- The ultimate NBA fan experience: all 30 arenas in one year. That's what Milwaukee's Andrew Cieszynski is doing this year, and you can follow his experiences over at The NBA Season of Drew. Yahoo's J.E. Skeets had a terrific profile of Drew recently which is a must-read.
I've now completed 25 of 30 arenas, which blows my mind. The last five are Minneapolis (March 22), Detroit (March 29th), Atlanta (April 4th), Charlotte (April 5th) and the finale here at home in Milwaukee on April 12th. The Wolves, Pistons and Hawks have confirmed plans; I'm still struggling with Milwaukee and Charlotte.
I'm a bit nervous towards the end, because a single slip-up and there's obviously no time to "make-up" games. If I achieve all 30, I'll then pray that one of the two teams to make the NBA Finals will grant me entrance to a game.
I envisioned a big party at the final game in Milwaukee, but unfortunately I can't convince any of my friends to come celebrate with me, plus I'm having difficulty contacting the Bucks.
Here's to hoping that the Bucks can give Drew a hand to close out an epic fan experience in style.
- Marc Stein reports Larry Krystkowiak has "roughly zero chance" of returning next season and speculates about the possibility of a Donnie Walsh/Larry Brown reunion in Milwaukee:
So it'll be interesting to see whether Kohl responds to the loudest criticism he's ever received by splashing out anew to lure Donnie Walsh away from Indiana to be the Bucks' new front-office chief.
It would then be even more suspenseful to see whether Walsh tries to convince Kohl that he should hire Larry Brown as their next coach. The Bucks wouldn't be so irrelevant then ... and Brown doesn't appear to have a better option.
Brown guided the Pacers to two conference finals appearances in his four years as coach from '93-'97, and is reportedly interested in returning to the coaching ranks. The Bratwurst offers their take on some of the possible coaching candidates.
- The hard part of the latter scenario will be stealing Walsh out of Indiana. Frank Isola at the New York Daily News reports that Walsh is holding talks with Pacers' owners Herb and Melvin Simon, which could stretch into next week. Kudos to Isola, who's seemingly the only one doing any legwork on the Walsh situation.
- Thankfully, Krystkowiak is pledging to give Ramon Sessions more playing time in the season's final month. Sessions has played only 19 minutes thus far, scoring 11 points along with six assists and two turnovers--good for a team-leading 24.47 PER. We've been spending an inordinate amount of time tracking Sessions' progress, so needless to say we're pleased, especially considering that the June draft could feature a half dozen point guard prospects in the first round. While we are unlikely to get a definitive answer on how good Sessions can be in next 16 games, some promising play by the former Nevada star could factor into the Bucks' decision-making come draft night. It's not to say the Bucks shouldn't pick a player like Derrick Rose simply because Sessions has a few good games, but if the Bucks are torn between two relatively equal talents, the current roster will certainly be one of the tie-breakers. Moreover, with Mo Williams likely being shopped and Royal Ivey's contract up, the Bucks' point guard situation could look very different next fall even if they don't draft a PG.
- Don Walker at the JS notes that the Bucks aren't raising ticket prices next year.
In mailings to season-ticket holders this week, the Bucks, for only the third time since 1990, are not raising season-ticket prices. In addition, season-ticket holders who renew their packages before April 14 will get a 25% discount and, in some cases, an additional discount.
"We had an 87% renewal rate this season," said John Steinmiller, vice president of business operations. "We want to get there again. We know it's been a disappointing season, so we are doing everything we can to add value to renewal, add benefits to renewal and get into a position to know who is coming back and who isn't. And then be ready to start selling new product."
Jim Paschke has known Larry Harris since the younger Harris began as a video coordinator two decades ago, and he reflects on the Harris that the average fan probably didn't see:
During every step of his 20 years in Milwaukee, Larry made friends, good friends. He was accessible. That is one of the indelible marks he has made on Milwaukee.
This week, Bradley Center electricians and maintenance workers remembered Larry as an equal, which is a great testament. One said, "Every time I passed him in the hall he would say hello no matter who he was walking with. You can’t say that about everybody." Other people went out of their way to say goodbye or at least be remembered to Larry.
Over 22 seasons, I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. It is never easy to say good-bye. That is particularly true in this case.
Larry Harris clearly understood what role Jon McGlocklin and I have to fill. He helped us become more knowledgeable and was always available to us.
Larry was also very inclusive. He would take the broadcasters and public relations staff to dinner at least twice a season on the road. We’ve had a standing outing in Portland every season and look forward to playing in Oregon every year.
You can debate anyone’s successes and contributions. In the case of Larry Harris, there is no debating his depth of character, thoughtfulness, generosity and passion.
The concept of accessibility was also true of Harris' relationship with fans. It's not typical for GMs to have a public email address that they respond to, but Harris did just that.