Police: Employee, told customer (Henson) was a Buck, asked police to stay

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Bucks big man John Henson alleged yesterday that employees of a Milwaukee-suburb jewelry store discriminated against him.

The Whitefish Bay Police Department released a statement detailing the events surrounding Henson’s encounter. Via Deadspin:

Friday, 10/16/15

3:57pm

On Friday, 10/16/15, the Whitefish Bay Police Department responded to Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers, 417 E. Silver Spring Dr., at 3:57 pm, for a suspicious activity call. Upon arrival our officer met with an employee of the store who reported they had received a phone call on Thursday, 10/15/15, between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm inquiring as to when they close. The employee told our officer they also received a similar call today (10/16/15) again inquiring as to when they closed. The store’s normal closing time is 5:30 pm and the store employee made the decision to close at 5:00 pm as a precaution.

Theft History

Schwanke Kastren Jewelers has been the victim of robberies at their Milwaukee stores in the past 2 years and there was a theft from their Whitefish Bay Store on 9/7/13 when a suspect grabbed four Rolex watches and fled from the store. In the past several years, throughout the upper Midwest, stores that sell Rolex watches have been the victims of armed robberies, of which several store employees were hurt in these robberies.

Friday, 10/16/15

4:58pm

Our officer parked directly in front of Schwanke Kasten Jewelers store in a dark brown unmarked 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicle. At approximately 4:58 pm, our officer observes a newer red Chevrolet Tahoe park in front of our Tahoe. The officer observed four individuals walk up to the door. The officer observed the people walk up to the door but it appeared that the door was locked. He heard discussion between them and an employee inside the store. At this time the lights in the store were turned off. The officer observed the people get back into the Tahoe and they drove away. The officer noted that the Tahoe had a State of Wisconsin issued Dealer license plate. The officer queried the State TIME system computer to ascertain ownership of the vehicle. It listed to a Wisconsin dealership but not to a specific vehicle.

Friday, 10/16/15

Dealership

Our officer called the dealership and provided an employee with the plate number and a description of the vehicle. The employee stated that the plate listed to a partner dealership and transferred that officer to the other dealership. This person did not recognize the vehicle nor the occupants as being from the dealership. The officer inquired about ways people could get a hold of these type of plates and the employee informed the officer that they ship many cars to Chicago and it’s possible somebody stole the plates.

My officer called the Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers employee back and informed her that he had spoken to the dealership with whom the plates are listed. He informed the employee that the dealership was running low on plates and that the plates were potentially stolen but that they were not listed as stolen. He advised the employee that if the vehicle came back to call the station.

Sunday, 10/18/15

11:21am

On Sunday, 10/18/15, 11:21am, Tom Dixon, the owner of Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers, came to our station and spoke with an officer to report that a Green Bay store that sells Rolex watches was burglarized overnight. He provided our officer with a surveillance photo from that incident of a white male in a mask. He requested extra watch at his store when it opened on Monday, 10/19/15.

Monday, 10/19/15

1:20pm

On Monday, 10/19/15 at 1:20 pm, Whitefish Bay officers were dispatched to Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers as the Red Tahoe had returned. Officers met up in front of 5500 N. Berkeley which is around the corner from Schwanke-Kasten.. They observed two men in front of the store. The officer ran the license plate and it came back to a Ford dealership and came back as “No Vehicle Attached” and was not listed as stolen.

The two Whitefish Bay officers approached the two men in front of Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers and asked what was going on. A man, later identified as John Henson, informed the officer that he was there to buy his first Rolex, but every time he tries the door, it’s locked and they don’t let him in. One of the officers asks him about the dealer plates on the Tahoe. He advises the officer that he plays for the Milwaukee Bucks and that Bucks players get vehicles from this dealership. Neither officer asked Mr. Henson or his companion for driver licenses or any other identification.

The officer called dispatch to request that a Schwanke-Kasten employee come to the front door. The employee told the dispatcher to have the officer come to the back door. After my officer informed the Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers employee that it was a Milwaukee Buck, the employee came to the front door and let them in. The employee requested that an officer stand by as they looked at the Rolexes, our officers refused and left the store. The officers then left the area.

At no time did Whitefish Bay Police make any notice to merchants on Silver Spring because of these incidents.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael D. Young

Chief of Police

This provides some clarity, but it leaves several unanswered questions:

Why did store employees deem someone calling to ask what time it closed to be suspicious? Doesn’t that happen frequently at every business?

What did the people from the red Tahoe tell the store employee on Friday? Was it also suspicious?

How paranoid is the owner of the jewelry store? Why would he need additional security because a jewelry store 100 miles away was robbed? Is their a connection this police statement fails to note?

Why did the jewelry store employee, even after learning the customer played for the Bucks, ask police to monitor the transaction? What possible motivation could the employee have had for that request?

 

Update: Jeff Rumage of Whitefish Bay Now:

Tom Dixon, the president of Schwanke-Kasten Jewelry, said in a statement that he has met Henson before, and there is no excuse for how the Bucks player was treated.

“John Henson is a valued member of the Bucks basketball organization and a valued member of the Milwaukee community,” he said. “We believe that everyone – professional athlete or not – deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. I have reached out to the Bucks organization and hope to sit down directly with John Henson to look one another in the eye, shake hands, and apologize for what he experienced.”

Dixon said the employees’ reaction was based on a security scare that occurred on Friday, when the store received multiple calls inquiring how much of specific types of inventory were in stock and what time the store closed. Based on those concerns, the store closed 30 minutes early and employees notified the Whitefish Bay Police Department.

Nikola Jokic announces he will play for Serbia in World Cup

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This year’s World Cup is going to be stacked with elite NBA players. It usually is a big draw, but this World Cup brings a couple additional things to the table. First, it’s part of the Olympic qualifying process for the 2020 games in Tokyo.

More importantly for players, the World Cup is in China. That is a fast-growing basketball shoe and apparel market and that will push Nike, Adidas, Reebok and any other shoe brand you can think of to “encourage” their stars to go. For example, the Sixers’ Ben Simmons will be playing for Australia.

Nikola Jokic will be one of those stars. The Denver Nuggets center told the Serbian state news agency, via ESPN.

“I am very pleased with everything I did in the NBA this season. I had a great year in which I performed at the All-Star Game and was selected [to the All-NBA first team]. For me, the cherry on top of this whole season would be a medal with the national team.”

Jokic and Serbia may be the USA’s biggest threat in that tournament, this is the team that picked up the silver medal in the last Olympics. Jokic is a better player than he was a few years ago and the team has a long list of quality players including Bogdan Bogdanovic, Milos Teodosic, and Boban Marjanovic.

The World Cup tips off Aug. 31 in China, right up against the start of NBA training camps.

 

Rumor: Clippers not interested in Jimmy Butler, he would sign with Lakers for max

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Should a team feel comfortable giving Jimmy Butler — who will turn 30 before next season, is a hard-charging personality who plays a hard-charging style that can be hard on his body, and has only once played 70 or more games in the past six seasons — a four-year, $141 million max contract?

If the Lakers strike out with Kyrie Irving and other top targets (Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard are not interested, according to sources), should they give Butler the max and sign him comfortable or not?

LeBron James has already reached out to start recruiting Butler, and if the Lakers offer him the max Butler would love to come, Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times said on the Colin Cowherd. Markazi adds that the Clippers are not interested because they are aiming higher on the food chain.

That is what a lot of sources have said about the Clippers, they would need to move Danilo Gallinari (and do a little more) to sign both Leonard and Durant, but would and should in a heartbeat.

Butler is going to have options, starting with the Philadelphia 76ers, who do not want to let him go. As it got near the end of Philly’s playoff run it had seemed Butler had found a home, both on the court as a primary ball handler in the halfcourt, and off the court as a leader and someone who bonded with Joel Embiid. Also, Philadelphia can offer more money, a projected $190 million over five years, and for a guy who has had injury issues that extra year and extra money might matter a lot.

Is Butler going to stay? What should we read into his cryptic Instagram post? If he leaves, does he want to play with LeBron? Is that the Lakers’ best option? (I think the Lakers should prefer Irving, who is younger and coming off an All-NBA regular season, plus he has a track record of winning with LeBron, but if not him…)

It is going to be a wild July in the NBA.

Raptors bench play key reason Toronto on cusp of first trip to NBA Finals

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There are multiple reasons the Toronto Raptors have beaten the Milwaukee Bucks three times in a row and now are one win away from the franchise’s first trip to the NBA Finals.

Kawhi Leonard and his play — particularly his defense on Giannis Antetokounmpo — is a huge one. So is the Raptors incredible halfcourt defense, which has held the Bucks to an 84.3 net rating on halfcourt possessions in this series. When the Raptors have been able to slow the game down (which they have done very well the last two games, with possession totals in the mid-90s) they win.

Just don’t forget about the Raptors bench.

Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka, and Norman Powell — the three guys coach Nick Nurse leans on in his regular rotations — have been critical for the Raptors, and if they are again on Saturday night in Toronto it will lift the franchise to a place it has never been before.

Toronto’s starters are -23 in this series. That fivesome — Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Leonard, Pascal Siakam, and Marc Gasol — were -10 in Game 5, struggling against an impressive Milwaukee starting lineup.

In Game 5, it was the Raptors’ bench that led the comeback after the Bucks’ fast start. It has been that way all series. Lineups that have at least one of those core three Raptors bench guys on the floor are +30 this series. Lineups with all three of them on the court together are +12.

Different guys are stepping up each game. In Game 5 it was VanVleet’s turn. After a rough few games in this series, he got to Milwaukee late after being with his wife for the birth of their son, then proceeded to knock down 7-of-9 threes in Toronto’s come-from-behind win.

“He oozes the confidence that spreads to the other guys,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said of VanVleet. “Again, he just stepped into the shots that were there tonight, and he was probably due to get hot in these playoffs. It’s been probably a long time coming. Great game by him.”

Toronto’s bench — and Leonard — are key reasons that this team responded to adversity, going down 0-2 in the series and bouncing back. It’s the experience of having been there before, having dealt with the pressure before, learning about themselves because they have been tested like this in previous years. Leonard and Green have rings from San Antonio, Gasol has been to conference finals in Memphis, Lowry has been there through all the Raptors struggles in recent playoffs. On the bench, Ibaka has seen plenty, and these guys have not been fazed by the moment.

It’s the test the Bucks are facing now — this group had never been challenged like this. Their athleticism and Antetokounmpo’s MVP-level season propelled this team to the best record in the NBA, then they swept through the first two rounds of the playoffs with an 8-1 record. After that, they beat the Raptors the first two games of this series.

However, now they have lost three in a row for the first time all season and they are learning about their weaknesses. The Bucks entire offense is based around the idea that nobody can slow Antetokounmpo one-on-one, except that Leonard has done just that. The Greek Freak has shot 35.5 percent this series (11-of-31, via Second Spectrum data) when Leonard has been his primary defender. Antetokounmpo also hasn’t found shooters and those guys have not hit the passes he does make, particularly in the halfcourt. Toronto has controlled the tempo the past few games, and when Antetokounmpo isn’t getting easy buckets in transition the Milwaukee offense stumbles. Toronto also has taken care of the ball and hit shots, with Leonard getting to his spots on the floor, which has limited the Bucks transition chances.

The Bucks need to make adjustments — finding ways to get Antetokounmpo the ball with better matchups, not having him attack from the top of the key every time and giving him some picks to force switches — and they need another ball handler, such as Eric Bledsoe or George Hill, to have a monster game. Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon can and should do a little more shot creation.

And Milwaukee has to contain that Raptors bench and not get beat so badly when they are on the floor.

If not, the Bucks will be on vacation in Cabo next week while the Raptors are still playing.

Are Rockets trying to push Mike D’Antoni out the door?

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After a slow start to the season, by the end the Houston Rockets had found their groove and were the second best team in the West. That still wasn’t good enough to get by the Warriors dynasty. That has led to some soul searching in Houston.

And some changes to the assistant coaching staff. First came the news Jeff Bzdelik would not return in his defensive coordinator role. Then on Friday, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle put out a series of Tweets talking about the other coaching changes coming.

Cho had been with the Rockets for a decade. Roland worked closely with James Harden, among others.

This is a near total overhaul of Mike D’Antoni’s staff, which has led to speculation the Rockets are trying to push their coach out the door, reports Marc Stein of the New York Times.

D’Antoni has done an excellent job — and adapted his style — to coach these Rockets into being contenders. He is part of the reason this franchise is a contender. The Rockets have fallen short the last two seasons not because of D’Antoni, but rather because of the Warriors. Golden State is an all-time dynasty level team, they are beating everybody.

This feels like the East in recent years when coaches lost jobs and teams were broken up because they could not get past LeBron James‘ teams when the issue was really LeBron is one of the game’s all-time greats.

There could be other dynamics at play in Houston, but the challenge there is not the coach. If Tilman Fertitta is frustrated his team fell short again, he should start by looking in the mirror at the cost-cutting moves his team made this season to get under the tax line. That put a ceiling on this team more than anything D’Antoni did.