This has been a rough season for Corey Maggette and the Bucks. He was supposed to come in and be the scoring machine off the bench that the team needed last season.
Instead he’s playing 10 minutes less a game than last year, is shooting 39.4 percent (down from 51.6 percent last season) and is scoring 10 points fewer per game. Granted, that was in the free wheeling Don Nelson system, but still this season has been a disappointment for Maggette and the team.
Don’t believe me? See what happened when the Journal-Sentinel asked him to grade his season so far with the Bucks.
“If I had to grade it, I’d grade it an F,” Maggette said of his time with the Bucks. “I’m just going to be honest. We’ve still got a lot of time. We’ve still got to stay positive.”
The injuries — to Andrew Bogut and now to Brandon Jennings — have slowed the team, which is 12-18 and has the worst offense in the Association. But they also slowed Maggette. He missed all of preseason after arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle. He has never found his groove.
Neither have the Bucks. But through it all they are tied for the eighth playoff slot in the East — far below the expectations for the team but pretty good considering all the hurdles. And Maggette’s attitude is professional and positive, which is exactly what the team needs.
If the Bucks can get healthy and get a rhythm they can become again what they were last season — the hot team at the end everybody wants to avoid in the first round. Then comes the playoffs and who knows what happens.
As of tomorrow, training camps around the league open, and all the focus goes to the 2016-17 season.
For fun, let’s look back one more time at last season — the 50 top circus shots of last season.
Stephen Curry driving the lane and throwing up prayers once he draws contact (and hitting them), there is Russell Westbrook throwing the inbounds pass off an opponent’s back, and so much more. Enjoy. Then let’s get on with next season.
Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.
Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.
Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.
Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.
Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.
A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…
“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”
Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.
The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.
It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.
But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.
Best. Dunk. Ever.
Weis was never the same.
In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.
Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.