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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

John Wall: Kentucky players “run the league”

Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The Wizards played the Pelicans last night, meaning that six former Kentucky players were on the floor between the two teams, which John Wall said is proof that Wildcats are taking over the NBA.

“We run the league,” Wall told Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “We’ve got a lot of pros. We’re going to get more and more every year. It’s like a brotherhood.”

Wall and Jodie Meeks represented the Wizards, while DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, and Darius Miller represented the Pelicans. The Wizards won 116-106 (highlights of which you can see in the BBNBA post below) and afterwards, Wall and Cousins shared this classic moment:

Still dreaming of the day they’ll be on the same team.


Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

BBNBA: Wall’s Wizards Win over Pelicans

 

Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

In a battle where it is hard for Kentucky fans to choose sides, John Wall and Jodie Meeks’ Washington Wizards outlasted the Cat filled New Orleans Pelicans 116-106. Anthony Davis turned in a 37 point effort and DeMarcus Cousins gave the Pelicans a double-double in the loss. Wall, too, had a double-double for the Wizards by scoring 18 points and dishing out 10 assists. Davis did leave the game briefly for a wrist injury, but X-Rays turned out to be negative.

In other NBA games, the Sacramento Kings picked up a solid win over the 76ers and the Bucks, led by Eric Bledsoe, scored a victory over the Cavs.

In other injury news, DeAaron Fox left the game early with a right quadricep injury. More information is to come. This has been an ongoing injury for the NBA Rookie.

Here are your complete stats:

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Willie Cauley-Stein101-95 W vs. 76ers93-1060212+730
DeAaron Fox101-95 W vs. 76ers21-411001-411
Skal Labiessiere101-95 W vs. 76ers21-201010+04
Anthony Davis116-106 L vs. Wash3711-21 (1-3)91102-1337
DeMarcus Cousins116-106 L vs. Wash268-17 (1-5)134002-136
Rajon Rondo116-106 L vs. Wash00-3 (0-1)23002-1014
Darius Miller116-106 L vs. Wash21-5 (0-1)11000-225
John Wall116-106 W vs. NO186-18 (4-8)610105+433
Jodie Meeks116-106 W vs. NO31-4 (1-3)02000-617
Eric Bledsoe119-116 W vs. Cle2610-16 (2-5)52203+132
DeAndre Liggins119-116 W vs. Cle00-2 (0-2)11010+116

Highlights
AD with the put-back dunk

Wall had a MONSTER first quarter with 14 points and 6 assists


Eric Bledsoe what a day!

Perhaps the biggest news of the day was the news that the Boston Celtics have interest in trading for Anthony Davis. Personally, I am cheering for this move to happen. I’d love to see Anthony in a place where he can win at a high level.

Today in the NBA

  • Raptors at Hornets (Monk and Kidd-Gilcrhist) 7pm
  • Pacers (Poythress) at Hawks- 7:30pm
  • Heat (Adebayo) at Celtics- 7:30pm
  • Kings (Fox, Labissiere, and Cauley-Stein) at Nets- 7:30pm
  • Magic at Bulls- 8pm
  • Lakers (Randle) at Rockets- 8pm NBA TV
  • Jazz at Thunder (Patterson and Johnson)- 8pm
  • Pistons at Mavericks (Noel) 8:30pm
  • Timberwolves (Towns) at Nuggets (Lyles and Murray) 9pm
  • Spurs at Trail Blazers- 10pm
  • Grizzlies (Harrison) at Warriors- 10:30pm NBA TV
  • Suns (Booker and Ulis) at Clippers- 10:30pm

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America

FREE ENES: Turkey seeking 4-year prison sentence for Enes Kanter

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America

Is it time to get our Free Enes signs back out?

According to Anadoulu Agency, Turkey’s state-run news agency, prosecutors are seeking at least a four-year prison sentence for Enes Kanter for insulting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The charges stem from a series of tweets Enes sent criticizing the president in May and June 2016.

If you follow him on social media, you know Enes is a vocal supporter of Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based cleric blamed by Turkey for last year’s failed military coup, who, coincidentally, is an outspoken critic of President Erdogan. Kanter would be tried in absentia.

Back in May, Enes was detained in Romania because his Turkish passport was canceled, which he said was due to his support of Gülen. The US intervened and got Enes back to the States, but a few weeks later, his father — who denounced his son last year for his beliefs — was detained by security forces in Istanbul and jailed for almost a week. VICE News did a story on Kanter’s fight with the Turkish government, which is clearly not over. For more on it, check out the stories below:

Enes Kanter believes he would’ve been killed in jail

Enes Kanter refuses to step down from battle with Turkish president

Free Enes!

[ESPN]


(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

BBNBA: Trey Lyles continues to perform

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Recap

There were 10 games last night in the NBA and surprisingly few former Wildcats in play. Trey Lyles had another solid game with 15 points and nine rebounds despite Nikola Jokic’s return from injury. It looks like Lyles is going to be a key part of the Denver Nuggets rotation for the future and he deserves it after his play over the last three weeks. If you’d like to read what I wrote about him yesterday, you can do so by clicking hereBam Adebayo played 30 minutes in the Miami Heat’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks, recording a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Three of Bam’s five highest total minute games this season have come in the month of December. Karl-Anthony Towns dropped in 16 and eight for the Timberwolves while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went for 15 and 10 for the Hornets.

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)108-107 W vs. POR165-15 (3-6)84104+840
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)109-91 W vs. NYK156-14 (0-0)102111+633
Trey Lyles (DEN)94-95 L @ OKC156-10 (3-6)91000+625
Julius Randle (LAL)114-116 L vs. GSW155-11 (0-0)112012-1230
Enes Kanter (NYK)91-109 L @ CHA115-8 (0-0)30300-1222
Bam Adebayo (MIA)104-110 L @ ATL11 3-6 (0-0)101123
Tyler Ulis (PHX)97-91 W @ DAL103-8 (2-3)21101-1722
Jamal Murray (DEN)94-95 L @ OKC104-11 (2-6)21000-925
Malik Monk109-91 W vs. NYK42-2 (0-0)00001-23
Patrick Patterson (OKC)95-94 W vs. DEN21-4 (0-3)10000-721
Devin Booker (PHX)97-91 W @ DALDNP-injury----------------
Brandon Knight (PHX)97-91 W @ DALDNP-injury----------------
Nerlens Noel (DAL)91-97 L vs. PHXDNP-CD---------------
Alex Poythress (IND)112-111 L vs. BOSDNP-CD----------------

Highlights

Tonight in the NBA

Three game slate tonight but some quality BBNBA action. The New Orleans Wildcats will visit our nation’s capital and take on a freshly returned John Wall and the Washington Wizards in what is much watch basketball for Kentucky fans. The Wizards have struggled without Wall and they’re looking to return to playoff form with him back in the lineup.

7:00: Kings (Fox, Cauley-Stein, Labissiere) @ Sixers

7:00: Pelicans (Davis, Cousins, Miller, Rondo) @ Wizards (Wall, Meeks)

8:00: (NBATV) Cavaliers @ Bucks (Bledsoe, Liggins)

Player to watch

My player to watch tonight is John Wall. This will be his fourth game back after missing a few weeks due to injury. If he didn’t run into a red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers team, the Wizards would likely be 3-0 since Wall came back. Wall is still trying to ease his way back in, but the Wizards need him now if they want to climb back up in the standings.

Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


Kentucky players in the G-League and overseas

Kentucky players in the G-League and overseas

We cover Kentucky’s players in the NBA extensively, but what about the guys playing in the G-League and overseas? Thanks to KSR reader Tyler Barnett for compiling this list of former Cats still playing professionally, and the ones who have recently retired.

Jeannette Merten/for USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, Oshkosh Northwestern

G-League

Aaron Harrison: Playing for the Reno Bighorns (Sacramento affiliate), averaging 20.1 ppg in 29.3 mpg.

Terrence Jones: Now with the Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State affiliate) after playing for the Qingdao Eagles in China. Averaged 22.3 ppg and 11.2 rpg.

Mychal Mulder: Playing in the G-League for the Windy City Bulls (Chicago affiliate). Averaging 8.9 ppg and 4.8 rpg in 31.7 mpg.

Derek Willis: Playing for the Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit affiliate). Averages 14.4 ppg and 5.7 rpg. Has played in all 16 games averages 30.1 mpg.

James Young: Playing in the G-League for the Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee affiliate). Young averages 23.1 ppg and 6.1 rpg in 32.5 mpg. Also shooting 38.7% from three.

Marquis Teague: Playing in the G-League for the Memphis Hustle (Memphis affiliate). Teague leads the team in assists at 6.1 per game. Averages 15.2 ppg in 33.2 mpg.


Overseas

Isaiah Briscoe: Playing for BC Kalev/Cramo Tallinn in Estonia. Leads the team with 20.4 ppg.

Darnell Dodson: Playing for Los Leones in Chile. Leads the team with 18.8 ppg and is second in rebounding at 10.3 rpg.

Kevin Galloway: Playing for Gymnastikos Larissa Faros in Greece. Averages 3.7 ppg in 14.3 mpg. Plays alongside Kevin Ware.

Josh Harrellson: Playing for Hitachi Sun Rockers Tokyo-Shibuya in Japan. Starts and leads the team in rebounding with 8.5 per game. Averages 9.7 ppg.

Ramon Harris: Playing for Kolossos H Hotels in Greece. Starts and averages 7.4 ppg and 4.2 rpg.

Ryan Harrow: Playing for Rosa Radom in Poland. Leads the team in assists with 4.1 per game. Averages 13.1 ppg in 29.5 mpg.

Dominique Hawkins: Playing for Horsens IC in Denmark. Hawkins has only played in three of the team’s 10 games. Averaging 9.0 ppg and 17.7 mpg.

Isaac Humphries: Playing for the Sydney Kings in his homeland of Australia. Starts and averages 7.4 ppg 3.6 rpg. Perry Ellis of Kansas also plays for the Kings.

Doron Lamb: Playing for GS Lavrio in Greece. Leads the team with 16 ppg.

Alex Legion: Playing for Fortitudo Kontatto Bologna in Italy. Starts and averages 13.3 ppg and 4.8 rpg. His team is 8-4 this season.

Daniel Orton: Playing for Seahorses Mikawa in Japan. Starts and averages 11.7 ppg and 6.6 rpg. His team leads their division with a 20-3 record.

Eloy Vargas: Playing for Boulazac Basket Dordogne in France. Starts and averages 8.4 ppg 5.8 rpg.

Morakinyo Williams: Playing for Ammerud Basket Oslo in Norway. Starts and averages a double double at 20.3 ppg and 11.4 rpg.

Kyle Wiltjer: Left the G-League to play for Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus in Greece. Averages 2.3 ppg and 1.5 rpg in 7.2 mpg.


Retired

Antwain Barbour: Retired in 2016, last played for “Hoops Club Basketball” in Lebanon. Averaged 19.7 ppg.

Keith Bogans: Last played for the Westchester Knicks in the G-League in the 2015-2016 season.

Ramel Bradley: Last played for Ankara DSI in Turkey in 2016-2017. Averaged 16.6 ppg and 5.3 apg.

Jared Carter: Last played for Bambitious Nara in Japan (2014-2015). Averaged 4 points and 4 rebounds while playing 50 games.

Joe Crawford: Last played for the Erie Bayhawks of the D-League in 2015. Averaged 5.7 ppg while playing in 18 games that season.

Erik Daniels: Last played in Argentina for Quimsa in 2014-2015. Averaged 4.2 ppg in less than 10 minutes a game for a total of 11 games.

Gerald Fitch: Last played in 2017 for Piratas De Quebradillas in Puerto Rico. Averaged 12.5 ppg and played alongside multiple former D-1 players such as Tu Holloway (Xavier) and Larry Drew II (UNC).

Marquis Estill: Last played in 2009-2010 in Argentina for Regatas Corrientes. Averaged 9.6 ppg and 4.8 rpg.

Heshimu Evans: Last played in Portugal for Lisboa Benfica in 2013. Played there from 2010-2013. Averaged 7.3 ppg in 17.5 mpg in his final season.

Cliff Hawkins: Last played in 2012 in Cyprus for Cytavision Apoel Nicosia.

Julius Mays: Last played in Italy in 2013-2014 for Kleb Basket Ferrara. Averaged 16 ppg and shot 41.1% from three while playing 36.1 mpg.

Randolph Morris: Played for the Beijing Ducks in China from 2010-2017. In his last season, he averaged 22 ppg and 9.2 rpg over the course of 19 games.

Matt Pilgrim: Last played in France in 2012-2013 season for Vendee Challans 12.2 ppg and 7.4 rpg.

Jared Prickett: Last played in Spain from 2002-2004 for Viopisa Gijon Baloncesto.

Scott Padgett: Last played in Spain for Coviran Granada in 2007.

Andre Riddick: Last played in Belgium for Proximus Spirou Charleroi from 2006-2013. Averaged 4.4 ppg in 17.6 mpg in his last season.

Patrick Sparks: Last played in 2013-2014 in Slovenia for MBK SPU Nitra. Averaged 16.3 ppg and 4.9 apg.

Perry Stevenson: Last played in Portugal in 2012 for Galitos Barreiro. Averaged 10.7 ppg and 12.2 rpg.

AJ Stewart: Last played in Canada in the NBL for the Island Storm in the 2016-2017 season. Averaged 10.2 ppg 4.5 rpg 4.4 apg in 22 mpg.

Sheray Thomas: Last played in the NBL in Canada for the Saint John Riptide in 2013. Averaged 7.6 ppg and 5.9 rpg


(AP Photo/John Raoux)

A look inside the emergence of Trey Lyles in Denver

Garrett Ellwood- Getty Images

What we are witnessing right now in Denver is the breakout of Trey Lyles. Reduced to a limited role during his first two years in Utah, Lyles has seemingly found a home in Denver. The Denver Nuggets traded for Lyles in the offseason in exchange for the draft pick that would end up turning into former Lousiville star, Donovan Mitchell (who has easily been the second best rookie this season). Lyles averaged only 16.8 minutes per game in his first two seasons in Utah and the start of the 2017-18 season appeared as though the low minutes would follow him. That is until the Nuggets star player and All-Star hopeful Nikola Jokic went out with an ankle injury that sidelined him for seven games. With Jokic out, the Nuggets turned to Trey Lyles.

Lyles has averaged 26.5 minutes per game over his last eight games (Jokic returned from injury in the Nuggets most recent win against the New Orleans Pelicans, but only played 22 minutes to ease himself back in). Lyles took full advantage of his extra minutes, averaging 13.9 points (career average of 6.3 ppg), 5.9 rebounds (career average of 3.5), and 1.6 assists per game (career average of 0.8). He scored 25 points in a loss to the Indiana Pacers and then 20 the very next game in a win against the Detroit Pistons. His numbers are up across the board, but the most impressive statistical increase is his shooting percentages.

Lyles is shooting 53.5 percent from the field and a lethal 56.7 (on 3.8 attempts per game) from three. After going back and watching the Nuggets previous eight games, I could see his confidence grow every game. In the last three or so games, Lyles is pulling catch and shoot threes without hesitation and drilling them in the eyes of his defender. He has an increasingly valuable skillset and his rapid improvement is one the Nuggets should continue to ride out and see how far he can take them. It’s amazing how young and talented players can show just how good they are when they actually get consistent minutes, isn’t it?

His shooting stroke is his what he’s known for, and he could make a lot of money in the NBA off of that alone, but his underrated versatility is what makes him an expandable player. He’s an excellent pick-and-pop shooter but can also drive to the rim off the pick-and-roll. He’s listed at 6-foot-10 (although that seems an inch or two too generous) and he has the ability to shoot over most defenders who are forced to guard him near the perimeter. But combined with that height is incredibly quick feet that allow him to skirt around taller defenders where he can finish at the rim.

Some things I noticed when watching Lyles is the offense obviously doesn’t revolve around him (more so Gary Harris and Jamal Murray. More on Lyles and Murray in a moment), but he finds ways to insert himself into the play without having it break down. He loves to run slip-screen action, where he sets a pick but quickly rolls to the rim before the pick is actually set, hoping for an open look from his teammate. More often than not, this play produced nothing and was merely a distraction (only one time did I see it work in eight games), but when Lyles did set a hard screen (which he did more of in his last three or four games), the defender would likely double the ball-handler (Murray, Harris, or Will Barton) and Lyles was almost always open for a clean look. Lyles ranks in the 79.2 percentile as the pick-and-roll man but has only run the true pick-and-roll on 19 possessions. Even still, those 19 possessions have led to 1.26 points per possession on 75 percent effective field goal percentage. It was frustrating to watch him slip screen after screen, but as he became more comfortable, he went to setting the hard screen instead which has benefitted himself and the team in productive ways.

What I love most about Lyles is that he’s keeping up with the times. In the modern NBA, bigs are being pushed to handle the ball and shoot from the outside. It’s the way the game is trending and it’s almost a necessity if you want to have a long and successful career. Lyles is obviously a great shooter, but his willingness to bring the ball up the floor and initiate fast breaks is impressive. He doesn’t have blinding speed, but quick feet and a solid handle of the ball are all he needs to become a threat as he trots up the court with the ball in his hands. I hope to see more of this from him because he really is a smart player with the ball. He doesn’t get much of a chance to display his passing ability but he is more than capable of making sharp passes to rim runners. This is just a matter of comfort level for him. The more he plays, the more comfortable he becomes and the more highlight level plays he’ll produce.

Lyles is a great catch-and-shoot player. Actually, he’s an excellent catch-and-shoot player. Near perfect, really. On 49 catch-and-shoot possessions, Lyles is scoring 1.43 points per possessions with an effective field goal percentage of 77.4 percent. That puts him in the 96th (!) percentile. His jumper is too quick to defend and his height makes it unblockable. He’s clearly been given the green light on offense and it shows through his confidence on the court. Aside from shooting, he has to create his own offense through drives and post play. He isn’t a go-to player in the post, but his teammates are always looking to feed him when he has a mismatch (which usually was the result of a switch from a set screen). He isn’t the most physically imposing player, but he’s calm, cool, and collected in the post and takes his time when surveying his options. He’s a capable passer out of the post but is quick enough to get to the rim for easy layups, dunks, or runners.

He began to use the pump fake more and more as the games went on and it was incredibly effective. This is where he shows off his quick feet and can attack the rim for a score or look for an open teammate. He didn’t need the pump fake on this devastating dunk he blessed Jayson Tatum with, but you get an idea of just how quick he is.

 

 

He can face-up and attack or back his defender down into oblivion. He has an expansive offensive game that is deadly from all areas of the court. But now back to the Kentucky connection of Lyles and Murray. When Murray is on the court, Lyles’ plus/minus is +4.0 compared to a -2.9 when Murray is off. On the other side of that, Murray’s plus-minus is also a +4.0 when Lyles is on the court. They play a good chunk of their overall minutes together, as well. Murray is a starter for the Nuggets and he garners about 28 minutes per game and about 12 of them have been shared with Lyles over the last eight games. Lyles has been closing games in the absence of Jokic, playing the entire fourth quarter (and two overtimes) on multiple occasions.

So I’ve hyped up Lyles pretty heavily, but there were also things that he needs to work on. First off, he will bite on simple pump fakes nine times out of ten and, while Lyles is floating in the air past his defender, the ball-handler will easily work around him and either score or pass to an eventual score. His discipline must improve in this area if he wants to continue to stay on the floor for a Denver team that already struggles on defense.

Second, he gets outmuscled a lot when defending one-on-one. Whether the player is smaller or bigger than him doesn’t seem to matter, he appears to be more worried about not picking up fouls than preventing a bucket. I saw Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma, Harrison Barnes, Aaron Gordon, Thaddeus Young, and Victor Oladipo body Lyles all the way to the bucket with little to no resistance. He’s much more physical on offense when posting up and driving into contact, but is hesitant to mirror the same qualities on defense. It’s frustrating to watch, but it’s something that can be fixed. He’s a smart defender (he knows when to double-team and is solid on his rotations) but this is important to note when he gets placed on guys who want to attack the rim possession after possession.

Lastly, he isn’t big on crashing the offensive glass. Lyles plays most of his minutes at the four and five spot (minimal minutes at the 3, if any) and he’s one of the only players the Nuggets can rely on to rebound. He does a good job of defensive rebounding, but he sits on the perimeter too often on offense and usually runs back down the court after a shot goes up if he isn’t directly involved, instead of pursuing it. These are just little things that he needs to improve on to take his game to the next level and luckily they are all fixable. He has an excellent head coach in Mike Malone who has done a great job already with a plenty of young talent on this Nuggets team, so I do expect those areas to be tidied up.

Lyles has proved in eight games that he has starter quality and the return of Jokic is going to put head coach Malone is one of the “good-but-bad” type situations. Jokic is clearly an All-Star, but the emergence of Lyles should not be downplayed. I would expect Lyles’ minutes to come back down to earth a bit (somewhere in the 20-22 per game range), but the Nuggets have now unlocked another young and talented player that they can add to their already expansive arsenal.

Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker developed a brotherhood at Kentucky that will never be broken

NBAE/Getty Images

When Kentucky fans watched the 2014-15 basketball team play each game, we all knew we were witnessing something special. The way they played, how they carried themselves, and the type of people they were, they just had that “it” factor that sticks in fans’ minds forever.

They came up short in the end, but it’s undeniable that team reached legendary status in not only Kentucky history, but the entire history of college basketball.

Several pieces of that team are now in the NBA making a massive impact both on and off the court, giving fans countless reasons to be proud of them. Two of those main individuals? Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker.

AZ Central Sports caught up with both of them this weekend to talk about their time at Kentucky, the success they’ve found in the league, and the brotherhood they will keep forever.

“I’ve always believed good people attract good people,” Towns said. “I had a good connection with him and obviously at Kentucky it blossomed into something much more special.”

Towns and Booker have gotten so close that they consider themselves part of each other’s families.

Three years into their NBA careers the friendship between Booker and Towns has only gotten stronger. Their families have become close, Booker affectionately calls Towns’ father “the real KAT,” and Towns said they’re so much like brothers that, “He’s a Towns and I’m a Booker.”

Former Cat and current Sun Tyler Ulis said Towns and Booker took the same history class at Kentucky, and said the teasing and competitiveness between them even took place in the classroom.

“He’d go, ‘Karl, you got a 90 and I got a 96,’ ” recalled Suns point guard Tyler Ulis, who was a teammate of Booker and Towns on that 2014-15 Kentucky team. “Book is so petty and childish. He loves getting under somebody’s skin.”

Both players have put up historic numbers in their first three seasons in the NBA, with each receiving national praise in the media as cornerstone pieces for their respective franchises. Booker realizes Towns will continue to dominate the league for quite some time.

“He’s going to be a really special player for a long time,” Booker said.

Towns feels the same way about Booker.

“Booker, in my opinion, is a once in a generation kind of talent,” Towns said.

Calipari says being at Kentucky is a “brotherhood” and throws around the phrase “La Familia” like it’s his job, but I don’t think anyone realized it’d be like this. This is pretty special.

Go Cats.


Karl-Anthony Towns reveals his insane diet

Karl-Anthony Towns reveals his insane diet

Karl-Anthony Towns revealed his insane diet on J.J. Redick’s podcast.

Towns’ diet includes two breakfasts, one before a workout or practice and one after. The first breakfast includes five pancakes, three cups of fruit and 24 oz. of water. The second breakfast is the same, except only 1.5 cups of fruits instead of three.

“I like pancakes. I love pancakes,” Towns said on the podcast. “And I’m not a big breakfast guy at all.”

Towns said he eats chocolate chip pancakes because he’s “a man of the people.”

For lunch, Town eats anywhere from 6-9 oz. of grilled chicken breast, depending how hungry he is, with four cups of rice and four cups of vegetable. He repeats the same meal for dinner.

Towns says his routine and health are a major part of his life.

“Your body is a Ferarri, you gotta fill it with good gas, premium gas. I’m not going 87 with it,” Towns said. “I gotta take care of my body. I gotta understand how it feels and how to attack it and make it feel better.”

@JJRedick

Towns also discussed Karlito, the innate drive to improve, the evolution of the big men in the age of of “unicorns”, playing under Tom Thibodeau, meticulous self-care routines for NBA players and the role of athletes in social activism.

You can listen to the entire podcast HERE.


@Suns

Who wore it better? Devin Booker or The Rock

@Suns

Devin Booker has been sidelined with a left adductor strain (groin strain) since early December.

Booker sported a turtleneck and a chain on the bench, very similar to the famous picture of Dwayne Johnson.

The Suns asked The Rock what he thought of Booker’s look and he had a great answer.

This Suns’ fan photoshop makes it even better. Booker and The Rock look a lot more alike than I would have ever thought.

@LordFonzz

 


@Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns continues to do amazing things off the court

@Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns continues to do amazing things off the court while playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Towns put on an event for families from his church and others to enjoy an exclusive pre-screening of Jumanji on Friday night.

Everyone who attended received a personalized hand-written Christmas card from Towns and a gift bag. Each gift bag included Beats by Dre headphones, a Foot Locker gift card and Jumanji swag.

@Timberwolves

Towns brought Crunch, the Timberwolves mascot, and Rebekkah Brunson, a forward for the Minnesota Lynx to the event.

 


DeMarcus Cousins helps open new entertainment center in Sacramento

Photo via USAToday.com

A few years ago, DeMarcus Cousins joined heads with some local businessmen in Sacramento to come up with a new idea for entertainment in the area.

Eventually, the former Wildcat became one of the biggest investors of “Punch Bowl Social,” a 565-seat restaurant designed for adults loaded with eight bowling lanes, two private Karaoke rooms, classic arcade games and virtual reality gaming.

Tonight, Punch Bowl Social opens in Sacramento, but because Cousins was traded to New Orleans last season, he will not be able to attend.

Though he’ll still be considered part-owner of the facility, he likely won’t be a major part of it at all.

“He was going to be here five nights a week,” said founder Robert Thompson. “He was pretty excited about this location. We were pretty sad to see him get traded.”

Even though he won’t be as involved as before, Cousins says he’s going to need some size-16 bowling shoes for his next time in Sacramento:

Millionaire? NBA superstar? Part-owner of a business in Sacramento? Not too shabby for a young kid out of Mobile, Alabama.

On another note, Cousins says he doesn’t believe he’ll be traded from New Orleans this season, and believes he’ll stick around when he hits free agency this offseason.

“I am confident in my team,” Cousins said. “I am starting to understand this business a lot more than I did before. You can kind of tell when things are about to come about. We’re a very competitive team. A talented team. I don’t think that will be the case at all.”

If another business opportunity opens up in the Big Easy, it looks like Cousins doesn’t have much to worry about.

Keep making us proud, Boogie!


Enes Kanter still considers himself a Kentucky Wildcat

@Enes_Kanter

Back in the 2010-11 season, Enes Kanter was declared ineligible by the NCAA to play for the Kentucky Wildcats for accepting money while playing in Turkey.

The Cats still managed to make it to the Final Four in some epic games led by Brandon Knight, Doron Lamb, and Terrence Jones, but many UK fans still wonder if Kanter’s presence down low could have been enough to bring another banner home to Kentucky.

In an interview with Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com, Kanter said it was tough to sit out that season, but still did his part to help as a student-assistant coach.

“I didn’t leave,” he reiterated Tuesday. “I couldn’t just leave. Coach Cal said, ‘You’re still part of our family,’ so I said ‘OK, I’ll stay’” to work as a student-assistant coach.

Now with the New York Knicks, Kanter has been a perfect one-two punch with star forward Kristaps Porzingis. This summer, the former Wildcat played pickup basketball with current UK big man Nick Richards, and said he knew from those games alone Richards would be a stud for UK.

“I played with him, he’s an athletic guy,” Kanter said. “I think he’s gonna be good for them.”

So what does he think about this year’s Kentucky team as a whole? Kanter says the Elite Eight is extremely likely, with a shot at the Final Four.

“I think they’re going to be Elite Eight, hopefully they’re going to make the Final Four,” he said. “Would be nice to watch them.”

I think the Big Blue Nation agrees with Coach Cal on this one: Kanter is still part of “La Familia.”

Keep putting in work, UnderKanter.


SI.com

BBNBA: Towns joins Garnett in Timberwolves’ lore

SI.com

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past two plus seasons, you’ve missed Karl-Anthony Towns becoming the next breakout star in the NBA. Alongside, Joel Embiid and Kristaps Porzingis, the trio have taken the league by storm as the next generation of All-Star big men. Include Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, and Kentucky has three of the top four big men in the league.

Last night, Towns went to work against fellow former Cats, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, and De’Aaron Fox. Towns had a field day against the Kings, finishing with 30 points on 11-16 shooting, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 blocks. Towns is only the second Timberwolves player to record a line of at least 30, 10, 5, and 5, with the first being Kevin Garnett.

Take a look as Towns bullies Cauley-Stein and Labissiere on his way to a big game.

In other news from that game, Kings’ guard De’Aaron Fox left the game after only 7 minutes in the first quarter with a quad injury. This will be something to keep an eye on, as the Kings are a mess of a team even with Fox. Just for reference, the Kings started Skal Labissiere for more than half of the games to star the season, then randomly sent him down to the G-League, and now brought him back up to the active roster to start again last night. I’ve never seen a more clueless organization in my life, and that’s saying a lot because I’ve been a lifelong Cincinnati Bengals fan.

Numbers:

 

 

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Karl-Anthony Towns119-96 win over Kings3011-16 (2-4)145150+2235
Willie Cauley-Stein119-96 loss to Timberwolves93-10 (0-0)32011-1620
Skal Labissiere119-96 loss to Timberwolves63-5 (0-0)11010-613
De'Aaron Fox119-96 loss to Timberwolves20-1 (0-1)02002-47
Enes Kanter111-104 win over Nets135-9 (0-0)92102-327
Julius Randle121-112 loss to Cavaliers136-9 (0-0)43012-122

 

 

Highlights:

Schedule:

  • Miami Heat (Bam Adebayo) at Charlotte Hornets (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Malik Monk), 7pm ET
  • Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers (Alex Poythress), 7pm ET
  • Portland Trail Blazers at Orlando Magic, 7pm ET
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (Patrick Patterson, Dakari Johnson) at Philadelphia 76ers, 7pm ET on ESPN
  • Los Angeles Clippers at Washington Wizards (John Wall, Jodie Meeks), 7pm ET
  • Utah Jazz at Boston Celtics, 7:30pm ET
  • Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors, 7:30pm ET
  • Atlanta Hawks at Memphis Grizzlies (Andrew Harrison), 8pm ET
  • Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks (Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Liggins), 8pm ET
  • New Orleans Pelicans (Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Darius Miller, Rajon Rondo) at Denver Nuggets (Jamal Murray, Trey Lyles), 9pm ET
  • San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets, 9:30pm ET on ESPN

@BrettBibbinsKSR


DeMarcus Cousins hosts seventh annual “Santa Cuz”

DeMarcus Cousins hosts seventh annual “Santa Cuz”

DeMarcus Cousins continued his holiday tradition of playing “Santa Cuz” for underprivileged children in need of Christmas gifts in his community. This year marked Cousins’ seventh annual “Santa Cuz” event as he picked up the tab on shopping sprees in two cities: New Orleans (for the first time) and his hometown of Mobile, Al.

See Boogie take care of the kids in this video recap:

Next time you’re talking about his technical fouls, be sure to talk about what really matters too.


Terrence Jones headed to the G-League

Scott Halleran | Getty Images

Terrence Jones is headed back to the NBA. Or, the G-League at least.

After playing in China for a few months, Jones is back in the States and will sign with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s G-League affiliate, according to USA Today. Jones, the 18th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, played for Houston, New Orleans, and Milwaukee before signing a one-year, $2 million deal with Qingdao in the Chinese Basketball Association. Late last month, he was released by Qingdao following a confrontation in practice with the head coach. In nine games, he averaged 22.3 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.3 blocks.

Here’s hoping he makes the best of this new opportunity.

[USA Today]