Eighteen months after his last NBA game, Michael Redd is finally calling it a career. And fittingly it's happening in the city where he became a star and played all but one of his 12 NBA seasons.
The last Buck to make an all-star team (2004) and the team's fourth-leading all-time scorer, Redd will make his retirement official on Wednesday and address the BMO Harris Bradley Center crowd between the first and second quarters of the Bucks' home game against Cleveland. Here's to hoping he gets the rousing ovation he deserves.
An Olympic gold medalist in 2008, Redd last played for the Bucks in the spring of 2011, the final year of his ill-fated and injury-plagued $91 million contract that he signed in the summer of 2005. He moved on to Phoenix the following season and played in 51 games, starting just two, before sitting out last season altogether.
Always likable and generous off the court, Redd replaced mentor Ray Allen as the Bucks' go-to scorer following Allen's trade to Seattle in 2003 and led Milwaukee to an unexpected playoff berth in 03/04, the same year he claimed is lone all-star berth. He continued his high-scoring ways in the years that followed, eventually earning his infamous six-year, $91 million deal in the summer of 2005. Alongside #1 pick Andrew Bogut and newly-signed most improved player Bobby Simmons, Redd was supposed to help usher in a new era of Bucks basketball. Instead, the burden of a fat contract and a series of knee injuries eventually came to overshadow his scoring and led many to campaign for his departure.
Consecutive torn ACLs limited the former Ohio State star to just 61 games in his final three seasons in Milwaukee, marring what had been a meteoric rise from overlooked second round pick in the 2000 NBA Draft to sweet shooting sixth man to all-star scoring machine. Redd averaged better than 20 ppg in six of his 11 seasons in Milwaukee, finishing his Bucks career with an even 20.0 ppg average and an excellent 56.0% true shooting mark to boot. Though initially making his mark as a spot-up shooter, Redd eventually developed into one of the league's most dangerous all-around scorers. He buried threes with hands in his face, rarely turned the ball over, and could get to the basket and the free throw line with startling regularity.
We can only speculate how Redd's career might be remembered differently had he had a stronger supporting cast and avoided tearing up his knee multiple times, though by the end it was clear that he also was never going to be the fearless locker room leader or true franchise player the Bucks hoped he'd become in 2005. The Bucks probably should have known better than to miscast him as their savior, but the fear of losing him in free agency--namely to the Cavaliers--was strong enough that Herb Kohl and company felt compelled to give him a near-max contract anyway.
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