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Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
Not only is today National Caviar Day, it’s Bam Adebayo’s birthday. The former Cat and current Miami Heat rookie turns the ripe old age of 20 today. Don’t worry, Bam, you don’t look a day over 48.
After the Heat drafted Bam 14th last month, Pat Riley said he believes Bam could one day have his jersey retired at American Airlines Arena, high praise that the young fella did his best to back up in the summer league. In seven games over the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues, Bam averaged 16.6 points and 8.5 rebounds. His shooting percentages dropped off in Vegas, but it’s clear he’s got promise:
Happy birthday, Bam. Enjoy South Beach.
A post shared by Bam Adebayo (@bam1of1) on
Anthony Davis is currently on a roster full of Cats down in New Orleans, but should the Boogie/Brow experiment not work out, a big suitor is apparently waiting in the wings. The Vertical’s Chris Mannix is reporting that the Boston Celtics are prepared to make a “strong run” at Davis should he decide sharing a frontcourt with DeMarcus Cousins is not in his best interest.
Davis is currently under contract with the Pelicans through the 2020-21 season, but should the opportunity arise, it sounds like Brad Stevens is ready to pounce. Can you blame him? Davis would be the piece the Celtics need to achieve superteam status. Last season, he averaged 28.0 points (off 50.5% shooting), 11.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks, and scored at least 40 points in eight games. If you had to choose one Kentucky player in the league to build your team around right now, it’d be a close race between him and Karl Towns.
I’m still rooting for Boogie and the Brow (and maybe John Wall joining them down the line), but Davis to the Celtics is an intriguing thought, especially on a slow Tuesday night.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 18th, 2017 @ 3:30pm
The Sacramento Kings turned to a pair of former Kentucky players to show off their new jerseys today. De’Aaron Fox and Willie Cauley-Stein are modeling Nike’s new Icon and Association edition uniforms, which will replace the traditional home and away uniforms in the league this upcoming season.
Each team in the league will have four uniforms to choose from. Here’s Willie in the Association Edition, a white uniform that pays homage to the league:
And De’Aaron in the Icon edition, a uniform in the team’s primary color that honors each franchise:
The other two versions have yet to be released, and the Kings are the first to show off their new Nike threads. How are they different than the old uniforms? To start, they’re made of 100% recycled fabric (20 bottles were used to create each uniform). Designers also moved the armhole and neck and side seams to create a better fit and altered the hemline of shorts and jerseys for better range of motion.
Does this mean Kentucky basketball is getting new uniforms this year as well? Please???
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 18th, 2017 @ 11:30am
Lonzo Ball had a heck of a run in the NBA Summer League, but as always, his dad won’t stop talking about De’Aaron Fox. A week ago, Ball sat out of the Lakers’ game vs. the Kings with a “sore groin,” a move most interpreted as him ducking another matchup with Fox. When asked about it on Fox Sports Radio on Sunday, LaVar Ball went off as only LaVar Ball could, claiming Fox is only famous because of Lonzo.
“Duck De’Aaron Fox? Have you heard about De’Aaron Fox? Hell nah. You can’t hear about him unless he puts my boy’s name in his mouth. He been doing all this stuff and ain’t nobody been talking about him. So he and his dad gotta link themselves to us to be relevant. De’Aaron Fox had a whole season and the only thing they talk about is 39 points against Zo. You don’t put Zo in a sentence, nobody cares about him.
And the little white guy, what’s his name, [Lakers guard Alex] Caruso, gave him a tailwhipping. Let’s put that one out there. That boy outplayed him all day. All day.”
Caruso scored 18 points in 30 minutes while Fox scored 12 points in 20 minutes before leaving the game with an ankle injury. Not exactly a “tailwhipping,” but hey, whatever drives the narrative, right, LaVar?
Listen to the segment yourself below, starting around the 8:18 mark:
Good morning, friends, and shoutout to this Kentucky fan for repping the Cats at the Grand Canyon. The only way that picture could get more American is if it also included John Short and a bald eagle. This Top 10’s for you, sir.
1. UK Football landed a big transfer last night
USC offensive lineman EJ Price visited Kentucky this weekend and liked it so much he decided he wanted to stay. Yesterday evening, the 6-6, 325 lbs. Price committed to Kentucky. He was the 9th best offensive tackle in the 2016 class per 247 Sports and initially chose USC over the likes of Florida State, LSU, Ohio State, and, Notre Dame. After three games at Southern Cal, he decided to transfer to be closer to home. Now, he’ll play his college ball for Mark Stoops and company after sitting out for a season. He’s ready:
This next semester I am going to be dedicated to making my team better in anyway possible and perfecting my craft!
— E.j. Price (@Goaldyn) July 18, 2017
For more on Price, check out Nick’s post from last night.
2. John Wall and Randall Cobb are going to the Hall of Fame
Yesterday, DeWayne Peevy broke the news on KSR that John Wall and Randall Cobb are part of the 2017 UK Athletics Hall of Fame class, which also includes Collin Cowgill (baseball), Ralph Hacker (broadcaster), Sherry Hoover Bordner (cross country/indoor track/outdoor track), and Sarah Rumely (volleyball).
The group will be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 22-23, in conjunction with the football home game vs. Florida. A big weekend just got bigger.
3. This year’s Alumni Game could be the best yet
Peevy also teased that he’s working on getting the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets to play an All-UK dream team in this year’s Alumni Charity Game, which takes place on August 25 at Rupp Arena. If that happens (a big IF), it would be incredible. Ticket info for the game will be released later this week.
4. The team is finally all together in Lexington
During his interview with Peevy, Calipari said the team would probably go through its first practice either last night or today. In typical Cal form, he went on and on about how this will be his greatest challenge as a coach yet.
“I had a meeting, I just told them this will be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, which means it will be the hardest thing they’ve ever done. The most inexperienced team I’ve ever coached, which means maybe the most inexperienced team ever to try to do something unique and special. And if you think it’s going to be easy, there’s a magic wand, you’re in the wrong room. It’s going to be hard, everybody’s going to have to be about each other even though they’re responsible for themselves. You’ve got to be about each other or this thing doesn’t get done. Great meeting, I’m going to have a workout with them tonight or tomorrow.”
We’ll bring you scuttlebutt when it comes out.
5. If you haven’t yet, go back and listen to yesterday’s podcast
If you couldn’t tell by all the content it produced, Peevy’s turn in the hosting chair was a hit. Go back and check it out to hear his interviews with Calipari, Randall Cobb, and several more behind-the-scenes stories, including Cal’s reaction to his first ever practice at Kentucky. Spoiler: he was overwhelmed, to say the least.
6. Speaking of podcasts…
We’ve got two new ones for you this morning: Kentucky Thrones Radio with Nick and TJ Walker, and the Depth Chart Podcast with Freddie Maggard. I’m counting on KTR to get me through a humid, hot run today, so let’s hope Nick and TJ don’t spend too much time talking about that disgusting Samwell poop-shoveling montage.
7. This LSU defensive lineman totally looks like a fat Harrison Twin
Shoutout to Kyle Tucker, who first pointed out that LSU defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence totally resembles a fat Aaron Harrison. Or Andrew. Either way, can someone check on one of the two to make sure they didn’t gain 100 lbs. overnight?
8. This Texas Tech defensive back had fun with the media at Big 12 Media Days
Media Days can be an exhausting process for players, coaches, and reporters, but Texas Tech defensive back Jah’Shawn Johnson had some fun with it by making Media Day Bingo in anticipation of the questions he’d receive. As someone who has asked a lot of predictable questions at these things, I think he nailed it.
9. This golden retriever is a good dog
Today in “Good Dogs,” a golden retriever noticed a fawn drowning in the Long Island Sound, so he jumped in and saved it:
Thankfully, both Storm and the fawn are okay. Storm deserves all the treats today.
10. Who will host today’s KSR?
UK Baseball coach Nick Mingione was scheduled to host this morning’s show but had to cancel due to a family emergency. Who will fill in for him? I’d tell you, but what’s the fun in that? Tune in an hour from now to find out.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 17th, 2017 @ 11:00pm
It’s been the debate of the Calipari Era: could a team of former Kentucky players take down an NBA super team like the Golden State Warriors? If the folks at UK have their way, we might find out next month.
This morning on KSR, Deputy Director of Athletics DeWayne Peevy said he wants this year’s Alumni Game to feature an all-star UK team and an NBA super team, ala the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets.
“Everybody talks about this All-Kentucky basketball team,” Peevy said. “I’d like to invite one of these so-called NBA super teams to play against us. Whether it’s the Warriors, the Rockets, all these people who are putting these teams together, come play us, an All-Kentucky team, at Rupp Arena on August 25 for charity. Let’s do it.”
In fact, Peevy said he’s already reached out to some of the NBA’s biggest stars to see if they’re interested.
“I’ve got a few feelers out. I’m talking to James Harden (Rockets) and Kevin Durant (Warriors). Bring your team — I don’t care if they combine themselves, they’re not taking down Big Blue Nation.”
Later in the show, Calipari called in and said that while he’s skeptical that Peevy could pull the idea off, he loves it.
“I already put in a call to [Kevin] Durant and [James] Harden,” Peevy told Cal. “I may need you to call Lebron [James]. They might have to all come together to beat us.”
The Alumni Game will take place Friday, August 25 at Rupp Arena. Tickets should go on sale later this week. In the meantime, have fun debating whether a team featuring John Wall, Anthony Davis, Karl Towns, DeMarcus Cousins, and Devin Booker (or any combination of your liking) could take down the Warriors, Rockets, or Cavs. I say yes.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 17th, 2017 @ 4:00pm
John Wall is headed to the UK Athletics Hall of Fame, and there are few people happier about that than John Calipari. Wall was Calipari’s first mega-recruit at Kentucky, and, this morning on KSR, Cal said he hopes Wall will be the first of many one-and-done players in the UK Hall of Fame because he’s the perfect example of the program’s players first philosophy.
“To do that for him is a big deal and hopefully starts a path for these players who have come here and call this place home. And know they’re family. And stay in touch with all of us and come back for events. …This thing here, we’re about these kids, which means they’re about each other which means they’re about us too. He was the epitome, the first guy out of the gate.”
Calipari recalled the time Wall came into his office and said they had to find a way to boost Eric Bledsoe’s confidence because Bledsoe didn’t think he would make it in the NBA. Cal said Wall’s concern for his teammates was the perfect example of how his players drag each other to success.
“I just hope there’s a trail of guys because John was one of those that — at some point in the season, I called him in and we talked and he told me Eric Bledsoe didn’t think he was an NBA player and we had to help him. That came from John. I sat him down and said, are you kidding me? He said no. I said, well I’ve got that. Here’s what I’m going to tell you John: I don’t want you to leave here alone. You take everybody with you. Don’t do this just for you. Take everybody with you. I didn’t expect him to take four other guys with him, but he did. And he played the best through the year, really showing leadership for a young kid who hadn’t been thrust into that situation.”
As time goes by, it becomes more and more clear that the 2009-10 team changed the sport of college basketball, which Calipari said makes Wall’s honor especially fitting.
“He set the tone of where college basketball was going. Not just Kentucky, but where college basketball was going. I know everyone was mad at me — and some of them are still mad. Kids should stay four years and this is not how they should be –but times are a changing. And he was the one who led the charge and showed us we can be about the players and still do fine.”
Per UK rules, once Wall is inducted into the Hall of Fame in September, he will have to wait five more years until his jersey can be considered for retirement; for critics of the one-and-done method, that could be a hard pill to swallow, but given how Wall helped Kentucky climb back up to college basketball’s throne and his impact on the sport, it seems like a no-brainer to me.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 17th, 2017 @ 10:20am
If you’re listening to KSR, you just heard DeWayne Peevy announce some big news. John Wall and Randall Cobb headline the 2017 UK Athletics Hall of Fame class, which also includes Collin Cowgill (baseball), Ralph Hacker (broadcaster), Sherry Hoover Bordner (cross country/indoor track/outdoor track), and Sarah Rumely (volleyball). The group will be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 22-23, in conjunction with the football home game vs. Florida.
Check out bios of each member below, courtesy of UK Athletics:
Sherry Hoover Bordner, Cross Country/Indoor Track/Outdoor Track, 1986-89
A seven-time All-America honoree … Won SEC championships in the mile and on a pair of relay teams during her career … Set 10 school records during her career, including outdoor records in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs, 4×800 meter relay and the distance medley relay, and indoor records in the 1,500 meter run and 4×800 meter relay … Broke outdoor freshman record in the 800 meters and indoor freshman records in the 1000-yard run, 1,500-meter run and the mile … Member of the 1988 national champion cross country squad, which remains the only women’s national championship team at UK.
Randall Cobb, Football, 2008-10
Arguably the most versatile, dynamic playmaker in UK football history as a wide receiver, quarterback, punt returner and kickoff returner … First-team All-America as a junior … Two-year first-team All-SEC … Set SEC single-season record for all-purpose yardage (2,396 yards in 2010) … Set UK career record for touchdowns (37), although he played only three seasons … Clutch player who scored five game-winning fourth-quarter touchdowns in his career, vs. Arkansas, Louisville and South Carolina at home, also at Auburn and Georgia … Left UK after his junior season and was a second-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers … Has been a star wide receiver during his six-year career with the Packers, making the 2011 NFL All-Rookie Team and being selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2014 season … Returned to UK and finished his degree.
Collin Cowgill, Baseball, 2005-08
One of the top players in Kentucky baseball history, paced UK from a last-place finish in 2005 to its first-ever SEC Championship in 2006 … First-team All-America in 2008 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, leading UK to a then-record 44 wins and a berth in the NCAA Tournament … Also first-team All-SEC by the league coaches … A two-time Academic All-America selection … Ranks among the UK career leaders in runs, homers, RBI, walks, on-base percentage, sac bunts, sac flies, hit by pitches and steals … Fifth-round pick by Arizona in the 2008 MLB Draft … Reached the majors in 2011 and has played for the Diamondbacks, the Oakland Athletics, the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians.
Ralph Hacker, Broadcaster, 1966-2000
Spent 34 years on the UK Radio Network … Served as the men’s basketball analyst for many years with legendary broadcaster Cawood Ledford … Following Ledford’s retirement, he took over play-by-play duties for eight years, including UK’s 1996 and 1998 national championship seasons … The play-by-play voice of the Wildcat football team for five seasons … Was president of HMH Broadcasting, building a prominent network that featured then-UK flagship station WVLK … Also hosted head coaches’ pregame and postgame shows, as well as the weekly “Big Blue Line” call-in shows … All totaled, he was on the radio call for three men’s basketball national championships, seven Final Fours and four football bowl games.
Sarah Rumely, Volleyball, 2006-09
Only player in program history to be named SEC Freshman of the Year (2006) and SEC Player of the Year (2008) … Two-time AVCA All-American … Four-time All-SEC … Academic All-American third team … Led team to NCAA Tournament four times, including the Sweet 16 in 2009 … Finished career owning UK records in career assists (5,703) and aces (165) … 5,703 career assists also ranked fifth all-time in SEC history … Capped career ranking in the top 10 in sets played (3rd), block assists (9th), digs and attack percentage (10th) … Only player to record a triple-double in a match in program history (10 kills, 56 assists, 18 digs vs. Ole Miss) … Led team to No. 7 national ranking in ‘09 … Played professionally overseas … Currently an assistant coach at LSU.
John Wall, Men’s Basketball, 2010
First national player of the year in program history as winner of the Adolph Rupp Trophy … Named 2010 USBWA National Freshman of the Year … Consensus first-team All-American … 2010 SEC Player of the Year by Associated Press and SEC Coaches … SEC Freshman of the Year by the AP … First-team All-SEC … Named SEC Tournament MVP … Led UK to a No. 1 national ranking, SEC regular-season championship and the SEC Tournament championship … Set single-season assists record with 241 assists (broken 2016 by Tyler Ulis) … Averaged 16.6 points and 6.5 assists … First No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick in UK history … Four-time NBA All-Star through first seven seasons, averaging double-figure scoring every season … Tabbed third-team All-NBA in 2017 … Washington franchise career leader in assists and steals.
I think this calls for a little T-Rev, don’t you?
By Eli Mitchell on ©July 16th, 2017 @ 10:00pm
Former Cat Rajon Rondo agreed to a one-year deal with the Pelicans on Saturday joining fellow former wildcats Anthony Davis, Darius Miller, and DeMarcus Cousins in New Orleans.
According to league sources, Boogie played a key role in bringing Rondo to the Pelicans. The duo has experience playing with each other from their one season together in Sacramento in 2015. Cousins and Rondo developed some chemistry in the pick and roll game as Rondo led the league in assists that year with 11.7 per game.
If Rondo can continue the success he had in this year’s playoffs (before going down with an injury), Cousins will feel real good about bringing his former teammate to the Big Easy.
By Kindsey Bernhard on ©July 16th, 2017 @ 11:00am
The 2017 NBA Draft was loaded with several franchise point guards, however the Sacramento Kings believe they got the best one with the fifth pick in De’Aaron Fox.
“We got the best one, without a doubt,” Kings summer league coach Jason March told the Sacramento Bee.
Kings general manager Vlade Divac said the Kings would have selected Fox even if they had the first overall pick in the draft.
“First of all, we got the guy we wanted and I think he wanted us, I think he’s made that clear and we got the best one and we’re very excited,” March said. “With that said, there’s some talented young men, it was incredible watching these guys.”
The Kings finished 2-4 in summer league play. Fox averaged 11.8 points, 2.3 assists and 3 rebounds per game, while playing 21 minutes per game. Fox shot 44.4% from the field and averaged 2.5 turnovers per game.
The one thing Fox needs to work on? You guessed it, his three-point shooting. Fox shot 12.5% from behind the three-point line, but keep in mind he doesn’t take many three-point shots in the first place.
Fox knows the discussion for the best rookie point guard only matters when the regular season starts.
“Coming in we knew it was going to be a great point guard class and in summer league we proved it,” Fox said. “None of this matters at the end of the day, what matters is what we do when we actually get in the league in the regular season.”
I might be a little biased, but I would take Fox over Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz and Dennis Smith Jr. any day of the week.
By Kelsey Mattingly on ©July 15th, 2017 @ 9:00pm
Former Kentucky Wildcat Skal Labissiere is no stranger to playing with some pressure on his shoulders. This weekend, he showed his abilities to do just that in a summer league game with the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings’ summer league coach, Jason March, spoke to The Sacramento Bee about his expectations for Skal against the Milwaukee Bucks.
“There’s not a lot of players you can tell ‘Go get 40,’ but he is so unselfish I told him before the game, ‘Go get 40, go get 40 tonight’ because you know he’s still going to play the right way.”
Without the likes of former Wildcat De’Aaron Fox and other Kings members, Labissiere had a prime opportunity to perform. In his best game of the summer league, Skal posted 19 points and nine rebounds in the Kings’ 69-56 win against the Bucks.
“It doesn’t matter who we run the first couple of plays for,” he told The Bee. “I’m going to play hard no matter what and do what I’ve got to do. Whether they run plays for me or not, it’s still basketball. You’ve got to go out there and make it happen
Utilizing this time to push his physical and mental abilities to the limit, Labissiere is focusing on improving his own game. This shines in his willingness to walk the walk rather than talk.
“I’m comfortable,” Labissiere said. “I try not to talk too much. I’m a guy who leads by example, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”
Keep up with KSR this summer for updates on former Wildcats.
According to Keith Pompey at philly.com, Isaiah Briscoe is making the most of his limited role on the Sixers’ summer league team.
Briscoe told Pompey that he’s focused on being a good teammate and being ready to play at any moment. Despite the fact that he’s only contracted through the summer, Briscoe is shaking things up for Philly. He’s averaging 5.7 points a game, and about 8 minutes – he even earned a start last night against Chicago.
He’s really coming into his own this summer and on a team where Markelle Fultz is the star, that’s hard to do. Here’s a video recap of his performance against the Lakers the other night from @NJHoopRecruit
— NJ Basketball (@NJHoopRecruit) July 13, 2017
Rajon Rondo is just the latest NBA Cat to head to New Orleans, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Pelicans today according to Yahoo’s Shams Charania.
Free agent Rajon Rondo has reached agreement on a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 15, 2017
This now puts four Cats on the Pelicans roster with Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Darius Miller all already on the roster.
The NBA West is basically becoming a playground for former Cats and I love it.
It appears New Orleans is now home to our south campus, joining our southwest campus in Phoenix and our west campus in Sacramento #NBACats 😼
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) July 15, 2017
Sooooooo Suns vs. Pelicans exhibition in Rupp Arena?
By Kindsey Bernhard on ©July 14th, 2017 @ 10:00pm
DeMarcus Cousins will play for Team World in the second NBA Africa game that will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 5th.
The game will be played in support of UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s South Africa.
“Basketball is witnessing explosive growth in Africa. Our return to Johannesburg this summer is part of the League’s continued commitment to bring the authentic NBA experience to fans around the world. I would like to thank the NBPA for their participation and for being terrific partners on this game and surrounding events,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
The first NBA Africa game was played in South Africa in 2015 and Team World defeated Team Africa 101-97.
Full rosters via the NBA:
Team Africa, comprised of players born in Africa and second-generation African players, will be led by team captains Luol Deng (Los Angeles Lakers; South Sudan) and Thabo Sefolosha (most recently with the Atlanta Hawks; Switzerland; parent from South Africa). Deng and Sefolosha will be joined by Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Clint Capela (Houston Rockets; Switzerland; parents from Angola and Congo), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal; BWB Africa 2009), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011)*, Serge Ibaka (Toronto Raptors; Congo), Luc Mbah a Moute (most recently with the LA Clippers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2003), Salah Mejri (Dallas Mavericks; Tunisia), Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers; U.S.; parent from Nigeria) and Dennis Schroder (Hawks; Germany; parent from The Gambia).
Team World, comprised of players from the rest of the world, will be led by team captains Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks; Germany) and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets; U.S.). Nowitzki and Walker will be joined by Leandro Barbosa (most recently with the Phoenix Suns; Brazil), Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics; U.S.), Wilson Chandler (Nuggets; U.S.), DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans; U.S.), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons; U.S.), Courtney Lee (New York Knicks; U.S.), Kyle Lowry (Raptors; U.S.), CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers; U.S.) and Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks; Latvia).
The game will be livestreamed on Kwesesports.com at 11:00 am ET.
Rajon Rondo is still on the free agency market, but according to one report today, he could be headed to New Orleans.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe is reporting that Rondo is meeting with Pelicans executives today in Louisville to discuss a one-year deal, which would reunite him with former Kings teammate DeMarcus Cousins. If the deal goes down, the Pelicans would have FOUR former Cats on the roster in Rondo, Cousins, Anthony Davis, and Darius Miller; if James Young makes the roster after the Summer League, they would have five, surpassing Phoenix as the team with the most Cats in the league.
Earlier this week, Rondo met with the Los Angeles Lakers, who are looking for a point guard to help mentor Lonzo Ball. Last season, Rondo averaged 7.8 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.1 rebounds for the Chicago Bulls.
Potentially five Cats on the Pelicans? Sounds like we need a KSR New Orleans branch.