June 28, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari (middle) greets former players Anthony Davis (left) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (right) before the 2012 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Basketball: The NBA is Fantastic

Nov 29, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the third quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Pelicans defeated the Sixers 121-105. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

I hear it all the time. Apparently, no one watches the NBA. For a variety of reasons. But here’s the thing, for members of the Big Blue Nation, you’re going to want to start watching the NBA because in a few years, there are going to be a lot of former Wildcats playing in, and dominating, the National Basketball Association.

All told, there are 22 former Wildcats on NBA rosters during the 2013-14 NBA season, with Nerlens Noel joining the Philadelphia 76ers and Archie Goodwin landing in Phoenix with the Suns this year.  And even though the current roster of Wildcats haven’t wowed many in the Big Blue Nation, in two years there could be nearly 30 Cats playing in the NBA. And not just playing, but becoming cornerstones of their franchises. Not just role players, but stars.  Rajon Rondo will be the man in Boston when he returns and John Wall just inked his max contract in Washington. If the Kings are smart, they’ll build around DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis is fast becoming the face of the New Orleans franchise. And Terrance Jones has played himself into a starting role with the Houston Rockets.  And in case you missed it, ESPN lists Anthony Davis as the number one player in the NBA under 25. John Wall (#5), DeMarcus Cousins (#9) and Eric Bledsoe (#11) also make the list.

Dec 15, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) dunks the ball against the Houston Rockets during the third quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Sacramento Kings defeated the Houston Rockets 106-91. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

What could be better than getting top recruiting class after top recruiting class, getting to some Final Fours, winning a title or two, staying out of trouble AND producing high character franchise players in the NBA? I’m not sure there’s anything better than that. We’re living in what is going to be another golden era of UK Men’s Basketball. It’s an era that, as Coach Cal so aptly put it, UK won’t be just moving the needle, the Wildcats will be the needle.

The Cats are coming to the NBA and if you’re one of those folks that don’t watch the NBA, you’re going to miss a lot of our former players taking over the league and proudly representing the Big Blue Nation.

Tags: Kentucky Wildcats

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