I'm Not Mad About Jabari

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


Please Take a Moment of Silence for Mediocre Basketball

(Editor's note: Thanks to MadTown Hoops (Twitter) for taking the time to put this reaction piece together.)

Anger is a child's emotion. Babies scream, toddlers tantrum, Presidents rage on Twitter. That flash of red that takes over the senses and renders one senseless, it takes maturity to overcome the natural reaction to negative stimuli.

Maturity that Jabari Parker as a young man who has been sidelined far too often unfortunately lacks. Oh, Jabari Parker is not a dull being. He's perceptive, but there's some things you can only learn from experience.

Things like not setting your impending free agency on fire during a routine media session.

As fans we hurt. I hurt. This team seems to be setting us up for the ultimate pain as a fan, losing a certified superstar because of persistent mediocrity. There is no harsher indictment of the squad we love than to say we don't deserve to win, to succeed, that our team is too inept to get a championship, now or in the future. We already see our superstar, our home grown home run, leaving for bright lights and genuine accomplishments. We are in pre-emptive mourning as we lose a precious season to Joe Prunty and Jason Kidd's poltergeist.

The thing is, Jabari's not that star. As fans we sense he's gone, God he's telegraphing it so hard that to match his offer is to tempt the demons of bad chemistry, so he's gone. He's gone, mailing it in on the court, and now he's disgruntled in interviews, that cocky SOB, hey Jabari, maybe if you had knees you could have helped the team in the playoffs before now.

That's the bad fan talking. The Mad fan. Anger is a stage of grief, and we are mourning whatever was left of Jabari's glittering potential, but he's a zombie who will eat valuable minutes so best to shotgun it and dump the corpse in the yard. If Jabari's gone, he's gone, and dammit he keeps getting in Giannis' way.

Both our young studs trampled each other's toes in every system they've shared. Kidd didn't try to make them fit, Prunty knows as much about head coaching as Kidd. This postseason chemistry fizzuzzle is the result of years of neglect. Our owners can build an arena, and I commend them for using public funds on their hobby, but they have not shown the ability to forge a cohesive vision for the formation of the team.

What are the Milwaukee Bucks? What do we do? We had an identity under Kidd, but that personality was a reflection of the mercurial coach; asocial, contrary to common wisdom, and a little bit nuts. In the end, firing Kidd was the best thing the owners have done for this team so far. Under Prunty, the vision is so washed out I see nothing. The players see nothing. We're a sad little do-nothing squad that heaves our aspirations on Giannis' hulking shoulders and prays for a few good breaks.

We deserve to lose Giannis if we do nothing. I read this constantly now and it's harder not to agree. We the fans do not deserve continued mediocrity after decades of the same. No team in history should be this bad with a player like Giannis. This team, as currently configured, deserves nothing. Something needs to change, and those changes MUST BE FROM THE TOP. We are chickens without heads with the way the ownership rules by straws and committees. We need leadership and vision, and the coherent blueprint cannot be laid by a coalition of amateurs. That's how you become the 2011 Atlanta Hawks.

Joe Prunty is gone. Should Jon Horst also go?

The hiring of Horst was one of many organizational debacles. Firing Kidd is his strongest move, followed by the Bledsoe trade. While having our first pick locked down for ages reeks of amateurism, that Horst got value for a devalued asset is something that should not be downplayed. Still, the timing of the Kidd firing and the wishy-washyness of the team since has me doubtful of his long term vision. We cannot afford to have young executive learn their position with Giannis on the line.

My instinct tells me the Bucks should clean house the moment the season dies. New GM, new coach. This would leave us with another likely wasted draft and a haphazard free agency, it would almost guarantee the loss of Jabari, and it would mean a hell of a lot of reshuffling, but we could do that. How you feel about that depends entirely on your confidence in Horst, because Joe Prunty is the lamest duck since Howard killed betamax. It's the tear-the-bandaid option, but it almost seems the most sane.

I'm in mourning. I'm bargaining with the past, trying to regain time lost to regimes already struck down. Kicking Kidd is so 2017, ya know? Giannis seems a lost cause because the coaches I want are under contract, the executives sipping expensive cocktails poolside as we shovel our walkways like fucking peasants. I'm lashing out at a raft of draft picks wasted when we were Winning Now, while we hope to Win Some More, so that we can draft more chaff.

How else do you break the cycle without smashing every nice thing? What do you do when you get the second overall pick, and everything goes wrong?

I'll mourn. I'll try not to rage.

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