It was a La Familia reunion this morning at the Joe Craft Center, with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Eric Bledsoe, and DeMarcus Cousins back in town to help out with Calipari’s pro camps. The four held a brief press conference afterwards, the video of which you can see above. Here are some highlights:
— How many of the players will be back for the Alumni Game on September 9th? Michael Kidd-Gilchrst was the only player who said he was definitely attending, while DeMarcus Cousins joked that he would “if the money’s right.” Davis and Bledsoe are still debating.
— Of course, the Alumni Game is a showdown between the 2010 and 2012 teams, which you knew would be a hot topic of debate between the former players. Here’s their exchange when asked who would win:
Cousins: We will.
MKG: Everybody knows who’s going to win the game, really.
Davis: 2010. I say 2010 will win it.
Cousins: Thank you, Anthony.
Bledsoe: Did you say 2010 will win? Glad you’re honest.
Davis: Nah, 2012. We’re proven winners.
Cousins: Got nothing to say to that.
— What do they think of the current team?
Cousins: “I haven’t gotten a chance to work out with them, but I’m impressed with Julius Randle.”
Bledsoe: “Been back playing pickup. Like DeMarcus, I’m impressed with Julius and the Harrisons”
MKG: “I like Dakari Johnson and Julius, too.”
Davis: “What everybody else said.”
— The strong bond between the 2012 team was one of the reasons they won the national championship. MKG called it “a brotherhood,” and said that “it’s just different” in the NBA. He said that he’s growing up fast, which makes coming back to UK that much sweeter: “I just like being back here. Old memories. Friends here. It’s just an excuse to come back.”
— How much does DeMarcus Cousins thinks he’s matured since his time at UK? “I’ve matured.” Anthony Davis wasn’t about to let him get off that easy: “You saying he was immature before? That’s what he was implying, DeMarcus.” Cousins replied: “I’ve matured. I’m 22 now. I’m in my fourth (NBA) season. I’ve matured.”
— Eric Bledsoe was traded to the Phoenix Suns, where he’ll join rookie Archie Goodwin. Any advice for young pup? “Archie’s only 18. He’s got a lot to learn. He’s still growing as a person too. Archie’s going to be a pretty good player in the league.”
— Last season, MKG’s pickup game with Michael Jordan created a lot of buzz. MKG says that he’s a little less starstruck these days, but the two have bonded during his first year in Charlotte: “I see him like every day, so now it’s like, ‘Whatever.’ But when I first got there, I was shocked. I was shocked I was the No. 2 pick in the whole draft. He taught me a lot. I talk to him like every week. It’s a good feeling.” Want to feel old? MKG said that he didn’t really see MJ play back in the day because he was so young.
— We all know DeMarcus Cousins is a big kid, which he says makes the camps fun, not work:
“I don’t think people realize that me and Eric would’ve just finished our senior year last year, so we’re basically still kids. So when we’re around situations like this, that’s what we are: kids.”
I miss them.