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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

© Brad Penner

What Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk bought their moms with their first NBA paycheck

© Brad Penner

What did Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk buy their mothers with their first NBA paycheck? Bam Adebayo started with dinner.

“I took my mama to Cheesecake Factory,” said Bam, who was drafted 14th by the Miami Heat. “She didn’t really want anything, so I took her to Cheesecake, took her out to eat.”

Eventually, Bam admitted that he bought his mom a condo as well, in the same building as his in South Beach.

“I bought her a condo,” Bam said. “My mom doesn’t drive, so I couldn’t buy her a car. My mom is moving with me to Miami. We’re going to be in the same building, but she’s going to be on the fifth floor because she doesn’t like heights and I’m going to be on the 46th.”

By now, you know about Bam’s close relationship with his mother, Marilyn Blount. When Bam was seven, his mom moved him from Newark, New Jersey to her home state of North Carolina to give him a better life. The two lived in a trailer as Marilyn worked long hours as a cashier to support her son’s basketball dreams. Bam told reporters today that being able to take care of her now is an “indescribable” feeling.

It’s indescribable. Just being able to tell your mom, ‘You don’t have to work anymore.’ She can just sit back and relax and you can buy her whatever she needs.”

Monk, who also grew up with a single mother, agreed. After being drafted 11th by the Charlotte Hornets, Monk bought his mom a house and a car, the latter of which he surprised her with at work.

“It just pulled up on her at work,” Monk said of the car. “I didn’t get a video or anything but I got a phone call. She was super happy. She said she wasn’t crying, but I heard her.”

That’s what it’s all about. Watch the funny exchange between Monk and Bam around the six-minute mark below:

Patrick Patterson makes camper take off Duke jersey

Patrick Patterson makes camper take off Duke jersey

Patrick Patterson was already well on his way to becoming one of the most beloved Kentucky Wildcats in the program’s history, but this move may have pushed him to the top.

While hosting a basketball camp in his hometown of Huntington, West Virginia yesterday, Patterson — now with the Oklahoma City Thunder — agreed to take a picture with a young fan under one condition: the camper had to take off his Duke jersey. Wisely, the kid obliged:

Hopefully it was enough to convince the young Dukie to switch sides.

Bam Adebayo reported a video clip from UK’s loss to UNC to Twitter

Like many Kentucky fans, Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk have no desire to ever relive Kentucky’s loss to North Carolina in the Elite Eight. The former Cats spoke to reporters while in town for the John Calipari Pro Camp this afternoon, and both said they’ll never watch the game again; in fact, Bam said that when he saw a clip from it — likely of Luke Maye’s game-winning shot — on Twitter recently, he reported it.

“I’m not watching that ever again,” Monk said of the loss.

“Yeah, I feel the same way,” Bam said. “I feel like it just didn’t work out for us. We moved on. I probably won’t ever watch that clip either.”

“It popped up on Twitter the other day and–”

“I reported it!” Bam interrupted. “As an annoyance.”

“I ain’t get back on Twitter all day,” Monk said.

You can report a tweet to Twitter for four reasons: 1) lack of interest; 2) if it’s spam; 3) if it displays a sensitive image; or 4) if it’s abusive or harmful. I’m guessing Bam selected number three or four. Hopefully, Twitter did us all a favor and granted his request.

Thanks to LEX18, you can see the moment for yourself around the 3:40 mark:

The Goonies are back! Willie Cauley-Stein & Kyle Wiltjer take over Hong Kong

The Goonies are back! Willie Cauley-Stein & Kyle Wiltjer take over Hong Kong

When Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer ended up on the same trip to Hong Kong, we hoped there would be a Goonies reunion, and to the Big Blue Nation’s delight, they delivered.

In Hong Kong for the Yao Ming Charity Classic, Willie and Kyle teamed up for another YouTube classic. Watch as the two stroll the streets of Hong Kong to see if anybody recognizes them:

Man, I miss those guys. Relive their old adventures below:

Kyle Wiltjer Introduces You to the Newest Cat…Willie Cauley-Stein
The Goonies return
The Goonies Do the Turtleman
The Goonies go to LA

Today on KSR: Rogers get free football tickets

Today on KSR: Rogers get free football tickets

Today’s fans of the day greet us from high atop the continental divide at Tincup Pass (elevation: 12,154 feet) in the Taylor Park area of Colorado. This group of friends hails from Knottsville, Kentucky and, as you can tell from their shirts and three goggles, love UK and KSR. Well done, guys. We salute you.

We’re trying some new things out on the site over the next month, so instead of a recap of yesterday’s stories, you’re only going to get a preview of what’s happening today in the world of UK sports, along with whatever random thoughts we come up with.

We’ll hear from Matt House and the defense

House is a man of few words, but he and select players will be available starting right about now at the football training center. We’ll have all the news from day four of camp for you in just a bit. In the meantime, please catch up on the latest episode KSR Football Podcast, which should be waiting for you in your podcast queue.

Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk will catch up with reporters

Yesterday, De’Aaron Fox, Dominique Hawkins, and Derek Willis addressed reporters on day one of John Calipari’s Pro Camp, and today, Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk will do the same. Look for quotes to start rolling out around 2:30 p.m. Yesterday, Willis told reporters that due to a mistake in his paperwork, his fiancée Keely was actually the one to get the call from the Detroit Pistons offering him a deal, which may be the most Derek Willis thing ever.

Recruiting tease of the day: Blue Smith

The four-star wide receiver was originally scheduled to announce his college decision on August 27, but last night, he teased Kentucky and Ohio State fans by tweeting that has changed:

Go on…

Marketing move of the Day: Rogers get free tickets

You probably saw the picture last night of the Kroger Field sign minus the K. Being the marketing mastermind he is, DeWayne Peevy decided to have some fun and offer all “Rogers” (first or last name) that show up to the sign before the K goes up free tickets to the home opener vs. Eastern. Get on out there, Rogers!

Video of the Day: Amanda making Ryan get his hair cut

Yesterday, Matt issued a challenge to Ryan to keep growing his hair out until basketball season. Well, Ryan’s wife Amanda wasn’t having it. Check out Amanda putting her foot down by making Ryan get his hair cut. As Ryan says several times in the Periscope, she clearly wears the pants in the family.

Charity 5K of the Day: Jennifer Colon in the West Fight On: Cycle, Run, Walk

Jennifer Colon is a huge Kentucky fan who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer back in December 2016. On September 16, she’s participating in the West Fight On: Cycle, Run, Walk charity 5K and bike race to raise money for the West Cancer Center in Germantown, Tennessee. If you’re interested in hearing more about her story, click here.

Salad Dressing of the Day: “Ranch”

That’s how they say it in the mountains, apparently. I’ll have another fun Kash video for you later today.

Matt Vacation Story of the Day: ?

Yesterday, he told us about getting trapped in someone’s backyard in Luxembourg. What story will he tell today? Tune in an hour from now to find out.

De’Aaron Fox hit a halfcourt shot to win shoes for one lucky camper

De’Aaron Fox hit a halfcourt shot to win shoes for one lucky camper

One lucky camper at John Calipari’s Pro Camp will receive their own pair of special edition Nike basketball shoes, thanks to De’Aaron Fox.

Fox, in Lexington from Sacramento to assist with the camp, knocked down a halfcourt shot on Tuesday to award one camper the new shoes.

And they say he can’t shoot.

Dominique Hawkins: “Everybody tells me I’m an NFL football player”

Dominique Hawkins: “Everybody tells me I’m an NFL football player”

Dominique Hawkins took a break from John Calipari’s basketball camp in Lexington on Tuesday to field questions from the media about his future in basketball… and football.

Hawkins, an All-SEC Tournament honoree in his senior season at Kentucky, is still committed to pursuing a professional basketball career, but last week he tested out his football legs in a workout with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“Basically, I’m just weighing out all my opportunities,” Hawkins said on Tuesday. “I haven’t decided on what I really want to do yet, but I definitely want to continue with basketball so far. Just waiting for what’s going to be the best for my future.”

“I definitely have a passion for basketball and I love it so much,” he continued. “I really don’t want to leave it. I’ve just given football a try to see what I can do. I went to that workout last week and they told me I did pretty well.”

Hawkins hasn’t been on the gridiron since his senior season of high school, and he didn’t even play defense back then. But he has since developed the physical makeup of an All-Pro defensive back, so teams are taking him into consideration, despite his lack of experience.

“Everybody tells me I’m an NFL football player,” he said. “I remember my high school coach, he wanted me to play in college. He was always telling me I’d be a top three round draft pick… But I just had so much love and passion for basketball. It grew up as my first love and I just want to continue and enjoy it.”

It sounds like Hawkins is pretty committed to basketball, which will certainly land him a deal somewhere sooner than later. But wouldn’t it be a cool story if a college basketball player with two Final Four appearances picked up the game of football and made it in the NFL?

Whatever he does, Hawkins’ athleticism and work ethic will make him a lot of money in the near future.

Josh Harrellson awarded $1 million in Leon Smith lawsuit

Josh Harrellson awarded $1 million in Leon Smith lawsuit

A judge ruled in favor of Josh Harrellson to the tune of $1 million in his civil case against Leon Smith, a former director of basketball ops at Kentucky, who Harrellson said got deep in his pockets as his financial advisor after college.

Harrellson alleged that Smith defrauded and stole from him while Smith was supposed to be looking out for his investments and finances early in his pro career.

The Herald-Leader broke the news:

Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine’s Monday ruling on punitive damages — $1,025,308.14 — is six times the amount of compensatory damages — $170,884.69 — she ruled that Smith also must pay Harrellson.

“Leon Smith preyed on Harrellson’s financial vulnerability,” Goodwine wrote in her final judgment. “His conduct is egregious. He engaged in deliberate, repeated acts of theft over the course of two years.”

Back in May, Smith’s Legacy Athlete Management was charged with conning athletes out of over $1.2 million via a variety of methods, some of which included forging signatures and receiving payroll checks issued to his clients. One of those checks was a $40,000 royalty check from the NBA Players Association, that was supposed to go to Harrellson.

Smith, a former UK athlete himself, pleaded not guilty.

Read more the Herald-Leader’s story here.

Are “The (Kentucky) Goonies” making a comeback?

Are “The (Kentucky) Goonies” making a comeback?


photo by Chris Reynolds via

If you didn’t live for “The Goonies” videos from Kyle Wiltjer and Willie Cauley-Stein in 2012, then I don’t think we can be friends.

In case you do not know what I am talking about Wiltjer and Cauley-Stein made videos during the summer before the start of the 2012-2013 season. The videos were very silly and fun.

They consisted of driving around late at night, dancing, singing and showing us that these players are still just kids.

The two stars of the videos reunited this weekend in Hong Kong and teases the BBN that a Goonies video is in the making.

Cauley-Stein and Wiltjer aren’t the only former Kentucky players in Hong Kong for the Nike basketball tour, but also Trey Lyles.

Hong Kong Tour 🇭🇰 @nikebasketball

A post shared by Kyle Wiltjer (@kwiltj) on

I really hope Trey makes a guest appearance in the Goonies video.

Report: Terrence Jones is headed to China

Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images

Terrence Jones has signed with one of the top Chinese professional teams according to a report by international basketball reporter David Pick.

Jones has reportedly signed with Qingdao DoubleStar of the Chinese Basketball Association.

The terms of the contract are not yet known, but are reported to be one of the largest single-season deals in CBA history.

Jones spent his first four season in the NBA with Houston Rockets and played this past season with New Orleans Pelicans and Milwaukee Bucks.

Wishing nothing but the best for Terrence and his future.

Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins hung out with Neymar Jr

Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins were in attendance for the biggest rivalry in soccer, El Clàssico.

The game between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid was held in Miami on Saturday as part of the International Champions Cup. Barcelona defeated Madrid 3-2, one goal coming from international super-star Lionel Messi.

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo did not play.

Bledsoe and Cousins weren’t the onyl NBA stars on hand for the game. Golden State’s Draymond Green and New York’s Carmelo Anthony also were in attendance.

@money23green @carmeloanthony @boogiecousins 🏀

A post shared by Nj 🇧🇷 👻 neymarjr (@neymarjr) on

El Classico 2017 was dope!

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on

It is rumored that Neymar is leaving Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for A LOT of money. Will be interesting to see if this actually happens.

Tyler Ulis’ Basketball Camp is this weekend

Everyone’s favorite Wildcat is back in Lexington this weekend for his basketball camp. The Tyler Ulis Playmaker Camp is taking place today at Memorial Coliseum/Joe Craft Center. The former Cat is helping coach kids ranging from 7-17, while primarily focusing on passing skills.

During a Q&A session, a camper asked Ulis what his All-Time Kentucky lineup would be. His answer? Himself, Anthony Davis, Karl Towns, John Wall and of course Devin Booker.

Did your kid attend today’s camp? Let us know in the comments about your experience!


Calipari in Canada Update


We spent a portion of yesterday trying to figure out whether John Calipari took Jamal Murray with him on his recruiting trip to Canada. Well, Calipari just gave us our official answer on Twitter by posting that picture. It looks as though Cal is recruiting the help of Jamal Murray to help bring five-star recruit Simisola Shittu to Lexington. Shittu is 6’8 forward who is originally from Burlington, Ontario. Ranked as the number #9 player in the class of 2018, Shittu is currently playing for the Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vermont.

Currently, Calipari and Murray are watching Shittu play in the Classic Exposure Camp in Brampton, Ontario. The Cats have had luck in the past recruiting players from north of the border with the most notables being Jamaal Magloire, Mychal Mulder and Jamal Murray.

(Image via M. Bales)

You can watch Shittu work below. You can see where he gets the comparison to Bam Adebayo.


Malik Monk Cleared for Aug. 1st, Challenges Michael Jordan

Before we really dive into football this morning, Malik Monk had some interesting answers for the media yesterday. Monk was briefly back in Kentucky this weekend for an autograph session near Louisville. 

Obviously in good spirits, Monk confirmed that he’ll be cleared for basketball activity on August 1st. As we saw in this morning’s wake up post, he didn’t even watch the Summer League due to the fact he couldn’t play.

“If I’m not playing, I can’t watch,” Monk said. “I was mad the whole time. So, yeah, I was super mad.”

The Hornets’ organization made sure Monk wasn’t back on the court too soon. These days, the slightest ankle injury could turn into a season-long aggravation if it hasn’t been allowed enough time to heal. For Malik, he’s stayed off of it for almost two months, so he’s eager to get back on the court.

As Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reported, the Hornets wanted to experiment with Malik playing point guard during the Summer League. Unfortunately, that wasn’t able to happen because of the injury, but don’t be surprised if it happens during the regular season. Some believe Monk is undersized for shooting guard in the NBA, but his skill set will allow him to play either guard position.

“I think they want me to do both,” Monk said. “I think I can do it pretty good.”

Monk also compared his new All-Star teammate, Kemba Walker, to his former Wildcat teammate De’Aaron Fox. Fox, as we all know, was drafted 5th overall to the Sacramento Kings. “Kemba does everything just like Fox,” Monk said.

Lastly, Monk’s cocky swagger made its return, as he called out his new owner Michael Jordan. Malik once again stated that he’d beat the GOAT in a game of one-on-one.

“He’s pretty old right now,” Monk said of Jordan. “I think I can get him.”

Jordan, now 54 years old, probably can still hit that jumper with ease. I’d personally like to see him take on Monk’s challenge.


Malik Monk will Return to Action Tuesday

The only Charlotte Hornets attire Malik Monk has officially donned was during the NBA Draft.  That will change when he throws on Hornets’ practice gear this Tuesday.

Monk was forced to sit out of the NBA Summer League after spraining his ankle during pre-draft workouts.  A minor injury, the Hornets opted to go with the “better safe than sorry” strategy for their first round pick.

Monk told reporters at an autograph signing in Simpsonville that he’s clear to return to workouts on August 1.  Upon returning to the court, he will sometimes play a different position than he did at UK, the point guard, but he will primarily play next to somebody with a similar style to his college backcourt-mate.

“I think it’ll be the same as Fox,” he said of playing with Kemba Walker. “Kemba does everything just like Fox. So I think it’ll be a great turnout for me.”

That was the most informative portion of his meeting with reporters, but the most entertaining interaction was between Monk and Bradley McKee.  B-Roll asked Monk what he thought about being named the most hated athlete in Arkansas.  The result: