Gators Doing Well in the NBA

Let's face it, the week of final exams is a pretty boring one in a college sports town, so I got to thinking about some other things that are going on. Someone posted a video of a Corey Brewer dunk and I thought it would be interesting to check on the Gators in the NBA.

The Gators are having a pretty darn good season. Florida's nine NBA players are combining for more than 100 points a game and grabbing almost 60 rebounds a night. And they are doing it for the very affordable combined salary of roughly $39.5 million.

Here's a breakdown of each player's numbers on the court and on pay day to see how well Florida's guys are performing at the highest level. All stats are points and rebounds except for Jason Williams (points/assists).

Mike Miller $9.8M ---- Miller was off to a solid start with Washington (9.8/6.1) before suffering a torn calf muscle. He's only played in nine games.

Udonis Haslem $7.1M ---- Haslem is coming off the bench for the Miami Heat but remains a very productive player (10.9/7.6) who is fourth on the team in scoring and second in rebounds.

David Lee, $7M ---- Lee led the NBA in double-doubles last season and he's at it again so far this year. Lee (18.2/10.2) has helped one of the NBA's worst run franchises to try and make a positive move. The Knicks have a 7-6 record after an awful 1-9 start.

Al Horford $4.3M ---- The highest draft pick of the trio of first round picks three years ago, Horford is a force for the Atlanta Hawks (13.1/9.4). The Hawks are off to an excellent start (17-6) and are battling Orlando for the lead in the Southeast Division.

Matt Bonner $3.3M ---- Admit it, you figured he would be building bridges or designing water treatment plants by now. Still Bonner is a solid player (9/5) off the bench for the perennial contending San Antonio Spurs.

Corey Brewer $2.9M ---- Brewer has had trouble adjusting to the NBA and staying healthy, but right now things are going well (11/2/4.2) for the guy I used to call Spiderman. Minnesota is a bad team (4-21), but it's good to see Brewer having some success after two tough seasons.

Joakim Noah $2.5M ---- Only Joakim could get into a joking, teasing exchange that got under LeBron James' skin. The Bulls aren't very good, but Noah sure has been (10.2/11.8). He has ten double-doubles on the year, matching Lee and Horford.

Marreese Speights $1.7M ---- The Sixers are dreadful, losing 75 percent of their games, but Speights is a reasonably consistent contributor (13.6/6.4) when he's healthy. A knee injury has forced him to miss the last 14 games and the Sixers are 2-12 in that time.

Jason Williams $825K ---- Williams was talked out of retirement to join the Magic and has really helped their bench, even though he starts about half the time. Williams (6.9/4.8) has struggled lately, but should be able to help Orlando throughout the campaign.

So there you have it, nine Gators who are doing well in the NBA. Obviously an "All-Gator" team would be very strong in the front court, but really weak on the perimeter. Tuesday (12/15) I asked Billy Donovan what it means to have so many guys doing well at the highest level.


"It's so hard to become a professional basketball player and not only be a player but to be a starter or a contributor to a team. I look at guys like Matt Bonner or Haslem or Joakim Noah and Al Horford; those guys were not McDonald's All Americans. They were not considered pro players when they came out of high school. (But you can make it) when you have a certain kind of make up that you understand what goes into it and how to be effective and successful in helping a team. I think a lot of those guys have it. I think that the experience they had here at Florida put them in a position that they were not necessarily overwhelmed and not prepared for the next step. A lot of it has to do with their work ethic and talent."

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