Posts Tagged ‘Milwaukee Bucks’

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Giannis Antetokounmpo may have “loyalty inside his DNA,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean the 22-year-old phenom will remain in Milwaukee for the entirety of his career.

The Bucks forward was non-committal when asked about his future in Milwaukee, saying that many players have expressed their desire to stay in a particular city before bolting for greener pastures.

“A lot of people say they’re going to stay on a team and decide to move to a different team,” Giannis said at a recent event in Manila, Philippines. “But you guys got to remember: A guy might want to stay on a team, but the team doesn’t do the right things and the right moves for the player to become great.”

The 2017 All-Star added that Kevin Durant gave every indication that he planned to stay with the Thunder, but ultimately left Oklahoma City after the team failed to win a title.

“KD, the reason he wanted to stay in OKC was to win, right? So, they didn’t win the championship,” Giannis said. “That’s why he decided to leave. So do not hate only the player, because sometimes it’s not up to the player.”

While Giannis’ comments may be a little unsettling for Bucks fans, the 6-foot-11 forward still has four years remaining on his contract, and he won’t become an unrestricted free agent until the summer of 2021.

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The Milwaukee Bucks remain interested in Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, but they’ll need to wait at least a couple weeks to pitch him on a job.

The Cavs won’t grant the Bucks permission to interview Griffin until after the NBA Finals, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

The Cavs also rejected previous requests from the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks to speak to Griffin during the playoffs, and both teams have subsequently moved on. In fact, the Magic’s failure to get any traction with Griffin is the reason the Bucks are now in the market for a new GM, as Orlando poached John Hammond from Milwaukee.

Griffin’s contract with Cleveland expires at the end of this season, and it’s unclear whether the Cavs will let him test the market or work quickly to try to re-sign him. LeBron James has pushed ownership to extend the man who’s constructed the defending champions’ roster.

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It’s virtually unheard of that a sports team would pin ticket prices to victories, but the Milwaukee Bucks are going to try it.In a package on sale now that commences with a Jan. 13 game against the Miami Heat, for $149 fans can purchase a slate of games that will remain valid until the Bucks win 10 home contests.

If the Bucks play sub-.500 ball at home during that period, fans would get tickets to 21 games.

“The business team is continually looking for creative ways to engage Bucks fans that match the creativity they see from guys like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker on a nightly basis,” Bucks chief marketing officer Dustin Godsey told ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

Despite being one of the NBA’s more exciting young teams, the Bucks rank 27th in attendance this season.

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Jason Kidd’s voice carries a bit more weight than the run-of-the-mill head coach – at least if you know his resume.

In an illuminating profile with Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo recounted how looking up Kidd’s career accomplishments changed his mind after early doubts about his coach.

As Jenkins wrote:

The first time Kidd benched him, Antetokounmpo was irate. “I was like, ‘Let’s see what this guy did in his career, anyway,'” Antetokounmpo recounts, and called up Kidd’s bio on his phone. “I saw Rookie of the Year, NBA championship, USA Olympic gold medal, second in assists, fifth in made threes, blah, blah, blah. I was like, ‘Jesus freaking Christ, how can I compete with that? I better zip it.'”

For the record, Kidd’s resume reads as follows: 10 All-Star nods, Rookie of the Year honors (shared with Grant Hill) in 1995, nine All-Defense nominations, six All-NBA selections, two Olympic goal medals, and one championship, after which his No. 5 was retired by the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.

If that doesn’t command respect, nothing will.

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Count Jabari Parker among the scores of NBA players and head coaches who were disappointed with Donald Trump being named as president-elect.

Parker shared his scathing account of how a Trump presidency would affect him and other minorities going forward in an interview with The Sporting News.

“I’m worried about my safety and that of a lot of people,” Parker began. “There are a lot of threats on athletes and regular citizens. We’ve already seen an increase in hate crimes and it’s barely been a week.

“His election made people feel like it’s cool to be openly and violently racist. I’ve gotten threats and so have others I know. I have to be more aware of my surroundings. I really feel bad for people who don’t have as many ways to protect themselves as I do.”

Parker has been vocal in his efforts to affect positive social change, and his team has followed suit. The Milwaukee Bucks are one of several teams that will avoid Trump’s hotels going forward.

“I’m proud to not stay in Trump hotels,” Parker said. “I don’t support someone who endorses hate on other people. He ran his campaign on hate. He’s attacked everything that I am and believe. I was named by a Muslim man. My mother didn’t get her citizenship until much later in life. She is basically an immigrant because she came from Tonga. She was paid less because she was a woman.

“I’m black, and he’s said some controversial stuff about black people. When it comes to me not supporting Donald Trump, it’s correlated to the things he has said. I have a gay uncle. All the things he said in his campaign are things I can’t associate myself with.”

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Entering his third season, Jabari Parker is ready to take the reins of the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I feel like this is my year to really show what I can do and be a main guy on the team,” the 6-foot-8 forward told SLAM’s Franklyn Calle. “I want to be able to step up as a leader this year.”

He’s healthy and committed to performing well consistently so he can help his squad win.

“I feel good,” said Parker, who at 21, is the third youngest player on the team. “(This season) is really something I look forward to. I feel like the challenge itself is just the game-by-game process because it’s all about remaining consistent. That’s the challenge I want to take up – individually and for my team.

“Last year, we didn’t really get into a streak of winning games – so we have to take it game by game and just take advantage of the health I have now.”

The Bucks finished with a 33-49 record in 2015-16, missing the postseason after making it to the big dance the previous year.

Parker was sidelined during that playoff run, having suffered a torn ACL that forced him to miss the final 57 games of his rookie season.

It was an underwhelming campaign for the No. 2 overall selection in the 2014 draft, and although he was healthy this past season, his production didn’t see much of a bump.

The former Duke star’s averaging 13.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and a steal while shooting 49 percent from the field and 25.5 percent from 3-point territory in the pros.

Parker’s confident he’ll get better with more experience. In fact, playing at the NBA level has already begun getting easier for him.

“Back then the game was so much more difficult for me because I made it that way,” he explained. “I was doing a lot that took a lot of energy out. Right now, by just taking the time to learn the game, it has slowed down so much for me. I think that’s going to help me this year.”

Milwaukee’s training camp is set to begin next Tuesday in Madison, Wis.