Last week we learned more about the budding bromance between Tyler Ulis and Isaiah Briscoe with Tyler’s piece on “Getting to Know the 2015-1206 Kentucky Wildcats” . Only time will tell how this bromance will blossom, but bromances are becoming somewhat of a theme at UK these days. This isn’t even Ulis’ first venture into the realm of bromance, having displayed one of the best UK bromances in recent history with Devin Booker. The “La Familia” mindset around UK basketball in the Calipari era has allowed fans to witness a lot of great bromances in many different styles and forms. Here we examine the best UK bromances of Cal’s tenure and their pop culture equivalent.
Devin Booker-Tyler Ulis/Maverick-Goose Top Gun-
Just as Mav and Goose went into Top Gun and started shaking things up, so too did Ulis and Booker. They came together to the best basketball school in the nation and quickly made names for themselves. Like Goose, Ulis is the wing-man to Booker’s Mav. On the court Ulis set up Booker so he could take shots. On the other hand Booker owned a level of swag on the court and fans quickly knew this guy was more than meets the eye. Throughout the season, especially during Booker’s shooting slump, they held each other up and helped energize the rest of the team, just like Mav and Goose did at the Top Gun Academy. I imagine there are a lot of ladies out there that wouldn’t mind seeing them play shirtless beach volleyball as well. Unfortunately, just like Mav and Goose, Booker and Ulis were split up too soon. Ulis set up many assists for the smooth shooting Booker on the court, anybody know if this ever happened on campus?
Jarrod Polson-Kyle Wiltjer/Doug and Steve Butabi- Night at the Roxbury–
Like the brothers from Roxbury Polson and Wiltjer oozed cool, at least they did as far as they were concerned. Not everybody got on board with the WBA, but they didn’t care. They did their thing and brought BBN along for the ride. The 2012 season never reached the level everybody wanted, and neither did Roxbury for that matter. In each case the respective bromances provided some memorable moments in otherwise forgettable endeavors. It also seems very likely that at some point during their time together, Polson and Wiltjer head bobbed in the car while listening to Haddaway’s “What is Love”.
Alex Poythress-Andrew Harrison/Woody and Buzz- Toy Story-
There are many similarities when you compare Alex and Andrew’s bromance to that of Woody and Buzz. There were some rocky moments during their time together, including a certain Yahoo! Sports version of Sid trying to rip them apart. When Andrew came in there was a perception that he was somewhat aloof and not a team player, much like Buzz. The elder statesman (as far as Cal’s teams to this point went), Alex, was there for Andrew as he went through his growing pains and they formed one of the strongest bonds on the team just like Woody did for Buzz. Over their two years together there were many ups and downs and through it all they were there for each other. Andrew and Alex became the leaders of their group, which includes when they founded the Smash Brothers group, which helped propel the Cats to a 38-0 start despite Alex’s injury. I have no evidence of it, but I hope at some point while playing they listened to Randy Newman singing “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”.
John Wall-Demarcus Cousins/Robin Hood-Little John Robin Hood-
Before Robin Hood and Little John came on the scene, Sherwood Forest was a nightmare. Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham were unfairly taxing people and locking up little rabbit families in prison. Times were tough. Robin Hood and Little John came in and led the way to a brighter tomorrow with an awesome mix of skill and personality. Robin Hood and Wall shared many attributes. Both were adept at steals and assists while also showcasing a flare for dramatic shots. They also both had swagger and fought for their respective causes. Cousins and Little John also shared many similarities. Both provided the size, strength, and overall muscle to the operation. They were also clever at getting into the minds of their opponents while also being big old teddy bears at heart. Like Sherwood Forest before Robin Hood and Little John, BBN was in a dark place until Wall and Cousins showed up. Even in their NBA days Wall and Cousins have maintained the close relationship they started at UK. Oo de lally oo de lally, golly what a day.
John Calipari-John Robic/Danny Ocean-Rusty Ryan Ocean’s 11,12,13
They’re smooth, they’re in control, they’re good at recruiting, and they keep coming back for more. There are some obvious similarities between these bromances. Cal has Danny’s smooth recruiting pitch and “aim big” mentality. Robic, like Ryan in the Oceans movies, is more of a background character who keeps everything in order and makes sure the plan is running smoothly. Also true of both bromances, they’re together for the long haul. Even the background plots are similar. Just like Ryan waited for Danny to get out of jail before attempting the big heist, Robic waited for Cal to come back from the NBA before shooting for the biggest job in college basketball. Together these duos have put together some of the best teams to make Vegas sweat. I also like to imagine that as the 2015 recruiting class was winding down Cal and Robic had a moment similar to this one between Ocean and Ryan: