Giannis Antetokounmpo to miss Eurobasket tournament with knee injury

CHINA — A knee injury suffered two weeks ago in practice will keep Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo from competing in the upcoming FIBA Eurobasket tournament later this month.

Antetokounmpo was poised to lead the Greek national team in the tournament — something he pleased with Bucks management to allow him to do |but the results of an MRI revealed he will be unable to play.

The NBA’s 2016-17 Most Improved Player announced the news Saturday on his Facebook page, which has since been translated by Eurohoop:

I want everyone to be informed by me that I will not be able to play for the Greek national team in the upcoming Eurobasket. All this time I was pressuring myself to practice. I was trying to fool myself and not feel the pain, hoping that I will be ready for the official games. My will affected my judgement, but in the tests I took here in China with the Bucks personnel, it was time for the truth.

I failed in the tests I was put to and the reason was the pain I felt from the first seconds. I can accept the truth and deal with it in a mature manner. I have to work and improve as much as I can the condition of my knee.

Last summer I had the option to “freeze” the deal for my contract extension. This year I have no choice. I am injured, I feel pain and I must heal.

This is by far the biggest disappointment that I have felt until now in my career. I want to wish the best from the bottom of my heart to my teammates and coaches. The national team is my favorite team and in the future I will prove together with my teammates that we can achieve high goals and make all Greeks happy.

However, for now the present is the priority. I urge the fans to not give bigger proportions to my absense and to concentrate on the players who will fight in the upcoming Eurobasket for a success that has been missing for years. History is written by those who are present and I have with great sorrow to accept and announce that I will be absent.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Though no official diagnosis or timetable was revealed, the fact that Antetokounmpo referred to the injury as “the biggest disappointment…in my career” should leave Bucks fans worried about his health for the upcoming season.

The Eurobasket tourmament begins on Aug. 31 and concludes on Sept. 17.

Report: Bucks interested in Kyrie Irving, but Giannis “untouchable”

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 20, and could be taking on the former world champions with one of their star players.

A report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicates the Bucks have expressed interest in point guard Kyrie Irving, who earlier this summer voiced his preference to be traded from the Cavaliers. That report also indicated that Giannis Antetokounmpo is the only player Milwaukee considers “untouchable” and all other options are on the table.

The problem for Milwaukee is cap space. They have one of the highest payrolls in the NBA with roughly $14.5 million left before the luxury tax kicks in. That likely means the Bucks would need to give up more talent in order to make a trade for Irving, the top overall pick of the 2011 Draft.

This page will be updated as more is reported.

Breaking down the Bucks 2017-18 schedule

MILWAUKEE — The NBA released its full schedule of games Monday night, highlighted by some key dates for the Milwaukee Bucks.

While the Bucks will have fewer nationally televised games in the 2017-18 season than in past years (16, down from 20 the past two seasons), they’ll still be part of some marquee matchups. That includes games on Halloween (vs Thunder), New Year’s Day (@ Raptors), Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 4 @ Nets), St. Patrick’s Day (vs Hawks), and Easter (@ Nuggets).

Milwaukee’s schedule should be a little less taxing, with 14 back-to-back games, down from 17 last season.

The full schedule can be found here.

Key Matchups
Oct. 18 @ Boston Celtics
The Bucks have opened the season at home each of the past two seasons, so it’s their turn to open on the road in 2017-18. Milwaukee went 1-2 against Boston last season, finishing the regular season with a 112-94 loss at the TD Garden.

Oct. 20 vs Cleveland Cavaliers
One of the Bucks’ top opponents comes at the start of the schedule, with LeBron James and company heading to the BMO Harris Bradley Center to hand Milwaukee another early test. It remains to be seen if Kyrie Irving will be part of that roster.

Jan. 1 @ Toronto Raptors
The Bucks will have to wait until New Year’s Day to get a measure of revenge against the team that knocked them out of the first round of last year’s playoffs. It could also help decide what direction Milwaukee heads with the All Star break slated for mid-February.

Return to The MECCA?
For months, the Bucks have been teasing a return to the UW | Milwaukee Panther Arena, formerly known as The MECCA, where the team called home during its only championship in 1971. That year, the Bucks beat the Washington Bullets for the championship, so it’s possible the highly-anticipated return could take place on either Nov. 20 or Feb. 27 when the Washington Wizards are scheduled to visit Milwaukee.

Bucks to have Harley-Davidson logo on jersey next season

The Milwaukee Bucks and Harley-Davidson have agreed to a multi-year deal for the historic Harley-Davidson shield logo to be featured on the Bucks jerseys. The up-coming season (2017-18) is the first year the National Basketball Association (NBA) will permit teams to sell advertising sponsorship space to companies.

Both organizations are internationally known and also have deep Wisconsin roots. Through this partnership, both organizations are hoping to develop and expand their products to the highest levels of the market.

The Harley-Davidson shield logo will be located on the left side of the shoulder/chest and opposite of the Nike logo. New Milwaukee Bucks jerseys with the patch will be available at the Bucks Pro Shop.

Jordan Brady hired to coach the Bucks’ G League affiliate

The Wisconsin Herd has its first head coach.

The G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks named Jordan Brady as coach for its first ever season.

“My family and I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks and Wisconsin Herd family as well as the Oshkosh community,” Brady said in statement on the team’s website. “I look forward to working with (general manager) Dave (Dean) and the entire organization to build a successful team that is committed to developing young, talented players on and off the court.”

Brady has a lot of minor league basketball experience, including spending time with five different organizations in recent years as an assistant coach. He also played three years in what was then the D League.

“The Wisconsin Herd is an important component in building a championship-caliber team in Milwaukee, and Jordan brings the grit, leadership and vision necessary to spark that process in Oshkosh,” Dean said. “Jordan has the right experience and tools to develop young talent and build the foundation for a successful NBA G League team. We are excited to have him at the helm for the Herd in our inaugural season.”

The Herd will get its first year underway in November. Among the players on the team, which will play its games in a new 3,500-seat arena in Oshkosh, is former Wisconsin guard Bronson Koenig.

Report: Bucks among eight teams to wear throwbacks in 2017-18 season

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks will celebrate 50 seasons in the NBA come 2018, and to go along with it is a fifth jersey option dating back to the team’s inaugural season.

According to the report from SportsLogos.net, the Bucks are among eight teams donning throwback or “classic” jerseys for the 2017 season. Other teams are the Hawks, Hornets, Lakers, Heat, Warriors, Pacers, and Suns.

Photos: Getty Images/Bucks.com

While the above images may not be an exact representation of what Milwaukee could be wearing in the 2017-18 season, they should be rough estimate of the appearance. More details are expected as the season approaches.

The decision to add a fifth jersey option kicks off an eight-year partnership between the NBA and Nike.

It’s unclear exactly when Milwaukee might opt to wear the “classics,” but it’s widely believed that might happen during the team’s “Return to the Mecca” game played at the UW | Milwaukee Panther Arena, where the Bucks played their inaugural season. Details will be released at a later date.

Bucks officially re-sign Tony Snell

The Bucks have re-signed restricted free-agent shooting guard Tony Snell. The deal was thought to be done in early July, but has just become official. The terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but it should be in the neighborhood of 44 million over four years.

Snell had a career year with the Bucks last season. He was arguable the team’s best perimeter defender, and also shot 40.6% from behind the arc. Last season Snell averaged 8.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 29 minutes per game.

Snell, 25, is another young player the Bucks will hope to lean on for future success. Milwaukee acquired Snell last October from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for point guard Michael Carter-Williams.

Report: Jabari Parker feeling ‘great’

Jabari Parker is feeling great as he works his way back from a season-ending knee injury suffered last February.

The former first-round pick told ESPN that his rehab from a torn ACL is progressing, but that he hasn’t put a date on a potential return to the court.

“As of right now, the way I treat my body, it doesn’t have a date,” Parker said in an interview with Nick Friedell. “I can give you a little piece of information: I’m not the average person with this injury.”

Parker tore the ACL in his left knee, the same injury he sustained back in 2014. He returned a little less than a year later but this rehab figures to be a bit longer.

“Obviously I had it once, but I’ve done stuff so far that’s exciting,” Parker told Friedell. “But most importantly, I want to be able to jump as high, jump higher than I was, be faster than I was. That’s the only way I’ll play again.”

The 22-year-old was having his best season before getting hurt, averaging 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game – all of which were career bests.

Koenig and Hayes finish up their Summer League Schedule

Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes have officially finished up their individual Summer Leagues. Both Koenig and Hayes played in five games, the minimum number of guaranteed games in the Summer League format. Hayes and the New York Knicks participated in the Orlando Summer League while Koenig and the Milwaukee Bucks played in the Las Vegas Summer League. Both teams finished this summer with a 1-4 record.

Nigel Hayes

Hayes finished up his summer games much earlier than Koenig. The Orlando Summer League went from July 1st through July 6th. The Knicks struggled as a team overall, but Hayes played well enough to earn an invitation to the Knicks mini-camp. An invitation to the mini-camp is a good sign for Hayes, who still hopes to make the team.

Though his numbers might not show it, he played really well this summer. Hayes only averaged 15 minutes a game, but was still able to average 5.2 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. He also shot the ball 41.4%  from the field. Shooting was one area that Hayes has tried to work on in his latter seasons at Wisconsin in the hopes of making it in the NBA. What stood out more than anything were things that Hayes did that  doesn’t show up in the box score.

Hayes played really good defense and showed the ability to guard the three and the four position. He also showed good rebounding positioning and passing abilities. He hardly turned the ball over in the five games he played this summer. Like his time at Wisconsin, he showed that he could pass the ball well, especially in the paint. Hayes will start his rookie mini-camp in the next few weeks.

Bronson Koenig

Koenig and the Milwaukee Bucks finished up their Summer League action on Friday night with a loss to the Utah Jazz. Throughout the summer, Koenig showed that he can still shoot and hit big shots. That being said, Koenig did struggle at times for the Bucks. Koenig averaged 16 minutes a game, in which he averaged 5.2 points, 1 rebound, and no assists. He only shot 29% from the floor (10-34) and an even worse 26% (5-19) from behind the arc.

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Koenig really didn’t show off any of his passing skill for which he was known for coming out of high school. He didn’t have any assists in the five games he played. He was primarily used as a two guard coming off screens , but also played some point guard. Koenig seemed to struggle  guarding in the open floor especially against the pick and roll.

Koenig will need to show that he can play better defense this season in the G-League. He will also need toshoot the ball better than he did this summer. Five games is a small sample size especially when you aren’t getting consistent minutes.  Koenig signed a two-way contract with the Bucks, so he will be playing for the teams new G-League team, the Wisconsin Herd. He will also have the opportunity to potentially play for the Bucks during the upcoming season.

 

The Neighborhood debates: Derrick Rose or John Henson? (AUDIO)

MADISON, Wis. — With the Milwaukee Bucks and free agent point guard Derrick Rose reportedly having mutual interest in a free agency signing, the boys of The Neighborhood were at odds. Nelson said he didn’t mind bringing on Rose if it meant unloading some cap space, while Eric found reasons to keep Rose off the team no matter the cost.

5:23 | Nelson isn’t having any of Eric’s comparison to Malcolm Brogdon
8:30 | Eric keeps bringing up the 2013 rape allegations
10:07 | Nelson thinks Rose could be a great player for the Bucks
11:13 | Nelson challenges Eric to name a better option than Rose
12:43 | The poll results are unveiled