Parts 1 through 4, all in one convenient location.
Why yes, we are all well aware of ''the burn.'' If you're not, then let's trot it out one more time.
Larry Sanders when asked for response to Brandon Jennings' comments on playing with better bigs in DET: "He has to pass it to them first"— Andrew Gruman (@AndrewGruman) September 30, 2013
Yep. Still hilarious.
Anyways. Sanders was the last to speak to the media, which makes sense given his new role on the team. The unquestionable face of the franchise will be responsible for carrying out Larry Drew's mandate on unity, something that last year's team lacked towards the end (if not the beginning and the middle as well).
"A lot of guys weren't pointed in the same direction. [There were guys] kind of in their own corner, looking forward to the summer.
"When we were in the playoffs, guys weren't on the same page, and it showed. We got what we deserved, getting swept."
That's not meant to shock anyone. We all kind of expected that sort of report. However, that doesn't make what's happened the past four months any less impressive. To go from a lame duck coach with no grip on a roster that had more playoff squabbles than wins to a genuinely new attitude and cast of characters seemingly willing to be on the same page is no easy feat. Some would even call that a successful turnaround. Whether you choose to believe it is an entirely different story for another time. Put simply, the new leader of this fresh start was just ready to get out there and start getting on the same page in an effort to start winning as soon as possible, and he expressed that continuously.
Sanders has been the darling of the Bucks' summer, and that is much deserved. But plenty of expectations this season and future seasons are also being placed on John Henson's ever-so-slightly growing shoulders. Henson said that he's added around ten pounds of muscle since last season, much of it in his core to help him better bang down low. And while he continues to add more and more muscle, Henson has also been listening to critics of his game and...
(hold on, I need to make sure you're paying attention to this part, because it's that pleasing to Henson supporters' ears)
John Henson also said a main focus of his offseason development was working on his right hand feverishly.
WE DID IT! WOOOOOO!
Maybe you're not ready to dance to this news, but it certainly is encouraging. Henson has had that unreachable lefty hook in his arsenal since he appeared on the pro radar, but it made his game look uneven, considering he shoots jump shots and free throws right-handed. Depending on how his development has come along, Henson may be able to push his pesky free throw percentage up into the 60+ percent range and maybe even develop a righty hook, all of which will help him find his comfort zone and settle into a more consistent (and productive) role--something he felt he wasn't able to establish last season with Scott Skiles or Jim Boylan.
SMALL BITS OF INFO ON NOT-SO-SMALL MEN
Ersan Ilyasova met with the media as well, this time sporting a nice mustache that I hope he continues to grow out for the entire season. In all seriousness though, he did say that he wanted to be a Milwaukee Buck forever and keep on doing what he does best; playing within his limitations and working as hard as he can to continue his successes as one of the best stretch 4s.
Ekpe Udoh got a laugh when answering questions about him giving his number away to Luke Ridnour when all he offered up was a ''no comment'' remark with a smile. He's also officially starting his book club this week, reading along with fans at home and meeting online once a week to discuss the book they've been "assigned'' to.
Zaza Pachulia returned to the Bucks after spending the last eight seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. When asked if he felt his primary role was to back up Sanders and help bring him along, he agreed. But he also said that he can have a lot to learn from Sanders, Henson, and the rest of the young guys. He noted that all the guys are here for a reason, and that it's not a fluke that they are privileged to wear a NBA jersey on their bodies. It's all about the team for Zaza.
Miroslav Raduljica towered over the microphone for his brief Q&A. He maybe got the biggest laugh of the day, when asked if he had purchased a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The bike fan smiled and said, "I can't comment on that. Shhh..."