Michael Redd, the Bucks' leading scorer, is out for the season because of a knee injury. Milwaukee owes Redd $35 million through 2011, including an $18.3 million player option. (Jim Prisching/Associated Press)
John Hammond is one of the most positive, optimistic people I've met in the NBA. But I suspect even he must be cursing his luck these days.
Hammond, formerly vice president of basketball for the Pistons, is in his first season as general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks. Just as his team began to find a groove, leading scorer MichaAlan Diaz/Associated Pressel Redd (torn knee ligaments) was lost for the season.
Hammond has to be wondering and worrying if Redd, 29, will regain his All-Star form. Redd was slow to round into shape this season after competing on Team USA in the Olympics last summer.
The injury has an economic impact, too:
Garry D. Howard, sports editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, believes this injury might not only hasten the end of Redd's career, but it could force Bucks owner Sen. Herb Kohl to sell the franchise.
"(Redd) may not know it now, but that something different will be the way he plays the game of basketball, along with the fast-fading prospect that the Bucks will remain in the city of Milwaukee and the Bradley Center, an NBA arena that has long been past its prime," Howard wrote.
Howard said Kohl has spent more than a half-billion dollars on player contracts since 1994. And the franchise continues to lose millions each season. Kohl nearly sold the Bucks to a group headed by Michael Jordan a couple years ago but pulled out when it became clear they would move the franchise out of Milwaukee.
But with the Bradley Center half-full most nights and lacking in revenue-producing suites and other amenities, how long can Kohl hold on?
"Think about it," Howard wrote. "If you were a multimillionaire with clear fiduciary responsibilities, would you want to lose money on a multimillion-dollar deal? If you purchased the Bucks from Sen. Kohl, you would begin to lose money as soon as the ink was dry on the contract because the Bradley Center would continue to be an albatross around any new owner's neck."
Nevertheless, Hammond is laying the foundation for an exciting, young team. He got a second-round steal in Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, he has a good mix of young and established players and has assets to work with in the trade and free-agent markets.
In the short-term, though, all Hammond can do is keep his fingers crossed and hope Redd makes a full recovery.
Oh, those wacky Celtics.
Reggie Miller , who retired from the Indiana Pacers after the 2004-05 season, told a radio station in Los Angeles the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Lakers were talking to him about making a comeback.
To which Celtics general manager Danny Ainge joked to the Boston Globe: "Reggie thought I was talking to him when I was really talking about Cheryl (Miller's sister)."
The trade deadline is Feb. 19. Five players generating a lot of chatter:
Chris' top five
Chris' bottom five
NBA leaders in three-point plays (basket and foul):
|LeBron James, Cleveland||51|
|Dwyane Wade, Miami||45|
|Chris Bosh, Toronto||40|
|Devin Harris, New Jersey||37|
|Al Jefferson, Minnesota||37|
|Tim Duncan, San Antonio||36|
|Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix||33|
|Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers||30|