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

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

Noel Vasquez

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?