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?