- WSSP's Sparky Fifer did a great interview with John Hammond on Monday. Kudos to Sparky for doing a terrific job this year with the WSSP post-game show as well as generally driving some great discussion of the Bucks.
- Now that the Bucks finally have a GM, next up is the coach. In stark contrast to 2005, when Flip Saunders was seemingly the only "big" name even mentioned as a candidate, the list of targets this time around is a veritable who's who of established winners: Rick Carlisle, Jeff Van Gundy, Scott Skiles and Larry Brown. Not bad, eh? Peter Vescey writes Carlisle and Skiles are the names to watch, and also reports that the Pistons' Jeff Weltman will be making the move across Lake Michigan with Hammond.
Hammond, who's bringing Jeff Weltman with him from Detroit (Sonics assistant GM Scott Perry will return to the Pistons where he worked for seven seasons) has a connection with Brown dating back to the Clippers when he assisted him on the sidelines. They also were together in Detroit.
Sources say their relationship is strained, yet they have spoken within the last 72 hours.
"Don't let that fool you," a second source underlined. "John is considering either Skiles or Carlisle, no one else."
It appears the Bulls will be the Bucks' main competition for a new coach, but all signs suggest the Bucks could have their man by this weekend.
- Hiring Skiles would be particularly interesting given his close relationship with Larry Krystkowiak, whose exit seems a foregone conclusion at this stage. Vic Feuerherd at the Wisconsin State Journal has an excellent piece looking back at Krystkowiak's difficult first full season as coach.
"If I had to do it all over again," Krystkowiak finally said Monday night after being asked if he had the freedom to coach the Bucks the way he wanted, "things would be different.
"Some were self-inflicted. Some were external."
That begged the questions: What exactly was self-inflicted? And what were the external forces that forced Krystkowiak to coach one way while wanting to do it another?
Krystkowiak wasn't going to go there.
"No sour apples here," he said. "I want to focus as much on the positive as I can."
- One member of the coaching staff we'd definitely like to see stick around is Bill Peterson, who's been keeping busy working with Ramon Sessions. Peterson's track record developing Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash in Dallas speaks for itself, so let's hope he gets a chance to build on the rapport he's developing with the youngster from Nevada.
"I can’t put into words how much Coach Peterson has helped me," Sessions said. "Whatever I need, he is there for me. We watch game film together, he helps me during practice, we work on all the little things. Coach Peterson cares about me as a player and a person."
Sessions, the 56th pick of last year’s draft, became quick friends with Peterson because of his willingness to learn. "I realized early he really has a teachable spirit," Peterson said. "He gravitated to me. He wanted to get better. ... If you sit him down and talk to him about something, he will work on it. He doesn’t have that attitude where he says, ‘I know. Leave me alone, I’m playing.’"
- Tom Enlund writes that the Bucks know this summer won't provide much opportunity for Yi Jianlian to bulk up.
The Bucks plan on providing Yi with a summer conditioning program, yet they're not sure how much good it will do considering Yi's busy off-season schedule.
"We'll give him something that he can follow but the challenge with all the international competition this summer, with all the practices and with all the games, is he's not going to have a chance to get that much stronger," Krystkowiak said. "It's going to be maintenance again, just to try and maintain his strength. He's not going to have two months off where he can go and lift and start getting his muscles bigger. . . . You can't do that with all the exercise."
Asked if it was something that could set Yi back next season in the NBA, Krystkowiak said, "Potentially."
- Michael Hunt has some advice for Hammond, and his list of guys to to build around is pretty short. No arguments here.