UCLA center Tony Parker backs down Long Beach State’s Eric McKnight (12) during the Bruins’ 77-63 win on Nov. 23, 2014. (Stephen Carr/Staff)
No surprise, but there were no UCLA players drafted in the NBA Draft on Thursday night. Center Tony Parker was the only player eligible. He averaged 12.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and one block in 25.1 minutes per game as a senior.
This is the third time since 1997 that the Bruins have not had anyone drafted. The other times were 2010 and 2012. The Bruins are coming off a 15-17 last year.
Former UCLA Bruin Kevin Love won his first NBA championship Sunday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat Golden State 93-89 in an epic Game 7.
Love had nine points and 14 rebounds while playing some clutch defense against Stephen Curry. Here are snapshots of his night, from a late-game defensive stop to the post-game celebration.
Incoming freshman Lonzo Ball will make an immediate impact on UCLA men’s basketball. (Will Lester/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)
ESPN calls UCLA commit and incoming freshman Lonzo Ball “the first player of a new age” in college basketball. But Eamonn Brennan also wonders if the dynamic Chino Hills point guard with range out to the parking lot can inject some fun into UCLA men’s basketball this season.
Perhaps the more important question is if head coach Steve Alford will let Ball bring some fun back. As explained in this great story from The Ringer (which I have shared previously), Ball is a product of an unorthodox basketball upbringing, brought up under his father LaVar’s unique system of “the only bad shot is the one you don’t practice.” We’ll see how much Alford buys into that way of playing.
Former UCLA basketball player Kevin Love struggled in Cleveland’s season-saving Game 5 win on Monday against Golden State, which left him as the butt of internet jokes. Most notably, there was a Vine that showed LeBron James apparently leaving Love hanging for a high five.
However, the situation wasn’t what it appeared. In an extended clip, it shows James and Love simply having a discussion.
James and Kyrie Irving carried the Cavs to a Game 5 win while Love had only two points and three rebounds in 33 minutes. Cleveland still trails 3-2 with Game 6 on Thursday.
No matter the team that wins the NBA Finals, a Bruin will become a champion. Kevon Looney, who played one season for UCLA, plays for the Warriors, but he has only appeared in five games, averaging 1.8 points and two rebounds.
Note: As the school year winds down, we’ll spend time looking back on some of the most memorable moments of the 2015-16 season for UCLA athletics.
Dec. 3, 2015: Men’s basketball upsets No. 1 Kentucky