We’re quickly nearing the end of another season of NBA basketball. Tonight sees the Cleveland Cavaliers facing the Golden State Warriors in California for game five. While Cleveland’s win in game four was impressive, I’m unsure if they’ll be able to repeat the performance again, and either way, the season won’t make it any further than this week.
With that, we have made it through another seven-ish months of basketball, saw the Bucks start strong, stagnate by January/February, and then witnessed a hard charge for the playoffs and a largely entertaining first round series exit against the Toronto Raptors. If you’re reading this, you have effectively survived the 2016-2017 NBA season. Congratulations!
Basketball is a sport that gives year-round, though, and approaching the first official day of the NBA’s offseason won’t stop the news flow. The draft lumbers closer, free agency kicks off in a matter of weeks, and then training camps sneak up on you seemingly out of nowhere.
As we wait for those big events to arrive, we’ll deal with some more local items: Commemorative logos, arena leases, and shoe deals, among other things.
Milwaukee Bucks Celebrate 50 Years With New Anniversary Logo (Sportslogos.net)
Has it been 50 years already? Apparently, it has, and the Bucks have rolled out an anniversary logo to boot! It isn’t the boldest thing around, but as the article shows, it fits well withing the lineage of previous anniversary commemorations.
Maybe the Bucks will benefit from some positive karma and shall soon reach the heights of success the franchise experienced so early in its history after beginning 50 years ago.
Or maybe we’ll have a repeat of the last decade of basketball purgatory. Who really knows?
Push Forward (SLAM Online)
What is a point forward? Is it possible to have a concrete definition of a position as fabled as this?
Slam’s Yaron Weitzman tries to tackle the history of the point forward while looking towards its future in the NBA. While point forwards have been around since at least the 80s (with resident Buck legend and color guy Marques Johnson taking credit for christening the term), the inflection point in the history of this hybrid can be traced to 2004 and the elimination of offensive hand-checking.
That change meant a total shift in the way traditional positions were played, and we’re now seeing a dramatic increase in big men utilized as play-makers with Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James being the most visible examples.
The change in the NBA is starting to trickle down into the college and prep levels with coaches increasingly relying on forwards with handles to handle the offensive load. It will only be a matter of time until there are point forwards across the entire league; for now, Giannis is among an elite and small cohort. How long that advantage will last remains to be seen.
Milwaukee Bucks sign final year's lease with BMO Harris Bradley Center (Journal Sentinel)
Much like a potential renter signing another year-long lease as they promise to find something “permanent” very soon, the Bucks have finalized the terms of a final lease agreement at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Part of the agreement works to help lessen the costs involved with winding down operation of the Bradley Center before the new arena is completed. Once this lease is up, ownership of the Bradley Center will be transferred to the Bucks who will then tear down their old home.
The Bradley Center has been in operation since 1988. While that is still relatively new for a building its size, it was deemed unfit for an NBA team by commissioner Adam Silver a few years ago, prompting the Bucks to move to convince Wisconsin’s legislature to help finance a new building. Once it was all set and done, funds for the new building were allocated and the Bucks will begin the 2018-2019 season there.
2017 Adidas Eurocamp: Day Two (DraftExpress)
I know, I know, what could the Adidas Eurocamp have to do with the Milwaukee Bucks? Well, Thon Maker and his younger brother Matur Maker happened to be in attendance, and DraftExpress got to sit with Thon for a quick interview!
While it is always nice getting to hear Thon give updates on what he’s doing, the most important thing I took away from this piece was the following: Maker has been diligently lifting since the end of the season and visibly appears bigger than last season. Keep pushing heavy things against the force of gravity, Thon!
Giannis Antetokounmpo Could Sign $10M Per Year Shoe Deal (Forbes)
You’ll have to scroll to the bottom to find the Bucks-relevant news here, but it is interesting to note that, in a world of exploding shoe contract deals, Giannis seems well-set to garner a hefty endorsement deal to compliment his new deal with the Bucks.
For now, he’s still with Nike, though it is unclear whether he will stick with them or wait to see who the highest bidder on the market is. Either way, watch out for incoming Giannis 1s at a storefront near you.
Social Milwaukee Media
In case you missed the big news from the Block Party:
Delly’s working on becoming a sport crossover star this offseason:
Highlight of this series of beautiful pictures featuring Giannis and Thanasis is the comment stating, “YOU NEED TO FORCE YOUR WAY TO THE CAVS @giannis_an34 please LETS WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS @KINGJAMES@KYRIEIRVING @CAVS“. OK.
Pretty decent crowd for the Block Party, at least from Ted’s angle!
Thanks to all who came to the #Bucks block party yesterday. Great crowd on a warm day. Can you see yourself? pic.twitter.com/38Bf2ccsbV— Ted Davis (@nbated) June 11, 2017
As we draw to a close, this week’s thought provoking question is simple: Will the Cavs be able to survive by the skin of their teeth once more and force a game six? Or will the Warriors finalize as NBA champions, thus breaking open the floodgates of worry/criticism that no one will ever come close to topping them as currently constructed? Exciting stuff either way!
For my money, I’ll be betting against Cleveland. I’ve got massive respect for what LeBron James is doing this post-season, but he needs one or two of his teammates to equally show out to have a shot at a win. I’m unsure if the likes of Kyrie Irving and JR Smith will arrive to stave off defeat. It was a fun run while it lasted, everyone.
So now I wish you luck as you go off, enjoy the week ahead and whatever you may have planned! Grill out, go to the beach, work on your tan, [insert your favorite Summer-related activity here]! Oh, and as with every week: