The Milwaukee Bucks have been around since 1968 as an NBA franchise and in that time have won a single NBA title, two conference titles and numerous division titles. The team has been the home of a number of notable NBA players over the years, including Oscar Robertson, Bob Lanier, Glenn Robinson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ray Allen.
The Bucks have a long history and tradition that fans embrace and try their best to pass on to newcomers to the team.Oh, and the Bucks are also incredibly, maddeningly boring.
Yes, boring. You never hear about the Bucks playing on Christmas Day or as part of the NBA Sunday Showcase.
You never overhear a bunch of guys saying they have to get home to catch the Bucks game. If the Bucks sell out the BMO Harris Bradley Center, it’s usually because Kobe Bryant or LeBron James is in town and the fans are thinking they’re going to finally see a great show.
The Bucks have been a team so mired in mediocrity and stuck in the middle of the pack for so long, most NBA fans don’t even know Milwaukee has a basketball team anymore.
But soon that might not be the case anymore.
The Bucks have new ownership in the form of Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry, who have promised a new arena for the team. They have a young, exciting core of players that includes Brandon Knight, the “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo and the second overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, Jabari Parker.
The organization as a whole has a new, energetic attitude and they are doing everything possible to shake the image that the team is “boring” and make it worthy of your attention.
But the best remedy for that may be the hiring of new head coach Jason Kidd.
Kidd was named the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets days after his 19-year NBA playing career ended on June 3, 2013. And boring is not a word you would use to describe his single season as coach of the Nets.
Kidd led the team to 44-38 record after a rough start to the season that saw injuries and clashing egos. He was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month twice and took the Nets to the second round of the playoffs after a tough seven-game first-round series against the Toronto Raptors.
And then, of course, there was the infamous “soda” incident.
Even the way Kidd became the head coach was interesting, with more drama involved than the Bucks had seen in years. Kidd was given permission to talk to the Bucks only after a power play to become head of basketball operation in Brooklyn failed.
Larry Drew, who had just wrapped up his first season with the team, was blindsided and dismissed once the Kidd deal was completed.
Bringing Kidd on board cost the Bucks two second-round picks, but the team obviously feel he’s worth it, with Bucks general manager John Hammond telling ESPN.com at the time of Kidd’s hiring:
“When you list the characteristics that make a successful head coach, you would include leadership, communication and a competitive drive. Jason used all of those traits to become a 10-time All-Star player in the NBA, and has now translated his on-court success to the bench.”
Going into this new Milwaukee Bucks era, the team needed to take chances and do everything they could to shake the image that they are dull and not worth watching. They have the beginnings of a roster that should have people standing up and taking notice very soon.
And they have a head coach who will not only do whatever he has to do to win (including getting soda all over his suit) but does it with a flair and energy all his own. Because one thing Jason Kidd will never be called is boring.