It doesn’t get much more “Christmas in September” than the arrival of Media Day in Milwaukee.
But a calendar year ago the organization had entered Media Day with new faces, a new attitude, and that same belief that every team has that this year will be their year. And, unlikely though it may have seemed, for much of 2018-2019 it did look like Milwaukee’s year. Heck, it was their year.
2019’s Media Day will feature plenty of new faces where the players are concerned and a new expectation to cement the successes of last year into something great in the next 365 days. On top of that there are the scintilating details we’re all eagerly awaiting: Will Giannis make more than one age-inappropriate joke around his coworkers? Has DJ Wilson added 15 pounds of muscle? Can Robin Lopez put aside his feud with mascots and avoid decking Bango during his first day on the job?
All that and assuredly more platitudes await as Media Day kicks off.
Is Kawhi or Giannis the best basketball player in the world? (ESPN) & Kawhi vs. Giannis Is the Next Generation’s LeBron vs. KD (The Ringer)
A tale as old as time: The need at any given moment for basketball to have two “it” guys around whom the global fanbase can gather to prove to the other side that their guy is without a doubt the better basketball player.
Coming off the ECF it was inevitable that Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo were the easiest potential rival pairing. Their duel saw Antetokounmpo come up short, but circumstances seem set to see them meet again in the pressure cooker of an NBA Finals.
In the end there is no real winner; trying to determine something as arbitrary as the “best” player becomes a matter of preference, stat hair-splitting, and a heavy dose of what-have-you-done-for-me-lately. The best outcome is another entertaining duel that keeps the debate alive not out of necessity but because Giannis and the Bucks have reset the playing field.
Milwaukee Bucks Fined $50,000 for Tampering (With Their Own Player) (New York Times)
Another fun side story from the wonderful world of NBA tampering guidelines: The Bucks had to pay up 50 big ones to the league after GM Jon Horst stated at the team’s “town hall” that they’ll obviously offer Giannis the full supermax extension the moment they’re able. What else would you expect a GM to say in the situation?
According to the NBA, keeping it vague would have been more in-line with their revamped anti-tampering push that just got the green light from team owners a few weeks ago. Per the strengthened policy any public airing of intentions towards any players — be they your own or part of another roster — is going to draw a no-no from New York.
There have been conjectures that Horst knew exactly what he was doing and actually framed the conversation so that any and all carrion-eaters in, say, Golden State get the book more forcefully thrown at them when a brand ambassador drops hints that Giannis would love San Francisco’s gyro scene. It feels more like a GM stating a clear statement of fact and getting a wrist slap as part of renewed league vigor, but never doubt the masterminding Horst is assuredly always working at.
Antetokounmpo’s signature shoe release makes Nike history, CEO says (Milwaukee Business Journal)
Shoe sales update! According to Nike CEO Mark Parker, the Zoom Freak 1s attained the distinction of being the best-selling shoe launch in company history. Not only that, but the corresponding “Freak” clothing also shot to the top of Nike’s sales.
Anyways, join us next week when we once again lament the fact that nobody on Earth would buy some ho-hum shoes from a guy who plays in ho-hum small-market Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Herd adds to Coaching Staff (G-League) & G League to experiment with single foul shot (ESPN)
Assistant coaching hires get short shrift in the NBA, and the same applies even more to the G-League. The newest addition’s to the Wisconsin Herd’s bench do suggest embracing a team-wide push to improve the talent present on basketball’s margins.
Dennis Cutts, Chaisson Allen and John Little come to Oshkosh from different programs and backgrounds, but Cutts and Allen bring experience working overseas, in the G-League, and at smaller college programs where wringing every bit of production out of the talent available is routinely the difference between a successful or lost season. Will they alone transform the Herd’s roster in the G-League All-Star roster? Not likely. Can they do their bit to help these guys on the fringes of the pro game succeed in a way that opens doors to bigger and better things? One can only hope.
For the second story: The G-League was always going to be the NBA’s zany proving ground for any game-altering rule changes. Per usual, just make your ‘throws, please.
A Reintroduction to the NBA Title Race (The Ringer)
One final piece orienting us towards the year to come. Milwaukee currently holds the second-best odds to win a title at 9-to-2 (gambling friends will help translate that in the comments), but one can’t be wrong for wondering if there’s a chance for some level of regression coming. Especially in the playoffs, nearly every Buck will be hard-pressed to replicate or improve on what they gave a few months ago. Everyone’s a little older, everyone’s making a little more money, and everyone might not be able to reliably fill the pinch spot Malcolm Brogdon used to occupy.
Optimism runs amok this time of year; rightfully so. Just keep in mind that the outlook can get a tiny bit grim depending on the point of view.
The Social Media Section
I believe the original tweet Eric quoted here said something about confronting Bledsoe about his subpar playoff performance while at an eatery
Just like I thought twitter fingers.. and don’t think I didn’t catch you sneaking picture to clown https://t.co/GGkuRD8yo6— Eric Bledsoe (@EBled2) September 29, 2019
Damn, two seasons slogging in and around Oshkosh trying to break through only to get traded. And for a dude named Hogg? It’s tough.
Two seasons with the Herd.— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) September 25, 2019
An NBA Call-Up with the @Bucks.
And stints with @USABasketball.
Thanks for being a highlight reel on the court and a class act in the community, @XavierMunford.
All the best as your journey continues. pic.twitter.com/6rIv0FTXAm
OFFICIAL: The Herd acquires returning rights to @AggieMBK alum D.J. Hogg and the 8th, 59th and 64th selections in the 2019 @NBAGLeague Draft.— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) September 25, 2019
Details → https://t.co/mdUMmM1OCT pic.twitter.com/9x8C3KSkoW
Much appreciation for brotherly love, but also stop posting Laker jerseys, Giannis
Frank looking thicker than a Snicker in the best way
Guys, which one of you keeps doing this stuff?
Got to my car leaving the office just now and found this tucked under my windshield wiper. pic.twitter.com/mhWbsXbIvG— Jim Kogutkiewicz (@jimmyfk) September 27, 2019
NBA teams were notified this week that they must certify and submit the precise height and age for every player within the first week of training camp, league sources tell @NYTSports— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) September 26, 2019
Jeff remains one of the best to ever do it
Two best looking guys on the squad no question https://t.co/DfRLcr0Dby— Robin Lopez (@rolopez42) September 24, 2019
Looking for the best way to keep in touch with Bucks Media Day? There’s always the team’s official site and Twitter feed, though we’d be partial in saying you’ll be best served following the Brew Hoop Twitter account and checking in here for the Media Day thread here as events kick off at around noon.
Just get through the day without too many utterances of #TrustTheResults. That’s all we ask.