Bam Adebayo Says No One Can Compete with Kentucky's NBA Presence

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 18, 2019

Kentucky forward Bam Adebayo (3) celebrates during the second half of a second-round game against Wichita State in the men’s NCAA college basketball tournament in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 19, 2017. Kentucky defeated Wichita State 65-62. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Former Kentucky star Bam Adebayo, who currently plays for the Miami Heat, believes the Wildcats are the best school at producing NBA talent.

Per The Athletic's Kyle Tucker, Adebayo feels other schools are fooling themselves if they think they have the same impact on the NBA as Kentucky. 

"We're a family," he said. "Oh, yeah, because we got other colleges—I ain't gonna say no names—thinking they can compete with us in terms of their presence. Just look around, though. Like, who's playing right now? Pick a game, any game, and I bet we got somebody out there."

The most obvious comparison point to Kentucky is Duke, which Tucker notes has produced 24 NBA draft picks over the past 10 years. 

The Wildcats have had 38 players drafted during that span. John Wall (2010), DeMarcus Cousins (2010), Eric Bledsoe (2010), Anthony Davis (2012), Julius Randle (2014), Karl-Anthony Towns (2015), Devin Booker (2015) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2018) are among the notable Kentucky stars currently in the NBA. 

From that group, Davis, Cousins, Wall and Towns have combined to make the All-Star team 17 times. 

The only Duke alum who has played in an NBA All-Star Game since 2009 is Kyrie Irving, who has been selected to the team six times. 

It's not a surprise that John Calipari has made Kentucky the go-to destination for prospective NBA talent. The Hall of Fame head coach has had success developing young talent wherever he goes, including Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans at Memphis and Marcus Camby at Massachusetts. 

Adebayo hopes to join the list of former Kentucky stars who become NBA All-Stars. The 22-year-old figures to play a big role for the Heat next season after averaging 8.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in 82 games in 2018-19. 

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