Bruin (Hoops) Bites: Kareem Coming To HBO, Westbrook, The Draft And the New UCLA Practice Facility

Noel Vasquez

Kareem is coming to HBO, New Basketball Practice Facility, Russell Westbrook, and More!

The big UCLA Basketball news this week is the announcement of plans for a separate basketball practice facility, but I thought I'd start with uplifting news about Kareem, the greatest college basketball player of all time.

  • HBO Sports is producing a documentary on UCLA alumnus Kareem Abdul-Jabbar that will debut in early 2015.  The documentary will tell Kareem's story both on and off the basketball court.  Kareem has, in contrast to to earlier years, maintained a high public profile lately, particularly in the aftermath of the Donald Sterling scandal. Here's a piece he wrote for Time magazine.  Kareem even appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher.  I loved this segment after the monologue.  Usually Bill likes to spar with his guests in this segment, but not this time.  There was plenty of audience love too!
  • UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero announced plans for a basketball-specific practice facility on the South side of the LA Tennis Center along with a campaign to raise $30-40 million to design and build it.  Ajax asks why this wasn't covered in the plans to renovate Pauley here.  I know we're in a facilities arm race, so I agree we have to do it, but $40 million for 26 players to practice?  It's tough to swallow. So Dan, you couldn't come up with $3.5 million a year for a coach?
  • Westbrook Watch:  Russ scored 26 points as the OKC Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs at home, and edged a step closer in the series, 2-1.  The real story was the return of a limping Serge Ibaka from a calf strain when the team projected that he was done for the year.  Update: Thunder tied series at 2-2 last night.  Westbrook scored 40!
  • Post-NBA Draft Lottery Mocks: NBC Sports has Kyle Anderson to OKC at #21, Zach LaVine to Miami at #26, and Jordan Adams to the LA Clippers at #28 (four Bruins and no Donald Sterling).  Sports Illustrated has Anderson to Phoenix at #18 and LaVine to Toronto at  #20.  No Jordan Adams in the first round.  Yahoo Sports has LaVine to Phoenix at #18, Anderson to Utah at #23, and Adams to Houston at #25.
  • Recruiting News:  There's a new offer out to Henry Ellison, a 6'10" power forward from Wisconsin.  And the trend with out-of-state big men continues.
  • PAC-12 Notes:  Here's another early preview.  Spoiler:  we're in trouble!  In the mean time, the PAC-12 is sending an all-star team, or should I say no-star team, to China.  No Bruins on it.  They couldn't include Wannah Bail or Noah Allen?
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