WATCH: Kai Jones puts Victor Wembanyama on poster in NBA Summer League

The former Longhorn posterized the biggest NBA prospect since LeBron James.

On Friday, basketball fans from all over the world tuned in to the NBA Summer League to watch the debut of French prodigy and No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick from the San Antonio Spurs, Victor Wembanyama.

Deemed one of the best prospects ever, the 7-foot-5 big man can dribble like a guard, shoot the three, and protect the rim at an elite level. However, in what was his first summer league game, he didn’t quite have the showing that he would have liked. Wembanyama’s shot wasn’t falling, and he looked a tad lost at times. He himself admitted after the game that he didn’t really know what he was doing on the court.

Wembanyama finished the game with nine points, eight rebounds, three assists and five blocks on 2-of-13 shooting. While it would be asinine to look too much into the shaky performance from Wembanyama, one of his low lights of the game was getting dunked on by former Longhorn big man, Kai Jones.

Jones has been in the Hornets organization for the past couple years, but is still earning his spot on the roster and maybe even in the league. He has had a couple stints in the G League, and has played in just 67 games total in the NBA.

If Jones continues to make more highlight reel plays like this, he may help his case in earning a spot with the NBA squad.

When it comes to the game itself, Wembanyama and the spurs got the last laugh winning 76-68.

Every former Longhorn in the 2023 NBA playoffs

Texas is well-represented in the NBA playoffs.

The University of Texas is well-represented in the 2023 NBA playoffs. Seven former Longhorns are set to participate in postseason play.

The NBA play-in tournament takes place from April 11-14, while the rest of the playoff bracket begins on April 15.

The playoffs consist of four rounds of best-of-seven series. The first round matches the top seed against the eighth seed, the second seed against the seventh seed, the third seed against the sixth seed, and the fourth seed against the fifth seed. The winners of each first-round series advance to the second round, until the two conference champions meet in the NBA Finals.

At least one former Longhorn has played in the NBA finals in 11 out of the last 12 seasons. PJ Tucker most recently earned his first championship as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021.

13-time NBA All-Star Kevin Durant is eyeing his third career NBA title, this time as a member of the Phoenix Suns.

Here is a complete look at all seven former Texas Longhorns gearing up to compete in the NBA playoffs.

Mo Bamba, Kevin Durant headline Longhorns traded before NBA deadline

Mo Bamba and Kevin Durant will look to bring new teams on playoff runs.

Two big name Longhorns will play for new teams moving forward. Kevin Durant and Mo Bamba were included in significant moves for each player’s new respective franchise.

After high profile teammate and close friend Kyrie Irving was moved to Dallas, Durant became the biggest move of the trading period. He joins Chris Paul, Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton in what could now be the best team in the Western Conference.

The blockbuster move cost the Suns Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder and four first round draft picks. In adding Durant, the Phoenix signals it is committed to winning it all this season.

Mo Bamba became another huge trade acquisition joining LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers. In exchange for Bamba, the Orlando Magic receive defensive ace Patrick Beverly.

Bamba hasn’t yet lived up to his lottery pick billing in Orlando, though he had a strong 2021 season. That year he put up a respectable 10.6 points per game to go with 8.1 rebounds.

Bamba will look to capitalize on a change of scenery, while Durant will push to make another NBA Finals run.

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Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets are swept in the first round of NBA playoffs

Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets went from title favorites to first round exit.

In one of the more disappointing showings in NBA history, former Longhorn Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets were knocked out of the NBA playoffs on Monday by the Boston Celtics.

After starting the season as the perennial title favorites, the Nets were plagued by injuries, vaccine mandates, and unhappy stars that eventually would lead to the core of Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant being split up.

Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for their disgruntled star, Ben Simmons, who we have not seen play in an NBA game since last season. The Nets were hopeful that Simmons would be able to provide a defensive presence that they simply lacked being one of the worst defense teams in the league, but due to a nagging back injury and mental health issues Simmons was unavailable when the team needed him most.

It didn’t help that Durant had his worst overall playoff performance since the 2009-10 season, as he was held to 26 points per game on 38% shooting, while averaging a playoff career-high five turnovers per game.

Durant was stifled by Boston’s Jason Tatum all series who is making a case for the best two-way wing defender in the league. Tatum and the rest of the Celtics were able to force Durant to take contested shots and forced a lot of misses and errant passes.

The first round exit for Durant and the Nets makes them the only team to not win a game in the playoffs this season, and has many people such as TNT analyst Charles Barkley now questioning Durant’s mindset and legacy moving forward.

The first round exit also marks just the second time since the 2009-10 season that Durant has not advanced in the playoffs.

While it isn’t entirely his fault, as the roster construction consisted of Durant, Irving, a few shooters, and a slew of players three years past the end of their prime, Durant is widely being viewed as the reason for the exit.

After almost single-handedly taking out the would be champions Milwaukee Bucks last season, many expected that Durant would be able to take the Nets to the promised land, but running into the hottest team in the NBA in round one wasn’t ideal and now Brooklyn will join the rest of us and watch the playoffs from home.

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Skip Bayless calls Kevin Durant “The softest player on the planet” after loss

The former Longhorn is feeling the heat after the Nets most recent playoff loss.

The wild saga that is the Brooklyn Nets is still ongoing, and quite confusing. Continue reading “Skip Bayless calls Kevin Durant “The softest player on the planet” after loss”

Kevin Durant’s career night overshadowed in loss to the Hawks

One of Durant’s best performances wasn’t enough to lift the Nets to a victory over the Hawks.

Former Longhorn Kevin Durant had a career night that quite simply will not matter, as the Brooklyn Nets needed a win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday to avoid the play-in tournament.

The 122-115 loss to Trae Young’s Hawks officially cemented the Nets in the play-in tournament, where they will have to battle it out to even earn a spot as one of the top eight seeds. It’s not to say Durant didn’t give it his all, as he scored a career-high 55 points on 19-of-28 shooting from the field and making eight out of his 10 threes.

It wasn’t the lack of offensive support from his teammates that frustrated Durant, an that says a lot considering the eight players not named Kyrie Irving combined for a measly 29 points, it was rather the defensive effort that didn’t sit well with Durant. After the game Durant told ESPN’s Nick Friedell that the team was undisciplined on the defensive side of the ball.

We’re fouling early. We put them in the bonus early every quarter; 37-14 [difference in] free throw makes. And it’s not ’cause of the refs, it was because we’re reaching and being undisciplined and just playing too aggressive. That’s the game. They shot 42% from the field which is great defense, 31[%] from the 3. They outrebounded us by two, and one more assist than us … it’s just fouls. And we can’t do that if we want to be a winning team.

With the play-in tournament starting in less than two weeks, the Nets need to figure something out on the defensive end, and they need to do it quickly as there is no sign that Ben Simmons will be able to play.

Texas ex Jarrett Allen helps lead Cavs trio to NBA Skills Challenge win

Former Longhorn Jarrett Allen already has one win from the NBA All-Star weekend.

The NBA All-Star weekend for former Longhorn Jarrett Allen got off to a hot start on Saturday.

The now Cleveland Cavalier is going to be participating in his first all-star game, and he helped “Team Cavs” which included Darius Garland and Evan Mobley, win the skills challenge.

This season there was a new format to spice things up, as rather than it being an individual based event, it consisted of three teams of three players. The other two teams “Team Antetokounmpos” consisted of Giannis and his two brothers Thanasis and Alex, and “Team Rooks” which had Josh Giddey, Cade Cunningham, Scottie Barnes.

The challenge consisted of four rounds starting with shooting, then going to passing, followed by a team relay, and finishing it off with a half court shootout.

While Garland and Mobley were more better suited for the event, Allen did contribute as he added five of their 44 points in the passing competition. Team Cavs would go on to win after Mobley hit the half court shot in 5.5 seconds to Team Rooks’ 9.9 seconds.

Both Allen and Garland were selected as all-stars for the first time, and will be suiting up for Team LeBron.

WATCH: Former Longhorn Jericho Sims throws down a ridiculous dunk during NBA summer league

Jericho Sims jumped out of the gym for this jam!

Stop me if you haven’t heard this before, but Jericho Sims is a freak of nature.

The New York Knicks rookie has been making plays all summer league long, and is showing why he deserves a spot in the NBA. In five games, which he has all started, Sims is averaging 8 points per game on 81% shooting, 8 rebounds, and one block per game.

Sims has always been a very productive player, during his time at Texas he averaged 9.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots in 26 games last season. He was also named to the All-Big 12 Tournament Team after helping the Longhorns win to their first-ever postseason championship.

The scouting report on Sims have always highlighted his athleticism, and that has been on display in Las Vegas. The rest of the world was exposed to his athleticism at the NBA combine, where he recorded a 44.5-inch max vertical jump, which was second all-time.

Let’s just say he showed off that vertical in a live game, which left the basketball world and social media in awe.

It’s truly impressive how high he got up to grab that alley-oop, as you can see his hands go over the square on the backboard. Sims is currently on a two-way deal, but his athleticism on both ends of the court, along with his tenacious effort, will have him as a full-time member of the Knicks NBA roster in no time.

Former Longhorn Greg Brown III signs with the Portland Trail Blazers

Greg Brown III agreed to deal with the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.

After being selected by the New Orleans Pelicans in second round of the 2021 NBA draft, former Longhorn Greg Brown III was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for cash considerations.

It was not a certainty that he would make Portland’s NBA roster, but Brown had to take advantage of the opportunity that the Trail Blazers were giving him.

On Thursday, after a few solid days in Las Vegas for the NBA summer league, the Trail Blazers announced that they had signed the 19-year-old rookie to an NBA contract.

The athletic youngster came to Texas ranked as a five-star and showed a lot of promise, but did not have the college career he was projected to. That didn’t stop Brown from seizing his summer league opportunity, and making the most out of his bench role.

In about 18 minutes per game, Brown has averaged 10 points on 54% shooting, 4 rebounds, and 1 steal per game. He has been all over the floor making plays on both sides of the ball, and the Blazers took notice. Here is one of his best plays of the summer that saw him block former teammate Kai Jones’ three point attempt, and then take the ball in transition and throw down a monster dunk.

Brown will be a very nice depth piece on a Portland team that is looking to contend in the west, unless they trade Damian Lillard.