When Kentucky fans watched the 2014-15 basketball team play each game, we all knew we were witnessing something special. The way they played, how they carried themselves, and the type of people they were, they just had that “it” factor that sticks in fans’ minds forever.
They came up short in the end, but it’s undeniable that team reached legendary status in not only Kentucky history, but the entire history of college basketball.
Several pieces of that team are now in the NBA making a massive impact both on and off the court, giving fans countless reasons to be proud of them. Two of those main individuals? Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker.
AZ Central Sports caught up with both of them this weekend to talk about their time at Kentucky, the success they’ve found in the league, and the brotherhood they will keep forever.
“I’ve always believed good people attract good people,” Towns said. “I had a good connection with him and obviously at Kentucky it blossomed into something much more special.”
Towns and Booker have gotten so close that they consider themselves part of each other’s families.
Three years into their NBA careers the friendship between Booker and Towns has only gotten stronger. Their families have become close, Booker affectionately calls Towns’ father “the real KAT,” and Towns said they’re so much like brothers that, “He’s a Towns and I’m a Booker.”
Former Cat and current Sun Tyler Ulis said Towns and Booker took the same history class at Kentucky, and said the teasing and competitiveness between them even took place in the classroom.
“He’d go, ‘Karl, you got a 90 and I got a 96,’ ” recalled Suns point guard Tyler Ulis, who was a teammate of Booker and Towns on that 2014-15 Kentucky team. “Book is so petty and childish. He loves getting under somebody’s skin.”
Both players have put up historic numbers in their first three seasons in the NBA, with each receiving national praise in the media as cornerstone pieces for their respective franchises. Booker realizes Towns will continue to dominate the league for quite some time.
“He’s going to be a really special player for a long time,” Booker said.
Towns feels the same way about Booker.
“Booker, in my opinion, is a once in a generation kind of talent,” Towns said.
Calipari says being at Kentucky is a “brotherhood” and throws around the phrase “La Familia” like it’s his job, but I don’t think anyone realized it’d be like this. This is pretty special.