By Daniel Brewster @Addicted2ThGmE on May 15, 2014
UCLA’s basketball team lost three impact players with Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and Zach LaVine all declaring for the NBA Draft. Despite the early defections, one thing has remained a constant from Ben Howland and now Steve Alford -- UCLA has a large amount of alumni playing in the NBA. There are currently 12 UCLA players in the NBA, here is a list of the top five.
Trevor Ariza, a Los Angeles native, played one year at UCLA and was selected in the 2004 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. He won a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and has developed an identity of a defensive stopper. Ariza currently plays for the Washington Wizards and is having the best year of his career with averages of 14 points, six rebounds and two assists per game.
Darren Collison played at UCLA during a stretch where he led his team to three Final Four’s in a row. Collison was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2009 and became Chris Paul’s understudy. Collison has moved around a bit but currently finds himself playing for the Los Angeles Clippers where he is a key player on a team that has the potential to win a championship.
Arron Afflalo is easily one the most popular former Bruins to date. At UCLA, Afflalo played with so much heart and desire and always led by example. It is that same tenacity that helped Afflalo get picked by the Detroit Pistons in 2007. Afflalo currently plays for the Orlando Magic and had his best year statistically averaging 18 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Kevin Love was the highest rated recruit to walk on the UCLA campus since probably Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Every school in the country salivated over Love and decided to take his talents to Westwood. Despite what the pundits said about him when he declared for the draft, Love has assimilated well to the NBA game. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ big man has become a perennial All-Star and has career averages of 19 points and 12 rebounds per game.
Russell Westbrook is probably the most enigmatic players in the NBA. When Westbrook is on his game, he is arguably one of the best point guards in the NBA, period. Due to his type-A personality, Westbrook's game is constantly questioned but none of that phases him. Despite the hate, Westbrook has averaged 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Pretty good for a guy who was barely recruited.
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