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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

Bam Adebayo working to capitalize on time in NBA Summer League

Photo: Issac Baldizon | NBAE via Getty Images

For most, the NBA Summer League is an opportunity to make a name for yourself and potentially earn a roster spot on a team. If nothing else, it’s a chance for other teams to notice you, where they can potentially take a chance on you down the road as a free agent.

For others, it’s a chance to fine-tune your skills and stay loose as an already-successful NBA player. Former Kentucky forward Bam Adebayo fits the latter.

Through three Summer League games, Adebayo has averaged 12.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest. He has been bringing the ball up the court, working on his jumper, and trying out more finesse styles of play rather than just the brute strength we’re used to. He’s filling a “positionless basketball” role he learned in his time at Kentucky and expanding his game to become as well-rounded as possible, something the Miami Heat organization has asked him to do in his short time with the team.

“They want me to move forward into the positionless basketball, which I wanted to do my whole life,” Adebayo said in an interview with Couper Moorhead of HEAT.com.

“You just have to make sacrifices on some other teams. But they want me to take that push and be positionless, so that’s what I’m trying to move myself toward. Trying to add that coaching aspect to it, being that second coach on the floor like I mentioned, trying to get guys into their spots, but also not stepping on guy’s toes to the point that they think I’m trying to police them.”

It’s very obvious the Heat sees Adebayo as a cornerstone piece for the future of the franchise.

In a media opportunity during the Summer League, the former Wildcat talked about making the most of his time on the floor and utilizing each minute for development going forward.

Adebayo says Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra wants him to take that next step as a leader on the team.

“Coach wants me to be more aggressive, more assertive,” he said. “Pretty much like the team captain, and the second coach on the floor. Expectations are very high, higher than last year. I’m just trying to embrace that role.”

The end goal? Play like future NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett. Not just with skill, but his aggressiveness and overall passion for the game.

“I always wanted to play like KG [Kevin Garnett]. Just growing up watching him, his attitude, his mentality, his aggression, his skillset – just watching that, he never gave up on plays, he was the loudest on the court, he didn’t care who was in front of him. I’m just trying to build myself to be like him,” Adebayo told HEAT.com.

And even with all of the improvement and building toward the future, Adebayo still finds a way to be a kid. In his downtime, he plays video games. Lots and lots of video games.

“Honestly, I sit in the room and play Fortnite,” he said. “We pretty much play Fortnite until our eyes bleed.”

Check out Adebayo’s impressive highlights from his 2017-18 rookie season:

Go get ’em, Bam.


BBNBA Day Three and Four Summer League Recap

We’re in the heat of the NBA Summer League, where 15 former Wildcats are taking the floor through next week.

Bam Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox, and Wenyen Gabriel got things started early in the week, including a 23-point performance from Fox on Monday and a few big double-doubles from Adebayo.

Starting today, the rest of the BBNBA members are getting their feet wet in summer basketball.

Check out the day three recap, followed up with the latest update from the start of day four:

Miami Heat

Game Three, Day Three:

86-76 victory over Sacramento Kings

Player Stats:

Bam Adebayo

14 points (9-13 shooting), nine rebounds, one assist, and two turnovers.

Highlights:

Sacramento Kings

Game Three, Day Three:

76-86 loss to Miami Heat

Player Stats:

DeAaron Fox

Did not participate due to a sore left Achilles. No word on when he will return to action.

Wenyen Gabriel

Three points (1-1 from three) and one block in four minutes.

First points as an NBA player.

Indiana Pacers

Game One, Day Four:

89-92 loss to Houston Rockets

Player Stats:

Alex Poythress

13 points (5-11 shooting), four rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in 23 minutes of action.

Toronto Raptors

Game One, Day Four:

77-90 loss to New Orleans Pelicans

Player Stats:

Marquis Teague

Four points (1-5 shooting), two rebounds, three assists, one steal, and zero turnovers in 18 minutes.

New Orleans Pelicans

Game One, Day Four:

90-77 victory over Toronto Raptors

Player Stats:

Derek Willis

Zero points (0-3 shooting), three rebounds, one assist, and one turnover in 13 minutes.

Orlando Magic

Game One, Day Four:

86-80 victory over Brooklyn Nets

Player Stats:

Isaiah Briscoe

16 points (6-12 shooting), three rebounds, four assists, two steals, and three turnovers in 28 minutes.

Highlights:

(How about that stepback three at the start of that video….?)

Oklahoma City Thunder

Game One, Day Four:

87-88 loss to Charlotte Hornets

Player Stats:

Dakari Johnson

20 points (7-14 shooting), eight rebounds, three assists, three steals, and three turnovers in 25 minutes.

Highlights:

Hamidou Diallo

Three points (1-4 shooting) and three rebounds in 14 minutes.

Charlotte Hornets

Game One, Day Four:

88-87 victory over Oklahoma City Thunder

Player Stats:

Malik Monk

23 points (9-16 shooting, 4-9 from three), one rebound, two assists, two steals, and one turnover in 27 minutes.

Highlights:

In other news, Kentucky head coach John Calipari is catching up with his old pals in Las Vegas during the games.

Upcoming Schedule

All times PM, Eastern

Thursday, July 5
9:00 Cleveland Washington (Aaron Harrison) NBATV
11:30 LA Clippers (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) Golden State ESPN
Saturday, July 7
3:00 Portland (Archie Goodwin, Kyle Wiltjer) Utah NBATV
3:30 San Antonio Indiana (Alex Poythress) ESPN2
5:00 Miami (Bam Adebayo) New Orleans (Derek Willis) NBATV
5:30 NY Knicks (Kevin Knox) Atlanta ESPN
7:00 OKC Thunder (Dakari Johnson, Hamidou Diallo) Brooklyn NBATV
7:30 Phoenix Sacramento (Wenyen Gabriel) ESPN
Sunday, July 8
3:00 Minnesota Toronto (Marquis Teague) NBATV
3:30 Washington (Aaron Harrison) San Antonio ESPN2
5:00 Charlotte (Malik Monk) Miami (Bam Adebayo) NBATV
5:30 Portland (Archie Goodwin, Kyle Wiltjer) Atlanta ESPN2
9:00 Utah NY Knicks (Kevin Knox) NBATV
9:30 Memphis Orlando (Isaiah Briscoe) ESPN2
11:00 Sacramento (Wenyen Gabriel) LA Clippers (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) NBATV
Monday, July 9
3:00 New Orleans (Derek Willis) Detroit ESPNU
3:30 Toronto (Marquis Teague) OKC Thunder (Dakari Johnson, Hamidou Diallo) NBATV
5:00 Indiana (Alex Poythress) Cleveland ESPN2
5:30 Washington (Aaron Harrison) Philadelphia NBATV
7:00 Charlotte (Malik Monk) Boston ESPN2
9:30 Orlando (Isaiah Briscoe) Phoenix NBATV
11:30 LA Clippers (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) Houston NBATV
Tuesday, July 10
4:00 San Antonio Portland (Archie Goodwin, Kyle Wiltjer) NBATV
4:30 Utah Miami (Bam Adebayo) ESPNU
6:30 Sacramento (Wenyen Gabriel) Memphis ESPN2
8:30 LA Lakers NY Knicks (Kevin Knox) ESPN2

Go Cats.


Spotted: John Calipari at the Vegas Summer League

@NBASummerLeague

John Calipari’s ready for some basketball. Cal is courtside at the Cox Pavilion in Vegas to watch Alex Poythress’ Indiana Pacers take on the Houston Rockets.

Here’s the schedule for today’s games, which are now underway:

3:00 PM Houston Indiana (Alex Poythress) NBATV
3:30 PM Toronto (Marquis Teague) New Orleans (Derek Willis) ESPNU
5:00 PM Brooklyn Orlando (Isaiah Briscoe) NBATV
5:30 PM OKC Thunder (Dakari Johnson, Hamidou Diallo) Charlotte (Malik Monk) ESPNU
9:00 PM Cleveland (Marcus Lee) Washington (Aaron Harrison) NBATV
11:30 PM LA Clippers (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) Golden State ESPN

We’ll have highlights throughout the afternoon and evening. Go Summer League Cats.


Jamal Mashburn enjoying his ‘financial empire’

PHOTO: @CityOfPalmsBKB

Jamal Mashburn isn’t just sitting back and enjoying his retirement. The former UK star and NBA All-Star is as busy as ever and runs over 90 business. The Lexington Herald-Leader profiled Mashburn’s success, who last played in the NBA 14 years ago.

Mashburn put in an unsuccessful bid for the then-New Orleans Hornets but still has high hopes for owning an NBA team one day.

Besides owning an NBA team, Mashburn also wants to mentor current NBA players on their fiances.

“… At the end of the day, I look at myself as a teacher in a non-traditional form, not in the classroom,” Mashburn said. “One day I do want to put together a curriculum. I have spoken to a lot of NBA players. Some reached out to me and have chatted about certain things they want to get involved in.”

We hear about heartbreaking stories of players far too often, so it’s great to hear of a former Cat that is doing so well. I’m all for Mashburn owning an NBA team hopefully bringing it to Louisville someday.

Mashburn’s son, Jamal Mashburn Jr., has also received attention from several blueblood programs. Mashburn Jr., is a 6-foot, 180-pound guard that just transferred from Gulliver Prep in Miami, Fla., to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.

The four-star Mashburn Jr. is ranked No. 76 in the 247 Sports rankings.

Read the entire article HERE.