Kansas Well Represented in NBA Playoffs

April 19, 2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Eight former Kansas men’s basketball players begin their quest for an NBA title this weekend.

The eight Jayhawks – Darrell Arthur (Memphis), Mario Chalmers (Miami), Nick Collison (Oklahoma City), Drew Gooden (Milwaukee), Kirk Hinrich (Chicago), Paul Pierce (Boston), Thomas Robinson (Houston) and Tyshawn Taylor (Brooklyn) – represent eight of the 16 teams in the 2013 NBA playoffs. Former Jayhawk Brandon Rush’s Golden State team also qualified, however Rush sat out the 2012-13 season recovering from a torn ACL.

Hinrich’s Chicago Bulls and Taylor’s Brooklyn Nets, and Gooden’s Milwaukee Bucks and Chalmers’ Miami Heat will square off in the East quarterfinals, guaranteeing a Jayhawk matchup in the East bracket semifinal. In the West quarterfinals, Collison’s Oklahoma City Thunder and Robinson’s Houston Rockets will meet, which means a Jayhawk will be in the West semifinal round.

Last year, Chalmers joined elite company when his Miami Heat team won the 2012 NBA title. Chalmers joined former KU great Clyde Lovellette in becoming only the second Jayhawk to win both an NCAA National Championship and an NBA title. Like Chalmers, Lovellette, who was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in November 2012, was a Most Outstanding Player (MOP) when KU won the 1952 NCAA Tournament. He later won three NBA titles with the Minneapolis Lakers in 1954 and the Boston Celtics in 1963 and 1964. Chalmers was the MOP when Kansas won the 2008 NCAA National Championship.

Chalmers and Pierce are looking to become the first Jayhawks to win two NBA championships since JoJo White won two titles with the Boston Celtics in 1974 and 1976.

Kansas NBA Champions

Clyde Lovellette (1950-52 at KU), Minneapolis Lakers – 1954; Boston Celtics – 1963, 1964

Maurice King (1955-57 at KU), Boston Celtics – 1960

Wilt Chamberlain (1957-58 at KU), Philadelphia 76ers – 1967; L.A. Lakers – 1972

JoJo White (1966-69 at KU), Boston Celtics – 1974, 1976

Bill Bridges (1959-61 at KU), Golden State Warriors – 1975

Wayne Simien (2002-05 at KU), Miami Heat – 2006

Jacque Vaughn (1994-97 at KU), San Antonio Spurs – 2007

Paul Pierce (1996-98 at KU), Boston Celtics – 2008

Scot Pollard (1994-97 at KU), Boston Celtics – 2008

Mario Chalmers (2006-08 at KU), Miami Heat – 2012

Kansas NBA Finals Most Valuable Players

Wilt Chamberlain – 1972

Jo Jo White – 1976

Paul Pierce – 2008

KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.