On Saturday, Mario Chalmers had his jersey retired in a halftime ceremony at Allen Fieldhouse. Chalmers, a guard for the Miami Heat, is in town during the NBA's All-Star Weekend. In addition to Chalmers, thirteen former Jayhawks are currently in the NBA. Here is how each one has performed this season for their respective teams.
Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics (KU from 1995-1998)
Despite turning 35 this season, the most successful and well-known former Jayhawk has had a solid year for the Celtics. Pierce's contributions have become more vital after Rajon Rondo went down recently with a season ending ACL tear. Pierce is averaging 18.7 points a game, helping the Celtics to a 28-24 record. The 15-year veteran has fought through a pinched nerve in his neck for most of the season, but continues to be a solid contributor for Boston.
Drew Gooden, Milwaukee Bucks (KU from 1999-2002)
Gooden has had a hard time finding playing time for Milwaukee this season, his ninth team in eleven years. In his third year with the Bucks, Gooden is averaging just less than ten minutes a game. Despite having relative success when he's on the court, a logjam of forwards on the Bucks roster is keeping him from minutes.
Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls (KU from 1999-2003)
Returning to the Bulls this season after three years with other teams, Hinrich has been the Bulls starting point guard. Derrick Rose is still recovering from a knee injury, giving Hinrich an opportunity. An elbow injury however, has sidelined him for the past two weeks. He is expected back after the All-Star break, but his minutes might be reduced because of Nate Robinson's success in his absence. Hinrich was shooting just 38.1 percent from the field prior to his injury.
Nick Collison, Oklahoma City Thunder (KU from 2000-2003)
The Thunder own the second best record in the NBA this year at 39-14. This is in large part because of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. As the oldest player on the team, Nick Collison contributes valuable minutes off of the bench. Despite his little playing time, Collison has made two starts this year in a fill-in role.
Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat (KU from 2005-2008)
Remembered for "Mario's Miracle" at KU, Chalmers has had a successful NBA career thus far. Starting on a team with LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, Chalmers won an NBA title last season. This year, Chalmers has helped the Heat to a 36-14 record. Averaging 7.7 points per game, he had a career high 34 points against the Kings on January 12th. He was honored at a halftime ceremony Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
Brandon Rush, Golden State Warriors (KU from 2005-2008)
After re-signing with the Warriors this past off-season, Rush tore his ACL and MCL on November 2nd. He is out for the rest of this season, and the timetable for his return after that is still in question. Rush played in only two games this season prior to his injury.
Darrell Arthur, Memphis Grizzlies (KU from 2006-2008)
Since being a starter his rookie year, Arthur has been a bench player in recent years. As a backup to Zach Randolph, he has been consistent off of the bench. He averages just less than seven points per game and averages three boards.
Cole Aldrich, Houston Rockets (KU from 2007-2010)
Aldrich was traded earlier this season to Houston after spending his first two years in the league with Oklahoma City. Aldrich is one of the last players off of the bench for Houston and plays sparingly. Despite his limited minutes, he still averages nearly two rebounds a game.
Xavier Henry, New Orleans Hornets (KU from 2009-2010)
In his first full season with New Orleans, Henry's playing time has varied. He has been in and out of their rotation all season long, starting two games. He has not contributed much to the Hornets, who are near the bottom of the Western Conference. The team is in a rebuilding mode with four rookies on the roster. In games he has played, Henry is averaging 3.5 points.
Josh Selby, Cleveland Cavaliers (KU from 2010-2011)
Selby was traded last month as part of a package from the Memphis Grizzlies for Jon Leuer. Upon receiving Selby, the Cavs sent him to their D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge. Before getting traded, Selby appeared in only ten games for the Grizzlies, averaging just two points. He has also spent time this year with Reno in the D-League.
Marcus Morris, Houston Rockets (KU from 2008-2011)
After a disappointing rookie season, Morris was named an opening day starter due to injuries on the Rockets. While no longer a starter, he has become a productive rotation player. A key to his success this year is his willingness and ability to hit three pointers. Last Monday against Utah, Morris hit four three-pointers. He is averaging almost nine points per game and four rebounds, helping the Rockets compete for a playoff spot in the West.
Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns (KU from 2008-2011)
Markieff Morris gets solid playing time for the struggling Phoenix Suns. The Suns own the worst record in the Western Conference this season with 36 losses. After a good rookie season, Markieff has struggled to take his game to the next level. Coming off of the bench, he has been inconsistent. Markieff shoots less than forty percent from the field and has struggled on defense. Despite his struggles, he still plays about 20 minutes a game and averages 7.3 points.
Thomas Robinson, Sacramento Kings (KU from 2009-2012)
Thomas Robinson has been somewhat disappointing in his rookie year, after being drafted fifth overall by the Kings. He has had trouble scoring, averaging just five points per game. He has played better in recent weeks, but his overall progress has been slow. His strength this year has been his rebounding ability, averaging 10 rebounds per 36 minutes. In November, Robinson was suspended for two games after a flagrant foul against Jonas Jerebko.
Tyshawn Taylor, Brooklyn Nets (KU from 2008-2012)
After being drafted in the second round, Taylor has bounced back and forth between the D-League and the Nets. He got his first real opportunity last week, stepping in for an injured Deron Williams. Taylor helped lead the Nets past the Pacers in overtime, scoring 12 points. Because of his lack of playing time, he is averaging just two points per game.