June 24, 2021 may go down as one of the most pivotal days in the storied history of the University of Kentucky basketball program. There were no games won, or banners raised, but rather it was an executive order issued by Governor Andy Beshear that will go down as a watershed moment in UK Athletics. Thanks to Beshear, college athletes in the state will be able to make money from their name, image, and likeness.
For many who support NIL, this has been a long time coming. While it is great news for today’s student-athletes, it is unfortunate for all of the past Kentucky players who never had the opportunity to benefit from endorsement deals during their time in Lexington. Which got us here at Lex, Buds, & Pick ‘n Roll thinking, what if NIL had always been in existence? What would have been some of the ideal business partnerships between companies and players? After careful consideration, here are the top advertisements and slogans we would have liked to have seen for past UK basketball players:
Player: Jamaal Magloire
Spokesperson for: Central Kentucky Chiropractic
Slogan: “Ask for the Wojo!”
Is your back giving you pain? Do you have a constant crick in your neck? Are you an annoying 5’11’’ point guard from Duke who was criminally given the 1998 Defensive Player of the Year award? If so, visit Dr. Billy Packer and ask for “the Wojo”. Dr. Packer’s office will bend over backwards to help meet your needs. And if anyone knows about manipulating someone’s spine to get it in the right position, it’s Jamaal Magloire.
Player: Devin Booker
Spokesperson for: Jeff’s Car Wash
Slogan: “We’ll have your car cleaned lickity split!”
We know BBN is crazy. But one of the craziest phenomena to ever occur amongst our fanbase, was the obsession of female fans who took pictures of themselves licking Devin Booker’s car in 2015. In defense of our fans, Booker should have learned earlier in the year how crazy we are. He should have known that if you tell Kentucky fans that 1 person licked your car, they are all going to want to lick your car.
Player: Aminu Timberlake
Spokesperson for: Lexington Opera House STOMP performances
Slogan: “Get your tickets now! Don’t be Laet!”
Have you ever been to a STOMP performance? They are truly incredible. They use anything from trash cans to tractor tire inner tubes to create a musical theater performance. And while some performers like to stomp on paint cans, other performers like Christian Laettner, like to stomp on people’s chest. So, come check out a STOMP show, and behave however you would like. Aminu can promise you, no matter what you do, you won’t be kicked out.
Player: Aaron Harrison
Spokesperson for: Nuts.com
Slogan: “The biggest nuts you’ll find!”
In the 2014 NCAA Tournament, Aaron Harrison let balls fly from everywhere. He put Louisville in the bag and then hit the sack after doing it again to Michigan two days later. He then threw a stone against Wisconsin in the Final Four. It was a run of clutch shots that was absolutely nuts.
Player: Andre Riddick
Spokesperson for: Krav Maga Kentucky
Slogan: “If you can’t beat em’, choke em’”
Have you ever been approached by a stranger in a dark alley? Does someone seem to be following you in the parking garage? Are you trying to guard Rasheed Wallace, one of the dirtiest players in North Carolina basketball history? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then take it from Andre Riddick, you too can master the art of self-defense by choking an attacker. It doesn’t matter if someone comes at you with a gun, or an elbow, if you grab someone by the jugular they will back off. And you will gain the respect of all of Big Blue Nation.
Player: Alex Poythress
Spokesperson for: Avant Travel Agency
Slogan: “We’ve got your travel covered from baseline to baseline.”
Every great player in basketball history had a “go-to” move. Allen Iverson had the cross-over dribble, Kareem had the sky-hook, and Alex Poythress had the get called for traveling while driving baseline. I don’t say this to be mean to Alex, he is one of my all-time favorite Cats and he gave it his all here for 4 years. But if there were statistics for times a player was called for traveling, he has to be the all-time leader.
Player: Dusty Mills
Spokesperson for: Comedy Off Broadway
Slogan: “You won’t get punished for laughing here.”
Laughter is the best medicine. Unless you’re a walk-on basketball player for Billy Gillispie. Then laughter is the best way to get berated by your coach and get kicked off the team. It’s hard to believe that a UK basketball player was once given the boot for laughing on the bench, but why not then go to a place where laughing at someone is encouraged? After hearing a few jokes from Etta May (and the required 2 drink minimum), I think Billy and Dusty could bury the hatchet.
Player: De’Aaron Fox
Spokesperson for: Kentucky Child and Family Services
Slogan: “Don’t drop the Ball, report child abuse when you see it.”
If you ever feel bad about your parenting skills, take comfort in knowing that you’ve never once abused your child the way that De’Aaron Fox did to his son, Lonzo Ball. 39 points (without making a single 3-pointer), would be enough to hold up in any court of law as flat out cruelty.
Player: Jamal Mashburn
Spokesperson for: Halloween Express
Slogan: “Our store is the scariest experience you’ll have besides trying to guard Jamal Mashburn.”
“He did the Mash, He did the Monster Mash, the Monster Mash, It was a backboard smash…” Before there was Zion Williamson, there was Jamal Mashburn. An absolute monster who was a matchup nightmare, Mash sucked the life out of more people than Dracula. There was no silver bullet to stop him. Well, other than picking up his 5th foul.
Player: DeMarcus Cousins
Spokesperson for: Appalachian Wireless
Slogan: “Call Me!”
Whether you’re talking to a co-ed from Mississippi State or the President of the United States of America, Appalachian Wireless is guaranteed to never drop your most important calls. You can take comfort that when you say, “Call Me!”, you’ll get the call no matter if you’re in Sacramento, New Orleans, Oakland, L.A., Houston, or back to L.A. again. And that’s something you can boogie about all night long.
Player: Tyler Herro
Spokesperson for: KFC
Slogan: “Come get the Bucket’s favorite Bucket”
It only seems fitting that the man who once said “I’m a bucket” to an Arkansas player, be the representative for a place known for their, well, buckets! When asked what “I’m a bucket” meant after the game, Herro said he didn’t know. But I do know what a bucket of KFC chicken means, pure deliciousness. Additional contract bonus if Tyler dons the Colonel Sanders uniform.
Player: Jarrod Polson
Spokesperson for: Jared Jeweler
Slogan: “When you’re going through a Harrowing time, go to Jared!”
Are things with your significant other on the rocks? Are they just not the person you thought they would be? Does even spending 40 minutes with them turn into a Harrowing experience? Well, there is always a backup option, go to Jared! Jared can get you out of trouble faster than a terrapin. Otherwise, they might leave you in the middle of the season, I mean, the middle of your marriage.
Player: Mark Coury
Spokesperson for: WKYT
Slogan: “First Alert Weather ‘Coury Flurries’”
Watch out Chris Bailey, the Coury Flurry is coming for you! Amazingly, Mark Coury started twenty-nine times in the 2008 season, only to usually be taken out of the game before the first TV timeout. When have you ever seen a starter average 2 points and 10 minutes per game? Yet the Coury Flurry remained. This seems like a match made in heaven. Anytime there’s a big snow storm, Kentuckians can be digging out of the snow while thinking of all the holes the basketball team had to dig out of from starting Mark Coury.
Player: Josh Harrelson
Spokesperson for: Mr. Rooter Plumbing
Slogan: “Don’t stall, give us a call”
Never underestimate the importance of good plumbing. Imagine this scenario: You and your boys decide to take a trip to Nashville. The first half of the night goes horribly wrong, so you head back to your Airbnb to regroup, and somehow you get locked in the bathroom! I know, this scenario could never happen in a million years, right? But Josh Harrelson can tell you first hand the importance of having a professional technician to maintain clean pipes and drains. Because you just never know how long you might be stuck in there.
Player: Randolph Morris
Spokesperson for: Lexmark
Slogan: “Never miss a fax again”
In today’s modern world, everything is electronic. Thank goodness, right? Remember how hard it used to be to keep up with paper copies of all your documents? Anything could get lost! If only Randolph Morris had used a Lexmark fax machine instead of the one from those “other guys”, Tubby would have never misplaced that fax saying that he wanted to come back to school. That’s because Lexmark printers will send your fax in both paper and digital versions. So, if you’re tired of losing things once, twice, or even having a 10th loss, switch to Lexmark!
Player: Patrick Sparks
Spokesperson for: eHarmony
Slogan: “Find the Sparks that will ignite your love!”
The 2006 Kentucky backcourt could have been one of the all-time greats. A sophomore Rajon Rondo returning after an incredible freshman season, and the sharpshooting senior Patrick Sparks appeared poised to lead Kentucky to another great year. Instead, it seemed they never meshed. While it was never proven, the scuttlebutt was that Rondo had stolen Sparks’ girlfriend. Which would certainly explain the tension. Would it have been possible that if Patrick had just signed up for an eHarmony account the season could have been saved? I’m sure eHarmony’s expert compatibility quiz and personality profile could have found plenty of nice, single girls in and around the area of Wildcat Lodge.
Player: Alex Legion
Spokesperson for: Triangle Park
Slogan: “A great place to take your date and your coach, wait…”
Triangle Park, located in historic downtown Lexington, is the perfect place to spend a day with your girlfriend. Take a romantic walk by the peaceful waterfalls, and down the wide stone promenades along the Honey Locust trees. If you happen to be a UK basketball player, Triangle Park is conveniently located behind Rupp Arena, so you could even invite your coach along! What could possibly go wrong?
Player: Kelenna Azubuike
Spokesperson for: Lexington Athletic Club
Slogan: “Come build the muscles that you’ll never use”
We at Lexington Athletic Club know the real reason you want to come here, you want to look good. There’s no real point in actually using the muscles you have to be aggressive on defense, or box out. You want to look like Tarzan, and take home Jane.