- We've previously linked to Skeets' rundown of Charlie Villanueva's busy summer helping others, but Bucks.com now has an interview with the man himself. Most impressive is what he's done off the court: distributing free shoes in the Dominican Republic and helping with malaria awareness, in addition to the great work he's always done with the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. But CV reports he's not forgetting about basketball either.
CV: I’m feeling great. I’m healthy and feeling good. I spent most of my summer working out in L.A. I have my own trainer, my own cook, my own masseuse. I took my workouts very, very, very, very, very seriously.With all the Bucks' summer changes, there's something ironic about Villanueva being one of the holdovers from the 07/08 squad. Afterall, most--myself included--had predicted Villanueva was as good as gone once he lost his starting gig to Yi Jianlian last fall. And hiring Scott Skiles? Not exactly the coach you would expect to appreciate CV's defensive issues. Yet here he is, the presumptive starting 4 on a team not exactly brimming with frontcourt depth.
Bucks.com: Was that four or five "verys?"
CV: (laughing) That was five "verys." It was very serious because I know this is a big year for me and the team. I wanted to be prepared. Scott Skiles is a tough coach and I came here a few days ago to prepare for it. I’ve been here working out, trying to get right.
Training camp doesn’t start until the 30th, so I’m trying to get a couple weeks here with the guys before camp because everyone’s new here. The players are new, the coaches are new. There’s only six guys from last year’s team so I’m trying to get familiar with the coaching staff and players as well.
With the Bucks' summer purge apparently complete, Villanueva is the only remaining guy who doesn't seem to fit with the new regime's perceived style--defense, accountability, accepting roles, etc--yet moving him would be difficult at this point unless another PF came back the other way. But given it's September, let's dial down the cynicism for a moment and look on the bright side. Villanueva's affordable ($3.45 million), talented, a good guy, healthy, and not lacking in motivation--his rookie deal expires next summer, when his qualifying offer will be a relatively palatable $4.62 million. Villanueva might drive Skiles crazy at times, but the Bucks' new coach could finally be the coach who gets the best out of Charlie V. Right?
- About a month ago I did a podcast with Bob Schmidt over at Cavs Board about the Mo Williams deal. Then I started business school the following weekend and disappeared for a month (thanks to Alex for carrying us lately). So at long last I'd like to thank Bob for allowing me to hijack a Cavs podcast and make it almost all about the Bucks. And next time I'll try to avoid saying "um" and "you know" so much. And I'll work on the whole long-windedness, too.
- Peter Rolfe of the Melbourne Sun profiles Andrew Bogut.
- Bill Ingram at Hoops World lists Bogut among five players who must step up this year. Second on his list: Yi Jianlian.
- Naismith Lives runs down the top 50 basketball commercials of all time, including the classic Yi milk commercials at #45.
- CBS Sportsline ranks Bogut 14th among NBA centers. Shaq is fourth. Really?
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