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* Hammond says he talked Milwaukee owner Herb Kohl into approving the Jefferson trade. "Yes, I...

* Hammond says he talked Milwaukee owner Herb Kohl into approving the Jefferson trade. "Yes, I did," said Hammond, in his second year overseeing the Bucks. "It was a very difficult decision that we felt like we had to make. "Let me say this about Richard: He came to Milwaukee and was great for us, he played 82 games, he was the exact kind of person we needed and he represented our organization in the very best way. We didn't trade Richard for what he did not do. We traded him for what we felt were the right reasons for us as an organization. And Sen. Kohl -- I can tell you this -- Sen. Kohl was like, 'I don't even want to consider this if it's going to hurt us in a win-loss standpoint.' Richard had $29.2 million (due him) over the next two years, and [Kohl] still was saying, 'If it's going to help us win then we'll keep the player.' "It's very bothersome to me that people are talking about what we've done over the last few months in saying that it's a small-market team, it's an owner who has given me a mandate to cut salaries and save money. That is the furthest thing from the truth. If you look at our salaries and what he's done over the years in paying players and coaches, it's pretty evident he wants to win."

John Hammond to Ian Thomsen of SI.
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