Bam! The Miami Heat add a powerful inside presence with their first-round pick in the NBA draft

MIAMI – Cue the Flintstones music. Bam is coming to the Heat.

The Heat selected Kentucky power forward ‘Bam’ Adebayo with the 14th pick of Thursday’s draft. Adebayo, whose given name is Edrice, has been called Bam ever since he was about a year old. His mother was a fan of the Flintstones and one day, Adebayo said, she saw her young son lift a coffee table and nicknamed him Bam after the super-strong child character on the show, Bamm Bamm Rubble.

“I guess I copied what he did and I flipped over a coffee table,” Adebayo said.

“The rest is history.”

Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo goes up for a dunk in the second half against North Carolina during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament South Regional at FedExForum on March.(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Now, at 6-foot-10, 243 pounds, Adebayo can flip a lot more than coffee tables. He is a powerful player with a 7-3 wingspan who had 101 dunks, breaking the school record held by Anthony Davis.

[5 things to know about the Heat’s first-round pick — Edrice ‘Bam’ Adebayo]

[Photos: Getting to know Miami Heat draft pick Bam Adebayo of Kentucky]

Heat president Pat Riley, who also played at Kentucky, walked into the interview room well after midnight and said, ‘Bam!’. He then said he believes Adebayo “will be a perfect fit” for the Heat.

“When he was on the board at 14 we felt just compelled to take him,” Riley said. “Shot blocker, explosive jumper, leaper. He’s a lob treat, runs rim-to-rim, can guard one through five.

“From a defensive standpoint I think that’s where the emphasis came. There other bigs available that had specific skills but there were other things we didn’t like about them.”

But Adebayo’s highlight reel included more than dunks. He averaged 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks and established himself as a solid defender.

“I bring a motor, I play with passion,” Adebayo said.

The biggest question mark concerning Adebayo’s game is his outside shooting. Although most of his points were at the rim, Kentucky coach John Calipari said Adebayo just didn’t have a chance to showcase his outside shooting playing with De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, who were drafted ahead of Adebayo on Thursday, Fox going fifth to Sacramento and Monk 11th to Charlotte.

“I look at this way, who would you rather see taking a shot from 17 feet, me or Malik?” said Adebayo, who played at Heat president Pat Riley’s alma mater. “Malik has a perfect jump shot. I was cool giving up something I was good at doing for the good of the team.

Adebayo said he surprised some teams during his workouts.

“I can make 15 to 17 footers,” he said. “I improved my shooting. Everybody thought I couldn’t shoot and I got to my workouts and they were shocked.”

Adebayo will fill a need with the Heat. Miami is not expected to re-sign Willie Reed, who played a key role off the bench last season as Hassan Whiteside’s backup. Additionally, starting power forward Luke Babbitt and the team’s top reserve, James Johnson, are free agents.

Adebayo, though, expects to play alongside Whiteside, who led the league in rebounding with 14.1 per game while averaging 17.0 points.

“We both fight, we both rebound, we both block shots,” Adebayo said.

Whiteside, who is from Gastonia, N.C., tweeted his approval of the pick, saying the Heat “needed another player from North Carolina on the squad.”

Although Adebayo believed he made an impression during his workout in Miami, he said the Heat never tipped their hand.

“I didn’t know for sure because they kept it from me,” he said. “It was a surprise for me. I let it soak in for like a minute and this is wonderful.

“It was a great experience,” he said about the workout. “I competed. We all competed. They liked my energy. They liked my effort.”

Adebayo said he has tried to pattern his game after future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett.

“I can block shots I can rebound,” he said. “I can run the floor.”

Adebayo, who spoke about “forming a bond” with his new teammates, was asked about the Heat’s 2016-17 season in which they flipped an 11-30 start and finished .500, missing the playoffs because of a tie-breaker.

“That means they have a chip on their shoulder,” he said. “I’m coming into something great.”

The Heat opted for Adebayo over several other big men who went within the next four picks including Creighton center Justin Patton who was taken 16th and winds up in Minnesota; UCLA’s TJ Leaf, 18th to Indiana; and John Collins, the former Wake Forest and Cardinal Newman standout who was taken 19th by the Hawks.

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