Former UK Wildcats shine in the NBA bubble


Chuck Logsdon, Co-editor in chief

After nation-wide lockdowns caused the 2019-2020 NBA playoffs to end abruptly, the NBA resumed the season in July. 22 out of the 30 NBA teams were invited to play in a “bubble” where players were tested and kept in a confined space so they would properly follow social distancing guidelines. In this bubble teams would play 8 games before advancing to the playoffs.  Throughout this “bubble” season former Kentucky players dominated the headlines.

We first saw this in the 8 game regular season portion of the season. Former UK guard Devin Booker led the consensus worst team in the bubble to an undefeated 8-0 record and finished second in “bubble” MVP voting. Headlines switched focus to another former wildcat Jamal Murray in the first round of the playoffs when he led the Denver Nuggets to a win in the first series putting up 50 points in two different games and 42 in another. In this series he battled Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell who played basketball at the University of Louisville which drew some attention due to the college rivalry. Murray and the Nuggets then won another series which advanced them to the Western Conference Finals where they faced off against 2 other former wildcats, Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo. 

The other major story of the bubble has been the Miami Heat, a team featuring 2 former Cats Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro.  The Heat were the 5th out of 8th seed in their conference and upset the first and second seed teams to make it into the NBA finals. This playoff run has been greatly aided by Adebayo and Herro throughout but both had moments of glory in an athletic block in the final seconds of a game by Adebayo, and a 37 point performance for the rookie Tyler Herro. Herro had the best selling jersey the day following this performance.

This NBA finals matchup featured 4 former UK players, Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro. Unfortunately Bam Adebayo got injured and missed a few games but for the majority of the series the 4 wildcats played great. In the end the Lakers won the championship with Anthony Davis winning his first championship, and Rajon Rondo winning his second.