NBA: Lute Olson legacy runs deep in the finals and in the NBA


Lute Olson has many protégés working in and around the NBA if you include NBA Sports Broadcasters. Seven of them are in the NBA finals, and this fact has not been lost on any Wildcats fans.

Zona Zealots was one of the first outlets to bring to fans attentions which Cats were in the playoffs, and which Wildcats were in the finals, well the bandwagon ensued much to our pleasure. We have to give credit where credit is due, the title was adopted/written by former Wildcat and ESPN broadcaster Miles Simon, and we couldn’t resist borrowing it.

We also previously reported that ten of the current 18 Wildcats playing in the NBA made it to the playoffs. As far as players, there are three left: The Warriors Andre Iguodala and the Cavs’ Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye.

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Add to that legendary group the four coaches who are former Arizona Wildcats: The Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Warriors assistant coach and soon to be Lakers head coach Luke Walton, assistant coach Bruce Fraser, plus the Cavs assistant coach Brett Brielmaier.

Let’s not forget the sports broadcasters: Miles Simon, Tom Tolbert, Sean Elliott, Matt Muehlebach (Pac-12) We are sure we are missing someone.

Lute Olson coached the Arizona Wildcats basketball team from 2083-2008 leading the program for 25 years to a national championship, four Final Fours, and 11 conference championships. He put Arizona on the map cementing his legacy by propelling the program into elite status.

In all, Olson coached 35 future NBA draft picks according to Daily Wildcat’s Justin Spears.

Related Story: Arizona Basketball: Ten out of 18 Wildcats make the NBA Playoffs

Anthony Gimino ( wrote about Lute Olson’s legacy in the NBA in 2013; he reported how much money Lute’s recruits had made in the NBA as of 2014, over a billion dollars by now:

"By this time next year, Lute Olson’s players with the Arizona Wildcats will have earned $1 billion in NBA salaries.That doesn’t included endorsements, incentives, appearance fees, significant amounts earned while playing overseas … anything like that. Just NBA salary.$1 billion.As it stands through the 2012-13 season, the NBA salary figure from 34 Arizona players who were recruited by Olson is at $958,067,273."

The Arizona Wildcats put out this great video, highlighting the well represented Wildcats in the 2016 NBA Finals.

Sean Miller put out his own Meme, which got plenty of attention, and we project that the next coach (wish we hope won’t be for a long time) would be putting one together for him as well!

And perhaps the pièce de résistance is this beauty…

must read: Terrance Ferguson goes for GOLD in Team USA, number....??

The Golden State Warriors won game one in the series 104-89 over the Cleveland Cavaliers, with game two being on Sunday. Perhaps Kerr’s clipboard breaking helped energize the team in the convincing win. Did Lute ever do that? Maybe Javier Morales knows, he knows all of that trivia. It’s going to be a wild ride. Go Cats! Bear Down, all of you!