Coach John Calipari of Kentucky has produced two top-two players out of the last two drafts, and likely the last two Rookie of the Year award winners. He’s likely to have three of his players in the top ten this year (John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson). And if you need any further proof of Calipari’s ability to develop pros, you should take a look at Antonio Anderson.
Antonio Anderson has been playing in the D-League for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, or, essentially, the Rockets’ farm system (four call-ups this season). He’s averaging 15 points, 5.9 assists, and 4.5 rebounds for the Vipers, and that’s after a significant dip in January. The 25 year old was called-up today by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
If the name rings a bell, you’ll remember him from the 2008 NCAA Championship Runner-Up (unless you ask the NCAA) Memphis Tigers. Now, a starting guard from a championship team making it to the league is not surprising. But what is surprising is that Anderson is now the fourth out of five starters for that team to be playing in the NBA.
Derrick Rose you’ll recognize as the reigning Rookie of the Year. Chris Douglas-Roberts is currently a reserve with the New Jersey Nets, who, yes, are still considered an NBA team. Joey Dorsey, who also spent time with the Vipers on-assignment) was traded from the Rockets to the Kings this week and should get more playing time with Jon Brockman’s injury. And now Anderson joins his fellow Tigers under the big lights.
Robert Dozier is now the only starter from the 2006 team to not play in the NBA. Dozier was drafted by the Heat in 2009 and currently plays in Greece.
There are a lot of questions about Calipari’s recruiting methods, but in a system that many feel exploits young athletes, Calipari certainly seems like a high-probability chance at getting to the A.
As of tomorrow, training camps around the league open, and all the focus goes to the 2016-17 season.
For fun, let’s look back one more time at last season — the 50 top circus shots of last season.
Stephen Curry driving the lane and throwing up prayers once he draws contact (and hitting them), there is Russell Westbrook throwing the inbounds pass off an opponent’s back, and so much more. Enjoy. Then let’s get on with next season.
Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.
Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.
Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.
Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.
Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.
A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…
“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”
Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.
The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.
It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.
But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.
Best. Dunk. Ever.
Weis was never the same.
In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.
Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.