Monday, July 30, 2007

Mason & Redd Reunited at Last

Michael Redd and Desmond Mason are both excited at the prospect of wearing the same uniform again. The two became good bowling buddies during their 2 1/2 years together on the Bucks. The duo was reunited on July 23 when the Bucks signed Mason, an unrestricted free agent, to a multi-year contract.

It's true they were good friends off the court, but they were also pretty good during the games too; Redd averaged a team-best 23 points per game during the 2004/05 season and Mason was the team's second-leading scorer, putting up a career-high average of 18 points per game.

The way the off-season is progressing, a Milwaukee Bucks ticket may be the hottest ticket in town when the NBA tips off the regular season in a few months.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

What Andrew Bogut did on his Summer Vacation

Andrew Bogut hasn't quite lit the NBA on fire with is play during his first two years in the league, but you can't really call him a bust yet either. The upcoming season will be a big one for the young big man's future.

But I'm not talking about that now. This is the Summertime. And Bogut isn't currently running the floor, he's running his mouth.

In June Bogut made some moderately controversial generalizations to the Sydney Morning Herald about some of his fellow NBA players and NBA and American culture in general. For the most part, Bogut's public comments have slid under the media radar, but it has caused a bit of a ripple in the Bucks already busy off-season. Here are some of his remarks:

"The public's image of NBA players is true. A lot of them (NBA players) get caught up in the hype and do video clips with rappers and all that crap. They want bling bling all over themselves and drive fast cars. But that's just the way the culture is in America - if you've got it flaunt it and if you don't, you can't."

"But that's where it stops for me," he says. "I'm not into jewellery. I've got some earrings but they're not too expensive. There are guys who drop a hundred grand for a chain. The public's got it right - a lot of NBA stars are arrogant and like to spend lots of money and have lots of girlfriends and all that. The smarter guys don't do that. They like to live a regular life and want to retire and be set up. About 80 per cent of them go broke by the time they retire or come close to it."

"We have compulsory tutoring each week where they teach you to manage your money and they tell you about all the things that can happen to you, people trying to take advantage of you, but it's amazing how many guys totally ignore it. I guess if you're a normal person and suddenly you're getting $10 million a year, it can go to your head."

"But it's just the culture over there. I would never want my child to be brought up in an environment like that, where if you have money you're supposed to flaunt it and make everyone jealous."We have compulsory tutoring each week where they teach you to manage your money and they tell you about all the things that can happen to you, people trying to take advantage of you, but it's amazing how many guys totally ignore it. I guess if you're a normal person and suddenly you're getting $10 million a year, it can go to your head."

"But it's just the culture over there. I would never want my child to be brought up in an environment like that, where if you have money you're supposed to flaunt it and make everyone jealous."

Although Bogut does make some valid points, this type of sweeping generalizations usually makes one look a bit foolish. That and a rat-tail hair cut combined can make one look really foolish. I commend Bogut for voicing his opinion, even is he did make some curious comments. He certainly has a right to speak his mind. At best he's cocking off about a culture in the NBA that deserves criticism. At worst, he comes off as hypocritical and somewhat elitist. I guess we'll see what the rest of the NBA thinks of his comments in November.

For the complete interview, check out the Sydney Morning Herald article.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mo will be 30 years old when his $52 million deal expires

Last night, Mo Williams threw out the first pitch at Miller Park. The Brew Crew went on to beat the Diamondbacks in dramatic fashion by a score of 4-3 to push their Miller Park record to 33-14. Mo took in the game with the hometown fans. And why wouldn't he. Mo is probably in a pretty good mood since inking a 6 year deal with the Bucks, choosing to remain in Milwaukee as opposed to leaving for Miami or Indiana.

Williams averaged a career-best 17.3 points in 68 games last season. He was widely considered the top prize among point guards on the free agent market this summer. As a life-long Bucks fan, I must say I'm pleased the Bucks were able to make this deal happen. Milwaukee is now set up with a solid back court for years to come.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Yi Saga Continues...

Larry Krystkowiak finally got a first-hand look at the Bucks controversial draft pick, Yi Jianlian, at the NBA Summer League games. It's been an interesting week since the Bucks selected the Chinese superstar with the 6th pick. Regardless of all the posturing that's been going on, Larry says he's impressed and looking forward to coaching Yi. General manager Larry Harris has firmly stated that he has no intention of trading him, even though Yi's agent says his guy has no desire to play in Milwaukee.

Journal Sentinel beat writer Michael Hunt made some great points in his article on June 28th about the Bucks pick. It's hard to know, even at this point, if Yi's people really don't want him to play in Milwaukee because of a tiny Asian population or if it's just a big international bluff. Either way, he's going to have to prove it on the floor in the NBA. And, whether he likes it or not, Yi's road to the NBA goes through Milwaukee.