The NBA Conference Finals are here! Don’t forget to get your champagne and cigars out, as for the first time in probably a long time or forever, a former Kentucky player is guaranteed to win an NBA championship as the four remaining teams all have at least one Kentucky alumnus.
- Golden State Warriors: C Demarcus Cousins
- Portland Trailblazers: C Enes Kanter, PF Skal Labissiere
- Milwaukee Bucks: PG Eric Bledsoe
- Toronto Raptors: SG Jodie Meeks
Thirteen former Kentucky Wildcats on seven different teams entered the NBA playoffs, only five remain. However, that’s not to say we haven’t seen some amazing moments from Cats that were sent packing.
Despite the Denver Nuggets’ early second round exit, we got to see and experience “Finger Licking Playoff” Jamal Murray and his continuing emergence into an NBA star
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander joined Jamal Murray as the best “Cantuckian” players in the playoffs, and as a rookie, showed the NBA he is more than capable of holding his own against the league’s best on the biggest stage.
Among the Wildcats still remaining in the NBA Playoffs, Eric Bledsoe has undoubtedly been the most impressive.
Bledsoe is currently averaging 16 points, 4.3 assists, and 1.2 steals (all playoff career highs) and with the help of Giannis Antetokounmpo, has led the Milwaukee Bucks to their first Conference Finals appearance since 2001.
While Enes Kanter was never able to actually play during his time at Kentucky, no one will forget his “UnderKanter” entrance at Big Blue Madness. Kanter is truly a Wildcat at heart and still considers himself a Wildcat.
Kanter is currently showing what an athlete’s heart should look like as he continues to play with a separated left shoulder.
Not to mention his trolling of fellow Wildcat, Jamal Murray, after defeating the Nuggets in their second round 7-game battle.
Simply put, this has been a successful NBA Playoffs for some former Kentucky Wildcats. Regardless of who you are rooting for (NOT Golden State), rest assured knowing that at least one Wildcat will be hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy and receiving a nice piece of jewelry come June.