Monk (CHA)122-115 W vs. PHX42-5 (0-3)01000-1713
Devin Booker (PHX)115-122 L @ CHADNP-Tricep----------------
Andrew Harrison (MEM)80-114 L @ DALDNP-Wrist----------------
Nerlens Noel (DAL)114-80 W vs. MEMDNP-Thumb----------------
John Wall (WAS)102-129 L @ MIADNP-Knee----------------
Dakari Johnson (OKC)104-94 W vs. SASDNP-CD----------------


Tonight in the NBA

1:00: Raptors @ Knicks (Kanter)

3:30: Bulls @ Hawks

3:30 (ABC): Warriors @ Timberwolves (Towns)

4:00: Jazz @ Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Rondo, Liggins)

5:00: Kings (Cauley-Stein, Labissiere, Fox) @ Nuggets (Murray, Lyles)

7:00: Rockets @ Mavericks (Noel)

7:30: Pacers (Poythress) @ Celtics

7:30: Sixers (Young) @ Nets

9:00 (ESPN): Cavaliers @ Lakers (Randle)

Player to watch

Normally tonight’s player to watch would be Anthony Davis because why wouldn’t it be, but he is currently labeled as questionable after going down with an ankle injury earlier this week that appeared worse than it actually was (which almost ever happens so say a real quick prayer to the basketball gods, please). Instead, tonight’s player to watch will be Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns and the Timberwolves are slipping a bit in the air-tight Western Conference since the injury to Jimmy Butler, where every game is becoming a must win. A matchup against the reigning champs will be a great test and playoff warmup for Minnesota, who is trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Their 13 season playoff drought is the longest active streak in the NBA and tied for second-longest of all-time.

Beat Tennessee.


Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

BBNBA: Booker goes for 30, yet again

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

While the Phoenix Suns may be in full-on tank mode for a great pick in the upcoming draft, Devin Booker is being allowed to just go out and score as much as he wants nearly every night. Booker has now scored 30 or more points in six of the last seven games. The problem with those numbers though, is that the Suns have lost all but one of those games. Booker is now ranked fourth in the NBA in most 30 point games on the year, and the rest of the list is some good company to be included with.

  1. Anthony Davis- 25 in 58 games
  2. LeBron James- 24 in 64 games
  3. Russell Westbrook- 23 in 65 games
  4. Devin Booker- 22 in 52 games

On the season, Booker is now averaging 25.2 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.5 rebounds, while shooting nearly 39% from three and over 87% from the free throw line. If he keeps this improvement up, he will be in the running to be the NBA scoring champ in the next few years.



PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Devin Booker115-87 loss to Thunder3010-22 (4-9)61103-1935
Patrick Patterson115-87 win over Suns00-2 (0-2)51012-121
Dakari Johnson115-87 win over Suns00-0 (0-0)00010+40
Karl-Anthony Towns117-109 loss to Celtics155-12 (0-0)113011-1138
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist125-11 loss to Nets104-8 (0-0)51003-1020
Malik Monk125-11 loss to Nets136-14 (1-6)35012-321
Bam Adebayo108-99 win over 76ers21-5 (0-1)40000+914




  • Chicago Bulls at Detroit Pistons, 7pm ET
  • Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers (Alex Poythress), 7pm ET
  • Houston Rockets at Toronto Raptors, 7:30pm ET
  • Utah Jazz at Memphis Grizzlies (Andrew Harrison), 8pm ET
  • New York Knicks (Enes Kanter) at Milwaukee Bucks (Eric Bledsoe), 8pm ET
  • Washington Wizards (John Wall, Jodie Meeks) at New Orleans Pelicans (Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Darius Miller, Rajon Rondo, DeAndre Liggins), 8pm ET on NBATV
  • Los Angeles Lakers (Julius Randle) at Denver Nuggets (Jamal Murray, Trey Lyles), 9pm ET
  • Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers, 10pm ET
  • Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings (De’Aaron Fox, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere), 10pm ET
  • Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30pm ET on NBATV


Anthony Davis is “pushing LeBron (James) for the crown right now”

Anthony Davis is “pushing LeBron (James) for the crown right now”

Photo: Copyright 2017 NBAE

When former Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins went down with an Achilles injury last month, there wasn’t much hope for the New Orleans Pelicans to make any major run in the NBA Playoffs. In fact, many analysts thought the team could miss out on the Playoffs entirely, which could have led to head coach Alvin Gentry getting fired and Cousins leaving in free agency this summer to play for a “winner.”

Beyond that, star forward Anthony Davis had already expressed slight frustration in the team not taking the steps forward necessary to build a contender, and there was worry Cousins’ injury and impending departure could have led to Davis eventually demanding a trade, kickstarting a complete rebuild for the Pelicans.

Needless to say, the situation was troublesome in the Big Easy.

Instead of letting Cousins’ injury ruin the season, Davis has completely taken over the game of basketball, quickly jumping into the Most Valuable Player race.

Since Cousins has been out, Davis has carried the Pelicans to a 9-0 record, averaging 38 points and 15 rebounds per game, and has dropped 40 or more points five times.

In fact, he’s the first player since Karl Malone to average 35 PPG and 10 RPG in nine straight games.

Not only is Davis placing himself firmly in the MVP race, at least one NBA analyst believes the former Wildcat big man is coming for LeBron James’ crown as the best player on the planet.

With the Pelicans surging, Davis is becoming more and more content in New Orleans, and Cousins apparently likes what he sees, too.

In an interview with Marc Stein of the NY Times, Davis said he’s going to “keep selling the dream” to Cousins, and that Cousins “plans” on being back in New Orleans.

In fact, Cousins is missing his time on the court with his Pelican teammates so much that he asked Davis for his Achilles at halftime last night.

If you haven’t jumped on the Pelican bandwagon yet, you might want to jump on soon.

It’s very likely to be headlined by Davis and Cousins for the next several years.

BBNBA: Davis continues MVP Campaign

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Anthony Davis is continuing his campaign for the league’s MVP award. Last night, he scored 41 points while pulling down 13 boards. Davis has been playing out of his mind since DeMarcus Cousins went down with an injury. Davis left the game with a rib injury in the second quarter, but after a comment from Cousins, (you can see that below), he re-entered the game.

Davis’s performance overshadowed a solid showing from Rajon Rondo. The former Cat scored 13 points, while dishing out 9 assists. The most impressive part of Rondo’s stat-line was 0 turnovers.

In other BBNBA news, Enes Kanter’s double-double wasn’t enough as the Knicks fell to Portland. Especially with the injury to Kristaps Porzingas, Kanter has emerged as one of the Knicks’ more consistent scoring options. This was his 32nd double-double of the season, which is a new career high.

Here are your complete stats from yesterday’s games:

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist128-114 L vs. Phi51-221000-1014
Malik Monk128-114 L vs. Phi93-10 (1-6)22101+616
Bam Adebayo117-113 L vs. Wash (OT)00-120000-14
Jodie Meeks117-113 W vs. Mia (OT)2000000-810
Patrick Patterson122-112 L vs. Hou00-150100-1111
Dakari Johnson122-112 L vs Hou00-00000000+
Jamal Murray118-107 L vs. Dal82-8 (1-4)00010-1224
Trey Lyles118-107 L vs. Dal104-7 (1-3)51003+518
Enes Kanter111-87 L vs. Por186-9113010-1127
Anthony Davis121-116 W vs. LAC4117-31 (4-7)132334+337
Rajon Rondo121-116 W vs. LAC135-10 (3-5)39200+929
Darius Miller121-116 W vs. LAC52-5 (1-3)31020-1625
DeAndre Liggins121-116 W vs. LAC

Anthony Davis’s full stats

DeMarcus to AD ???

Rondo finds AD!


Tonight’s Games

  • Jazz at Pacers (Poythress) 7pm
  • Raptors at Pistons- 8pm (ESPN)
  • Grizzlies (Harrison) at Bulls- 8pm
  • Rockets at Bucks (Bledsoe) 8pm
  • Pelicans (Davis, Rondo, Miller, Liggins) at Kings (Fox, Cauley-Stein, Labissiere) 10pm
  • Cavs at Nuggets (Lyles and Murphy) 10:30pm (ESPN)
  • Magic at Lakers (Randle) 10:30pm

Devin Booker dropped 31 points against the Miami Heat. (Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

BBNBA: Booker Goes for 30, Again

Devin Booker dropped 31 points against the Miami Heat on Monday night. (Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)


It seems that everywhere I turn, another former Kentucky player is decimating the NBA. This time, it’s Devin Booker. Booker scored 31 points Monday night in a losing effort to the Miami Heat, continuing his hot streak despite his team’s deficiencies. Over the last eight games, Booker is averaging 31.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.3 assists on 45.6 percent shooting from the field and 40.5 percent from deep. Now, I’m no expert, but I’d argue that the reason the Suns have only won five games since 2018 began has little to do with the 21-year old.

Unfortunately, Booker’s best friend at Kentucky and current teammate, Tyler Ulis, is trending in the wrong direction. Ever since the Suns traded for Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton (you know, the guy with hair that doubles as an umbrella), Ulis has essentially fallen out of the rotation. He’s been dealing with a back issue over the last couple weeks but appears to be healthy now. Payton is a better overall prospect, but it’s still a shame that Ulis has been glued to the bench considering he’s having a solid second season.

In other news, Julius Randle continues to do Julius Randle things, as he posted 21 points and nine rebounds in a close loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Eric Bledsoe also had an impressive evening, scoring 26 points in a loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Andrew Harrison missed his third straight game due to a wrist injury. He is expected to return in the coming weeks.


PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Devin Booker (PHX)103-125 L @ MIA3112-22 (4-9)25003-1733
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)89-92 L @ IND2610-22 (2-10)34214-934
Julius Randle (LAL)103-108 L vs. POR217-13 (0-0)92203+733
Bam Adebayo (MIA)125-103 W vs. PHX20-0 (0-0)10000-64
Andrew Harrison (MEM)98-100 L @ SASDNP-Wrist----------------
Tyler Ulis (PHX)103-125 L @ MIADNP-CD----------------
Alex Poythress (IND)92-89 W vs. MILDNP-CD----------------


Tonight in the NBA

7:00: Sixers @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk) *For those curious, James Young is in fact signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, however, he’s on a two-way contract, meaning he can be called to play for his G-League team and called up to play for the Sixers whenever they need him. Currently, he’s playing for the G-League affiliate.

7:00: Hawks @ Raptors

7:00: Heat (Adebayo@ Wizards (Meeks)

8:00 (TNT): Rockets @ Thunder (Patterson, Johnson)

8:30: Nuggets (Murray, Lyles) @ Mavericks (Noel)

10:00: Knicks (Kanter) @ Trail Blazers

10:30: Nets @ Warriors

10:30 (TNT): Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Rondo, Liggins) @ Clippers

Player to watch

Tonight’s player to watch is none other than the great Anthony Davis. I shouldn’t even have to explain why anymore. Davis is a monster. He’s destroying everything in his path. A matchup against the Clippers and DeAndre Jordan should be another exciting event in the Davis-for-MVP campaign. If you haven’t seen Davis much this season, stay up late tonight and watch his brilliance with your own eyes.


Yahoo! report alleges Bam Adebayo met agent at The Melting Pot

Yahoo! report alleges Bam Adebayo met agent at The Melting Pot

New details have emerged regarding Bam Adebayo’s alleged encounter(s) with a sports agent while Adebayo was still an amateur, and they include a receipt from everyone’s favorite chain fondue restaurant, The Melting Pot.

In a new report from Yahoo! released overnight, we learn Adebayo is alleged to have had dinner with Stephen Pina, an agent from ASM Sports; and Eric Peartree, the shady figure who once played the role of guardian and mentor in Adebayo’s life, prior to Adebayo’s move to Kentucky. The dinner occurred at The Melting Pot’s Charlottesville, Va. location, following a day at the NBA Players Association’s Top 100 Camp back in the summer before Adebayo’s senior season of high school.

According to the dinner receipt presented in the report, each of the three men had the “summer catch” for $21.99 a plate, one side of the crab snow claws for the table, and one cranberry juice. Their bill came to $89.68, on which they left an $18.00 tip to bring it to $107.68, which is well beneath the NCAA’s “payback” threshold of $200.


Yahoo!’s reporters on the story — Pat Forde (of course), Pete Thamel (of course) and Dan Wetzel — then acknowledge the dinner is “insignificant,” although it is part of a bigger problem for amateurism:

The significance of this meeting is how seemingly insignificant it was. It was dinner; a good dinner, but not some glitzy wining and dining. There is no evidence of bags of cash or new cars or anything you might see in a movie. There is no suggestion Pina was steering Adebayo to any school (he was uncommitted at the time but later attended the University of Kentucky for the 2016-17 season before becoming a first-round draft pick of the Miami Heat). Adebayo never even signed with ASM.

It reaffirms, however, the challenge for college sports leaders who are finally confronting the issue of how a young player’s free-market value runs counter to the NCAA’s standards of amateurism.

Bam Adebayo denies the meeting.

It’s also important to note that Adebayo dropped Eric Peartree from his life prior to college.

All things considered, Kentucky fans shouldn’t have any concerns about this being connected to the school in any way. If anything, we should be impressed that three people got out of The Melting Pot for under $100 before tip.