It wouldn't be surprising to find out that there are only about ten people around here who care about Milwaukee Bucks basketball. There may have been more at the beginning of the NBA regular season, but they have undoubtedly disappeared since then. After a mini run in 2001, the Bucks have not seen a meaningful playoff game, and haven't truly been competitive since the departure of head coach, George Karl. This could simply be because the Bucks followed Karl with the likes of Terry Porter, Terry Stotts and Larry Krystkowiak, but the coach never seemed to matter. The players never seemed to have chemistry and even the first pick in the draft in 2005 couldn't help build a team. I guess the worst draft class in recent history didn't help, but the talent appeared to be there. At least it should have been for the Eastern Conference. So if it's not really the players or the coach, it must be something else, right?
Well, kind of. People are a bit overly-optimistic about a constantly mediocre team that's built around a low tier superstar like Michael Redd. Don't get me wrong, I have a really big problem with Redd, so my opinion is quite biased. I have to admit that there are times where he really looks good. He's selective and he keeps his team involved. But this only happens 10-20% of the time, so he'll never be a good enough all around player to get my respect. He's just an amazing shooter who can make any shot on the court, but is weak, has slow ball handling skills and plays some of the worst defense I've ever seen. Unfortunately, this is what Owner/Senator Herb Kohl and his ex-GM Larry Harris have built a team around. Oddly enough, they also thought they could take chances on three first-time coaches in five years and expect results. This ultimately has led to the complete collapse of a reasonable franchise, forcing Senator Kohl to fire Larry Harris.
But here comes the good news. Some how, some way, Senator Kohl was able to pull Pistons front office John Hammonds away from Joe Dumars to take over the team. While Hammonds has zero experience as a GM, he has shown his worth by developing winning teams with whomever he has worked with. But it's not so much what Hammonds has done in the past, but what he's going to do now. Most people know that GMs have a bit of an ego. They like to get all of the old guys from the previous staff out and put in some of there own. Just ask Ted Thompson of the Green Bay Packers and new VP Bill Parcells in Miami. Yes, they're both football references and Parcells isn't even a GM, but it's late and I don't want to do the research. Nevertheless, this means at least two things for sure for the Milwaukee Bucks: No more Larry Krystkowiak and no more Bobby Simmons. But NBA beware you may see a Michael Redd trade or release in the near future.
If you haven't been paying attention the Bucks have managed to build in the draft the last few years with Yi Jianlian and Andrew Bogut, but you might not have noticed that they also picked up a little guy from Nevada, named Ramon Sessions, who tore up the NBA D-League most of the year before getting called up to the big team only a couple of months ago. And you probably missed his 20/24/8 game a few days and his 25/14/7 game tonight, but he's going to be decent. He will not, I repeat, WILL NOT be a superstar, but he can play the point, he's learned to avoid turnovers and he's got the quickness to drive the lane. So why does this scare Michael Redd?
Well what Michael doesn't realize is that when Mo Williams plays the two-spot, he does just as much, if not more, than Redd. And what's the difference between Redd and Williams besides four inches? Try $8 million dollars. And with the Bucks sporting yet another lottery pick this year and one of the better draft classes in recent history, don't be surprised to see a little salary relief comes with the forecast. John Hammonds has a lot of options, and if he can score the first or second pick in his first year as GM, he'll get a center piece right off the bat, and can weed out anybody he thinks may hinder his new team.