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jason kidd

Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King announced today that the organization has permitted Jason Kidd to pursue a coaching opportunity with the Milwaukee Bucks. In exchange for allowing Kidd to depart, the Nets will receive two second round draft picks (2015 & 2019) from Milwaukee.

The Nets’ search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

In one season as head coach of the Nets, Kidd led Brooklyn to a 44-38 record during the regular season and a first round playoff win over Toronto before losing to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Milwaukee Bucks fire coach Larry Drew

Milwaukee Bucks fire coach Larry Drew

Jason Kidd is coming soon to Milwaukee.

The Bucks have relieved Head Coach Larry Drew of his duties, the team announced today. It’s been widely reported that Nets head coach Jason Kidd is leaving Brooklyn and will take over the Milwaukee coaching duties.

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond stated, “Despite the challenging season, Larry always handled himself and represented the Bucks in a first-class manner. Larry did the best he could in a difficult situation, especially given all of our injuries. I want to thank Larry for all of his efforts, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Drew was named the 13th head coach in Bucks history on June 3, 2013.

Jason Kidd leaving Nets to coach Bucks

Well, this escalated quickly. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Jason Kidd leaving Nets to coach Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have agreed to send two second-round draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets to secure the coaching rights to Jason Kidd, sources tell ESPN.com.

The Bucks had been offering one second-round pick, but the Nets initially wanted a 2015 first-round pick in exchange, a negotiating chip the Bucks originally dismissed.

A source told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz that the Bucks have only talked to Kidd about being the coach, not any kind of administrative position running basketball operations. The source said the negotiation was supposed to be between the owners, not involving any basketball personnel, before the story was leaked out by the New York Post. But the source said the negotiations are now being handled by Bucks general manager John Hammond and Nets GM Billy King.

Here’s the New York Post reporting a wild story that came out of the blue and has been confirmed by several other outlets:

Jason Kidd wants control of Nets, may wind up with Bucks

Apparently Jason Kidd isn’t satisfied with just coaching, but he’ll have to be if he stays with the Nets.

According to a league source, Kidd recently approached ownership with a series of demands, including the role of overseeing the Nets’ basketball operations department in addition to his head coaching responsibilities. The source said Kidd didn’t want general manager Billy King to be dismissed, but wanted to be given a title and placed above him in the organizational hierarchy.

Ownership declined to grant Kidd that kind of power, which is rare for any coach in the league to have. The source said ownership felt Kidd wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility after having only one year of coaching experience — the team finished his first season on the bench with a 44-38 record, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference — and allowed Kidd to seek other opportunities.

The franchise then was approached by the Bucks for permission to speak with Kidd about the prospect of hiring him, and the Nets granted permission.

The Milwaukee Bucks selected forward Jabari Parker with the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. In the second round, the team took Damien Inglis (31st overall) and Johnny O’Bryant (36th overall), and traded the draft rights to Lamar Patterson (48th overall) to Atlanta for a Brooklyn 2015 second-round draft pick (via Atlanta).

Parker (6-8, 235), a 19-year-old early entrant candidate, played one collegiate season at Duke University, where he was a consensus First Team All-America selection. While with the Blue Devils during the 2013-14 season, Parker also earned honors as a First Team All-ACC member, ACC Rookie of the Year and USBWA National Freshman of the Year.

His 19.1 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game were both Top-50 in the nation, with the points per game average marking the fourth-highest effort by an ACC freshman ever. He is the fourth freshman in ACC history to lead the league in rebounding.

With 670 points and 306 rebounds, Parker is the 14th player in Duke history to record 600+ points and 300+ rebounds in the same season, and he is just the sixth ACC freshman to ever reach the 600-point plateau. He is the first Duke freshman to lead the team in both scoring and rebounding. Parker posted a career-high 30 points (10-of-17, .588) to go along with 11 boards in a win vs. UNC. The 30-point effort was the most by a Duke freshman in the 238-games played in series history against North Carolina.

Additionally, Parker received First Team All-America honors from The Associated Press, NABC, USBWA, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. Parker was a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy and John R. Wooden Award, and he was honored as the top freshman in the country through the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award by the USBWA. He was named ACC Rookie of the Week a record 10 times and was on the All-ACC Academic Team.

A native of Chicago, Parker attended Simeon Career Academy, where he led Simeon to four IHSA Class 4A state championships and averaged 18.4 points and 10.4 rebounds as a senior. He was named the 2013 Jordan Brand Classic Co-MVP, is a two-time Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year and Illinois Mr. Basketball, and was named National Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior. Parker has also played for USA Basketball, earning gold medals at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

Inglis (6-8, 215), another 19-year-old early-entry candidate, hails from Cayenne in French Guiana, and played last season with Roanne as a rookie in France’s top league, Pro A. He averaged 4.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 27 games. He grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds vs. Strasbourg and scored in double figures in three straight games in December. Inglis began his career at INSEP in France, where he averaged 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists over three seasons from 2010-13. He competed in the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit and has played for France in the U18, U17 and U16 Euros.

O’Bryant (6-9, 256) played three collegiate seasons at Louisiana State University, averaging 12.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists over his career. He was named to the All-SEC First Team by the coaches in 2013 and 2014, and earned All-SEC Second Team honors from the AP in 2014. O’Bryant is one of 14 LSU players to record 1,000 career points (1,157) and 700 career rebounds (702). He recorded 25 career double-doubles as a Tiger and scored 10+ points in 28 games his junior season. He led the team in scoring his sophomore season, averaging 13.6 points per game.

As a high school senior at East Side HS (Cleveland, Miss.), O’Bryant appeared in the 2011 McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic. He was also named a USA Today and Parade All-American that year.

The Bucks selected Patterson with the 48th pick, but traded his draft rights to Atlanta for Brooklyn’s 2015 second-round draft pick.

The Minnesota Timberwolves tonight selected guard Zach LaVine from UCLA with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

LaVine, a 6-5 guard, appeared in all 37 games, making one start, as a freshman at UCLA this past season. He averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, earning Pac 12 All-Freshman honors. He connected on 37.5% from three-point range, finishing the year with 48 made three-pointers, the second-highest made three-pointers by a UCLA freshman in school history. LaVine scored in double figures in 17 games, including nine of his first 10 contests.

Originally from Seattle, Wash., LaVine was a three-year varsity basketball letterwinner at Bothell High School. He was named the 2013 Associated Press Washington state player of the year after averaging 28.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as a senior. His play earned him Class 4A All-State honors, in addition to being named Washington’s Mr. Basketball by the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association.

NBA Board of Governors approve sale of Milwaukee Bucks

The NBA Board of Governors has unanimously approved the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry.

“We are pleased that Wes Edens and Marc Lasry have been approved as the new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “The Bucks and their fans will benefit greatly from their vast business experience, energy and strong commitment to Milwaukee. I would like to thank Senator Kohl again for his unprecedented and historic financial gift toward the construction of a new Milwaukee arena and for his outstanding service to the league and his community over his nearly 30-year tenure.”

The transaction is expected to close shortly.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the sale price of the Bucks is $550 million.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Bucks:

Sale of Milwaukee Bucks likely coming soon

The $550 million sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to hedge fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry is expected to be finalized by the NBA on Thursday, a source involved in the process told ESPN.com.

In the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal, there was a push within the league to have an extra thorough vetting of the new owners, sources said. That process, however, is complete and the league’s Board of Governors will approve the transaction that was initially signed last month.

The timing of the sale will allow Edens and Lasry to take control of the team before next Tuesday’s draft lottery in New York, which was a priority. The Bucks, at 25 percent, have the highest odds to win the lottery after an NBA-worst 15-67 season. The high draft choice in what is expected to be a deep draft was one of the attractive selling points of the team.

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.

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