Similar to guys like Kevin Knox, PJ Washington, and Hamidou Diallo, Bam Adebayo struggled with an NBA decision last year.
He saw a late surge in the season, and at times, was one of the most dominant low-post players in the SEC. But he had many holes in his game, and genuinely loved his time at UK. Many reports said Adebayo went back and forth on whether to return to Kentucky for a sophomore season or enter the draft, and ultimately, he decided he was ready for the NBA.
But that choice may have been made for him by head coach John Calipari.
When I asked him on Friday night following Miami’s game against the Knicks, Adebayo said Coach Cal wanted him to provide for his family.
“He ripped up my scholarship for sure,” Adebayo said with a laugh. “He said this is your life, I want you to take care of your family. I took the time and thought about it, and made the jump.”
Malik Monk also said in Calipari ripped up his scholarship last offseason in an interview.
When it comes to current NBA decisions for guys on the team, Adebayo had one word of advice: If you’re wanting to make a jump, you better be ready for the grind.
“Going from playing 33 games to 82 is a big jump. You have to take care of your body,” he said. “If you have confidence in yourself, if you believe in yourself, and you have people in your circle that are going to be honest with you, that’s your choice.”
As far as his time at Kentucky goes, Adebayo says he loved every second he was in Lexington, and if you work hard, it’ll pay off with an NBA paycheck.
“It’s one of the top schools in the country. Just how many dudes we have in the NBA, we know Cal does his thing. We work hard for it, and it pays off in the end.”
Check out my entire interview with Bam below: