The consensus reaction to the Bucks' hiring of Pistons VP John Hammond: they got this one right. We'll only have to wait a few more hours before Hammond is officially presented as GM (4 pm CT, FSN Wisconsin), but in the meantime here's what everyone else is saying:
- Charles Gardner has reaction from a number of the key players, including the man himself.
"It feels good," Hammond said. "There's confidence, but a little apprehension. I think that's healthy. There's no fear involved. But it (apprehension) will push you to work as hard as you can to be successful."
Hammond met twice with Kohl, with the last meeting coming Thursday night. On Friday, Hammond agreed to a multiyear deal to join the Bucks.
- Gery Woelfel has lots more on the Hammond hiring, as well as word that Dave Babcock's contract has been extended, former Magic GM John Gabriel could still join the Bucks' front office in some capacity, and why Jeff Van Gundy should also be a prime candidate for the coaching gig.
Two things that have piqued the interest of the Bucks in Van Gundy is that he has an outstanding reputation for getting his teams to play defense and that he has worked well with centers i.e. Patrick Ewing in New York and Yao Ming in Houston.
The Bucks have one of the best young centers in the game in Andrew Bogut and are likely to grant him a five-year contract extension in July.
- Michael Hunt says that this is exactly what Bucks fans needed to hear.
But if Hammond is so smart, why is he taking this job?
Doesn't he know the war stories, how incredibly tough it is to work for Herb Kohl?
Of course, Hammond knows. He has worked with a number of people who have been in both places, including Terry Porter. Hammond reportedly turned down the senator a few weeks ago, but something happened to cause him to reconsider.
Maybe Kohl gave Hammond his word that he would not overly interfere in the running of the team, which is the only chance the Bucks have to dig themselves out of this mess. Now that they have an experienced, established general manager with a solid background, the senator must back away and allow Hammond to do his job. Otherwise, nothing changes.
- Credit to ESPN's Marc Stein for being the first to break the story. As we mentioned yesterday, Stein also pegs former Pistons and Pacers coach Rick Carlisle as the early favorite to replace Larry Krystkowiak:
Hammond's first task in Milwaukee, according to sources, will be hiring a veteran coach to help the Bucks make a firm assessment of their talent after a group expected to compete for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference woefully underachieved in Krystkowiak's first full season on the bench.
Sources say Hammond is expected to make a strong push to hire former Pistons coach Rick Carlisle. Working as an ESPN analyst this season after leaving the Indiana Pacers, Carlisle is also widely considered as a strong candidate to coach the Chicago Bulls next season.
- Will Brinson at AOL Fanhouse says the Bucks are on the verge of becoming a respectable franchise again:
Maybe it's just me, but assuming that nothing else changes (which it probably will) and Hammond and Carlisle get hired (I don't see why not) but the Bucks are immediately about 10 times more respectable than they were yesterday. Or would have been if they'd let the Sports Guy run the team. It will be interesting, of course, to see how much leeway Herb Kohl will give Hammond, but you have to think that if he agreed to move to a rebuilding project of his own, he's at least getting more or less carte-b to make the Bucks decent again.
- Ty at Bucks Diary says, for once, Herb Kohl looks to have hit a home run.
In Detroit Pistons consigliere John Hammond, he appears to have delivered what Bucks Diary and others called for... a basketball facsimile of Ron Wolf.
If Hammond is all he is reputed to be, it looks as though a new day has dawned in BucksNation, and no one is more ecstatic than your friendly neighborhood Bucks blogger. And I guarantee he has been given full dictatorial control over BucksNation, or he would not have come. We may be getting serious again.
- Brett at The Bratwurst says there's much to like about Hammond's track record in Detroit.
Well, the Milicic draft aside, Hammond has had his hand in plenty of great moves. Considering they have only had one high draft pick in that time, they have done a pretty good job in filling out their bench with draftees (Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson, Rodney Stuckey). They also did a nice job of letting Ben Wallace walk at the right time, and also turned Carlos Delfino into two future second round picks from Toronto. Basically, the Pistons have been the poster children for responsible roster and salary cap management.
Detroit Bad Boys chimes in on Hammond and the Carlisle rumor:
Sure, the Pistons still have [Director of Basketball Operations Tony] Ronzone ... for now. Although, perhaps Hammond’s departure will make room for Ronzone to climb up the ladder and be content staying in Detroit as oppose to having to leave to receive a promotion. We’ll see.
Also, Rick Carlisle? Well, he obviously knows the Central Division. (And more importantly, he’s a pretty good coach.) My only question is whether any of the bridges Carlisle allegedly burned in Detroit belonged to Hammond, though it seems the answer is no.
- A. Sherrod Blakely at MLive.com writes Hammond's departure was in many ways just a matter of time.
"Anytime you have a chance to run your own organization, you've got to take it," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "John has been a very important part of the success of this organization. He's had a lot of opportunities in the past and he's had a great job here. You want to make sure it's the right opportunity to have success and he thinks he's got a chance. He's got a good roster. If they keep guys healthy -- they've had a lot of injuries which have hurt them a lot -- and right now they've got (a probable top 10 pick)."
- Natalie at Need4Sheed doesn't like it, but knows Hammond was bound to leave:
I'm not happy, but Hammond's departure doesn't surprise me. He has proven he can be a GM in the NBA and deserves a shot. If this is in fact true, does Isiah have a shot at his job now that the so called water is under the bride? Love Zeke, but no thanks.