Practice has started in Madison for the Bucks, but we still need to get through the rest of what we heard on Monday at Bucks Media Day.
As Frank mentioned yesterday in the rollout of our first Media Day podcast, we heard a number of platitudes and plenty of coach-speak, but there were a few bright spots which might have offered us a peak into what we can expect from the Bucks early on this season.
Like we did in our first podcast, we tried to highlight some of the important stories and use actual sound bites from Media Day to try to let you hear it directly from players and coaches. Enjoy:
9/28/16: Media Day Part TWO:
9/27/16: Media Day Part ONE
JET takes off. Selfishly, this was my most important takeaway from Media Day. Jason Terry is going to be a better quote than whichever Buck (Jared Dudley?) you thought was the most quotable Buck in the last decade. A quick rundown of what occurred:
- Terry gets upset with me for mentioning Shareef Abdur-Rahim while looking for a comp for Giannis Antetokounmpo. As we’ve found out in the comments section since Antetokounmpo first came to Milwaukee, it is difficult to find a player that he resembles on the floor. A name that comes up when doing Basketball-Reference searches for young, tall players that averaged a certain number of points, rebounds, and assists in a season is Abdur-Rahim. Terry had played with him at the start of his career. I brought him up. It didn’t go well, except for Terry giving us a Scottie Pippen comp for Antetokounmpo — a comparison that our friend (and Brew Hoop co-founder) Alex Boeder wrote in detail about a year ago.
- Terry suggests I was calling James Harden a ballhog when asking him what it will be like to help spread the floor for Antetokounmpo and Parker. To be clear, that was not what I was trying to do. I was simply saying that, like in Houston, he will get to help spread the floor for his team. He didn’t take it that way.
- Terry doubles down on his Scottie Pippen comp for Antetokounmpo and claims he will be 1st Team All-Defense this season. This one is pretty straightforward, but still absolutely delightful.
Moral of the story: If a microphone is in front of Jason Terry, stop what you’re doing and listen. (Or, if someone puts those sound bites in a podcast, listen.)
Stand, sit or kneel? In recent months, protests during the national anthem have become commonplace at sporting events throughout the country, and as the NBA season approaches, the league has started working with the Players’ Association to figure out how to handle possible protests in NBA arenas. On Monday, we found out that Bucks co-owner Wes Edens is among the owners taking a major role in those discussions as well as the broader CBA negotiations:
“I'm on the group of owners that is dealing with the Players' Association on the Collective Bargaining Arrangement, so a bunch of us were together last week in New York. We talked to the league about it as well.
The league asked for our opinions about it and my own personal opinion is: During the ESPYs when you had four of the best players in the NBA stand up and talk about the issue, I couldn't have been more proud to be associated with the league. It was a real shining moment, as far as I was concerned.
And what I said, when I was asked the question, was it's not a marketing issue, it's an issue. There's a question about how you address that and what is the best way to make that be a position of awareness and there's lot of different opinions about that, but the issue is a real issue. It's something to be addressed with the team. It can be addressed in the communities and that's what I'm really focused on. There's the challenge of dealing with it, but the opportunity is then to do something meaningful to respond to it. And that's kind of how I think about it personally.”
While it was a bit of a surprise that Edens was so involved in trying to figure out what to do during the anthem in NBA arenas, it was not at all shocking to hear Jabari Parker talk about the issue. In fact, he probably spent roughly half of his ten-minute media session discussing his stances on social issues and addressed what he may or may not do during the national anthem:
“Just to start off with the Kaepernick jersey, I wasn’t trying to emphasize that I might take a knee during the pregame. Really what I was just trying to point out was that I support a guy who stands up for what’s right, a guy whose consciousness and his mentality is to create a better playing field for colored people. And I can’t change the way my skin is. I have to live with that. So, I just want to support what he supports and his message is something that was heartfelt with the police brutality and even with systematic racism. I wasn’t saying that standing up or sitting down or whatever you do during the national anthem is acceptable, but...more important (is) the message that he brought and that is what people should focus on too. The message that he stands for.”
You wanna get nuts? Come on! Let’s get nuts. Although it probably isn’t quite as noteworthy as laying out his current starting lineup, Jason Kidd indicated on Monday that he would not be afraid to play point guards Matthew Dellavedova and Michael Carter-Williams or two of his three centers (John Henson, Greg Monroe, and Miles Plumlee) at the same time. This idea led to a reference about a “positionless” roster in Milwaukee and regret on my part for not insisting Frank add “positionless basketball” to our Media Day Bingo Card.
Each of the Bucks’ three centers were asked about playing together and all of them said that they would be fine playing at either the four or the five before throwing a number of cliches at the media members in attendance. Interestingly enough though, when given the same opportunity, Dellavedova and Carter-Williams actually talked about playing together quite a bit already in pickup games and laying out that they actually fit together quite well. Both mentioned that while Carter-Williams prefers driving and slashing, Dellavedova can stretch the floor as a spot-up shooter.
#MUSCLEWATCH. Monroe says he has lost 10 pounds. Parker might look slimmer, but he didn’t really talk about it much. Carter-Williams says he put on some strength and maybe a little weight this offseason. And hey, the bingo card made Lang Whitaker’s annual #MUSCLEWATCH column.