The Milwaukee Bucks are making strives to win...the only problem is that they are five years too late.
Owner Sen. Herb Kohl fired GM Larry Harris with a couple of games left in the 07-08 season, and hired John Hammond shortly after. Then within 24 hours of the team finishing with a 26-56 record, head coach Larry Krystkowiak was canned.
After not much searching around the league, the Bucks came to terms with Scott Skiles, a man who actually has coaching experience in the NBA, which was the Bucks' downfall ever since firing George Karl; getting a guy with experience. After Karl failed to match the 2001 Eastern Conference title run, he had two miserable seasons. Sen. Kohl then went with Milwaukee native, Terry Porter, who had very little experience as an assistant.
When Porter couldn't help his hometown team, the Bucks turned to former Bucks assistant and Atlanta head coach, Terry Stotts, who proved to be even less qualified for the job.
Before the 2006-07 campaign, the Bucks decided to re-design their logo and go to the more traditional Bucks colors of red and green. That did not help them to win, and during the season, the organization fired Stotts and replaced him with 'Coach K'.
Larry Krystkowiak led the team through the 2007-08 year as they drafted the so-called 'second coming of Yao Ming', Yi Jianlian. With the sixth pick and a higher emphasis on defense, they probably should've taken Corey Brewer, but Milwaukee will just have to deal.
This season was filled with heart-ache to the nth degree. Even as a huge Bucks fan, the season couldn't have ended soon enough. A year in which we lost to the Heat...TWICE, and blew two 17point, third quarter leads against the Knicks, Sen. Kohl finally had a change of heart.
A guy that is known has a control-hungry owner in all the teams endeavors probably realized that something drastic needed to be done when Bucks fans approached him one night in his sixth-row seats, with bags on their heads and just stared at him from the aisle. These drastic moves were in need of doing ever since they failed to make the playoffs one year after coming within a game from the NBA Finals.
So bring on 2008-09. The Bucks now have new GM John Hammond, who was Joe Dumars' right-hand man in helping him build the Eastern Conference powerhouse that is known as the Detroit Pistons. And recently hired head coach Scott Skiles, who was drafted by the Bucks in 1986, and who has had a pretty decent playing and coaching career. A man who has the NBA record for assists in a game with 30, and a knack for defense.
That's the biggest thing he needs to do, the impossible task of teaching the Milwaukee Bucks to actually play defense.
Of course, I expect to see some new player faces next year and quite possibly some old ones sent packing. The three to build around would be Michael Redd (makes too much and is the star of this team), Andrew Bogut (could be most improved player and a double-double threat every night), and Ramon Sessions (only 17 games played, 7 starts, but averaged 11 assists in his last ten games), a good chance of beating Mo Williams for starting PG.
So what happens in 08-09? Well, a good draft pick is coming; should be Top 7 if the ping-pong balls fall right. They are in the East, so anybody can make it (see the Hawks in 07-08); but then again, I had high hopes this year too.
If Sen. Kohl can keep his nose out of the way, and just let Hammonds and Skiles do the job they were hired to do, and he just handles the financial side, all should be okay for Bango and the rest of the Milwaukee Bucks squad.