He’s had a bad season, but he’s still a good player. He’s a little overweight, hasn’t played a lot this season, but he’s still O.J. Mayo in there and I’ve seen him do things like that all the time. So I wasn’t surprised at all. He can hit tough shots. He’s a ball player. He can do it. For whatever reason of how he turned out or whatever, gained a little weight, whatever, he’s still a good ball player.
Gay provided reporters with an honest, yet diplomatic answer regarding his former teammate—whom he played with in Memphis from 2008-09 through 2011-12.
However, he added the following zinger when asked if he was surprised to see Mayo out of shape: "Was I surprised to see it? Little bit. I haven't seen him, but we talked a little bit. He said he was hurt, and I guess when you're hurt in Wisconsin, you eat."
After six straight DNP-CDs (did not play—coach's decision) due to issues with his conditioning, Mayo played a solid game against the Kings. He finished with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting, two rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes of action off the bench.
Unfortunately for Bucks fans, that type of performance hasn't been commonplace for the 26-year-old.
In 51 games played (23 starts), Mayo is averaging 11.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest while shooting 40.7 percent from the field.
All of those numbers are his lowest since 2010-11, when the USC product had trouble acclimating himself to a bench role after spending two seasons as a starter with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Gay certainly didn't censor opinions about Mayo's weight, but he isn't the first to do so during Milwaukee's atrocity of a season.
As Jeremy Schmidt of Bucksketball broke down in January, an eclectic group of opposing NBA announcers questioned Mayo's conditioning.
Brooklyn Nets broadcaster Donny Marshall said, "O.J. Mayo doesn’t look right to me. He looks a little heavy, heavier than I’ve seen him."
Los Angeles Lakers announcer Bill McDonald echoed that sentiment when he said, "Here’s Mayo. You know he’s a scorer. He has the entire repertoire. Looks a little heavier or bigger doesn’t he? Or maybe that’s just the uniform.”
At the time, Schmidt gave Mayo the benefit of the doubt by writing the following:
Obviously only OJ Mayo really knows if there’s a conditioning issue behind his struggles this season. Given the opportunity that was laid at his feet at the start of this season to be Milwaukee’s primary scorer, logic would indicate he’d at least have some motivation to be prepared to take on a big role. Larry Drew has never publicly pondered about Mayo’s work ethic or stamina, so there might not be much to this.
Given that the shooting guard actually failed to receive minutes in six consecutive March games, it's fair to say Coach Drew is looking to send a message.
Mayo signed a three-year, $24 million contract with Milwaukee last summer. Thus far, the move hasn't worked out for either party involved. The shooting guard is having arguably the worst season of his professional career, while the Bucks have a league-worst 13 wins.
Milwaukee's new acquisition averaged 18.5 points per game as a rookie and 17.5 as a sophomore, so he has the ability to score against elite competition. The 2013-14 campaign, however, has been a season to forget for him, Milwaukee and Bucks fans in general.
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