LOCALS IN THE NBA

Former Heat Assistant Recalls Encounter Between All-Star Bam Adebayo, Eric Mika

Feb 13, 2020, 9:41 PM
Bam Adebayo - Eric Mika...
Courtesy of Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With NBA All-Star weekend upon us, stories about the league’s top players are coming up and one of them involved a former BYU basketball player.

Former Miami Heat assistant and current University of Michigan men’s basketball head coach Juwan Howard recalled an incident between NBA All-Star Bam Adebayo and former BYU and current Sacramento Kings forward Eric Mika during an NBA Summer League practice in 2017.

Howard’s story was featured in an article about Adebayo by ESPN Senior NBA Writer Zach Lowe.

“The Heat realized right away Adebayo’s competitive fire was as advertised,” wrote Lowe. “He arrived early for summer league practices and stayed late, often jumping in with guards for ballhandling drills when he finished his own work. He made it clear he would back down from no one.”

Lowe went on to detail Mika’s interaction with Adebayo during one Heat practice.

“In one practice, Adebayo and Eric Mika, a bruiser from Brigham Young University, guarded each other,” Lowe continued. “Adebayo thought Mika’s physicality crossed the line into dangerous agitation — an injury risk. Adebayo tossed Mika to the ground and delivered a message: ‘We can compete, but if you are gonna play like that, I am gonna f— you up.”

Howard described Mika’s reaction to Lowe.

“When Mika saw Bam’s reaction, he didn’t want any part of it,” Howard said.

All-Star Adebayo

Adebayo is now in the middle of his third NBA season. Through 54 games, the Miami center is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks per game. Adebayo is posting 15.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 blocks per contest.

He was named an all-star for the first time of his NBA career this season.

Eric Mika’s Return To The NBA

The former BYU forward recently returned to the NBA after spending time playing professional basketball in China.

Mika signed a 10-day deal with the Sacramento Kings on February 1. Five days later, Mika was waived by the Kings in order to facilitate a trade.

In one game with Sacramento, Mika scored 6 points and pulled down 7 rebounds in 19 minutes.

He is currently a member of Sacramento’s G-League franchise, the Stockton Kings.

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