If it weren’t for the NBA lockout, I probably would’ve watched last night’s exhibition basketball game online just the same. It was either on a very small frame with fair resolution or via more disturbed pixels on a full computer screen blow up, but it was basketball. Basketball involving very good players. Namely, John Wall. It didn’t poetically go down-to-the-wire, but for brief spells, it was enjoyable to watch, even on that small screen streaming from the website of www.wkyt.com television station.
The Dominican Republic national team, coached by University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari, beat a team assembled of former UK disciples who are now locked-out NBAers 106-88 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Confusing connections? Certainly.
The Pros, a team name eligible to be sponsored by Bud Light in a college atmosphere, featured Wall, his former UK teammates Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins, along with Rajon Rondo, Tayshaun Prince, Keith Bogans, and Nazr Mohammed. They started off with a burst of over-excelled activity, perhaps due to lockout inactivity. They’ve all played in other summertime Pro-AMs, but none of them like this, on a stage against legit, more consistent competition and in front of 24,000. Their desire to give the Rupp crowd a show was clear, but still with knowledge that it wasn’t going to be like their other individual forays into summer hoops, highlights of which courtesy of YouTube mix-videos.
The Dominican Republic team featured some pros themselves — Francisco Garcia, Al Horford, along with another guard familiar with Kentucky, Edgar Sosa, courtesy of time spent playing at the University of Louisville, with Garcia — and they didn’t come to tool around. The D.R. team had been working hard under Calipari’s tutelage for the last two weeks in Lexington. They preparing for international competition at the FIBA Americas tournament set to start in Argentina at the end of August.