While the buzz on where LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and Dywane Wade are playing next season, the Milwaukee Bucks have been on a roll with their roster buildup.
In addition to three of the remaining four draft picks, the Bucks scored with trades for Chris Douglas-Roberts and Corey Maggette. Recently, they picked up Drew Gooden.
Now there’s all this veteran talent willing to make head coach Scott Skiles a happy man. On paper, the new-look team can make it to the conference semifinals. If you want to know how the Bucks will do, ask me after the 60th regular season game.
They played a little defense last season for Skiles, who’s a no-nonsense coach. If only the team had an assistant coach to teach the players the techniques of playing D, stopping their man and protecting the basket, they would hold opponents to under 100 points.
The organization can unite the present players on the roster with a blast from the past.
For a man who spent 10 seasons in a Bucks uniform and the last year with Atlanta, I think there’s a coaching spot for Sidney Moncrief. If he didn’t have love for the city of Milwaukee and the Bucks, why would he show up at Summerfest?
The NBA’s two-time Defensive Player of the Year can show these young bucks a thing or two about proper defensive positioning and balance.
Moncrief would love to be on the Bucks’ coaching staff, but there’s no room.
In the Bible, the prodical son was allowed to come home, so let Moncrief come in the Bradley Center and feel at home. And while he’s sitting in the cushy metal chair, he can look up in the rafters and see his retired number and marvel.
Senator Herb Kohl, the Bucks’ owner, can make that happen. I’ll give him a suggestion whom to fire: Kelvin Sampson. Buy out Sampson’s contract and pay him for two years, because he’s itching for a return to college coaching. Maybe the NCAA will let him back into their fraternity. I think he’s been punished enough for infractions while at Oklahoma and Indiana.
Last week, during a three-day appearance at the Sports Zone at Summerfest, Moncrief was asked about his thoughts on the recent drafts and trades.
“I think the Bucks, they’ve improved, first of all, the players are one year older, especially (Brandon) Jennings,” he said. “And I think the fact that (Jennings) played in the playoffs will make him more confident and a better player.
“Corey Maggette, great addition to the team. I coached Corey at Golden State. He’ll bring a lot of energy. He can score points. He can rebound. He can get to the foul line. I think he’s going to be a great deal.”
Moncrief was impressed by Jennings’ strong rookie campaign. He said Jennings made a strong impact last season while playing every game, including the playoffs.
Moncrief, while in China last year, said Jennings’ 55 points made international news. “It took me five games when I was a rookie to score 55 (total) points. That’s pretty impressive.”
“Super Sid” was a consultant for the Beijing Ducks for 18 months. He previously coached for the Warriors under Don Nelson, whom he played for in Milwaukee.
“I want to stay in coaching,” Moncrief said. “I love coaching and teaching basketball.” Moncrief said he’ll continue to represent the city of Milwaukee and the organization.
Someone asked Moncrief about his most disappointing loss and most memorable victory as a professional. “The biggest disappointment was losing to Seattle my rookie year (1980),” he said. “The biggest wins were against Philadelphia and Boston. We swept Boston in 19 . . . Nineteen eighty something.”
Let me help you out, Sid. The Bucks swept the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 1983 and beat the Sixers 4-3 in the conference semis in 1986. Between 1981 and 1987, either Philly or Boston denied the Bucks a trip to the NBA Championship.
It was good to see Moncrief, who makes his home in Dallas. He may have a permanent location here if an assistant coaches’ spot in the organization opens up.
Sometime last summer, MCJ sales representative Jimmy Johnson told me I should interview a young baseball player, Adam Walker II. I couldn’t catch up with him at that time.
Lo, and behold, Adam’s father, also named Adam Walker, sent me information on his son’s progress in baseball.
When I text-messaged Jimmy to tell him I heard from Adam II, he replied, “Who is Adam Walker?”
And I thought to myself that Jimmy has been sitting in his office too long. The fact that he also told me the Lakers will win three in a row suggested that he needed some fresh air to clear the brain. Being inside a hot building too long is like putting your head in the oven.
Anyways, Adam II said he can’t be drafted until after his junior year at Jacksonville, according to NCAA rules. He made the All-Freshman team. Major-league scouts will monitor Adam’s progress over the next few years.
“When I am able to enter the draft, they will know of me,” he said. “I will be able to enter the draft and play professional baseball.”
The senior Walker is the defensive coordinator at Concordia University in Mequon. Adam II played his high school baseball at Milwaukee Lutheran.