Huskies in the NBA: Several Huskies start off hot

Miami Heat guard Ray Allen gestures after scoring a three-point basket during the first half Game 6 in the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers, in Miami. Allen announced his retirement from the NBA on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, ending a career that saw him make more 3-pointers than any player in league history and win championships with Boston and Miami. (Lynne Sladky/ AP)

Though the new NBA season is still in its infancy, several former UConn standouts have jumped out with impressive starts. However, the most recent and notable action by a former Husky in the NBA is the retirement of future Hall of Famer Ray Allen.

Allen called it a career on Tuesday after spending 20 years in the league, 18 of which he played in. Although he has not been on a roster for the past two seasons, he was still considered an active player. Largely considered the best shooter of all time, he will join Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan as legends who retired in 2016.

In Sacramento, despite openly asking to be traded, Rudy Gay has been spectacular for the Kings. He’s averaging 23.8 points per game and had 30 points and 12 rebounds in the Kings’ most recent game, a 108-96-overtime loss to the Miami Heat. He also led the Kings in scoring with 22 points in a 106-95 loss to Atlanta on Halloween, which included a highlight two-handed dunk on Hawks’ forward Paul Millsap, which went viral.  He also leads the Kings in blocks so far this season.

For the Pistons, All-Star center Andre Drummond has picked up right where he left off, grabbing rebounds at an incredible rate. He leads the NBA in rebounds per game with 15.5 and averages 14.3 points per game. His most impressive performance so far was during his teams’ 98-83 victory over the Bucks on Oct. 30. He posted 20 points and 23 rebounds in the win. Going into Wednesday’s action, the Pistons were 3-1.

Former UConn hero Kemba Walker is in his second year of re-partnering with fellow Husky Jeremy Lamb in Charlotte and is also playing well. He carries the scoring load, averaging 23.3 points per game with five assists and 2.3 steals per game. He had 24 points in the Hornets’ defeat of the Miami Heat on Oct. 28.

Lamb has seen action off the bench in all three games and is averaging seven points per game. In the Miami win, he had a strong showing with 16 points. The Hornets have had a light slate so far, playing only three games before Wednesday, with a 2-1 record.

The only other Husky on an active NBA roster, Shabazz Napier, has found it challenging to find minutes in a crowded backcourt with the Portland Trail Blazers. He has played in three out of the teams’ four games and is merely averaging slightly less than four minutes a game. He has yet to score and has one assist this season, in which the Blazers are 2-2 so far.


Matt Barresi is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.barresi@uconn.edu.