With less than a month away until the season opener, the Milwaukee Bucks kicked off their 49th season on Monday with the team’s Media Day at the Milwaukee Bucks Training Center.
The event was introduced with co-owner Wes Edens speaking, followed by general manager John Hammond and head coach Jason Kidd. In Kidd’s remarks, he spoke of the team’s intentions to make the playoffs, no matter what or who the roster is made up of. Normally dubbed as a team that is young and inexperienced, Kidd has a strong mindset moving forward on the team’s goals.
“That’s goal if we have 15 rookies or the oldest team in the league,” Kidd responded when asked about the playoffs.
Kidd then went on to talk about the team’s newest additions. “Mirza looks great, Delly looks great. We’re very happy with the additions.”
He then went on to give a sneak peek of what the starting lineup may look like as the team begins training camp.
“We liked the way we looked with Miles starting. We’re going to look at Miles with that starting group,” Kidd answered, also mentioning the fact that previous starters Michael Carter-Williams and Greg Monroe were likely to come off the bench this year. Both had seen the starting five at the beginning of last season before a lineup switch swapped Monroe with big man Miles Plumlee and a lingering injury kept Carter-Williams in and out of the active lineup.
Kidd mentioned MCW and Monroe coming off the bench being a look that they liked last season and might like this season.
— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) September 26, 2016
The Bucks recently re-signed Plumlee to a four year, $52 million contract this offseason.
After Kidd’s time talking was completed, the players stepped up and weighed in on their thoughts for the season. Answered were many questions regarding newcomers, injuries, and goals, as well as a few unanswered questions mainly referring to what in the world Giannis’ opening joke was all about.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) September 26, 2016
Newly acquired forward Michael Beasley, who was sent over last week from Houston in a trade that involved (former) Bucks guard Tyler Ennis, had high confidence in this group, especially on the defensive end.
Michael Beasley saying it’s funny coming from him, but the Bucks have the ability to be a top 5, top 10 D in the league. pic.twitter.com/7QNnSZjSDH
— JP Cadorin (@jpcadorin) September 26, 2016
“I was surprised,” Beasley said Monday at Bucks media day in regards to his recent trade. “My agent and the organization kind of prepped me for it two days before it happened. When I first heard about it was more of a thought — ‘hey man, there’s a 25% chance this thing happens.’ So when it happened I was surprised, but it’s business.”
Also new to the team is veteran guard Jason Terry, who played with Beasley last season in Houston, is excited to have him here.
“I’m very excited to have Michael here,” Terry said. “Playing with him last season in Houston for the brief time I did he’s a tremendous scorer, very explosive in the open court. He’s a matchup nightmare. That’s definitely what you need; off your bench you need a guy that can come in and score. Plain and simple. He provides that spark for you in any statistic and he does it every single night.
We were also able to learn more about Khris Middleton’s devastating injury, a torn hamstring that will sideline him for around six months.
Middleton on injury: “I just happened to slip on a wet spot. I did a split. I thought I overstretched it at first… It was tough at first.”
— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) September 26, 2016
Middleton said he has no timetable on return. “I don’t want to rush back … I’m going to listen my doctors.”
— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) September 26, 2016
Speaking of injuries, the Bucks began training camp yesterday in preparation for the preseason. Rookie forward/center Thon Maker suffered a sprained right wrist in the opening practice on Tuesday and was sent back to Milwaukee for further tests. He missed Wednesday morning’s practice but is set to return back to Bucks training camp in Madison soon. Maker has talked about keeping up with Giannis’ workouts, stating the difficulty of his workout.
“The training staff told me, ‘You don’t have to do what Giannis does in the weight room every time,’ ” Maker said.
While Maker was not able to make Wednesday’s practice, the team was joined by two iconic figures. Former University of Wisconsin-Madison basketball coach Dick Bennett was in attendance, as well as Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton, whom Coach Kidd personally invited. Stockton will be joining in on practice for a few days.
The Bucks are set to tip off preseason play October 8th at the Kohl Center in Madison when they take on the Dallas Mavericks.
Photo courtesy of Bucks.com.