The Milwaukee Bucks made a somewhat shocking decision to fire head coach Jason Kidd on Monday, and the franchise’s most important player is reportedly unhappy with the move.
According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, reporters caught wind of Kidd’s firing before Kidd was officially informed by the Bucks. And Giannis Antetokounmpo is said to be “devastated” over it.
Sources: Jason Kidd hasn’t been officially told yet. Giannis Antetokounmpo is devastated. https://t.co/FGaqQybJtn
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 22, 2018
Antetokounmpo’s presence should make the Bucks job appealing for a number of candidates. The 23-year old signed a four-year extension with Milwaukee last year, and he has emerged as one of the best players in the NBA. He is averaging 28.2 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season.
The Bucks are currently 23-22 and hold the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. They haven’t played well lately, though it sounds like more than just on-court play factored into the decision to move on from Kidd.
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Joel Embiid has a truly incredible memory.
Embiid scored 29 points and added nine rebounds in his Philadelphia 76ers’ 116-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night. After the win, Embiid was quick to troll the Bucks on social media.
First, recall this comment made by Bucks owner Wes Edens last June:
"Guys in Philly want to talk about the process, I'd rather talk about the results." – Bucks Owner Wes Edens pic.twitter.com/rHmRym25zs
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 19, 2017
Now take a look at Embiid’s post, and specifically note the hashtag he used:
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 21, 2018
Does Embiid ever forget? I think not. He is the undisputed king of all NBA social media. And now you have a better understanding for why Kevin Durant said this after beating the 76ers in November.
Could the Golden State Warriors be looking to sell off some of their frontcourt pieces before next February’s trade deadline?
Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic reported Monday that the Warriors have discussed a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, who have asked about bigs Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee. The Bucks also supposedly inquired about rookie Jordan Bell, but the conversation was said to have “ended quickly.” Thompson also adds that the talks have been “on-and-off” and that nothing is imminent.
Pachulia and McGee each fill a unique role for the defending champs, but there are only so many minutes to go around, especially with Bell’s emergence and with how often the Warriors opt to go small. At least one of those players was said to be unhappy with the Dubs in recent months, so perhaps a mid-playoff team like Milwaukee lacking in reliable seven-footers would make for a suitable trade partner here.
Tuesday night’s divisional matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks had a little something for the trolling enthusiasts.
During the Cavs’ team intros before the game, the BMO Harris Bradley Center played the theme song from the animated TV show “Arthur” and had an accompanying graphic on the Jumbotron, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
The Bucks are playing the “Arthur” theme song during the Cavs’ intros. Meanwhile, LeBron came to the arena wearing a hat with the Arthur fist meme stitched on it. So not sure how well that trolling will work. pic.twitter.com/0GJVIoVHHx
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 20, 2017
In case you don’t understand the reference, Cavs star LeBron James famously posted a cryptic “Arthur”-inspired meme to Instagram last month in what many interpreted to be a show of frustration. Granted, the Cavs entered play on Tuesday having won 19 of their 21 games since James’ post, so it may have been a risky (but otherwise priceless) move on the part of the Bucks.
“With great power comes great responsibility,” a fictional arachnid man’s uncle once famously said. Personally, I would revise that adage to say, “With great expectations come great responsbility.” Many an NBA team has lived up to said expectations so far this season, and many others have flopped worse than Marcus Smart. Here’s looking at those who fall into the latter category.
*Stats courtesy of NBA.com and ESPN*
Oklahoma City Thunder
Going back to actual team basketball after Russell Westbrook’s “I AM the Senate” season was always going to be difficult, especially with the arrival of glitzy but needy new running mates in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. But the Thunder have been such mayhem that Allstate won’t even touch them. The ball sticks like velcro, weak-side motion is eschewed in favor of a merry-go-round of isolation play, and fourth-quarter crunchtime is where the entire team goes to die.
Rest assured, there’s reason for optimism — Oklahoma City’s hyper-switching defensive scheme ranks second in the league with a smothering 98.5 points allowed per 100 possessions, and they are still a tremendous offensive rebounding team despite the loss of Enes Kanter. A blowout win over Golden State on national television Wednesday was nice too. But 8-10 is not good for a team that had such high expectations heading into the year, and the luxury of time unfortunately doesn’t exist in the abusive Western Conference.
The Milwaukee Bucks hilariously threw some shade at the Chicago Bulls in a ticket package they are offering on their website.
The Bucks are offering a holiday ticket package that allows fans to build a 5-game package by picking games to attend from a certain group. You can pick two of eight games from the first group; two of eight from a second group; and then one final game from a group of six. It’s in the final group where the jab at the Bulls comes.
For each game, the Bucks show a photo of the star for each team as a way to make the game more enticing. For the Bulls, they picked the mascot.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 9, 2017
The Bulls are 2-7 and clearly are rebuilding, so they don’t exactly have a star player. Plus, putting Lauri Markkanen or Robin Lopez along with James Harden, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving really wouldn’t fit. These are just the jokes one must endure when rebuilding.
- Milwaukee Bucks
The Phoenix Suns are reportedly finalizing a deal to send guard Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for center Greg Monroe, a first-round draft pick and a second-round pick.
Phoenix finalizing deal to send Eric Bledsoe to Milwaukee for Greg Monroe and a first-round draft pick, sources tell @ZachLowe_NBA and me.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 7, 2017
The talented but frustrated Bledsoe has not played since an October 22 tweet in which he stated “I don’t wanna be here.”
Bledsoe met with the Suns after the tweet and suggested it was directed at a hair salon he frequented, but management did not buy that excuse and announced he would not be with the team moving forward. Bledsoe had also previously requested a trade.
For the young and talented Bucks, the move is rather exciting given that Bledsoe would potentially fortify their chances in a wide open Eastern Conference and add a piece to the puzzle they’re currently missing. At the same time, Bledsoe obviously wears his emotions on his sleeve and can, at times, be a real distraction.
Bledsoe is not expected to join the Bucks until Wednesday night in San Antonio. In the mean time, the two teams are finalizing medical evaluations on each player involved before officially submitting the trade to the league.
ESPN also reports there would be lottery protections on the first-round pick involved in the trade.
Last season, the 27-year-old Bledsoe averaged career highs in points (21.1), assists (6.3) and rebounds (4.8).