Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
If you woke up this morning to read the daily paper (what I call my Twitter timeline), you might have noticed a trend directed at Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker. But not a positive one.
Video surfaced of the former Kentucky Wildcat being double-teamed in the corner during a pickup basketball game amongst other NBA players. Booker was not a fan of the defense being sent his way during a summer run, saying “Hey bro we not doubling in open gym, bro.”
— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) August 20, 2019
Current NBA free agent Joakim Noah (and former Florida Gator) responded to Booker by saying “yeah we are” and that it was “part of the game”. Twitter then went into full-on Twitter mode, throwing dagger after dagger at Booker for something as simple as an open gym. And I quickly learned that NBA Twitter has something against the former one-and-done (something that I’ve noticed has been a trend since he dropped 70 points against the Boston Celtics in 2017). Go ahead and search his name on social media, most of the posts are NSFL.
But what you didn’t see was Booker giving that entire court the business right before that, lighting up NBA players such as Ben Simmons and Tony Snell.
— Swish Cultures (@swishcultures_) August 16, 2019
My only response is this: wow, we really need something to occupy the time of NBA fans during the offseason.
Whether or not you agree or disagree with Booker being double-teamed, it ultimately doesn’t matter. Like, at all. Do they really need to double Booker during an open gym? The dude is literally wearing a zip-up hoodie and still driving past everyone. But they brought help defense for a reason – he was destroying them.
Booker is going to see a ton of doubles this season as he has consistently in the past. And that’s what practice is for. I can understand his frustration of being doubled while he earnestly wants to work on his game. If he wants to work on breaking double teams, I’m sure he has several drills that help him do that. But then again, he could just play the damn game. It can’t hurt to get in some extra practice against that kind of defense.
Let me just say it one more time, though: it was a PICK. UP. GAME.
All this situation truly taught me is that there are still droves of people out there actively rooting against Booker. This only added fuel to the fire. The Suns aren’t going to be *terrible* this year, although they certainly won’t be expected to make the playoffs. And with Ricky Rubio running point guard and another year of experience for Deandre Ayton, Booker might actually not see as many double-teams as he has in the past.
Even Booker knows it’s not a big deal.
Birthday work with pops. 30 minutes of passing out of doubles today ?? Naw for real thou, Appreciate your grind and realness??. pic.twitter.com/4yXP1cu6ZZ
— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) August 20, 2019
Can the NBA season just start already? I need Booker to average 29 per game so these clowns can finally sit down. But as we all know, the Internet cares not about facts. They’ll just drag him down for not averaging 30.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 19th, 2019 @ 6:30pm
The annual NBA Rookie Survey came out this morning, and two former Cats got some recognition from their peers ahead of their first year in the league.
Tyler Herro was voted Best Shooter with 33% of the vote, beating out Kyle Guy, Cameron Johnson, Ty Jerome, and Jordan Poole. Interestingly, Herro won the vote despite Guy and Johnson having better numbers, shooting 43% and 47% from three, respectively, compared to Herro’s 36%. (It’s gotta be that Bucket swagger, right?) Appropriately, Herro’s hero Devin Booker won the same category back in 2015.
Keldon Johnson’s name came up twice. He didn’t make the top five for “Which rookie will have the best career,” but got the sixth most votes of the next group. He also received votes for Biggest Steal of the Draft after being selected No. 29 by the Spurs. Bol Bol (drafted No. 44) and Kevin Porter Jr. (drafted No. 30) tied for the top spot with 19% of the votes. Zion Williamson was the top pick for Rookie of the Year, with 35% of the vote, followed by Ja Morant with 27%.
To check out the entire survey, click the link below.
Anyone who has been following the Team USA saga this season leading up to the FIBA World Cup knows that things have not been going well for the Red, White, and Blue hoops. Especially when it comes to keeping players on the roster. Player after player has left the team or declined an invite, typically stating that it is due to wanting to get ready for the upcoming NBA season, which is a fair excuse. The long 82 game regular-season of the NBA can be grueling, but it is clear many players just don’t feel the motivation to suit up for Team USA this summer, and really the last few summers.
There is a lack of star power that could possibly get Team USA in some trouble as they attempt to reclaim gold in the FIBA World Cup. Now, the USA has been very dominant internationally, even when the team was unable to acquire star power, but it should still leave fans worried. Out of the 11 American players to make an All-NBA team this season only one is going to be participating for Team USA in the World Cup – Kemba Walker. Out of 20 NBA All-Stars this season only two remain on the USA team: Walker and Khris Middleton.
If you look at the roster, it just doesn’t look like a typical World Cup team, and heading into the Olympics next year, will we see the same trend continue? Gregg Popovich is one of the greatest coaches of all time and Steve Kerr is one of his assistants. Two of the most liked coaches in the NBA can’t convince a couple more stars to play in this tournament? While many are thinking that it is an off-year since the Olympics aren’t until 2020, this will be the easiest way to qualify for the Olympics next year. If Team USA finishes top two among teams in the Western Hemisphere they will have their ticket punched. This way, over the next year, Team USA won’t have to waste time putting together another random roster and playing in qualifying games.
Not to mention since De’Aaron Fox left the team, there aren’t any more Kentucky players on the roster. For a couple of weeks during the summer, it looked like the National team and Select team would be loaded with BBNBA players, but alas there won’t be a single Wildcat on this year’s roster. This actually has me curious if an All-USA BBN team could win the World Cup or Olympics. A roster of the top 12 guys from Kentucky that are playing in the NBA right now would be a really solid team. Sadly, with guys like John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins injured for the foreseeable future, the team wouldn’t pack quite the same punch as a healthy roster would.
With that being said, Team USA is hardly in trouble in regards to winning the World Cup this year. The roster issues that have been hurting Coach Popovich and his staff are also hurting teams across the globe. Many European teams have experienced issues with getting star players to join rosters, and Canada has been hit especially hard. In the last eight to ten years, Canada has had an influx of NBA talent. For our neighbors to the north, they have lost out on RJ Barrett, Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson, Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and even players like Shai’s cousin Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Trey Lyles, and Nik Stauskas have passed on suiting up for their home country.
Team USA shouldn’t be too worried about this year’s World Cup and next year’s 2020 Olympic roster. However, the amount of star power in the NBA right now is ridiculous. You have freaks of nature like LeBron, KD, and Anthony Davis to pair with unreal playmakers and shooters like Curry and Klay, but I’m not sure if we will see a true “Dream Team,” for awhile. Perhaps if the NBA season were shorter more players would be willing to suit up in the summer for these tournaments, or maybe there needs to be more incentive for the players. It’s hard to compete with the monster-sized contracts that are being given in the NBA nowadays, and why would anyone want to risk injury like PJ Tucker this summer, or even worse the Paul George injury from 2014.
As fewer star players suit up for Team USA, the product just isn’t the same. Even if Kemba, Myles Turner, Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton, and Harrison Barnes win gold this year, does that sound like exciting basketball? Not nearly as exciting as what could have been. These international tournaments are one of the few times we get to see players from different teams get together on the same team outside of All-Star Weekend. Hopefully, 2020 goes smoother for Team USA and its roster issues.
The former Kentucky and current Golden State Warriors center turns 26 years old today!
Just a reminder that Willie Cauley-Stein use to dunk the ball A LOT ? pic.twitter.com/makecutCiq
— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) July 28, 2019
#BBN, I hope you'll join me in wishing @THEwillieCS15 a happy birthday today. Really excited to see what he does with an organization like the @warriors. I think it's going to be a really great fit. pic.twitter.com/PRhsL4H1zD
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) August 18, 2019
After averaging 11.9 points, 8.4 rebounds per game in 2018 for the Sacramento Kings, Cauley-Stein agreed to a two-year, $4.4 million deal with the Warriors.
Ultimately, the decision came down to situation for Cauley-Stein, as he couldn’t turn down the recruiting of Steph Curry, Steve Kerr, and Draymond Green.
“I know I had said something about getting paid at the beginning of the year. But by the end of it, it was no longer about getting paid. It was about staying secure and building off that security. … I think the Warriors are probably the best at doing that in the league. It was a really easy decision on me and my team’s part.”
With the change of scenery and a talented group around him, Cauley-Stein is poised for an improved year.
Let’s send him some love today, BBN!
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 17th, 2019 @ 8:15pm
On Thursday afternoon, it was announced that former Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins had torn his ACL and his 2019-20 season was over before it had even begun.
The injury reportedly occurred in a morning practice session in Las Vegas when his knee hit the knee of another participating player in transition.
Immediately after, Cousins left the court and traveled to Los Angeles, where tests confirmed the worst.
Now, footage of the incident has been released to the public.
WARNING: WATCH AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION
After the injury, Cousins’ former head coach in Golden State, Steve Kerr, said he was “devastated” for the former Wildcat.
“I’m devastated for DeMarcus. It’s been a couple of years of hell,” he said. “I was really hoping this season would be a chance to get healthy. We’re all crushed for him.”
Kerr also added that Cousins gave the Warriors “everything he had” in his NBA Finals appearance and appreciated his efforts.
“Game two and game five [of the NBA Finals], the two games we won, it wasn’t a coincidence that DeMarcus played really well,” he said. “He helped us immeasurably, knocking down shots, scoring inside, rebounding. The tough part for us was that he had just missed five weeks, so there was no way he was going to have the consistency over a five, seven game series. Just didn’t have the consistency or rhythm. But he was great in spots, gave us a hell of an effort. … DeMarcus gave us everything he had.”
Cousins signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers back in July, where he was set to team up with former Wildcat Anthony Davis and NBA superstar LeBron James this season.
In April, he tore his left quad but was able to return to the court in June to play for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. In January 2018, he tore his Achilles and had to miss an entire year.
Boogie’s latest injury means he has torn his Achilles, quadriceps, and ACL in the last 568 days alone.
Devastating. Absolutely devastating.
Kentucky now has zero representatives on Team USA as they chase gold at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
This afternoon, Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox withdrew from the team to “focus on [the] upcoming season with [a] goal of making [the] playoffs,” per Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports.
Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox will withdraw from Team USA to focus on upcoming season with goal of making playoffs, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 17, 2019
Last night, Team USA took on Spain in an exhibition game, winning by a score of 90-81. In the victory, Fox played a team-low 6:11, finishing with just two points and one assist.
With Fox now gone, USA is down to 13 active players, with no former Kentucky players on the roster going into the team’s training camp and exhibition slate in Australia next week:
- Kemba Walker
- Jayson Tatum
- Khris Middleton
- Myles Turner
- Donovan Mitchell
- Jaylen Brown
- Kyle Kuzma
- Brook Lopez
- Mason Plumlee
- Joe Harris
- Harrison Barnes
- Derrick White
- Marcus Smart
Bam Adebayo was released following the Team USA intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 9, with Anthony Davis and Julius Randle both withdrawing from the team at various points back in July. Devin Booker was also expected to be on the roster, though the former Wildcat’s agent reportedly notified Team USA director Jerry Colangelo back in May that his client would not accept an invitation, opting to focus on getting healthy and ready for the 2019-20 season instead.
Before long, Team USA will be taking open tryouts to fill roster spots prior to the official FIBA World Cup in Shanghai, China, which will take place from August 31 through September 15.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 16th, 2019 @ 10:00am
On Monday, DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL during a workout in Las Vegas, his third major injury in the last 18 months. This morning, John Calipari took to social media to support his former player, whom he believes has another comeback in him.
“I was in touch with DeMarcus Cousins earlier this week because of his birthday and just saw the news of his injury yesterday. To have fate intervene in his career in this way is mind-boggling. At the end of the day he’s 29 and he still has his best years ahead of him.
“The news is disheartening and I know it’s difficult for DeMarcus BUT I know how much he loves this game and I know his drive and his perseverance. He’s going to battle back just like he did the last two times. #BBN, let’s lift him up. We are pulling for you, Boogie!!!”
On Tuesday, DeMarcus’ 29th birthday, Cal shared one of his favorite memories from Boogie’s time at Kentucky.
So many!!! One of my favorites is when DeMarcus stopped during a drill, walked off & said, "My feet are on fire!" I walked over to him & told him it was fine if he sat out but calmly said he'd never start a game if he couldn't finish the drill. He never missed one after that! LOL https://t.co/PgsrqumAKN
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) August 13, 2019
Get well soon, Boogie. We’re all rooting for you.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 15th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
Over the last month, player ratings for the new NBA 2k20 video game have been trickling out one-by-one, with cover athlete Anthony Davis leading the way in terms of former Kentucky stars.
Davis came in at 94 overall, good for No. 7 overall.
Outside of Davis, 12 total Wildcats finished in the top 100 of players in the popular video game.
- Anthony Davis – 94 OVR
- Karl-Anthony Towns – 89 OVR
- John Wall – 88 OVR
- Devin Booker – 86 OVR
- DeMarcus Cousins – 86 OVR
- De’Aaron Fox – 86 OVR
- Eric Bledsoe – 85 OVR
- Jamal Murray – 84 OVR
- Julius Randle – 83 OVR
- Enes Kanter – 80 OVR
- Willie Cauley-Stein – 79 OVR
- Bam Adebayo – 79 OVR
Now, all three of Kentucky’s rookies know what their player ratings are.
Today, Tyler Herro, PJ Washington, and Keldon Johnson all found out their ratings, with the newest Miami Heat guard leading the way.
Herro has been given a No. 73 overall rating, with a screen grab of what he’ll look like in the game also included.
Meanwhile, PJ Washington was right below Herro with a 72 overall.
While Keldon Johnson didn’t get an official post on social media dedicated to him like the other two, the former Wildcat forward also posted on his Instagram story that he was given a 72 overall rating, as well.
You can see the screenshot below:
What do you guys think of the ratings? And most importantly, what about their looks?
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 15th, 2019 @ 5:30pm
Former Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson has found a new home in the NBA.
This afternoon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Patterson has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers worth $2.3 million.
Free agent forward Patrick Patterson has agreed to a one-year, $2.3 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 15, 2019
The 30-year-old had played the past two years with the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he was never able to carve out a consistent role with the franchise. Patterson never averaged more than 15 minutes or four points per game in either season.
In nine NBA seasons, Patterson has averaged 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in stints with the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Now, he will follow OKC teammate and NBA superstar Paul George to Los Angeles, where they are set to team up with Kawhi Leonard.
At Kentucky, Patterson was a two-time First-team All-SEC player in 2009 and 2010, and was named to the SEC All-Defensive team in 2010.
Patterson was drafted No. 14 overall to Houston in 2010.
The worst possible outcome for former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins has come to fruition.
This morning, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Cousins had injured his knee during a workout in Las Vegas.
Now, Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that Cousins’ injury is, in fact, a torn ACL.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 15, 2019
According to Wojnarowski, the injury came this morning when Cousins bumped knees with another player, forcing him to leave the court and travel back to Los Angeles for testing.
Cousins signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in July, where he was set to team up with former Wildcat Anthony Davis and NBA superstar LeBron James.
In April, he tore his left quad but was able to return to the court in June to play for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. In January 2018, he tore his Achilles and had to miss an entire year.
Today’s injury means Boogie has torn his Achilles, quadriceps, and ACL in the last 566 days alone.
Prayers to Cousins during this extremely difficult time…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 15th, 2019 @ 11:21am
Breaking news of the worst sort: according to Adrian Wojnarowski, DeMarcus Cousins suffered a possible knee injury during a workout in Las Vegas on Monday. He had to leave the court and will undergo further testing in Los Angeles today.
Cousins signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in July. In April, he tore his left quad but was able to return to the court in June to play for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. In January 2018, he tore his Achilles and had to miss an entire year.
Here’s hoping this injury isn’t too serious. Boogie deserves a break.
UPDATE: More from Wojnarowski’s article on ESPN…
Cousins, 29, was working out in Las Vegas on Monday when he had to leave the court after what one source described as “bumping knees” with another player.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©August 14th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
If you haven’t been following De’Aaron Fox’s YouTube page, it’s time you change that.
Whether he’s just “Foxin’ Around” or posting behind the scenes clips, his page is a must-follow if you want a sneak peek into the life of an NBA player.
On Monday, Fox released a video to his page showing off his biggest summer camp yet.
— De'Aaron Fox (@swipathefox) August 12, 2019
According to Fox, 225 kids showed up to his camp. Join him on his journey as he helps teach young kids about basketball. And yes, he does embarrass children. Definitely stay tuned for that.
That is MY future MVP.
On Monday afternoon, the NBA released the entire schedule for the 2019-20 season. With over 1,200 games set to tipoff in the coming year, let’s see what we can do to trim that number down a bit. Here are some of the highlights from the schedule release as it pertains to the BBNBA.
The newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony Davis, will make his debut for the purple and gold on opening night, Oct. 22, against the crosstown rival Clippers, who are the odds-on betting favorites to win the title.
Karl-Anthony Towns will make his season debut for the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 23 against Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets (no Kevin Durant, either, who could miss the entire regular season and the playoffs).
The Denver Nuggets and its new $170 million man, Jamal Murray, kick off the season on Oct. 23 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
To the surprise of no one, Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans are receiving plenty of air time. The Pellies suit up on opening night against the defending champion Toronto Raptors and then again against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 25.
Basically, every national TV game during the opening week is going to be must-see basketball. Even League Pass will be bringing the heat.
- Kings (Fox) – Suns (Booker) on Oct. 23.
- Suns (Booker) – Nuggets (Murray) on Oct. 25
- Warriors (Cauley-Stein) – Thunder (Gilgeous-Alexander) on Oct. 27.
As usual, the NBA will screen five games on Christmas Day, starting at noon with the final game tipping off at 10:30.
Eric Bledsoe will look to follow up his performance from last Christmas when he posted 11 points, six rebounds, and five assists. His Milwaukee Bucks and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will take on the Philadelphia 76ers at 2:30 p.m. Then at 5 p.m., we get more Willie Cauley-Stein as the Warriors take on James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and the
2012 Oklahoma City Thunder Houston Rockets.
Once again, we have Clippers-Lakers (Davis) at 8 p.m., followed by Murray and company hosting Williamson and the Pelicans in Denver at 10:30 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
The NBA always dedicates MLK Day to a buffet of great games and this year will be no different.
Hey, look at that! More Anthony Davis! But this time he’ll go head-to-head with the new Boston Celtic, Enes Kanter.
If you’d like to check out the entire schedule, click the link here.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©August 14th, 2019 @ 8:30pm
The NBA recently released the entire version of the 2019-20 schedule, hosting an entire event on NBATV dedicated to breaking down the important games for the upcoming season.
Former NBA General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks, Wes Wilcox, was on the air to provide some commentary and, eventually, the conversation led into players he believed could be on the move in the future.
Some of the players listed were obvious: Chris Paul (Thunder) and Kevin Love (Cavaliers). Andre Iguodala (Grizzlies) was on the list and is widely expected to find his way to a contender by the time the playoffs roll around. Also making the list was Bradley Beal (Wizards), John Wall’s running mate in D.C., who has also been involved in trade rumors throughout the summer (specifically with the Miami Heat). Then we get into the bigger contracts for players still under 25, such as Andrew Wiggins (Timberwolves) and Devin Booker (Suns).
"Chris Paul and (Andre) Iguodala, we know that they're in the trade market and they're available. Of these other 4 names, we can probably take (Andrew) Wiggins and (Devin) Booker into the future." Former #Hawks GM Wes Wilcox on @NBATV
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) August 12, 2019
Wilcox tabs Booker and Wiggins as “future” players on the trading block.
Booker is about to enter the first year of his recent five-year, $158 million extension, and at 22-years old has already been the face of the franchise for a couple of seasons now. The thought of trading Booker right now seems highly unrealistic, but something that shouldn’t be glossed over when looking forward.
Obviously, the Minnesota Timberwolves would love to get off of Wiggins outstanding five-year, $147 million deal. Whereas the Suns had no issue giving Booker even more money. Booker is also two years younger than Wiggins and the obvious choice when choosing between the two. So why would the Suns want to potentially trade him?
Well, there are several reasons, and there’s some precedent to them, too.
Phoenix is entering that stage where they need to identify if Booker can become a player of a high enough caliber that can lead them to an NBA Championship. This team isn’t going to be losing games on purpose anymore (at least to start the season) and Booker is expected to lead them to any success they might encounter. If he doesn’t show those signs this season, is it time they rework their rebuild? Phoenix also has Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges, promising youngsters they could shift more focus to if things don’t work out with Booker.
Because there might be a point where the return on trading Booker is higher than the cost of keeping him. The Suns have a load of young players on small contracts they could hope to develop. Experimenting with them might be a route they take, although not one I would venture down. If the opportunity to bring in an elite young player along with future picks presents itself, it might be worth at least poking around if you’re the Suns.
I don’t believe that Phoenix is truly even entertaining the thought of trading Booker. He’s a player that has grown to be more effective and more efficient the more often he has the ball in his hands. As his usage rate has spiked, so has his shooting percentages. He was thrown into playing both guard positions last season and thrived as the team’s only reliable scorer. You don’t just trade someone like him away unless it’s a King’s ransom. We’re talking a haul that would embarrass the deal that sent Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs to the Toronto Raptors.
And unless Phoenix knows it can lure in another player(s) that are just as good or promise to be better than Booker, trading him would be a fool’s move. All five of the other players listed by Wilcox make sense that they could be traded this year, and the only reason I might bite on the idea of Booker being dealt is the decade-worth of incompetent decision making from the front office in Phoenix.
The Suns are going to be a ton of fun this year, even if they don’t make the playoffs in a loaded Western Conference. Unless Booker pulls an Anthony Davis and requests out, he’s going to be the heart and soul of this squad for the foreseeable future.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©August 14th, 2019 @ 7:30pm
The NBA offseason lull is fully upon us. The excitement of free agency and unexpected trades had passed us by and there isn’t much happening outside of the FIBA World Cup – which is now void of the usual All-Star studded roster.
*Which reminds me, go watch the WNBA if you need some hoops in your life. Not only will you potentially see Brittney Griner throw a punch or two, but the brand of basketball is so smooth and free-flowing. It’s fundamentally sound and impressive to watch.*
Karl-Anthony Towns is using this downtime to answer your questions for an upcoming video on his YouTube channel.
Getting ready to do a Q&A for my Youtube. Send me some questions & you might make it on the video.
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) August 14, 2019
We all know you have that one burning question that you have just been begging to ask KAT. Who is your dream NBA teammate? Where has Karlito been? Does the Wisconsin loss still hurt you as much as it hurts us? This is your time to get to know Towns a bit better. He’s always been a person that is willing to speak his mind while giving honest and thoughtful answers.
If you would like to subscribe to this channel so you know exactly when the Q&A is posted, click the link here.
Let’s make this a BBN-themed Q&A, shall we?
The NBA Rookies got the chance to put on that NBA uniform today. The day they dreamed of. Now you will be able to collect the basketball card!
Panini has revealed the NBA Rookie’s cards and let me tell you, the Cats are looking great in the NBA unis!
— Tyler Herro (@raf_tyler) August 11, 2019
— Paul Washington Jr (@PJWashington) August 11, 2019
Sadly, he does not have a Twitter account so no card has been revealed just yet. However, here is a photo from his time at the NBA Rookie Shoot!
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Keldon Johnson (@keldonjohnson) on
Here is KSR’s Zack Geoghegan’s post on the sights and sounds from the NBA Rookie Photo Shoot!
By Hayden Hooper on ©August 11th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
As we inch towards the 2019 FIBA World Cup later this month, the Team USA roster is coming into focus after mini camp practices last week in Las Vegas.
For the BBN, there is some bad news and good news. The bad news is that Bam Adebayo will not be playing for Team USA unfortunately. However, the good news is his former Kentucky point guard was turning heads all week and seems to be the right piece for this years World Cup – and the future of Team USA.
You’ve probably seen what he’s been up to lately;
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) August 8, 2019
Not only was he adding a dunk for the ole’ Twitter famous resume, but his performance was turning some heads in the media. Such as CEO of the Ringer and Author of, The Book of Basketball, Bill Simmons, who had a lot of praise for the former Kentucky point guard.
“Fox to me is like the old-school point guard that combines a lot of different guys that I like. There’s some Westbrook athleticism with him, there is some Chris Paul run-the-game, doesn’t really care about stats. I think he’s incredibly unselfish and is just an awesome teammate.”
Even with the hard work at practice, Fox came to play when it mattered in the Team USA scrimmage.
Fox ended up going for 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists. 3 steals, and 2 blocks in just a little over 15 minutes on the floor.
Why De’Aaron Fox is the future for Team USA
For this FIBA World Cup, Team USA is not only seeking Gold again, they are preparing for the next generation of Olympic talent. Unfortunately, the days of seeing Chris Paul, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry in a Team USA jersey are numbered. As usual, Team USA is ready to go for the next batch, but the future seems to be even brighter at point guard.
Team USA’s Assistant Head Coach and current head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr, had a lot to say about the future of De’Aaron Fox and Team USA.
“To come in and play with these players from around the league, play for Gregg Popovich and play for your country, it’s such a great experience for everybody, but particularly for a guy like De’Aaron, who I think has a chance to get to an All-Star level player,” Kerr added. “This is going to be an important stepping stone.”
This is certainly a huge stepping stone as play keeps rolling for the up and coming guard.
Fox’s role on Team USA is a big stage that he is already comfortable with. Like at Kentucky, Fox’s leadership is what could make him one of the next premier stars in the international game. Take a listen to what Fox is doing to be a great leader for this young team.
His communication on the floor is a prime example that he feels comfortable in any stage he is in. To think about a month ago, Fox was not predicted to even make the roster.
So the next quesiton will be, can he start? No, with a point guard in Kemba Walker, Fox will end up being the back-up, but the future is looking brighter than ever for Mr. Fox.
Team USA’s next game will be this week in a scrimmage against Spain in California on the 16th.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©August 11th, 2019 @ 4:30pm
Stop me if you’ve heard this. Willie Cauley-Stein was an unstoppable wide receiver in high school; A seven-footer snagging catches that no 17-year-old could ever dream of. The now-famous story was regurgitated by commentators across the country and Kentucky fans quickly became numb to the connection.
We’ve heard other, similar stories about talented young hoopers carving out success on the gridiron. LeBron James was an all-state wide receiver in high school. Allen Iverson was named Virginia football Player of the Year in 1992. It’s not uncommon to see high-level basketball players who once excelled in football.
But let me put a little twist on that original fan-favorite story regarding WCS. Imagine Julius Randle lining up on defense opposite of Josh Allen last season.
Randle has officially spoken it into existence. How many years of eligibility can we squeeze the NCAA out of for Randle? I also love that there is a dejected Florida Gator in the background. I’m sure either of the New York football teams could use a 6-foot-9, 250-pound pass rusher.
The former Wildcat loves to represent the BBN and we love him for it.
The latest batch of NBA rookies smiled for the camera on Sunday as they participated in their first official photo shoot, rocking new team jerseys.
Naturally, the bright personalities of our new BBNBA trio were soaking up the limelight.
Tyler Herro, PJ Washington, and Keldon Johnson all made appearances across the Twitterverse.
Ever wondered what Boy Wonder would look like in a giant ball pit? Well, today is your lucky day.
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) August 11, 2019
— NBA (@NBA) August 11, 2019
Our Herro, front and center.
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) August 11, 2019
— NBA TV (@NBATV) August 11, 2019
Do I smell a friendly mid-season wager??
It’s ya favorite shooter from the 2019 Draft in the “Platinum Tint” Air Jordan XI. pic.twitter.com/XgJGH2HjKI
— SLAM Kicks (@SLAMKicks) August 11, 2019
The NBA is marketing the hell out of Tyler Herro.
Luka Samanic, Keldon Johnson, and Quinndary Weatherspoon all in their spurs jerseys ? pic.twitter.com/0f6Fkxgq9D
— Dylan (@Dylangonzalez21) August 11, 2019
And here’s a missed dunk from Keldon, but that Spurs jersey sure does look clean.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) August 11, 2019
By Nick Roush on ©August 10th, 2019 @ 12:00pm
Nike is signing every former Wildcat they can.
The San Antonio Spurs’ first round NBA Draft selection at No. 29 overall announced on Instagram Friday that he has joined the Nike basketball family.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Keldon Johnson (@keldonjohnson) on
All three Wildcats picked in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft have signed with Nike. Johnson joins the Swoosh Club alongside Tyler Herro and P.J. Washington. There are now at least a dozen former Cats who have shoe deals with Nike.
After one season at Kentucky that featured plenty of peaks and valleys, Johnson did much of the same in the NBA Summer League. There were a few subpar performances that are easily overlooked once you watch highlights from his 29-point night against the Memphis Grizzlies.