Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday 4-18

Larry Krystkowiak is out as head coach of the Bucks. Krystowiak was fired after less than two seasons on the bench in Milwaukee. Despite a horrible record the last two years, I still think Larry K is getting the shaft. The Bucks problems didn't stem from poor coaching--but rather terrible personnel decisions made in the front office.

The demise of the Milwaukee Bucks started in 1998 when then General Manager Bob Weinhauser worked a draft day trade that guaranteed the Bucks could draft Robert "Tractor" Traylor--giving the Dallas Mavericks the pick they used to take perenial all-star Dirk Novitzke. The downhill roll picked up speed after Senator Herb Kohl decided he couldn't afford to pay the "Big Three" that took the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001. Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell were sent elsewhere over the next two seasons. And then GM Larry Harris tied Milwaukee's fate to Michael Redd by signing him to a big bucks contract three years ago.

Redd is one of the biggest problems for the Bucks. He is often injured, is a streaky shooter and plays no defense. That last quality eventually spread to the rest of the team this year. "Why should I play hard on the defensive end if our 'star' is letting guys by him like a Spanish matador?" Adding to the mess, Redd's contract is un-tradeable under the NBA salary cap structure.

Personally, I think a change at the very top should be the next step in the rebuilding of the Bucks. Yes, Senator Kohl saved the franchise back in the 90's by stepping in to buy the team--but I don't think he is as committed to winning as he should be (kind of like his attitude in the Senate toward Iraq). Just look at the line of clueless General Managers he has run through the front office. Larry Harris was the worst of the offenders. I think the Senator hired him only as a favor to former Head Coach Del Harris--who happens to be Larry's dad.

Harris's selection of Andrew Bogut as the overall number one pick in the 2005 draft just added fuel to the fire that has consumed the Bucks franchise. Let me list some of the players taken in the first round of that same draft and you tell me who you would rather have. Chris Paul of the Hornets--he could be the MVP this year...Deron Williams of the Jazz--he was on the Western Conference all-star team this year...Andrew Bynum of the Lakers--he was hurt for most of the second half of the season, but LA thinks he will be one of the best big men in the NBA for the next decade. Bogut is a solid player, but will he ever be the kind of star you would expect with the top pick. And how many "big name" free agents did Harris sign during his tenure?

Given Larry Krystkowiak's emotional response to questions about his future after the final game of the season, he probably thought he could win in Milwaukee. Too bad he didn't realize he had jumped onto a sinking ship two years ago.

1 comment:

  1. The consensus around the league was to take Bogut or Marvin Williams. It is easy to second guess years later after players develop.