The Blue Zone recaps how some former Blue Devils are doing in the NBA, on—and off—the court in one case. 

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics 

Tatum and the Celtics rang in the new year in fashion by winning their first three games of 2018, including an impressive win against the Cavaliers and a gutsy victory over Brooklyn on Saturday. The former Blue Devil standout was the hero for Boston against the Nets, netting two buckets—both assisted by Kyrie Irving—down the stretch to help the Celtics improve to 33-10 this season. 

As the calendar draws closer to All-Star Weekend, Tatum finds himself squarely in the discussion for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Though his efficient play may not be enough to push him past frontrunner Ben Simmons, he nevertheless finds himself among the most talked-about rookies as the halfway point of the season approaches.  

Rodney Hood, Utah Jazz

Hood got off to a slow start in 2018, scoring just two points and making just one field goal in Utah’s first game of the new year. Although he appeared to be getting back on track with 17- and 12-point performances in their next two games, respectively, his most memorable moment of the week came in Wednesday’s road win against the Washington Wizards. 

Near the end of the third quarter, Hood was ejected after earning his second technical foul of the game arguing a call with an official. But the real drama occurred as he made his way off the court and slapped a fan’s phone as the man tried to record him exiting the game in a video that immediately went viral:


Tyus Jones, Minnesota Timberwolves

Hood wasn’t the only former Blue Devil to make waves online this week.

Jones also got a moment in the spotlight for a pair of clips from Minnesota’s win over Cleveland Monday. In the first, Jones broke away for what appeared to be an easy two-on-one situation against LeBron James before James made an emphatic rejection, sending Jones to the floor and staring the young guard down before getting back down the court. 


But Jones, who is averaging just under five points in 20 minutes per game, got his revenge later in the quarter on another breakaway opportunity. As James closed in for another attempt at a chase-down block, Jones threw down a vicious dunk to send the Target Center crowd into a frenzy. 


Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics

In Isaiah Thomas’ return to Boston, Irving underwhelmed with the other piece of the blockbuster trade that sent him to the Celtics this summer sitting on the opposite bench, finishing with just 11 points in Boston’s victory. 

Since then, he has continued to struggle with efficiency on the offensive end, but has posted 16 and 21 points, respectively, in the Celtics’ last two games.  Irving got more attention for his comments off the court than his play on it, as the “flat earth” controversy that he ignited last season rose to the surface again in anticipation of Boston’s trip to London to play the 76ers on Thursday. 


Brandon Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers

Although it has been a rocky week for the Lakers in the wake of Lavar Ball’s comments that head coach Luke Walton has lost the support of the team, Ingram managed to rise above the drama.

The second-year pro posted three solid performances after getting off to a rough new year in the Lakers’ first two games. Ingram, who is now averaging just over 16 points and five rebounds per game, has been remarkably efficient from the field in his past two games, shooting a combined 12-16 from the field. 

Ingram also had his best rebounding performance of the season Friday, grabbing 14 boards in Los Angeles’ loss to Charlotte. Ingram has also managed to keep himself above the controversy, defending his coach amidst all the rumors swirling around the team.