PJ Tucker targets Bucks for ‘disrespectful’ treatment of him
If the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks meet in the Eastern Conference Finals this year, it will be quite the grudge match for more reasons than one.
Heat forward PJ Tucker spoke this week in an interview with Marc J. Spears of Andscape. In the interview, Tucker, who played for Milwaukee last year, ripped the Bucks for the way that they treated him as a free agent.
“They just weren’t going over the luxury tax,” he said of the Bucks. “It just is what it is. They love you and whatever, whatever, but they weren’t going to go over it. They felt like they could replace me, and they did replace me.
“Even as a vet being around, it’s like, ‘All right, you f—— replaced me. Cool,'” the 36-year-old Tucker went on. “For me, it wasn’t even about money. It was more about respect because they basically told me to go find an offer and they would match it. After hearing that for me, I’m not coming back even if I had to take less money. To me, that was disrespectful. So, as soon as they said that, I told my agent Andre [Buck], basically, ‘We are moving on, whatever we get out of that, that’s what we’re doing.’”
Tucker did add in the interview though that he loves the city of Milwaukee and felt very appreciated by the “amazing” Bucks fans during his time there. You can read his full interview with Spears here.
The veteran forward Tucker was a hugely important 3-and-D role player for the Bucks during their 2021 NBA title run. But Milwaukee did not bring him back in free agency that summer, choosing instead to sign Wesley Matthews and giving bigger roles to players like Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton. Now Tucker is making a similarly big impact for the rival Heat as a physical defender against top stars such as Trae Young and James Harden, one of the NBA’s very best corner three-point shooters, and a demon on the offensive glass earning all kinds of extra possessions for Miami.
Tucker, who is currently on a two-year, $14.3 million contract with the Heat, had previously expressed displeasure that the Bucks let him walk. But these comments are probably Tucker’s strongest on the matter yet.