Posts Tagged ‘Milwaukee Bucks’

Say what you will about Milwaukee, but Giannis Antetokounmpo loves it.

The Bucks phenom has rapidly developed into a superstar, and this young season has made a better case than anyone that he’s the league MVP.

Antetokounmpo, 22, believes his adopted city suits his personality, and is probably conducive to his on-court success.

“I’m a low-profile guy,” he told The New York Times’ Marc Stein. “I don’t like all these flashy cities like L.A. or Miami. I don’t know if I could be the same player if I played in those cities.”

That figures to be music to the ears of Bucks nation, as Milwaukee is one of the NBA’s smaller markets and, as such, tends to have a tougher time luring and keeping stars. There was offseason speculation that teams were plotting to poach Antetokounmpo, who responded with this tweet:

The Greek Freak has already shown loyalty to the club that drafted him 15th overall in 2013, giving the Bucks a discount on a four-year, $100-million contract extension last year to keep him in Wisconsin through 2021.

He said he “can take this organization to the next level and bring that championship.” While Milwaukee isn’t a title contender given its roster holes – including a lack of shooting and speed – Antetokounmpo is doing his part, and more.

Following a breakout campaign that saw him earn his first All-Star, All-NBA, and All-Defensive nods, the versatile 7-footer is putting up a league-leading 31.3 points on 60 percent shooting to go along with 10.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game for the 4-4 Bucks.

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Russell Westbrook might be the most aggressive basketball player on the planet.

That approach to the game had Jason Kidd comparing the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard to one of the most feared boxers ever.

“He is the (Mike) Tyson of basketball,” the Milwaukee Bucks coach said Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell.

“When the jump ball (goes up), he is coming as Tyson did (in getting) off the stool. When the bell rings, he’s coming for you. Whenever he’s on the floor, he plays at one speed and that’s fast and hard.”

Kidd, who had a Hall of Fame-worthy career as an NBA guard, wasn’t done praising Westbrook.

“He’s the best in the game,” the 10-time All-Star said. “Puts a lot of pressure on your defense, offensively and defensively.”

Those words rang true later Tuesday, as the reigning league MVP registered 12 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists in 26 minutes as OKC stomped the Bucks 110-91 at Bradley Center.

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Charles Antetokounmpo, the father of Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, has died, Bucks general manager Jon Horst announced Saturday.

The Bucks family is heartbroken about the sudden death of Giannis’ father, Charles. The entire organization, his teammates and coaches are here to support Giannis and his family during this incredibly difficult time. Charles was a big part of the Bucks and will be terribly missed by us all. On behalf of ownership, we express our utmost condolences and offer our prayers to Giannis and his family.

Charles, who was 54 years old, is also the father of EuroLeague player Thanasis, Dayton Flyers freshman Kostas, and high school prospect Alexis. He reportedly suffered a heart attack at home Friday in Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Rick Barrett.

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Fourteen of the NBA’s 30 franchises lost money last season before receiving revenue-sharing cash from the league, and nine of those teams still ended up in the red after that, according to confidential financial records obtained by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe.

The report appears to confirm suspicions that despite record income from national television contracts, some teams are having trouble turning a profit – and not just in small markets.

The nine franchises to reportedly come out in the red, by the league’s accounting, after revenue sharing are: the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, and Washington Wizards.

The Spurs and Cavaliers may raise eyebrows given their combined runs of success, but it was already widely reported the Cavs lost $40 million during their 2015-16 championship season – due in part to a $54-million luxury tax bill.

At the end of the day, small cities such as Memphis and Milwaukee cannot compare to markets like Los Angeles. However, Brooklyn is part of New York City, and Washington and Atlanta rank as the nation’s seventh- and 10th-largest media markets, respectively.

At least one owner brought up the idea of expansion as a way to increase team income, the report states. An expansion fee – likely over $1 billion per team – would be divvied equally among NBA owners and not subject to the 50-50 basketball-related income split with players under the collective bargaining agreement.

Commissioner Adam Silver is on record as saying expansion is not a priority, although markets such as Seattle may be soon waiting in the wings for a new team. Relocating less profitable franchises is another option, something a handful of richer owners have suggested, according to Windhorst and Lowe.

The chasm between the NBA’s most profitable and weaker franchises will be discussed at the league’s next Board of Governors meeting at the end of September, sources told ESPN.

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Having spent five full years living in Charlottesville, Va. while starring for the Virginia Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks guard and reigning Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon is well positioned to weigh in on the events that transpired in the small college town over the previous week.

“To see this happen in a place that I call home is sort of jarring for me,” Brogdon told Sports Illustrated. “But if I were to be honest, the level of hate and blatant racism that still dominates the minds of so many Americans today – it’s not shocking to me. I think at the end of the day, you have to call it what it is: I think it is white supremacy and I think it’s domestic terrorism.”

Brogdon cited LeBron James‘ leadership among his fellow athletes in decrying bigotry in the wake of white supremacist rallies which took place in Charlottesville last weekend. James recently denounced the words (and perceived inaction) of President Donald Trump, saying the Commander-in-Chief has made hate “fashionable again.”

“I think he’s been articulate in the way he’s spoken, and he’s been truthful,” Brogdon said of the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar. “I don’t think he’s tried to shy away from being truthful, and making sure that people hear his voice. I think he’s done an awesome job.”

As to whether Brogdon would consider protesting the national anthem, a controversial demonstration closely associated with free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick and now Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch of the National Football League, the 24-year-old was non-committal.

“I’m not sure,” Brogdon said. “I think everyone has different methods in which they’re going to protest.”

What Brogdon is sure about is that athletes must continue to have a voice, and not succumb to the notion they should just “stick to sports.”

“I think it’s extremely offensive. I think it puts us in a bubble. It simply implies that because we’re athletes we don’t have a say or opinion, or that we don’t have the educational background to comment on things outside of sports. I just think it’s absurd,” he said.

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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.