Sconnie Sports Talk

Bucks Media Day: A New Day


Milwaukee Bucks media day at the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Training Center centered around one turn of phrase: a new day.  

Bucks general manager John Hammond began media day next to head coach Jason Kidd as both addressed the media on the cultural turnaround of the team. “There is a new day in Milwaukee Bucks basketball here,” Hammond remarked.

Changes the franchise has undergone were evident— in the court furnished with the new color scheme, the players donning the new uniforms, the coaches wearing polo shirts with the new logos—but most of all, in the personnel themselves.

The Bucks made headlines this offseason by signing free agent center Greg Monroe, who chose Milwaukee over flashier destinations such as New York or Los Angeles.  Monroe spoke on his decision to come to Milwaukee: “I’m not a real estate agent, I’m a basketball player. I thought this was the best situation for me…I’m here to play basketball, not hang out. You can win in any market, it’s a new day in the NBA.”

The ‘new day’ mantra also works for forward Jabari Parker, whose rookie season was cut short by an ACL tear last December. This summer, Parker rehabilitated his injured knee and plans to be ready to go for training camp. Parker expressed that because of the injury he was able to rebuild his body “from scratch.” On being able to work with the new Bucks’ additions, Parker commented: “I’m very excited, very glad that I get a chance to be around a team again.”

In the past two seasons, the Bucks have improved their record by 26 games, finishing 41-41 last season after a 15-67 campaign in 2013-2014. While the Bucks are glad there is a new day in Milwaukee basketball, both the players and the coaches know there is still plenty of work to be done.

“We’re still a new team learning how to win in this league, and it starts today at media day and tomorrow on the floor to get better,” Kidd said.  “There will be high expectations because of making the playoffs. We have to learn how to handle high expectations. We did well handling no expectations.  We’re going to go through our growing pains.”

Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo echoed Kidd’s comments on the pressures of being a young team on the rise: “The expectations are high, but by practicing hard and competing as hard as possible, we are going to do great.”

Antetokounmpo also spoke on the team’s expectations of themselves: “Hopefully we can…win a [playoff] series and go a little bit farther [than last season].”

The 2015 Milwaukee Bucks Media Day ended on a note of confidence from the 20 year-old; when asked if he thought that winning a playoff series was a realistic goal, Antetokounmpo replied, “For sure, it is a realistic goal.”

A new day begins tomorrow for the Bucks as they open training camp in Madison at the Nicholas-Johnson Pavilion, in which I will be in attendance.