Oct. 30, 2012
Pauley Pavilion Central
As NBA teams begins 2012-13 regular season competition this week, 11 UCLA alumni players highlight rosters throughout the league, including two Bruins who will be entering at least their 10th season in professional basketball - Utah guard Earl Watson (starting his 12th) and Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes (starting his 10th).
Nine of the 11 UCLA NBA players were coached by Ben Howland, who has produced 12 NBA draft picks in nine years, the highest total among Pac-12 programs in that span.
Leading the alumni are Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook and Minnesota forward Kevin Love. Both players last year participated in the NBA All-Star game and earned gold medals on the U.S. team at the 2012 Olympics. Additionally, Westbrook helped lead the Thunder to the NBA Championship Series. Love will miss the first 6-8 weeks of the regular season after suffering a broken right shooting hand in a pre-practice workout on Oct. 17.
Bruin alumni on NBA coaching staffs for 2012-13 include Henry Bibby, who has been an assistant with the Memphis Grizzlies since 2009, and Michael Sanders, who is beginning his second season on the Utah Jazz coaching staff. Bibby was a starting guard on three NCAA Championship teams (1970/1971/1972), and Sanders was a three-year (1980-82) starting Bruin forward/center.
UCLA alumni in NBA front office positions include Bob Myers, who is in his second season with Golden State and first as the team's General Manager, and Gerald Madkins, who was recently hired by the Los Angeles Clippers as Director of Basketball Operations. Myers was a four year (1994-97) UCLA letterman who played on the 1995 NCAA Championship team. Madkins was a three-year (1990-92) starting guard and also served as a Bruin assistant coach from 2001-03.
Also on the Clippers staff is UCLA women's basketball alumna Natalie Nakase, who is working with the team's video department. Nakase, a starting guard for the Bruins for three years (2001-03), became the first female head coach in Japan's professional men's basketball league last season, leading the Saitama Broncos. In 2010-11, Nakase was an assistant under former NBA coach Bob Hill for the Tokyo Apache men's team.
Here is the alphabetical list of UCLA's 11 players on opening day NBA rosters:
Arron Afflalo, G, Orlando Magic - Sixth NBA season, spent the last three years with Denver and also played for Detroit. Afflalo last year with the Nuggets had a career-high 15.2 scoring average and his NBA career stats include - 362 games (223 starts), 24.4 minutes, 8.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists. A three-year starter (2005-07), Afflalo helped lead UCLA to two consecutive (2006/2007) NCAA Final Fours. At the end of his junior year after earning All-America honors, he declared for the NBA Draft and was a first-round selection by the Pistons.
Trevor Ariza, F, Washington Wizards - Ninth NBA season, spent the last two years with New Orleans, has also played for the New York Knicks, Orlando, Los Angeles Lakers, winning a 2009 NBA Championship ring and Houston. His NBA career stats include - 499 games (239 starts), 25.6 minutes, 9.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals. Ariza, who started as a freshman in 2003-04, declared for the NBA Draft after one collegiate season and was a second round selection by the Knicks.
Matt Barnes, F, Los Angeles Clippers - 10th NBA season, started his pro career with the Clippers (2003-04), has played for Sacramento, New York Knicks, Philadelphia, Golden State, Phoenix, Orlando and spent the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. His career NBA stats include 560 games (178 starts), 21.3 minutes, 7.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists. Barnes was a two-year (2001-02) starter and helped lead the Bruins to three consecutive (2000-02) NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. In the 2002 NBA Draft, Barnes was a second round selection by Memphis.
Darren Collison G, Dallas Mavericks - fourth NBA season, first with the Dallas Mavericks, spent the last two years with Indiana. His career NBA stats include 215 games (172 starts), 29.5 minutes, 12.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.0 steals. Collison started for three seasons (2007-09) and helped lead UCLA to three consecutive NCAA Final Fours (2006/2007/2008). In the 2009 NBA Draft, he was a first round selection by New Orleans.
Jrue Holiday, G, Philadelphia 76ers - fourth NBA season, all with the Sixers. His NBA career stats include - 220 games (198 starts, including all 65 games last season), 31.2 minutes, 11.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.4 steals. In 2009 as a freshman starting guard, Holiday helped lead the Bruins to the NCAA Tournament. He declared for the NBA Draft after his freshman year and was a first round selection by Philadelphia.
Ryan Hollins, C, Los Angeles Clippers - seventh NBA season, spent last year with Cleveland and Boston, has also played for Charlotte, Dallas and Minnesota. His career NBA stats include - 314 games (55 starts), 13.0 minutes, 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds. As UCLA's starting senior center in 2005-06, the Bruins advanced to the NCAA Championship game. Hollins was a second round selection by Charlotte in the 2006 NBA Draft.
Malcolm Lee, G, Minnesota Timberwolves - second NBA season, also spent his rookie year with Minnesota, appearing in 19 games (12.8 minutes), 3.3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists. After playing for the Bruins for three seasons (2009-11), Lee declared for the NBA draft following his junior campaign and was a second round selection by Chicago.
Kevin Love, F, Minnesota Timberwolves - fifth NBA season, all with Minnesota. Last season, Love was highly ranked in many NBA categories, including - double-doubles (48, No. 1), minutes (39.0, No. 2), total rebounds (734, 13.3 average, No. 2) and points per game (26.0, No. 4). His NBA career stats include - 269 games (187 starts), 31.7 minutes, 17.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists. In his only season as a Bruin (2007-08), Love helped lead UCLA to the NCAA Final Four, Pac-10 Tournament and Pac-10 regular season titles. A 2008 All-America and Freshman of the Year, Love was the No. 5 selection in the 2008 NBA Draft by Memphis.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, F, Milwaukee Bucks - fifth NBA season, all with Milwaukee. His career NBA stats include - 277 games (188 starts), 25.6 minutes, 6.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists. As a Bruin, Mbah a Moute was a three-year (2006-08) starter who helped lead UCLA to three consecutive NCAA Final Fours. He declared for the NBA after his junior season and was a second round selection by Milwaukee.
Earl Watson, G, Utah Jazz - 12th NBA season, has spent the last two years with Utah, ended last season with a right knee injury that required surgery. Has also played for Seattle, Memphis, Denver, Oklahoma City and Indiana. His NBA career stats include - 806 games (223 starts), 23.0 minutes, 6.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.0 steals. A four-year (1998-2001) starting guard, he helped lead UCLA to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and started every Bruin regular season and NCAA Tournament game during his collegiate career (129 games).
Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder - fifth NBA season, all with Oklahoma City. Last season his career-best 23.6 points per game was No. 5 in the NBA. Westbrook's career NBA stats include - 312 games (295 starts), 34.2 minutes, 19.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals. During his two year Bruin career (2007-08) under Ben Howland, Westbrook helped lead the Bruins to two consecutive NCAA Finals Fours and was the No. 4 selection in the 2008 NBA Draft by Seattle.