- Charles Gardner has all the highlights from the Richard Jefferson press conference. Bucks.com has the full transcript and video highlights, while the JS has audio. Jefferson's a pretty candid guy, so it was fairly interesting as far as these kinds of things go. Let's start with his reaction to playing for Skiles, who has been a fan of Jefferson's for some time:
It’s awesome. I’ve heard multiple times from different people over the years how Scott Skiles tried to get me in Chicago. That gives me a little bit of a comfort knowing that the coach wanted me here, he’s going to work with me. I’m far from a perfect player. I made some solid gains in my game last season and it’s only from hard work and I’ve got to work just as hard to try and make the same gains this year. Sometimes to get out of that comfort zone or bubble that you’ve been in. To go to a new place and get a new outlook or get somebody that’s pushing you again.In the video you can see Skiles smile as he talks about Jefferson's game, so it's definitely a positive that he seems to be a fan of the Bucks' big offseason acquisition. And it also suggests that Skiles and John Hammond are on the same page, which shouldn't be a surprise. Perhaps more importantly, Jefferson acknowledged that defense will be a renewed focus for him in 08/09.
I think right now it’s an area in which I need to improve. I think the last few years people have criticized my defense a little bit. I’m still a person that believes in it. I understand that every good team I’ve ever been on we’ve had good defense. It’s an area, because of my role expanding the amounts of minutes I’ve been playing and the amount of scoring I’ve been asked to do, it has gone down.
It takes a little bit of a hit to your ego when people are talking about ‘you’re not as good defensively’ because that’s something I take pride in. It’s something I look forward to improving on and also having an impact. That’s probably going to be my focus now with a guy like Michael Redd and the balance across the board I don’t think there’s as much a need for me to ‘hey, we need you to score 25 points tonight.’ If you can go and stop their best player and give us 18, 19, 20, that’s where I’d like to be.
- Garry Howard sees good things for the Bucks and Brewers.
- Last week Charlie provided us a sneak peek at the Bucks' summer league roster, and today the Bucks released the full roster. In addition to Ramon Sessions and Joe Alexander, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is expected to play for the Bucks rather than join the Cameroonian national team at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Athens. Awvee Storey will also be on the roster in spite of the Bucks' (reasonable) decision not to pick up his 08/09 option. Storey will look to duplicate his performance last summer when he parlayed a spot on the Bucks' summer league team into a full-time gig with the team.