Saturday Night at the Bucks Game
Here are some random observations on a variety of Milwaukee Bucks topics, all of which occured to me while I was sitting in the Bradley Center watching the Bucks lose to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night, 100-93:
...Michael Redd takes a lot of bad shots, but I think its gotten to the point where the team is dependent upon those shots. On Saturday, even when Redd was missing, no one else got offensively aggressive. The other Bucks seemed to be looking to pass to Redd rather than attacking their defender. F Bobby Simmons in particular needs to be much more assertive on offense.
...Why do the Bucks have a banner hanging in the Bradley Center rafters commemorating their 2001 Central Division championship (pictured above)? That's weak. Considering the fact that the Bucks have won countless other division championships through the years that have no banners, that particular banner is not only potentially confusing, it looks a little desperate. The message it sends to me is "We've been so bad for so long, we can't be choosy about the banners we hang anymore". The Bucks are a proud franchise with a long history of triumph. They don't need to recognize petty achievements. Pull that thing down and make room for another world championship banner like the terrific one from 1971. We are not impressed by division championships, we shoot for world championships.
...Why in the hell isn't F Marques Johnson's number 6 jersey retired? That's an outrage. He was, in my opinion, the second greatest Buck of all time, certainly better and more productive in a Milwaukee uniform than G Brian Winters, F Junior Bridgeman, or G Jon McGlocklin, all of whom have their numbers hanging from the Bradley Center rafters. If you don't believe me, go to basketballreference.com and look at his stats as a Buck. They are superior, in my opinion, to the statistics of any other player who ever wore a Buck uniform save the great C Kareem Abdul Jabbar (no one will ever top what he did in this town). Consider that Marques never shot below 50% from the field while wearing a Buck uniform. That is a terrific achievement for a perimeter player. Today we don't have any perimeter player who even shoots at a 45% accuracy rate. Remember how Marques could kill a defender in so many different ways. He went to the hole with the same relentlessness that G Dwayne Wade displays today, and yet he also had a jump shot that was quite accurate. Not to mention he was a terrific rebounder! Let's right this wrong!
...As I walked into the Bradley Center I couldn't help thinking to myself, 'This is a beautiful building'. The atrium design in particular is first-class. Yet there is talk around town that the Bucks need a new facility; that the Bradley Center is hopelessly outdated. I know the Bucks need a better cut of the profits than they now recieve, but I just can't understand why the whole building has to be replaced. Its hardly dilapidated, and it does have skyboxes. What is it lacking?
...Did you read the postgame comments made by Denver coach George Karl? He said it felt good to slap the Bucks around. Or did he say spank the Bucks? It was something like that, and it ought to piss Bucks Nation off something fierce, considering the way his personality and the personnel moves he lobbied for almost destroyed the franchise.
...The food and refreshments that I sampled at the Bradley Center were awful. We sat in Section 101, so we had someone waiting on us (which is a ridiculously unneccessary amenity in itself -- are we all that lazy?). I asked her for a Pepsi and a Soft Pretzel. It cost probably around $9.00. The Pepsi came in one of those plastic bottles you can buy at the gas station, and it was almost warm. No cup, no ice. The pretzel was ridiculously oversalted and was so stale that it tasted like shoe leather. Man, it was awful.
...Why do NBA teams need so many assistant coaches? They have about as many assistants as they have players. And they all carry those folders that have the texture of a basketball. And they all seem to be taking notes during the game. Do they have that many complex thoughts that they have to take notes to remember them?
...Bucks fans love FC Andrew Bogut, that much is quite clear. He received a raucous ovation when he was introduced, and when the refs called him for some lame fouls I thought there was going to be a riot.
...Major Goolsby's restaurant is still the place to go before a Bucks game. Its a little less convenient than it was when the Bucks played at the Milwaukee Arena (its a city block away from the Bradley Center whereas it was right across the street from the Arena), but its worth the short cold walk just for the atmosphere, not to mention the terrific food and great service. Get there early if you want to find a seat, though.
...The Bucks, and indeed the NBA in general, have to find a way to make their sport more affordable for families. When I grew up my entire family of 6 would annually go to Bucks games, and we sat in pretty nice seats at the old Arena. If you tried to do that today you'd have to drop around 3 bills, and that's if you sit in those awful seats near the top of the BC. Those seats are closer to my deceased Grandfather than they are to the court. Its unconscienable what they charge for those seats. You could get Loge level seats at Miller Park for the same price. This pricing strategy is pure short term thinking. The Association is trying to squeeze all the money they can today at the cost of their fan base tomorrow. Pretty soon basketball will be nothing more than casual entertainment for corporate clients. You want to hear how dead the BC will be then?
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