NBA Finals Will Have A Michigan Flavor
When the Miami Heat square off against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals beginning Wednesday night, Michigan will be well represented.
Michigan's long be known for its developing basketball talent, and the rosters of both teams in the Finals have a Michigan flavor.
Let's start with the Lakers, power forward Kyle Kuzma has had a huge impact on lifting the Lakers to the NBA's best record in the regular season. The 6'8" Kuzma grew up in Flint and attended Bentley High School before moving on to the University of Utah and getting drafted 27th overall in the 2017 NBA draft by the Brooklyn Nets. He was almost instantly traded to the Lakers where he made the All Rookie team in 2018.
Also on the Lakers is another Flint native, JaVale McGee. McGee is an 11-year NBA veteran who moved to Chicago to play at the exclusive Hales Franciscan School. He played his college ball at the University of Nevada.
While not a Michigan native, Kantavious Caldwell-Pope is also on the Lakers roster, he played for the Detroit Pistons from 2013-2017.
Over on the other bench, the Heat have Duncan Robinson in their starting lineup. The sharpshooting forward was on the 2018 Michigan team that made it all the way to the NCAA Championship game before losing to Villanova.
Robinson has had an interesting trek to basketball's highest level. An unheralded high school player, Robinson took Williams College in the NCAA Division III finals before transferring to Michigan. He has become the first player ever to achieve the triple of playing in a D-3 championship game, a D-1 championship game and the NBA Finals.
Current Michigan coach Juwan Howard used to play and coach for the Heat, so he tweeted out some love for Duncan earlier this week.