The Mecca

The Destination for hardcore Milwaukee Bucks and NBA fans The Original Bucks Fan Blog!

7.01.2005

What are your 4th of July plans?

Checking out some South Shore Park fireworks? Heading out to a Barbecue in Waukesha and drinking all of your uncle's beer?
Facing serious criminal charges and possibly spending up to 10 years in a Canadian prison?

The latter of the three mentioned above is what's on tap for former Buck great Gary "The Glove" Payton.

Former Bucks Sam Cassell, Jason Caffey, and Gary Payton will be in court on the 4th of July in Toronto for a post strip-club altercation a few years back after a Raptors game.
Click the title link above to check out ESPN.com's coverage of all the independence day proceedings north of the border.

Karma is a funny thing isn't it?

Bogut Signs



Signed, sealed, delivered.

5 year deal.

Hotter than the NBA in July!

Lots of July action on the calendar for all of the Bucks faithful out there:

Bucks will be playing in the Target Center for the Minnesota Summer League hosted by T-Wolves.
Drive out,Kick back, get a sneak peak at Bogut, ....maybe discuss illegal negotiations with Wolves VP Kevin McHale

Friday, July 15
3:00 p.m. Indiana vs. Houston
5:00 p.m. Toronto vs. New York
7:00 p.m. Minnesota vs. Milwaukee

Saturday, July 16
3:00 p.m. Toronto vs. Indiana
5:00 p.m. Milwaukee vs. Houston
7:00 p.m. Minnesota vs. New York

Sunday, July 17
11:00 a.m. Indiana vs. New York
1:00 p.m. Toronto vs. Milwaukee
7:30 p.m. Minnesota vs. Houston

Monday, July 18
3:00 p.m. Indiana vs. Milwaukee
5:00 p.m. Houston vs. New York
7:00 p.m. Minnesota vs. Toronto

Tuesday, July 19
11:00 a.m. Houston vs. Toronto
1:00 p.m. New York vs. Milwaukee
3:00 p.m. Minnesota vs. Indiana

JULY 23RD........

Because of the new CBA, the moratorium on free agent signings presently scheduled to expire on July 14th will now run to July 22nd. During this period, summer leagues may take place, rookies can be signed, and free agents will be permitted to negotiate with teams, but will not be able to sign any new contracts.

To Redd or not to Redd.............

Have a great holiday weekend.

6.30.2005

The Chinese Connection

No not the cool Bruce Lee movie.......
This is one of the most thought-provoking articles on the Bucks and behind closed doors navigation of the franchise and the local press we've seen in some time. Thanks to Joel McNally from the Racine Journal Times for getting this out there. If only the Bucks (part-time) beat writers could dig this up and show some Bogut-like backbone to get nasty in the journalistic paint.

Kohl and the Bucks' story you haven't heard
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When the general manager of a professional basketball team fires a popular, hometown coach six weeks after announcing publicly he's going to keep that coach, it doesn't mean the general manager is indecisive.

It simply means that someone with more power has taken the decision away from the general manager.

And when that team is the Milwaukee Bucks, the only man with more power than the general manager - heck, the only man with any power at all - is team owner and U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl.

That's what made all those stories about General Manager Larry Harris' sudden reversal to fire Coach Terry Porter the week before the Bucks drafted the No. 1 player in the country professionally embarrassing.

The stories were written with barely any mention of the owner who had made the decision. Herb Kohl is the invisible man.

Kohl may be the state's senior senator and the owner of a multi-million-dollar sports franchise poised to seek the same huge public subsidies every other sports franchise tries to extort out of taxpayers, but the press never writes about him unless he wants them to.

It would be a remarkable for any local sports owner to be protected by such a shield of invisibility, but it is nothing short of astounding when the owner also happens to be one of the state's top elected officials.

It's not as if the press doesn't know where to find the guy. He has a public office in Washington, D.C. And when he's in Milwaukee, he eats breakfast almost every morning at Ma Fischer's restaurant.

It has to be a conscious decision on the part of reporters not to ask Kohl questions about anything he'd rather not talk about.

It's the opposite of Deep Throat's movie advice on journalism to Woodward and Bernstein in "All the President's Men." It's no longer "Follow the money." The new rule is: "Don't bother millionaires who control everything."

Why Kohl decided to dump Terry Porter is mostly of interest to fans of the shabbily treated Porter. The answer may become clear when the new coach Kohl wants is hired.

But the press has been sitting on another huge story involving Kohl and the Bucks that is a potential blockbuster.

A couple of months ago, rumors began circulating around Milwaukee that basketball superstar Michael Jordan was back as a bidder to buy the Bucks. But that isn't even the most eye-opening part. Also said to be involved are international investors from China.

This was in the background when Milwaukee business leaders publicly expressed concern that Mayor Tom Barrett, because of a scheduling conflict, wasn't going along on a trade mission to China in September organized by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

Barrett quickly organized his own trade mission to China to take place in October a few weeks after the MMAC trip.

That was interesting. Even more interesting was a separate announcement at the same time as the story about Barrett's trade mission.

The China Council, a Milwaukee business group helping to organize both trips, announced it was working to create a partnership between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Beijing Ducks, one of China's top professional basketball franchises.

Under an agreement, the Bucks could set up an exchange program with the Ducks that would include basketball clinics in Milwaukee for visiting Chinese players. The NBA has been seeking closer ties with the Chinese Basketball Association, which produced Houston Rockets center Yao Ming.

Ready for one more topper? The co-chairman of the China Council in Milwaukee is Ulice Payne Jr., former president of the Milwaukee Brewers and chairman of the Bradley Center, home of the Bucks. Perhaps not incidentally, Payne also sits on the board of Journal Communications.

Could that be why you haven't you read a word about the possibility of such an unprecedented deal involving the Bucks, a sale that could make international history? The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a habit of missing major local stories. But in this case I happen to know they're aware of the rumors. I told them.

Well, I didn't ring them up directly. But around the end of April, I laid it all out publicly as a "hot tip" on the television show, "Belling and Company." We know from Milwaukee Magazine senior editor Bruce Murphy's story, "In the Belly of the Beast," about his three years at the Journal Sentinel that the editors pay close attention to what's reported on the shows of right-wingers Mark Belling and Charlie Sykes.

So why haven't reporters asked Kohl about this story and all its fascinating connections? It's a story whether he's ready to announce it yet or not.

People involved in the news, especially public officials, don't usually get to decide when news gets reported. The job of journalism is to report the news, not manage it.

**Joel McNally is former editor of the Milwaukee alternative weekly Shepherd Express and appears weekly on the WMVS-TV public television show "Interchange."

6.29.2005

ssmith@phillynews.com


See the title of this post above?
Yeah, that's Stephen A. Smith's email address.
As a thankful Bucks fan for all for his pro Bucks comments and love for Milwaukee last night you can send him an email and thank him for all of his kind words and genius NBA Insight.

Oh by the way, Hey Stephen A., you can wipe that Faux-Farrakhan scowl off your stupid mug when the Bucks make the playoffs next season.

Philly cheese steak eatin' sucka!

http://www.fortressonfourth.com/

Click the web address above to shoot to a great new Bucks site emanating out of Milwaukee for the fans by the fans.
Seems like a bunch of great guys who have some knowledge and enthusiasm for the Bucks!

Welcome Fortress Gang! Good Luck and keep getting it out there !!!

Go Bucks Fans!

6.28.2005

LET'S ROLL!


BACK IT UP BOGUT, WE'RE COUNTING ON YOU

Jiri Welsch a Buck!

Larry Harris has just dealt a 2nd rounder in 2006 for swingman Jiri Welsch.
Click the title link above to shoot to Jiri's profile from NBA.com
A 6'7" swingman.........
Pretty cool, may just need a breakout and a chance off the bench to really bust into a rotation, only 25 years old. I dig it, shades of the Zaza trade last year. A proven NBA commodity for a 2nd round pick instead of a question mark, good eye Larry!

Willing to give Welsch a chance.

Welcome to the Mil Jiri !

Let's try to get back to .500 with picking #1's



New Look Bucks, 3rd round


Can you tell that I hate the purple uniforms? This is only my third post about new uniforms in 2 months. Some list of priorities I have..........Draft, Free agency, New coach, Larry Harris snaking around, Majerus hovering, ..........
Even so, I think any Bucks fan can get excited when seeing anything but purple.
I don't know how I feel about these designs, but it's a step in the right direction of righting us into respectability and may actual provide all of those great Kohl's stores with something to sell for once.

How y'all doin ?


11 years ago............
Draft Day Mania at the Mecca!

The road back.............


In about 14 hours we may be on the road back to recovery, no more gimmicks, no more band-aids, no more mis-direction.
It could all start in the middle and the blueprint leading to a parade some late June Milwaukee afternoon may start to be scribbled............
C'mon Basketball Gods, throw us one down!

See you at the draft...............

6.27.2005

Sam Smith On Bogut

Bogut is swaying me a bit through his attitude, the Chicago Tribune's Sam Smith chimes in.........

Utah's Bogut fundamental as he is fun
Draft's likely top pick doesn't lack for ability or opinions
By Sam Smith
Tribune pro basketball reporter
June 26, 2005, 10:39 PM CDT

This is not Luc Longley or Chris Anstey. This is not Kent Benson, Joe Kleine or Jon Koncak. Or even Vlade Divac.

"I'm not as slow as Vlade," said Andrew Bogut, the Australian of Croatian descent who is likely to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Tuesday.

"There's been the great black stiffs too," Bogut told reporters in predraft interviews this month. "The whole big, great white stiff thing comes up every now and then. But there's been Kwame Brown and Michael Olowokandi. They went No. 1. That's just the thing in America. The big white guy isn't supposed to be as good as the big black guy. That's something I can't control, and I'm just going to work hard."

This guy is going to be good, and he's going to be fun.

When Utah's Bogut, the consensus national collegiate player of the year, worked out last week for the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the No. 1 pick, he offered up the team's new starting lineup.

"T.J. [Ford], Michael Redd, Desmond Mason, Joe Smith and me," he said before going to Atlanta and offering: "At point guard Tyronn Lue, Josh Childress and Josh Smith, Al [Harrington] at the four, and myself at center, depending on the situation at point guard. But most importantly, I want to be the No. 1 pick."

Which would mean not going to the Atlanta Hawks at No. 2.

Bogut then went on to recite the starting fives and most of the reserves for all the teams.

Heck, most draftees these days can't name most of the teams.

Bogut, who measured more than 7 feet and 250 pounds at the Chicago predraft camp, looks as if he could be an All-Star and sounds as if he'll be Hall of Fame sound-bite material.

He named San Antonio's Tim Duncan as his favorite player because when you dunk you should act like you've done it before.

He worked out in Washington before going to meet teams, and told the Washington Post he holds little regard for today's NBA Dream Team players.

Said Bogut: "The problem these days is money, and the guys just all want to be All-Stars. That [1992 Dream Team] was all All-Stars, the best of the best. But they were professional in their manner, on and off the court. They weren't immature kids coming out of high school.

"Not to knock the high schoolers, but those players had been through the college process. They learned to gain respect from coaches, Dean Smith and so on. Then they got to the NBA and they got beat up by other teams before they succeeded; [Michael] Jordan getting beat up by the Pistons and so on. They learned to respect the game and they were unselfish when they played.

"One game, Magic [Johnson] scored 20. One game, Jordan scored 20. It didn't matter. 'Who cares? We're beating up on the world.'

"These days, guys play 82 games a year where the ball is going through them every game. All of a sudden, they train with the best of the best and there's not enough basketballs on the court. It's a cliché, but it's so true, I think. They really need to get more role players on the USA team that aren't Dream Team-caliber but just understand their roles.

"You know, 'If you're open, shoot the three, defend your rear off and rebound. That's all we want from you.' There are guys in the league that do that, and every other country has that now except the USA.

"I think that's why the past four years everybody has caught up and started to beat up on the U.S."

He showed up at team interviews wearing a suit and tie while most of the players came in baggy shorts and sweat outfits.

He tried to recruit Redd in Milwaukee, saying he'd find him for open shots constantly.

He likened Milwaukee to Salt Lake City and Australia, where there is great hospitality in a family-oriented environment where he'd be comfortable.

He has started a charitable foundation to help underprivileged youth in Croatia, Australia, Utah and, he said, the city that drafts him.

Is this a con, or what?

Bogut can play.

He's regarded as one of the best passing big men in years.

He can score in the post, shoots with both hands and is considered fundamentally sound and unselfish.

The big knock against him is average athleticism, which will hurt him against more versatile big men and against the smaller centers teams are expected to begin using.

There's also a question about his ability to run the court.

Another knock is the alleged problem with his eyes, brought up by Rick Majerus, Bogut's coach at Utah his freshman year, but since discounted.

The Bucks are being circumspect, but it sounds as if Atlanta is putting out the negative word because the Hawks want Bogut so badly.

Plus, it was Majerus who a few years ago was pushing Jared Jeffries at No. 1 over Yao Ming.
This could be a draft that will be looked back on for years as one of the better ones.

It includes the athletic Marvin Williams and a top group of point guards in Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Ray Felton, who could become dominant leaders.

High schooler Gerald Green is said to be a can't-miss prospect, and big guys like Channing Frye could become All-Stars.

Bogut may not be the best of them, but he'll certainly be the most entertaining. And darn good.

Copyright © 2005, The Chicago Tribune

Wheel and deal, let's go!

The Bucks made qualifying offers to centers Dan Gadzuric and Zaza Pachulia on Monday, making the two big men restricted free agents.

The moves give the Bucks the right to match any offer for either player.

Gadzuric averaged a career-high 7.3 points and 8.3 rebounds last season. Milwaukee picked him out of UCLA in the second round of the 2002 draft.

The 21-year-old Pachulia averaged 6.2 points and 5.1 rebounds last season and appeared in 74 games after Milwaukee acquired him from Charlotte following the 2004 expansion draft.

Teams are allowed to start negotiating with free agents Friday, and once a new six-year collective bargaining agreement is ratified, they will be able to sign them beginning July 22, the Bucks said.

T.J. is okay!

MONDAY, June 27, 2005, 5:38 p.m.
Bucks' Ford cleared for full contact

Milwaukee Bucks guard T.J. Ford, who missed all of the 2004-’05 season after suffering a spinal injury, has been cleared for full contact and will be able to rejoin the team on a fulltime basis, general manager Larry Harris said today.

Ford has been out of the Bucks lineup since sustaining the injury on Feb. 24, 2004, in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Bradley Center.

The Bucks made the announcement after consultations with Ford’s surgeon, Dr. Robert Watkins of the Los Angeles Spine Surgery Institute.

"T.J. Ford has made a full recovery from his spinal cord contusion," Watkins said in a statement. "He is cleared for full-contact basketball. His prognosis is excellent for a normal basketball career."

Ford, the eighth overall pick in the 2003 National Basketball Association draft, averaged 7.1 points and 6.5 assists in 55 games during his rookie season. He helped the Bucks push the ball up the floor, and Milwaukee was 29-26 with the former Texas player as its starting point guard.

"This is great news for me, my family, the Bucks and our fans," Ford said. "The support from my family, the medical staff, the Bucks and the fans has been tremendous and I thank everyone for their kind thoughts."

-By Charles Gardner

The Mailman always shoots twice......

Former truck-drivin', Hardees Restaraunt pitchman, Rogaine using, cheap shotting, Karl Malone has decided to become a Deputy Police officer in Louisiana. One of my most hated players of all time, I can't wait to speed through Union parish sometime and get pulled over.
Check out this bit:


DEPUTY MALONE:

Karl Malone is getting a gun.
According to the News Star of Northeast Louisiana, the retired Jazz star is now a volunteer deputy with the Union Parish (La.) Sheriff's Office. Malone — a part-time deputy during his days at Louisiana Tech — reportedly donated two $12,000 K-9 police dogs to the department, which welcomes him with open arms.
"We got him some uniforms and he's got his own (police car)," sheriff Bob Buckley told the newspaper. "He asked me, 'Since I haven't worked since about '86, could I be a reserve deputy?' I said, 'Raise your right hand and repeat after me.' "
Before going on patrol, Malone — who apparently is relocating his family to his home state — must complete firearms training.
"The respect I have for all forms of law enforcement is off the scale," he told the News Star. "I want everybody to know we're here for you."
Curiously, the Mailman, er Policeman, began a news conference to discuss his donation of the dogs with what amounted to a threat: "One question about basketball and I'm done," Malone said. "I have that right."

6.24.2005

Mo !!! (or no)

No, not a Mo Williams Chant.
I'm talking Paul Mokeski.
The rumbling has begun out of Racine that Paul Mokeski may be rejoining the Milwaukee Bucks organization.
Here's an excerpt courtesy of Gery Woelfel's Racine Journal Times blog:

"The Bucks still have two openings for assistant coaches, and former Bucks center Paul Mokeski may be under consideration for one of them. Mokeski, who is a player development/advance scout for the Dallas Mavericks, had a cordial conversation with Bucks general manager Larry Harris at the Chicago pre-draft camp and expressed a keen interest in a coaching position."

Here's some excerpts from the July 20, 2000 edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Former Milwaukee Bucks center Paul Mokeski was charged Wednesday in Ozaukee County Circuit Court with misdemeanor cocaine possession.

Mokeski has been ordered to appear before Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Tom R. Wolfgram Aug. 10 to answer the charge. He could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and fined $5,000 if convicted. He was also issued municipal citations for drunken driving and speeding.

Mokeski, who played for the Bucks from 1982-'89, was arrested early on the morning of June 9 by Thiensville police on suspicion of drunken driving. He was booked into the Ozaukee County Jail at 4:05 a.m. according to jail records.

While Mokeski was being searched at the jail, deputies found a folded paper with "a white powdery substance which appeared to be cocaine," according to the charge issued by District Attorney Sandy Williams.

"It was confiscated from Mr. Mokeski and after advising him of his rights, he indicated it was cocaine that was in the folded paper and he had paid $100 for the cocaine," the charge says.

Mokeski told the deputies that "he had snorted a couple of lines of the cocaine about an hour before he was stopped by police," the complaint says. "He also indicated that he uses cocaine on a regular basis."

Mokeski was released from the jail about 8:30 a.m. after posting bail of $1,137.


......................I don't know.

Congrats to the Spurs

Congratulations to the San Antonio Spurs, the pride of the ABA, for being the 2005 NBA "World" Champions.
Great to see a small town place like San Antonio get another parade behind their ecelctic bunch of characters.
Manu was amazing, Tony parker kept his head together and Duncan, although gutless at times, got it done.
Great squad, Love Coach Pop, great way to tie up a great 04-05 NBA Season.

.........and for all of those 1994 NBA Draft pundits, have Jason Kidd and Grant Hill try this one on for size:

NBA CHAMPION GLENN ROBINSON

Now onto 05-06..........

Spurs, you're dead. You have a target on your back. See you in Milwaukee with our new team next year.

As Apollo Creed once said,..........."Ding,...Ding."

July 1 Free agency begins! It's on, Bucks can be in motion and get to it!

Realgm.com breaks news to Kurt Thomas..............

Click the title link above to check a great piece on how Kurt Thomas learned he was traded to the Phoenix Suns for Quentin Richardson. Amazing. Leave it to Isiah Thomas to botch things up like this.
Well, I can see Q's wife, Pop star Brandy, being happier in New York............

6.22.2005

The Mecca's Main Concourse, Volume III

Hey there everybody doing the Bango Tango out in St. Francis today, and welcome to the Mecca's Main Concourse Volume III.
I don't know what it is, but ever since I started this blog a lot of things have gone haywire or at least dramatic for the Milwaukee Bucks Franchise.
It would be like if the NY Times was launched on the same day as Pearl Harbor at this rate, or being the first guy who owned a cotton gin in 1830, or I don't know........

Anyway,........

Lovable or not so lovable Pointer Terry Porter was fired today as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Who knows what this bodes for our "Cagers" on 4th street? I've been wading in the Porter tsunami for the last hour and the rumors range from Michael Jordan and an aggressive takeover as a majority owner along with his investment group, a late minute pre-draft manuever to angle in either Flip Saunders or "Mr. Sonic" Nate McMillan, or another cheapskate ploy by the Senator to avoid some paid downtime for a high profile coach during a lockout.

I'll take what's behind door # 3 Wink! It clearly looks like the organization has been fishing for a high caliber, highly paid coach to guide the team back into contention and increase its' market value. The Senator probably just didn't want to launch Porter, pay him his owed guaranteed money and then also pay a Flip Saunders a cool 6 million year to cool his heels during a nasty feared lockout. Now that the lockout is iced and history (Thank Jeezus) The genius Larry Harris and company can procede on a clear path with their original, veiled, "Plan A" of pursuing a big-timer in lieu of Porter.
It's weird, I know, but I think they were just waiting out the lockout to see if it cleared up before getting locked into money and deep contracts during a work stoppage with no revenue coming in.
The cash needs to flow as much as the offense.......

Here are my ideas for new Bucks coaches:

1. Flip Saunders: Great coach of the Lacrosse, WI "Catbirds" of the now defunct CBA and guru behind the Timberwolves acension to contender behind Kevin Garnett. A great choice for Milwaukee.

2. Eric Musselman: Surprise winning attitude coach of a gritty Golden State team a few years back. This would be an inspired choice and would shock people with the positive results, somebody needs to hire this guy again. I think he's a darkhorse gem in the ranks.

3. Nate McMillan: Not too into it, but I won't snuff at a guy who won 50 games in the West. Seems like he is on point and can balance a team and communicate a winning mentality.

NBA Finals
Wow! TV Ratings TV Schmatings. If America and the casual ham and egger can't get into two Badass squads pushing to Game 7, I don't know what's "Must see."
Just when San Antonio looks like the greatest squad on the planet behind Manu the Contortionist, Detroit shows up with stone faced, all the way live clutch basketball.
To sum it all up, here's Rasheed Wallace's postgame quote after the Game 6 Pistons victory:

" I don't know what's going to happen, but we going to pop it Thursday!" (you gotta love that guy)

Game 7, Larry O Brien's gold on the line, and some hungry ring fingers, Be there or be square.

Mecca Pick: Detroit Pistons by 1

As mentioned before, there luckily will be no lockout. The age limit is a workable compromise, the contract length and the cap room are livable and fair and the profit participation seems like a great deal for the players. All is well and we can now look forward to cryptic reports of Andrew Bogut's or "Winded" Marvin's summer League games which will be in July in Minnesota for the Bucks.
One scary thing hovering out there on the shelf of hard to swallow medicine is what Michael Redd's max contract looks like under the new collective bargaining agreement:

Year 1 $12.5mm
Year 2 $13.75mm
Year 3 $15.00mm
Year 4 $16.25mm
Year 5 $17.5mm
Year 6 $18.75mm

Total $93.75mm over six years.

Fry that up at your July 4th Barbecue this summer over a couple of Pabsts.
Say this #1 gunner really shows up and we are in contention in 4 or 5 years, get to the end of the #1's Rookie Deal and then have to max him out as well. That means Redd at 17.5 Million and the #1 Pick resigned at 12 Million, that's nearly 30 million tied up in 2 guys with a cap that sits around 50 Million. That's 20 Million green Bucks to take care of 10 other green Bucks.
Ouch.

We'll see............
Anybody know Joe Johnson's phone number?

Well until next time, NBA Draft 6 days away! We will have a Champion on Thursday night! A new Bucks coach! Much more to come !

PORTER FIRED!

STORY DEVELOPING................

- Is it the Jordan Group?

- Is it Terry's diagnostic appraisal of the potential number one pick?

- Has Flip called us up?

Insanity at the Cousins Center Today.

What a shocker! This is going to get good Bucks fans...........