Bam Adebayo has been one of the surprise players in the NBA but he’s hardly the only Miami Heat player to get the league to take notice after starting out from relative obscurity this season.
Teammates Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn are also making names for themselves and, while the team owes a huge chunk of their success to Jimmy Butler, Miami’s young squad has shown maturity beyond their years as they continue to stake a claim as contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Unlike his two surprise teammates, Bam was the only player to join Butler as an All-Star this term, being voted into the NBA’s spectacle draw for the first time in his career. The former Kentucky forward is averaging 16.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists a contest, having played in all of Miami’s 56 games at the time of writing. His All-Star selection was certainly well deserved and he did not return to South Beach empty-handed either, winning the Skills Challenge on Saturday night as he beat out an impressive cast.
Able to defend positions one through five, the Newark native is an adept scorer who can run the floor, create shots for himself and his teammates while a huge threat off the pick and roll.
Adebayo is among the favorites for the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award this season at 7/2 with the bookmakers and fans looking to bet on the Heat’s new star would do well to check out American online casinos for the most up-to-date information on online betting sites. The New Orleans Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram is the outright favorite at 7/5, though, with Dallas’ Luka Doncic in behind at 4/1 and Adebayo up next.
Pat Riley likened Adebayo to Heat cornerstones Alonzo Mourning and Dwyane Wade earlier this month, high praise coming from the Heat President, who is known to choose his words very carefully.
Wade, who had his No.3 jersey retired this past weekend, agrees with Riley.
“We don’t want to put that pressure on Bam right now, but he’s definitely somebody we look at and say, ‘Alonzo, UD, guys like that, you have that character,” the Heat legend said via The Athletic. “You have that opportunity to do something special within this organization that loves you,’” Wade said. “So, we’re going to see. We’re going to sit back and check it out.”
“I’ll take that on my shoulders since Mount Rushmore Miami Heat Hall of Famers are saying it, but it hasn’t hit me that I’ve been an All-Star, been in the All-Star game,” Bam says. “But they see something in me. That’s the thing.”
Of course, carving out a superstar career in the NBA is no easy feat and doing it in a Miami Heat uniform is even harder. But Bam has shown steady improvement since being drafted by the team in 2017 and can just about do it all as a big man in the modern era.
Only time will tell how things play out for the 22-year-old, with his career only just beginning, but big things are expected now.