Archive for the ‘ Milwaukee Bucks Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Blog reporting on the Bucks:

A source with knowledge of the sale process said Monday the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to New York investors Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens “is moving quickly.”

“It’s possible there will be news later this week,” the source said.

Former senator Herb Kohl is selling the team he has owned since 1985 to Lasry and Edens for $550 million, which includes assumed debt. In addition, Lasry and Edens have committed $100 million toward the cost of a new arena, as has Kohl.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in mid-April that he anticipated it would take about a month for the sale to be formally approved by NBA owners. It appears his timetable was right on target.

Ekpe Udoh starts online book club

Epke Udoh starts online book club

Ekpe Udoh will leave one positive lasting impression from this dreary season for the Milwaukee Bucks, and it has nothing to do with basketball.

Few, if any, NBA players can say they’ve started a book club over Twitter. Fewer still probably cite entertainment magnate Oprah Winfrey as a role model.

Udoh, a four-year NBA veteran, is thinking big.

“I want to be like Oprah. I want to be like Oprah’s book club,” the Bucks forward said Tuesday. “I’ll get there. It might take me a couple years, but I’ll get some buzz going.”

He’s off to a decent start in a relatively short time.

– Associated Press

Bucks sign forward Chris Wright

Bucks sign forward Chris Wright

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed forward Chris Wright (6-8, 225) to a multi-year contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Wright had played with the Bucks on two separate 10-day contracts, the last signed on April 5. He appeared in seven games with the Bucks, averaging 6.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 15.4 minutes per game.

Prior to joining the Bucks, Wright played with the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, where he’s appeared in 41 games this season and posted averages of 19.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest. He’s notched 14 double-doubles on the year, including seven in his last 11 appearances. Wright also played for the Red Claws during the 2012-13 season, when he average 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, and has been named to the D-League All-Star Game in both of his seasons in Maine.

After going undrafted out of Dayton in 2011, Wright was selected by the Red Claws with the third overall pick in the 2011 D-League Draft. He appeared in four games for the Red Claws, averaging 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds, before signing with the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 24, 2011. Wright appeared in 24 games during his lone NBA season and posted 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest. Earning the start in Golden State’s season finale, Wright tallied a career-best 25 points and eight rebounds while shooting 11-of-14 from the field on April 26, 2012, at San Antonio.

Wright wears #15 for the Bucks.

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog with an update on Bucks center Larry Sanders:

Larry Sanders begins 5-game suspension

Bucks officials confirmed that fourth-year center Larry Sanders has started his five-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy.

Sanders was not with the Bucks for their Wednesday game against Indiana and could not be at the arena, per NBA policy.

Sanders was suspended for a third positive marijuana test. He was out due to surgery for right orbital fractures and it was uncertain when his suspension would begin.

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting on Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders, who may be one of the first (if not the first) active NBA players to ever advocate for the use of marijuana:

NBA player Larry Sanders defends his marijuana use

Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders was apologetic about a five-game drug suspension but also vigorously defended his marijuana use in an interview Friday night before the Bucks played the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.

Sanders’ season-long saga took another wrong turn earlier Friday when he was penalized by the league for using marijuana in violation of the NBA/NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) drug program.

Sanders already was sidelined due to right orbital fractures suffered when he was elbowed inadvertently by Houston’s James Harden in a Feb. 8 game, an injury that required surgery…

“It’s something I feel strongly about, just to let you know something personal about me,” Sanders said in an interview with the Journal Sentinel and nba.com. “I will deal with the consequences from it. It’s a banned substance in my league. But I believe in marijuana and the medical side of it. I know what it is if I’m going to use it.

“I study it and I know the benefits it has. In a lot of ways we’ve been deprived. You can’t really label it with so many other drugs that people can be addicted to and have so many negative effects on your body and your family and your relationships and impairment. This is not the same thing.

“The stigma is that it’s illegal. I hate that. Once this becomes legal, this all will go away. But I understand for my work it’s a banned substance. I will deal with the consequences and I apologize again to my fans for that.”

Bucks sign Chris Wright to 10-day contract

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent forward Chris Wright (6-8, 225) to a 10-day contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Wright is the 43rd “Call-Up” of the 2013-14 season from the NBA D-League.

This marks Wright’s second stint with the Bucks this season, after also spending 10 days with the club from March 14-23. He appeared in two games with the Bucks, averaging 6.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 16.5 minutes per game.

Wright returns to the Bucks from the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, where he’s appeared in 41 games this season and posted averages of 19.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest. He’s notched 14 double-doubles on the year, including seven in his last 11 appearances. Wright also played for the Red Claws during the 2012-13 season, when he average 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, and has been named to the D-League All-Star Game in both of his seasons in Maine.

After going undrafted out of Dayton in 2011, Wright was selected by the Red Claws with the third overall pick in the 2011 D-League Draft. He appeared in four games for the Red Claws, averaging 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds, before signing with the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 24, 2011. Wright appeared in 24 games during his lone NBA season and posted 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest. Earning the start in Golden State’s season finale, Wright tallied a career-best 25 points and eight rebounds while shooting 11-of-14 from the field on April 26, 2012, at San Antonio.

Wright will wear #15 for the Bucks.

Larry Sanders suspended 5 games for violating anti-drug program

The NBA announced today that Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Bucks has been suspended without pay for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. Sanders’ suspension will begin with the next NBA regular season game for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

In response to this, the Milwaukee Bucks issued the following statement: “Larry Sanders has a responsibility to every person in our organization and our fans. We are all disappointed by the news of his suspension.”

And, Larry Sanders issued a statement: “I apologize to the entire Bucks organization and our fans for being suspended five games for using marijuana in violation of the NBA Anti-Drug Program. I take full responsibility for my actions.”

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “The NBA imposes a five-game suspension upon the third positive test for marijuana use. Sanders is not active at this time due to an injury he suffered on Feb. 8. He underwent surgery to repair orbital fractures after being elbowed in the eye in a game against Houston and said in an interview in Portland last month that he would miss the rest of the season. His suspension will not take effect until he is physically able to play, so Sanders is likely to begin his four-year, $44 million contract extension next season with the five-game suspension.”

Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova out for rest of season

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond provided the following update regarding Ersan Ilyasova:

“Ersan had his right ankle examined by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Richard Ferkel in Los Angeles on Tuesday (March 25). Dr. Ferkel’s recommendation was a period of rest and rehabilitation beginning immediately, rather than surgery. Based on this medical recommendation, Ersan is not expected to play the remainder of the 2013-14 season.”

In 55 games this season (47 starts), Ilyasova, 26, has averaged 11.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 26.9 minutes per game.

Bucks sign D.J. Stephens to 10-day contract

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent guard/forward D.J. Stephens (6-5, 188) to a 10-day contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Stephens joins the Bucks from Ilysiakos in the Greek League, where he signed after going undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft. The former Memphis Tiger has appeared in 18 games for Ilysiakos and averaged 9.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 2.2 blocks per contest. Stephens has scored in double figures in eight contests, including a season-best 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting in a loss to Panathinaikos on Dec. 2.

The Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in in 2012-13, Stephens enjoyed a four-year career at Memphis in which he appeared in 129 games and shot 62.7 percent from the field – the second-best career mark in Tigers history. Stephens’ collegiate career peaked during his senior season in which he averaged 7.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game en route to All-Conference USA Third Team honors. His 95 total blocks on the year are the fourth-most in a single season in Memphis history. Stephens’ Memphis teams won the Conference USA Tournament during each of his final three seasons.

Stephens will wear #15 for the Bucks.

Bucks sign forward Chris Wright to 10-day contract

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent forward Chris Wright (6-8, 225) to a 10-day contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Wright is the 33rd “Call-Up” of the 2013-14 season from the NBA D-League.

Wright joins the Bucks from the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, where he’s appeared in 38 games this season and posted averages of 19.5 points (ranks 13th in D-League) and 8.1 rebounds per contest. He’s notched 13 double-doubles on the year, including six in his last eight appearances. Wright also played for the Red Claws during the 2012-13 season, when he average 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, and has been named to the D-League All-Star Game in both of his seasons in Maine.

After going undrafted out of Dayton in 2011, Wright was selected by the Red Claws with the third overall pick in the 2011 D-League Draft. He appeared in four games for the Red Claws, averaging 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds, before signing with the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 24, 2011. Wright appeared in 24 games during his lone NBA season and posted 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest. Earning the start in Golden State’s season finale, Wright tallied a career-best 25 points and eight rebounds while shooting 11-of-14 from the field on April 26, 2012, at San Antonio.

Wright will wear #15 for the Bucks.

OJ Mayo suspended for striking Greg Stiemsma

Milwaukee Bucks guard O.J. Mayo has been suspended one game without pay for forcibly striking New Orleans Pelicans center Greg Stiemsma in the throat, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Mayo was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected occurred with 1:52 remaining in the first quarter of Milwaukee’s 112-104 loss to the Pelicans on Friday, March 7, at Smoothie King Center.

Mayo will serve his suspension tonight when the Bucks host the Washington Wizards at BMO Harris Bradley Center.

To view the play, click on this link.

Ersan Ilyasova suspended for punching Reggie Evans

Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova has been suspended one game without pay for punching Sacramento Kings forward Reggie Evans in the stomach, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 5:49 remaining in the fourth quarter of Milwaukee’s 116-102 loss to the Kings on Wednesday, March 5, at BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Ilyasova will serve his suspension tonight when the Bucks visit the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center.

To view the play, click on this link.

Bucks sign forward Tony Mitchell to 10-day contract

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent forward Tony Mitchell (6-6, 216) to a 10-day contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Mitchell is the 28th “Call-Up” of the 2013-14 season from the NBA D-League.

Mitchell has spent the better part of the last two seasons with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Milwaukee’s affiliate in the D-League. After going undrafted out of the University of Alabama in 2012, Mitchell signed with Fort Wayne and appeared in 48 games during the 2012-13 D-League season, averaging 21.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Mitchell was named the D-League Rookie of the Year and earned All-NBA D-League First Team honors following the season.

After appearing in 11 games for the Jilin Northeast Tigers in China last fall, Mitchell returned to the Mad Ants in January and has averaged 19.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks in 27 appearances (7 starts) this season. Mitchell is a two-time NBA D-League Slam Dunk Contest champion after successfully defending his 2013 crown at NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans last month.

Mitchell will wear #18 for the Bucks.

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on a player you probably don’t know a lot about:

Diante Garrett will finally get to play in a “homecoming” game.

Last season the former Milwaukee Vincent star was in the BMO Harris Bradley Center as a member of the Phoenix Suns but did not play against the Bucks.

He returns Monday night as a member of the Utah Jazz and this time as a solid member of the team’s rotation, playing a backup point guard role to rookie Trey Burke.

And his father, Dick, and plenty of friends and family will be cheering him on as the Jazz plays the third game in a six-game, nine-day road trip. Dick normally works the Bucks home games as an usher but is getting the night off to watch his son play.

Milwaukee Bucks waive Caron Butler

Milwaukee Bucks waive Caron Butler

The Milwaukee Bucks have requested waivers on forward Caron Butler (6-7, 228), General Manager John Hammond announced today. The two sides agreed on a contract buyout.

“When you talk about being a professional and handling yourself with class, that’s what Caron has done here in Milwaukee,” Hammond said. “We thank him for his many positive contributions both on and off the court and wish him and his family well.”

Butler, 33, appeared in 34 games (13 starts) for the Bucks this season, averaging 11.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per contest. The native of Racine, Wis., scored in double figures in 18 games, including a season-high 38 points on Nov. 22 at Philadelphia. He also tallied a game-high 30 points in a win over Detroit on Jan. 22, giving him multiple 30-point games in a season for the first time since 2008-09. He notched two point/rebound double-doubles this season, giving him multiple double-doubles for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.

“It’s been a dream come true to wear the Milwaukee uniform which so many of my idols growing up wore,” Butler said. “I’d like to thank Sen. Herb Kohl, John Hammond and Larry Drew for the opportunity to live out my dream of playing for the Bucks. The entire organization has treated me and my family in a first-class manner that we will never forget. I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank the great fans of Milwaukee, Racine and the entire state of Wisconsin for always standing with us during a challenging season. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Butler was acquired by the Bucks from Phoenix on Aug. 29. Now in his 12th NBA season, he has played in 764 regular season games for Miami, the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington, Dallas, the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee, and holds career averages of 15.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

Bucks, Caron Butler approaching buyout

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the struggling Milwaukee Bucks who, as bad as they are, don’t seem to have a need for the services of Caron Butler:

Bucks, Caron Butler approaching buyout

Milwaukee Bucks swingman Caron Butler is scheduled to complete a contract buyout Wednesday that sets him up to become an unrestricted free agent by the end of the week, according to sources close to the talks.

Sources told ESPN.com that Wisconsin native Butler, who is earning $8 million this season on an expiring contract with his home-state Bucks, is on course to be released by Milwaukee on Wednesday and thus clear waivers Friday, well in advance of the Saturday midnight deadline by which time he must be set free to be eligible to play in the playoffs with another team.

michael redd

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has acquired guards Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guard Ramon Sessions and forward Jeff Adrien. Neal will wear No. 12 for the Bobcats, while Ridnour will wear No. 13.

“We are excited to add a pair of quality players to our backcourt,” Higgins said. “Gary is an exceptional shooter and Luke is a veteran point guard who can help us off the bench. They both have significant postseason experience so they know how to get where we’re trying to go. We look forward to adding them to our rotation. We also want to thank Ramon and Jeff for their contributions and professionalism and wish them the best of luck.”

The 6-4 Neal is in his fourth NBA season and holds career averages of 9.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 234 games played for the Spurs and Bucks, with career shooting percentages of .427 from the field (851-1992), .393 from beyond the three-point line (341-868) and .821 from the free-throw line (243-296). His three-point percentage currently ranks 20th among active players and 50th all-time. Neal, who was not selected in the 2007 NBA Draft and spent three seasons playing overseas in Italy, Spain and Turkey before signing with the Spurs in 2010, was named to the All-Rookie First Team in 2010-11, becoming just the second undrafted player ever to earn All-Rookie First Team honors.

In 30 games played for the Bucks this season, Neal averaged 10.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.2 minutes. He shot .390 from the field (108-277), .360 from beyond the three-point line (40-111) and .833 from the free-throw line (45-54).

The 6-2 Ridnour is in his 11th NBA season after being selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. He has played in 758 career games for the SuperSonics, Bucks and Timberwolves, with career averages of 9.8 points, 4.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 steal. Ridnour has career shooting percentages of .432 from the field (2816-6519), .351 from beyond the three-point line (552-1571) and .864 from the free-throw line (1268-1468). He has finished in the NBA’s top 10 in free throw percentage in four of his 10 seasons, and his career percentage of .864 currently ranks eighth among active players and 27th all-time.

Ridnour played in 36 games for the Bucks this season, starting 12, and averaged 5.7 points, 3.4 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 21.2 minutes, while shooting .384 from the field (84-219) and .368 from beyond the three-point line (25-68).

A six-year NBA veteran from the University of Nevada, Sessions, 27, returns for his second stint with Milwaukee. Originally selected by the Bucks with the 56th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Sessions played his first two seasons in Milwaukee and averaged 11.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 96 games. Sessions tallied 10+ assists on 16 occasions in a Bucks uniform, including 12 point/assist double-doubles. On April 14, 2008, Sessions handed out a Bucks franchise-record 24 assists vs. Chicago. He also tallied a career-best 44 points in a Bucks uniform on Feb. 7, 2009, vs. Detroit. Sessions owns career averages of 11.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 439 career games with Milwaukee, Minnesota, Cleveland, the L.A. Lakers and Charlotte.

Adrien, 28, is averaging 2.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in his fourth NBA season. After going undrafted out of the University of Connecticut in 2009, Adrien signed as a free agent with Golden State and appeared in 23 games as a rookie for the Warriors during the 2010-11 season. He played his second NBA season with Houston before signing with Charlotte prior to the 2012-13 campaign. In his four NBA seasons, Adrien owns career averages of 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 108 games.

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting on Bucks coach Larry Drew, whose team through Saturday’s games is 8-35 this season, which is the worst record in the NBA:

Coach Larry Drew feeling frustration in Milwaukee

Larry Drew has been frustrated plenty of times this season.

But it was quite visible Saturday night after the Milwaukee Bucks coach emerged from a 21-minute post-game meeting with his players, following the Bucks’ 112-87 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

And he didn’t mince words when asked about the Bucks’ lack of competitiveness against a short-handed Hawks team that was missing two of its best players - Al Horford and Jeff Teague.

“I’m disappointed in everybody, myself included,” Drew said. “We’re just not playing hard enough. I don’t care what the situation is. And again, me included.

“We’re paid to play hard. I’m paid to coach this team to the best of my ability and get these guys ready to play.”

Bucks guard Carlos Delfino out at least eight weeks after foot surgery

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced that guard Carlos Delfino (6-6, 220) underwent successful surgery this morning on his right foot. The surgery was performed at Sanatorio de la Trinidad in San Isidro, Buenos Aires, by Dr. Donato Villani, Argentinian National Soccer Team physician, who specializes in orthopaedics and traumatology. Dr. Villani was assisted by Dr. Javier Swiatlo and Dr. Pablo Pechervsky, with Bucks team physicians Dr. Michael Gordon and Dr. Samuel Idarraga present.

Delfino, 31, will have his foot immobilized and be placed on non-weight bearing restrictions for a period of eight weeks. Updates on his recovery will be provided as appropriate.

Currently in his ninth NBA season, Delfino has career averages of 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He was signed to a free agent contract on July 17 and has not played in a game this season.

Bucks center Zaza Pachulia injured, out with right foot fracture

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced today that Zaza Pachulia (6-11, 240) suffered a right foot fracture on Dec. 4 vs. Detroit. Pachulia’s foot will be immobilized in a walking boot and re-examined in four weeks.

Pachulia, 29, had an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) exam on Dec. 5 and was examined by team orthopaedic physician Dr. Michael Gordon, who diagnosed the injury. Pachulia has not played in the last two games.

In 17 games this season (11 starts), Pachulia has averaged 6.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 25.2 minutes per game. Pachulia ranks fourth in the NBA in free throw percentage (.933), connecting on 42-of-45 attempts from the charity stripe.

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