As noted in the comments (RIP old comment interface) of last week’s MMMR, we’ve reached the barren and brutish part of the column’s offseason. Even Ham Slamwich didn’t post a Doldrum Series post for the week. It’s that bad.
And yet... and yet we were reminded in the very same comments about how there is grace in almost any nook or cranny we search. DJ Wilson exists, and therefore there is content.
This opening bit isn’t just about DJ — just mostly about him — but it inspired by his getting a ring from the team for having been on the roster during the 2020-2021 season. It got me thinking about a power ranking of the “Most Deserving Title Ring Recipients Who Weren’t On The Roster In The Finals” (MDTRRWWOTRITF, for short). Even a few moments thought will conjure up the ghosts of Bucks’ past who, for good or for ill, had a small part to play in Milwaukee’s title. And so I offer to you my small list of MDTRRWWOTRITF candidates:
- John Hammond — He was a man capable of stumbling onto one of the greatest players this franchise has ever had and simultaneously a man capable of drafting Thon Maker ninth overall in an attempt to do the same trick twice. Love him, hate him, feel nothing in particular about him, if he doesn’t pull the trigger in the 2013 draft we aren’t here composing this list
- Herb Kohl — Kohl’s legacy was secured the moment ground was broken on the Forum, but handing off the team to ownership with deeper pockets, doing his best to tie them to the city of Milwaukee, and throwing in $100 million on top to help get things over the line was as high a note as his tenure could’ve ended on. On-court results weren’t there, but at least there were on-court results at all
- DJ Augustin — He trusted the Bucks with the last substantial contract of his pro career and was promptly shipped to the worst team in the league. That’s big time
- DJ Wilson — Vibes. All the vibes, all the time
- Ersan Ilyasova — Mr. Milwaukee himself who, if you go look at his basketball-reference page, was remarkably consistent the entire time he was with the team. Somehow, someway didn’t make that three-year contract an albatross the second it was signed
- Torrey Craig — Begrudgingly here because we’ve no choice but to bow to precedence and give him a ring
It’s a list full of recent names, I know. You could sell me on Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson if you wanted, but I want to leave room for everyone else.
Consider this your Doldrum Series question for the week.
What will be Bucks’ biggest challenge? (NBA.com)
For all my championship-winning blowhardery, there is a genuine argument to make that it will be difficult for Milwaukee to repeat. I’m not overly concerned about the roster changes per se since the top dog is who he is and Khris/Jrue are reliable second-tier guys, but if Brooklyn remains healthy it’ll be a whole different ballgame for the East.
...then again, Giannis could be a new Giannis now. That’s something not getting talked about nearly enough.
Four key Bucks storylines ahead of 2021-22 season: Milwaukee’s depth offers real chance to repeat as champions (CBS Sports)
A longer thought experiment here about the big trends that will help guide Milwaukee’s regular season, at least. Of the four, the one I’m most interested in is whether we’re capable of/want to push for homeport advantage through at least the Eastern Conference half of the playoffs. With the core pieces solidified there should be less need to cede game time to experimentation, and so better results should come even if minute totals don’t grow a bunch. The players won’t have had all that much of an offseason, but it always helps to stack the deck in your favor.
In retrospect, it’s remarkable that Giannis was good enough to play in 77 games as a 19 year-old rookie (even if the team was straight-up awful). Those early seasons where he was finding his feet as a player make the career totals all the more remarkable. He’s been astoundingly durable, experienced astounding growth, and already sits among the game’s greats.
Best Bets for 2021–22 NBA Season: Bucks Undervalued to Repeat As Champions (Sports Illustrated)
This one is for those among us who are inclined to risk some money in the hopes that the risk pays off with a nice payout. I’ve no idea whether the Bucks are actually good “value” since, in theory, if they don’t repeat you don’t win at all. However, with the Nets at +260 (?) and the Lakers at +325 (lol uh?????????), it seems like you’d win a lot of money if the Bucks win again.
Antetokounmpo in Greece as mom, brother handed citizenship (Associated Press)
We send our sincere congratulations to Veronica and Alex Antetokounmpo on their obtaining Greek citizenship. To be recognized as a member of the society you’ve long considered your own (literally from birth in Alex’s case) is a gratifying thing.
Antetokounmpo visits Cyprus ahead of NBA season (Kathimerini Cyprus)
The Summer of Giannis includes a stop in Limassol where young Cypriots thronged his hotel to try and snap a picture. I like to imagine Giannis sent Grayson Allen out onto the hotel room balcony in his stead:
A perfect storm of nobody else posting anything and Jon getting this post in before he is officially ordained as a member of the staff means jonlowe34’s “Semi-PJ” is the FPOTW. I’m sympathetic to Jon’s arguments and do believe Semi Ojeleye will be able to provide a reasonable facsimile to PJ Tucker during the regular season. It all comes down to how he translates in the playoffs. I mean, PJ really translated to the playoffs when called upon. Can Semi?
The Social Media Section
Rumor has it Giannis hand-picked the daisies he gave Mariah from the side of the road off 94
No cast Donte????
We desperately needed someone to fill the “gamer” role on this team. Grayson stepping up for us.
Repeat title incoming
Bobby Portis runs Arkansas
The best part about Giannis is his athleticism will start to wane when he’s 32, everyone will think he’s finally done dominating the league, and THEN the jumper will click and he’ll have another five-year run in him
Giannis working on that Jumpshot pic.twitter.com/BuM5QDX9yK— GiannisTape (@giannisstape) September 17, 2021
It looks good, just remember to lotion that arm like hell from now until oblivion
Correction: Bobby Portis and his personal hero Pat Connaughton run Arkansas
The Marques Johnson Seal of Approval
Listening to Lisa doing Prov/Creighton PxP at this very moment. Was not familiar with her work. She’s really, really good! Easy to listen to, knows the game, well prepared. Most importantly, she engages her color analyst often, the key to good broadcasting. Welcome Aboard!— Elder Marques Johnson (@olskool888) September 15, 2021
Training camp is eight days away, if you can believe it. Eight days and then we can finally bust out our training camp/media day bingo cards!
The drought is nearly at an end.