by Paul Jordan
by Paul Jordan

Meet the members of the WBN's "Wildcats in the NBA" All Star Team.


by Paul Jordan

In another 10 days or so, the University of Kentucky will put five more players in the NBA, and should take over the title of having the most active players in the league.  Kentucky has always been good at putting players in the league, so I decided to sit down and come up with my “All Wildcat NBA Team”.  Granted, I wanted to put a time era on my team, so I decided to make this open to just players who have left UK since 1990.

When I started, I expected a decent team, but I think this is a squad that could give lots of teams troubles.  I am not going to call them an NBA title worthy team, but I think this would qualify as an “elite team”.  I am interested in knowing what you think as well, so without any further adieu, here are the members of the “Kentucky Wildcats in the NBA All Star Team (since 1990)”.


Rajon Rondo –  Certainly no surprise here that Rondo would be the starting PG.  He has proven himself to be not only one of the best PG’s in the NBA, but also one of it’s most marketable players.  Rondo averages 13.7 points and 9.8 assists a game for his career, but has stepped it up even more during the playoffs this year averaging 16 points and 9.5 assists.  His A/T ratio has been stellar with a 2.98 career average and his defensive play has inspired terms such as “Grand Theft Rondo”.  Rondo has one NBA ring under his belt from 2008 and is a mere 48 minutes from claiming his second NBA title.

Tony Delk –  While not as flashy a guard as Rondo, Delk had a very serviceable NBA career, averaging 9.1 points a game over his ten year NBA career.  His best scoring season was when he averaged 12.1 points for Phoenix in 2001-2001.  While Delk played both guard positions in the NBA, he ends up backing up Rondo on the WBN team.  Next year, we can argue about who gets the starting PG spot, Rondo or John Wall.


Derek Anderson – Anderson put in some very productive years in the NBA and won a title while a member of the Miami Heat in 2006.  Over his 11 seasons, Derek averaged 12 points a game and had hos best season with the Clippers when he averaged 16.9 points.  If needed, Anderson could also play both guard positions.

Ron Mercer – Mercer was the type of player that bounced from team to team and never really seemed appreciated, even though he averaged a very respectable 13.6 points a game over his eight year career.  His best season was just under the magical 20 point a game plateau, 19.7, with Chicago.

I have to admit, it was a hard decision deciding who to start, Anderson or Mercer, but I gave Anderson the nod due to a better three point percentage (34.1% to 25%) and that he distributed the ball to his teammates more (3.4 assists to 2.1).

Keith Bogans –  Bogans is another of those under appreciated guys that is a solid defender, but unfortunately did not score enough to hold onto a starting SG spot.  His best season was in Orlando (one of two stays there) with 8.7 points while playing all 82 games. For his career, he averages 7.1 a game. 


 Jamal Mashburn – The Monster Mash gets the starting SF position in what is surely the former Cats deepest position.  Mashburn had eleven very productive seasons in the NBA and was one of the most prolific scoring forwards.  For his career, he averaged 19.1 points and 5.54 boards, and averaged over 20 points a game his last four seasons in the league.  Unfortunately injuries ended Mash’s career early but he was one of only six players to average over 20 points his last season.  Mashburn had his share of individual honors as well, earning a spot on the all rookie team, the 2003 All Star team, and the All NBA team in 2003.  Unfortunately the only thing missing from Jamal’s career was a NBA Title. 

Tayshaun Prince – It says a lot for the UK’s alumni level in the NBA that a four time member of the NBA All Defensive Team and a 2004 championship ring holder can not crack the starting lineup.  But alas, Tayshaun will come of the bench.  Injuries sidelined Prince this year, but he has shown great endurance in the league, having played in 82 games for six straight seasons.  For his career, Tay Prince boasts a 12.7 scoring average, with 4.7 boards and 2.7 assists. 

Kelanna Azubuike – Kelanna, like Tay Prince, had a frustrating season with the injuries, but when he plays he is one of the more exciting young players in the NBA.  He averages 10.6 points a game for his career and experienced his best season in 2008-2009 when he averaged 14.4 points and 5.0 boards a game.  For that season, he drilled an eye opening 44.8% of his three pointers. 


Antoine Walker – Current problems aside, you have to give Antoine Walker props for his NBA career.  In his 12 year career, Walker tallied 15,647 points, 6891 rebounds, and 1386 3 pointers made.  On a per game average, that translates to 17.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists a game.  In his prime, very few players could take over a game the way that Walker did and he took his career to the ultimate level by being part of the Miami Heat 2006 championship team.  Antoine was also a member of the All rookie team and three NBA All Star teams.  He also led the NBA in three point attempts three times and finished in the top 10 in scoring on two occasions.   Walker averaged 20 points a game five seasons in his career and his “shimmy” after a big basket will always resonate in Wildcat fans memory.

Chuck Hayes – Hayes will always be known as “the little engine that could” in the NBA because he has been utilized as an undersized center (6’6) for much of his five year career with the Rockets.  His numbers are hardly eye popping (3.6 points, 5.3 rebounds) but he brings the lunch pail mentality to every game that he was a starter for the Rockets this season.  Despite being smaller, Hayes brings a defensive tenacity to the game that allows him to shut down bigger players.  I was kind of unsure where to place Hayes on the team as he could have played any frontcourt position, but he provides a nice backup for Antoine. 


Jamal Magloire – It’s true that Magloire did not post eye popping numbers, but he did put together a pretty solid NBA career with 10 years in the league and a 2004 All Star appearance.  Jamal was one of the top rebounders in the league for about four seasons or so and he became a solid 12 point, 9 board a game player for the Hornets for about three seasons.  He also played all 82 games four times in his career and was in the top 10 for total rebounds for two sea
sons.  For his career, Jamal is averaging 7.7 points and 6.6 rebounds a game.

Nazr Mohammed – Once again, not a household name, but Nazr has fashioned a 12 year career in the NBA, averaging 6.9 points and 5.4 board,s which is solid numbers for a backup.  At the height of his career, he did crack the 10 points a game average a couple of times, and he can boast of a 2005 championship ring with the Spurs. 

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