Rise and shine, BBN. We officially have a new NBA Champion.
And a few former Kentucky Wildcats will be getting rings out of it.
Let’s dive right in.
Raptors win the NBA Finals
Last night, the Toronto Raptors stormed into Oracle Arena one last time to defeat the Golden State Warriors and take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
In a 114-110 victory, Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 26 points each, followed by Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard with 22 points.
For the Warriors, Klay Thompson finished with a game-high 30 points before falling to a torn ACL late in the third quarter. Andre Iguadola added 22 points, while Steph Curry finished with 21.
Former Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins also finished with 12 points, five rebounds, and two assists in the loss.
While he didn’t get in the game on Thursday evening, former Wildcat Jodie Meeks will be getting a championship ring, as will Jamaal Magloire as a team assistant.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) June 14, 2019
John Calipari signs his lifetime contract
After being originally announced in April, Kentucky head coach John Calipari has officially signed a new contract that will keep him in Lexington for the rest of his career.
On Thursday afternoon, Coach Cal signed his new 10-year, $86 million contract that will keep him at Kentucky through the 2028-29 season.
According to the official paperwork, after six years (2025), Calipari will have the option to step down as the head coach and become special assistant to the athletics director/university representative. He would receive $950,000 in annual compensation for the position.
“One of the truly unique things about Kentucky men’s basketball is its legacy of head coaches who have made their own lasting mark on this program. John is a perfect illustration of that,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said following the announcement. “He has added a special chapter to the greatest tradition in college basketball and it’s a chapter we want him to continue writing until the end of his coaching career. We are pleased to announce a new contract that will enable him to do exactly that.”
With a base salary of $400,000 per season from the university, Calipari will make $8 million in total compensation over the next two seasons with increases starting in 2021-22 ($8.5 million per year for four seasons) and 2025-26 ($9 million per year for four seasons).
“I want to thank the university, Dr. Eli Capilouto, Mitch Barnhart and DeWayne Peevy for approaching me with the opportunity to finish my career at Kentucky,” Calipari said. “I’ve said from day one that this would be the gold standard and it has been for student-athletes and coaches. As I enter my 11th year, I’m reminded it took me 20 years to get an opportunity to like this. There is no other place I want to be. As I look forward, my mindset is what’s next and how can we be first at it for the young people that we coach.”
NBPA Top 100 Camp
Speaking of Coach Cal, the UK head coach wasted no time after signing his new contract in getting back to work.
On Thursday evening, Calipari traveled to Charlottesville, VA to check out the NBPA Top 100 Camp featuring some of the nation’s top prospects in the class of 2020 and 2021.
Allowed to watch games from 2:00 p.m. on Thursday through 2:00 p.m. on Friday, Calipari, along with assistants Kenny Payne, Tony Barbee, and Joel Justus, watched elite Kentucky targets such as Makur Maker, Jalen Johnson, and Daishen Nix, among numerous others.
The Kentucky coaches are already back to work this morning, checking out Maker, Johnson, and 2020 four-star forward Dawson Garcia.
John Calipari, Kenny Payne, and Tony Barbee are here at the NBPA Top 100 Camp watching Jalen Johnson and Makur Maker, Joel Justus is on the other court watching Dawson Garcia. pic.twitter.com/fQol18Y9zM
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) June 14, 2019
Yesterday, I posted updates on the recruitments of Maker, Nix, and 2020 four-star center Cliff Omoruyi, who all had extremely positive things to say about Kentucky.
If you missed those, you can catch up below:
Today, I will have updates on Johnson, Garcia, and 2020 five-star shooting guard BJ Boston throughout the day, along with any other breaking news that pops up in Charlottesville.
Three Wildcats will be in the 2019 NBA Draft Green Room
On Thursday afternoon, Evan Daniels of 247Sports broke the news that there would be a clean sweep of Kentucky Wildcats in the Green Room on draft night.
After Tyler Herro and PJ Washington earned invites earlier in the week, Daniels reported that former Wildcat Keldon Johnson will be joining them next week.
Source: Keldon Johnson received an invite to the NBA Draft Green Room. Averaged 13.5 PPG & 5.9 RPG at Kentucky last season.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) June 13, 2019
As of right now, all three former Wildcats are expected to be taken anywhere from the late-lottery to the early 20s.
Be prepared for a whole lot of camera time for Coach Cal on Thursday…