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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

Old man Vince Carter ejected for elbowing Devin Booker

Before we get started here, I want to make it clear that I love Vince Carter. Big Vince Carter guy talking to you right now. The dunk contest in 2000 was basketball porn to a young Drew Franklin.

But Vince is in the doghouse with one of his biggest fans after his antics last night in the Suns-Grizzlies game, when he landed a cheap shot on Devin Booker, a friend of the program.

See for yourself:

Was Booker running his mouth beforehand? Probably. (Okay, definitely.) Did Booker sell that fall? Yeah, sure.

But Vince Carter knows better than to raise his elbow like that. The Vince Carter I know and love would’ve waited until the next trip down the court and then jumped over him.

Maybe Vince is still upset from the last time the Suns and Grizzlies met.


BBNBA: Boogie and the Brow combine for 69 points

USATSI_9896154_154849602_lowres

Plenty of Cats were in action last night in the NBA, led by DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, who combined for 69 points in New Orleans’ loss to Oklahoma City. That’s where we’ll start today’s BBNBA roundup…

bbnba-cousinsDeMarcus Cousins, Pelicans (118-110 loss to the Thunder)

MIN

FG

3PT

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

21

8-15

0-3

15-15

2

8

10

3

0

0

1

6

+2

31

Boogie got a technical 32 seconds in to the game, his 18th of the season, which means he’ll have to serve a one-game suspension:

However, he shook it off and delivered this nice pass to Anthony Davis in the middle:


bbnba-davisAnthony Davis, Pelicans (118-110 loss to the Thunder)

MIN

FG

3PT

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

32

15-28

2-3

6-6

3

4

7

4

1

0

1

4

-6

38

Meanwhile, Anthony Davis had 24 points in the first quarter alone, a Pelicans record. Watch them all below:


bbnba-kanterEnes Kanter, Thunder (118-110 win over the Pelicans)

MIN

FG

3PT

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

24

6-9

0-0

8-10

3

6

9

3

1

0

2

4

+21

20

Kanter scored 20 points off the bench for the Thunder, and had some impressive D vs. Boogie on this play:


bbnba-wallJohn Wall, Wizards (102-92 loss to the Jazz)

MIN

FG

3PT

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

37

9-18

2-4

3-5

0

3

3

11

4

0

9

2

-7

23

In the span of 30 seconds, Wall did a whole lotta awesome things last night:


bbnba-lylesTrey Lyles, Jazz (102-92 win over the Wizards)

DNP – Coach’s decision


bbnba-bledEric Bledsoe, Suns (100-96 loss to the Bucks)

MIN

FG

3PT

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

34

4-10

0-2

3-4

0

4

4

9

2

2

5

4

+5

11

Bledsoe got’em on this play:


bbnba-bookDevin Booker, Suns (100-96 loss to the Bucks)

MIN

FG

3PT

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

35

5-11

2-3

3-4

0

4

4

3

1

0

3

3

+6

15

Check out Baby Book getting chippy with Khris Middleton!

Middleton is lucky Tyler Ulis didn’t run over and knock him out for messing with his boy.

(more…)


Why does Draymond Green get a pass for his antics, but DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t?

As we all know, DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans following the NBA All-Star game last Sunday night. Nearly everyone applauded the move, and rightfully so.

Boogie was able to join Anthony Davis to create the most formidable frontcourt duo the NBA has seen since David Robinson and Tim Duncan. The NBA world was fascinated by the idea of “fire and ice,” the nickname given to the duo by Boogie himself, and the Big Blue Nation went crazy to see two stars of the Kentucky family on the same squad.

For Cousins, it was a much-needed fresh start.

The phrases “toxic,” “crybaby,” “locker room cancer,” “chemistry killer” and countless others have been thrown around in reference to Cousins in his six-year career in Sacramento, none of which appropriately characterize the former Kentucky center. We know him as a big ole’ friendly teddy bear that would give the shirt off his back without thinking twice, combined with a competitive nature, ready to go to war for his teammates.

In the NBA, his incredible character traits have been lost in translation. If you ask the media, at least.

The countless hours of community service and hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to charity aren’t in the headlines. “Santa Cuz” and his time spent helping the less fortunate isn’t publicized.

@boogiecousins

@boogiecousins

It’s the temper tantrums, technical fouls, and media blowouts that turn heads. Cousins’ on-court success has been riddled with asterisks since day one.

“He’s a talented player, but…

The Kings held him hostage in a toxic environment, and showed no promise of making significant change around him. Despite developing into the greatest big man the league has seen since Shaquille O’Neal, his “character flaws” shined through.

In Cousins’ world, the “bad boy” persona media placed on him outweighed the talent, and he quickly became a public enemy.

Roughly 83 miles down the road from Sacramento, however, a winning culture has given All-Star forward Draymond Green a free ticket to act how he pleases with little repercussions. And that’s bullshit.

Despite Green’s knack for kicking opponents in the groin, massive outbursts toward officials and coaches, and relentless trash talk, no one seems to bat an eye. It’s been brought up on afternoon sports talk shows on ESPN, but the narrative seems to always fall back on his on-court abilities. He has been able to remain hidden in a cast of All-Stars, and winning has masked the backlash of fines, suspensions, and immense media scrutiny.

He even has several montages on YouTube documenting his dirtiest plays and excessive trash talking:

In the media’s eyes, he’s certainly rough around the edges, but the focus is on the talent he brings to Golden State and how lucky the team is to have him.

Don’t get me wrong, Green is an unbelievable talent and has really found his niche on a championship roster. He’s a big reason the Warriors won the title back in 2015 and went on the most historic regular season run in NBA history the year after. There’s no denying it.

But his antics should be in the spotlight just as much as his impressive highlights.

So why does the media treat DeMarcus Cousins and Draymond Green differently?

For Green, it’s considered “passion” and “competitive nature.” “It’s just Draymond,” they say. He gets a pass because his actions haven’t been detrimental to team chemistry. Yet.

On Thursday night, Green went on an emotional tirade against the Los Angeles Clippers where he lashed out at referees for a call and stormed off the court. His temper tantrum earned him a technical foul, his ninth of the year, but the Warriors still managed to score 123 points en-route to a double-digit victory. The tirade was immediately lost in the shuffle.

Golden State is now 49-9 on the year, and Draymond will continue to be celebrated for his contributions on the floor.

Winning masks all flaws.

When the media discusses Green, they discuss his versatility and unique skill-set as a big man to do all of the “little things” it takes to win a ring. He rebounds well, runs the floor, passes, and he’s a physical scorer. He does it all.

Green was placed beautifully in Golden State, the perfect complement to his game. He has two of the greatest shooters in NBA history with the defensive focus centered on them, and all he has to do is play cleanup duty and reap the benefits. Kevin Durant’s arrival has only emphasized this.

Green will continue to kick opponents and throw temper tantrums, but as long as it doesn’t interfere with the Warriors’ winning ways, no one will care.

For Boogie, he couldn’t have been in a more polar opposite position in Sacramento. Teams were able to double and triple-team him in the post because they were well aware of the rest of the team’s shortcomings. Rudy Gay, an above-average wing by NBA standards, was the only consistent contributor outside of Cousins in his tenure in Sacramento.

The other talent they managed to place around Cousins was moved in various trades for pennies on the dollar. Isaiah Thomas and Hassan Whiteside are now dominating for other organizations with absolutely zero return for Sacramento. But hey, at least seasoned veterans like Kosta Koufos, Arron Afflalo, and Darren Collison have managed to stick around garnering a plethora of minutes. Woof.

When you look at the draft, you see Nik Stauskas, Thomas Robinson, and Ben McLemore, three guys the Kings selected in the top ten. Three shots, and they missed on every one. Two years ago, they drafted former Kentucky star Willie Cauley-Stein at No. 6, a move Kentucky fans were certainly excited for. At the time it was enticing to think of a frontcourt of both Boogie and WCS, but he is absolutely not a guy you build a team around. He’s a complementary asset you add to take your team from good to great.

Sacramento has proven time and time again they are the most clueless front office in all of professional sports. They created a losing atmosphere, and the NBA world expected Cousins to remain sane.

If you wasted your prime years in a barren wasteland of an organization, for a front office that swung and missed time and time again in the NBA Draft, free agency, and trade circuit, you’d realize keeping your composure was nearly impossible. Hell, the only reason he went to the Pelicans among a slew of other offers was because the Sacramento front office felt Buddy Hield was the next Steph freaking Curry.

Seriously. What does that tell you about who Cousins was dealing with?

And let’s not act like the Kings rallied behind their star big man, either.

Throughout his career, Cousins was being actively shopped around the league, but was always told face-to-face he had nothing to worry about, he would not be traded. The front office denied the talks every time. Last weekend, Kings GM Vlade Divac continued to tell the media the rumors were false, even following the All-Star Game. Both Cousins and his agents were assured yet again he was the franchise centerpiece and would never be moved.

He was traded 40 minutes later.

For six seasons, Cousins was condemned in Sacramento, made out to carry more baggage than reward in the long haul. Hell, media members like Bill Plaschke of ESPN said Cousins was unwanted by everyone in the NBA and didn’t deserve to be on the 2016 Olympic roster because he didn’t represent our country well enough. It was a non-stop charade, his flaws were always placed on a golden plate and shoved down everyone’s throats.

Cousins had every reason to be frustrated in Sacramento. I would be, and so would you.

But what is Draymond’s excuse?

Is he winning too much? Is he upset because he has become the fourth option on a championship team? Boo-hoo. Cousins would kill to be in that position.

When Boogie was at Kentucky, he had no problems. Coach Cal loved him, his teammates rallied behind him, and he was a fan-favorite from the very start.

Fighting to be a winner in a losing situation can only last so long before you drive yourself nuts.

The Pelicans have a long way to go before making a legitimate splash in the Playoffs, but a change of scenery was a fantastic step in the right direction for the most misunderstood player in the league. Cousins deserves to be appreciated for his talents, not chastised for his flaws. Especially when Draymond Green is being praised by the talking heads on ESPN for similar behavior.

New Orleans, please develop a winning culture so people can see the real Boogie. The BBN is begging you.

@JackPilgrimKSR


Karl-Anthony Towns has career night with 37 points and 22 rebounds

karltownsfinger getty

Last night, Karl-Anthony Towns took the NBA by storm. Again.

The former Wildcat dropped 37 points on 66% shooting, 22 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block in Minnesota’s 142-130 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Check out some of the highlights from the game:

Even with the monster night, KAT was not content with the loss. Instead of going to bed early or going out on the town, he went straight to work after the game.

Over the last three games, Towns is averaging 29 points and 19.6 rebounds a game for the Timberwolves, leading the team to a 2-1 record in that span.

Just remember though, UK’s NBA track record is “embarrassing” in the eyes of Colin Cowherd. Lol.


Boogie opens up on how the Kings mishandled his trade

Boogie opens up on how the Kings mishandled his trade

USATSI_9896154_154849602_lowres

One day, there will be a “30 for 30” about the Kings trading DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans. This morning, Marc J. Spears released an interview with Boogie about the shocking blockbuster trade, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but man, the Kings really did Boogie wrong. In the interview, Cousins said Vlade Divac and his agent came to his house a week before the trade and promised him they were doing everything they could to keep him. Making matters worse, the Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadivé texted Cousins right before he left for New Orleans to go to the All-Star game to consult him about bringing in another player, making the trade even more unexpected. For Cousins, it was just the latest mess up by a truly dysfunctional franchise. How should they have handled it?

“Like a man. Like a professional. The more those guys talk, the more things come out. It’s just crazy. This ain’t something that happened in a few days. It has been discussed with more than one team. I just don’t understand.”

The video of Cousins tearing up about having to leave Sacramento during a speaking engagement went viral earlier this week, and Boogie said when he saw his longtime equipment manager get emotional, he couldn’t hold back anymore.

“It was because of my [Kings assistant] equipment manager [Miguel Lopez], who has been there since my rookie season. He was emotional right away. He just put me in a place. I haven’t cried in a long time. It just broke me down. It hit me like, ‘This s— is really happening.’ It was something that I never expected to happen. I was also told [a trade] wouldn’t happen, so …

It just hit. I just walked in and people started cheering. Something overcame me and I just broke down.”

Cousins said he’s in a good place now and ready for a fresh start with New Orleans. Thank goodness, because he deserves it.

[The Undefeated]


@PelicansNBA

BBNBA: Boogie’s first game in New Orleans

@PelicansNBA

@PelicansNBA

Last night was a big night for former Kentucky Wildcats in the NBA for multiple reasons. The first and most obvious being that it was the first time that Cats fans could see Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins play alongside each other for the New Orleans Pelicans. On top of that, both Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere got the chance to play huge minutes for the Sacramento Kings with Cousins no longer playing 35+ minutes in the post.

bbnba-cousins

DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans Pelicans (129-99 loss to Rockets)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 35  11-19  1-5  4-5  4  10  14  5  5  4 1  4  -13  27

Cousins’ first night in New Orleans wasn’t a great result on the scoreboard, but he and Davis both had big nights. Boogie with the first points of the game.

And some footwork on the outside for Big Cuz is pretty.

bbnba-davis

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans (129-99 loss to Rockets)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 33  8-21  0-2 13-16  3  6  9  1  2  2  3  2  -31  29

Nice finish through contact for AD.

bbnba-cauley-stein-wcs

Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento Kings (116-100 win over Nuggets)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 35  14-22  0-0  1-1  3  7  10  0 0  1  3  3  +17  29

Willie goes for a career high 29 points. Incredible. Here’s a beauty of a move to the rim.

Everybody eats as WCS and Skal celebrate another Willie bucket.

bbnba-labissiere

Skal Labissiere, Sacramento Kings (116-100 win over Nuggets)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 14  5-7  0-0  2-2  2  1  3  2  1  0  1  2  +15  12

Skal Labissiere also went for a career-high in points tonight. Skal got in on the action with a tip slam.

Nice fading jumper from Labissiere here.

bbnba-murray

Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets (116-100 loss to Kings)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 19  0-6  0-3  0-0  0  2  2  2  0  0 0 0 -11  0

 

bbnba-kidd-gilchrist

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Hornets (114-108 loss to Pistons)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 39  5-9  0-0  2-2  2  12  14  2  2  2  0  2  +9  12

MKG gets the steal and then is rewarded with a an open dunk.

bbnba-liggins

DeAndre Liggins, Cleveland Cavaliers (119-104 win over Knicks)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
3  1-2  0-0  0-0  0  2  2 0  0  0  0  1  +0  2

 


Here’s the NBA schedule for tonight:

  • Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers, 7pm ET
  • Memphis Grizzlies at Indiana Pacers, 7pm ET
  • Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors, 8pm ET on ESPN
  • Phoenix Suns at Chicago Bulls, 8pm ET
  • Utah Jazz at Milwaukee Bucks, 8pm ET
  • Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8pm ET
  • Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks, 8pm ET
  • Brooklyn Nets at Denver Nuggets, 9pm ET
  • San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30pm ET on ESPN

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Watch: Highlights from Boogie’s First Game in New Orleans

@PelicansNBA

@PelicansNBA

DeMarcus Cousins’ debut for the New Orleans Pelicans began with a bang, but the night ended with a whimper.  The Houston Rockets pulled away from New Orleans in the second quarter and never looked back.  The Pelicans lost 129-99.

Still, there are plenty of highlights to share.  Davis finished with a team-high 29 points and 9 rebounds, but he didn’t fill the stat sheet quite like Cousins.  Boogie had 27 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 4 blocks.  Cousins started strong, knocking down his first shot as a Pelican.

The crowd’s reaction to his make might be even better than slow motion.

The best of Boogie’s four blocks was this swat on James Harden.

(more…)


Terrence Jones waived by the Pelicans

No room for the real T. Jones after the DeMarcus Cousins trade.

It’s unfortunate, but he’ll land on his feet. Plenty of spots in the league for a 12 and 6 guy.


Suns tried but couldn’t move Brandon Knight before deadline

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and Brandon Knight is still a member of the Phoenix Suns.

The Suns were seeking a second-round pick in exchange for the former Wildcat (a small asking price for one of SI.com’s top 100 NBA players) but could not find any takers before today’s 3 pm deadline.

Had Knight been dealt, Tyler Ulis was expected to see an increase in minutes. That still may be the case, although keeping Knight will not help Ulis’ shot.

To recap, this year’s trade season saw DeMarcus Cousins join Anthony Davis in New Orleans; Nerlens Noel get out of Philadelphia; and Phoenix still has four ex-Kentucky Wildcats.


Philadelphia trades Nerlens Noel on trade deadline day

Nerlens Noel is on the move, hours before the NBA trade deadline.

Adrian Wojnarowski (who else) is reporting the Philadelphia 76ers have shipped Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks. The Sixers will reportedly get a protected 2017 first-round pick, forward Justin Anderson and center Andrew Bogut in exchange for the former Kentucky big man.

There aren’t many teams out there that are worse off than the Sixers, but Noel might’ve found one.

Good luck to him at the next stop.


Check out this ranking of Coach Cal’s best NBA players

Our dear friend Aaron Torres over at FoxSports.com released a ranking of John Calipari’s former Wildcats who are currently in the National Basketball Association. And though he won’t admit it, I firmly believe this is Aaron’s indirect response to Colin Cowherd’s asinine comments about the ex-Cats “underwhelming” in the league.

In the rankings you’ll find Anthony Davis up first at No. 1 overall. Behind him, John Wall at No. 2. Behind him, Davis’ new teammate, DeMarcus Cousins. Then there’s the debate of Eric Bledsoe or Karl-Anthony Towns at No. 4, which went to Bledsoe in a close call here.

You’ll have to click here to check out the entire rankings to see where each Wildcat falls on the rest of the list.

The best part is it never gets old seeing all the Kentucky names in the league. The ranking is a great visual reminder of the Cats’ “underwhelming” NBA dominance.


Best Quotes From DeMarcus Cousins’ First Press Conference

Best Quotes From DeMarcus Cousins’ First Press Conference

DeMarcus Cousins was officially introduced as the Pelicans’ new starting center in a press conference down in New Orleans earlier today, and if it was his first test with his new organization, he passed with flying colors.

Cousins was funny, honest and very candid in his remarks about leaving Sacramento and moving to the Big Easy. Many of his best quotes from the afternoon have been passed around Twitter and replayed on ESPN, but I’ve narrowed it down to my favorites for the Boogie-lovin’ crowd here on KSR…

 

— When asked about teaming up with Anthony Davis in the Pelicans’ new front court, Cousins said, “You got a little fire, you got a little ice.”

Fire and Ice, love it.

fire-ice

 

— Vlade Divac reached out to Cousins after the deal went through, but the two did not speak. “It’s done,” Cousins said of the whole thing.

“The way it was done and the dishonesty that came with it. But I’m okay with it,” he added.

— In the funniest part of the press conference, when asked how competitive he is, Cousins replied, “About 17 technicals worth.”

— Cousins said Anthony Davis sent him a text that read, “Yo, I really want you to come to New Orleans,” but then blew it off without realizing he was actually being recruited. “I kind of ignored him because I didn’t know how to answer it. Then I ran into Dell (the Pelicans GM) and it’s just like ‘What the hell is going on?”

— The lack of talent on the Kings roster was weighing on him in Sacramento: “I would go home, just stressed out, pulling my hair out, you know, praying, praying, praying: Just send me some help.”

— And the most exciting quote of the day? “We can wreak havoc on this league. Will it happen overnight? Probably not, but our potential is scary.”

 

Watch Cousins’ entire press conference:


Cousins to wear new number in New Orleans for “new life”

After wearing the No. 15 throughout high school, his one season at the University of Kentucky and his six-plus years with the Sacramento Kings, DeMarcus Cousins has a new jersey number.

Cousins will wear the No. 0 with the Pelicans.

When asked why the change, he simply told ESPN, “New life…”

@BenGolliver

@BenGolliver

At today’s press conference down in the Big Easy, Cousins told reporters he and Anthony Davis will be like “Fire and Ice” in the Pelicans’ frontcourt.

“I think we can wreak havoc on this league,” he said. “The potential is scary.”

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to run to the mailbox to see if my Pelicans gear has arrived yet.


DeMarcus Cousins pens emotional farewell to Sacramento fans

(Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

After nearly breaking down in tears in front of a group of fans last night, DeMarcus Cousins just released an emotional farewell letter to Sacramento, promising fans that just because he’s with the New Orleans Pelicans now, he will never forget the city that was his home for almost seven years:

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family…and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on

Leaving fans in Sacramento must have been tough, but Boogie sure looked happy when he stepped of the private plane in Nola:

This picture of Boogie reading the New Orleans paper on the plane from his manager Andrew Rogers is also very cool:

Here’s to a clean slate.