BROOKLYN – No NBA team as gone longer without an All-Star than the Milwaukee Bucks, who sent Michael Redd to the 2004 mid-winter classic. In fact, when writing about All-Star droughts, I initially forgot about Milwaukee even exissted.
The Bucks are the NBA’s most-anonymous team, rarely contending and rarely tanking. Their 15-67 season was an accident, a product of failed attempts to remain mediocre. Milwaukee maintains a national spotlight only when other cities – lately, Seattle – try to poach them.
So, it must have seemed like manna from heaven to Bucks fans when Jabari Parker indicated he wanted to land in Milwaukee.
Fed a steady diet of beer, bratwurst and cheese, this dream grew and grew and eventually turned into reality.
Not only did the Bucks draft Parker No. 2 overall Thursday, he practically declared himself a Buck for life.
“I’m trying to be a throwback player, only stick with one team,” Parker said.
The joy lasted only a second before Parker backtracked.
“That might bite me in the butt years from now,” Parker said. “But right now, I just want to stick with whoever’s rolling with me.”
A Buck for life for tonight.
Still, Parker emphasized his passion for Milwaukee.
He name-dropped Lew Alcindor and Sam Cassell. He said he’d pour his heart into the team. And he expressed appreciation for his new city’s proximity to his native Chicago.
“I get to enjoy that Great Lake water again,” Parker said.
Parker is drinking the water, just not the Kool-Aid – at least not fully, not yet.
It’s never that easy for the Bucks.