Former University of Kentucky star Bam Adebayo, the 14th overall pick in last month’s NBA Draft, scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his NBA summer league debut on Saturday in Orlando, Fla.
“I felt like I had a motor today,” Adebayo told the Miami Herald. “After not competing five-on-five for I don’t know how long, it’s good to get out there, get back into the flow.”
Adebayo’s Miami Heat squad lost 74-67 to the Charlotte Hornets, who were without fellow former Wildcat Malik Monk. Monk is doubtful to play in the Orlando Summer League because of an ankle injury he said he suffered about three weeks prior to his pre-draft workouts.
Adebayo was 6-for-14 from the field in 33 minutes. He also had two assists, three blocked shots and one steal. He was 2-for-3 at the free-throw line and did not attempt a three-pointer.
Never miss a local story.
“I'm just getting used to the game ... as the flow of the game went on, I got better,” Adebayo said. “I’m a competitor, so I hate losing. That’s the downfall for me. I just wanted to win.”
The Miami Herald reported that at one point, after nailing a jumper, he turned to the Hornets’ bench and exchanged some playful trash talk with Monk.
“It’s a Kentucky thing,” Adebayo said with a grin. “When we meet each other, we’re going to talk trash to each other. We’re going to have fun. We’re going to smile at each other.”
▪ Prior to Saturday’s game, Adebayo signed his rookie contract. He is slated to make $2.5 million in his first season.
“It’s a relief,” Adebayo told the Herald. “But it’s back to work. My mom’s getting taken care of now, but that doesn’t stop. I can’t just stop now. I’ve just got to keep pushing, keeping working hard.”
▪ Former University of Louisville player Mangok Mathiang had three points and six rebounds in 10 1/2 minutes for Charlotte. Okaro White, who played for Florida State in college, led Miami with 20 points.
Miami Heat’s summer league schedule
Saturday: lost to Hornets 74-67
Sunday: vs. Magic, 3 p.m. (NBA TV)
Monday: vs. Pacers, 5 p.m. (NBA TV)
Tuesday: vs. Pistons, 5 p.m. (NBA TV)
July 6: Championship round
July 7: Off
July 8: vs. Spurs, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
July 9: Off
July 10: vs. Wizards, 4:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
July 11: vs. Mavericks, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
July 12-17: Playoffs