Kyrie Irving giveth, Kyrie Irving taketh. That has been the through line to most of his career, but has been taken to new heights since arriving in Brooklyn. One third of the superstar trifecta that never actually was, he has remained a highly prolific player when on the court and exceptionally skilled at continually sabotaging his professional life.
Well, now the Grand Gamble in Brooklyn appears to be winding to a close with the departure of Irving to the Dallas Mavericks — surely, Kyrie will not chafe even a little under the coaching auspices of Captain Hardass. In the end, this looks like the kind of trade that should be a win-win from the Milwaukee Bucks’s perspective.
The Brooklyn Nets are not a serious title threat with a star pairing of Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons. Durant could conceivably scare the hell out of any playoff team on his own, but the amount of water the Nets organization has taken on the past few months will end up showing eventually. Dallas is gambling that an all gas, no brakes Irving-Luka Doncic backcourt will be held together by scotch tape long enough to pay off with an immediate title. The rest of the roster past those two guys, though, is iffy at best and I’ve doubts Bald Satan can pull enough “energy and effort” rabbits out of a backwards hat to actually make it work.
So if everything goes to plan, the Bucks have just taken a step forward in the East’s pecking order without lifting a finger. Better yet, a Western Conference team with a star who gives Milwaukee fits is now constructed like a Jenga tower short a dozen or so pieces. The talent-rich get poorer, the average are playing scratch-off lotto tickets, and Milwaukee is getting better through the mere passing of time. Not a bad weekend for the good guys.
Bill Simmons’s Trade Value Rankings (The Ringer)
The signature annual column that Bill Simmons still bothers to actually write is here, and the Bucks get three guys on the list! Yes, it is the three you’d expect, although they’ve some distance between each when it comes to the category Simmons has placed them in. Khris Middleton is a “Group L: Quality Starter”, Jrue Holiday is in “Group E: ‘Lemme Save You Some Time: F-U-C-K N-O’”, and Giannis Antetokounmpo takes the number one spot on the entire dang list. Yay us!
Milwaukee Bucks regaining championship form as roster heals (NBA.com/Associated Press)
Hm, turns out that having most or all of the players on your roster readily available and not dealing with months-long nagging injuries makes a difference in the on-court results. I surely won’t forget that bit of information the next time we’re dealing with a moderate injury/old age crisis.
‘The more they see it, the more they know that people can pursue their dreams’: Bucks head video coordinator quietly breaking NBA coaching barriers (CBS58)
Cool interview (which I wish they had left a little less edited and start-stop-y, but that’s local TV news for yah) with Sidney Dobner, the Bucks head video coordinator. Talks a bit about her path through basketball, the chance that got her a role in the Bucks org, and a little about what she does. From what I gather, this is a position that is often a jumping off point to bigger roles on coaching staffs (Mike Budenholzer got his start in pro coaching as the video coordinator in San Antonio), so here’s to continued success for Sidney!
Casamigos Bar to debut at Fiserv Forum on Feb. 4 (Milwaukee Record)
Wes Edens’s Cincoro Tequila is in shambles. In spite of all Michael Jordan accomplished during his career as the world’s largest sports personality, George Clooney seems like an infinitely cooler hang on the surface. Plus, we’re getting a “Cocktail of the Game” gimmick! Quote, “We are especially excited to feature a Casamigos Cocktail of the Game that will rotate for each Bucks game to provide fans the opportunity to try a variety of ultra-premium drinks.”
A room temperature Bud Light and Casamigos: lower Midwest Heaven.
Fan Post of the Week
Back-to-back FPOTW winner! This is special. Congrats goes to...
Know Your Enemy (Until SBNation ceases to exist)
Portland Trail Blazers - Blazer’s Edge - Why the Portland Trail Blazers Can’t Tank in 2022-23
- The Blazers have gone full circle and now exist as more mid-tier playoff fodder than serious contender or serious main battle tank. However, unlike some middling squads they’ve assets available to send out in order to try and catch lightning in a bottle towards a, I don’t know, conference semifinals appearance? They should absolutely trade Jerami Grant to us for pennies on the dollar, though. I’m a fan of that move.
Los Angeles Lakers - Silver Screen & Roll - Mavericks trade for Kyrie Irving, end long Lakers/Nets trade saga
- Lol. Lmao.
Los Angeles Clippers - Clips Nation - Robert Covington is re-earning his playing time
- I can never tell where Robert Covington is on his perpetual cycle between reliable 3&D guy and dude who should never be tasked with anything of consequence on a basketball court — mostly because I’ve literally no drive to watch Clippers games. But, according to someone who watches the team, Covington has been on an “I’m an NBA player” run of sorts recently. There’s still something there there! Maybe!
The Social Media Section
Welcome to the Resistance, Jae. You can pick up your name tag and goodie bag down the hall.
DRAG MY NAME THROUGH THE MUD, WATCH ME COME OUT CLEAN.!— JAE CROWDER (@CJC9BOSS) December 24, 2022
COACH I APPRECIATE YOU AND ALL OF #MUNATION FOR THE CONTINUED SUPPORT & HONOR.! I SPEAK FOR EVERYONE SUPPORTING THE PROGRAM.!! WE ARE GLAD YOUR LEADING THOSE YOUNG MEN ON & OFF THE COURT THE RIGHT WAY.! #WEARE CONTINUE MAKING THE DAYS COUNT.! #MUBB https://t.co/jtBWcjXZUV— JAE CROWDER (@CJC9BOSS) January 30, 2023
I eagerly await Thanasis’s invite to have the three amigos of the Brew Hoop Podcast on. Until then, I will boycott unless funny clips are shared by someone.
Thank God Giannis specialized in basketball. Got absolutely bodied by a child in rock, paper, scissors on the first go and had zero control on this expensive videocamera he hijacked. Concerning.
MarJon deleted everything on his Insta and just posted this
I will never not love the use of #TalkSoon
Respect the custom jersey
Mom, I made it on a niche of a niche segment of the internet
Give Giannis Free Stuff, Dammit https://t.co/86viJhaDIF— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) February 4, 2023
Riley’s 2022-2023 Weekly Prediction Record: 27-26
Milwaukee’s Actual 2022-2023 Record: 36-17
It is off on the road again for the Bucks as the head out West for a three game trip. Things start tonight in Portland, then pick back up on prime time in Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Thursday before closing with a back-to-back in Digital Coin Arena on Friday against the Clippers.
I think we’ll go 2-1 with the loss at the Clips when we rest a bunch of guys on a back-to-back. The most interesting thing to watch will be how many points LeBron needs to eclipse Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. LA plays the Thunder on Tuesday, and LeBron is 36 points away. Will he break it against us? Good question. It’d be something poetic seeing Kareem embrace LeBron in Lakers gold while Giannis and the Bucks watch on. Time is a flat circle, etc etc etc.