Is this article my irrational response to yet another horrible letdown loss? (The Bucks lost to the Kings after being up more than 20 points!) Maybe. Is this article my way of venting out loud? Probably. Is this article something that Herb Kohl should read and base his decision about whether to fire John Hammond or not on? Definitely,Yes.
Before being announced as the Bucks GM in 2008, Hammond was the VP of basketball operations with the Detroit Pistons for 7 seasons. (JH was the schmooze responsible for drafting Darko Milicic in Detroit… gulp). Hammond was brought in to rebuild the Bucks franchise after Larry Harris enslaved us in mediocrity for what seemed like an eternity. Drafting Brandon Jennings was Hammond’s first great step in the right direction. Before and after that his steps have been mostly sideways stumbles similar to one wearing drunk-goggles. Even the sloppiest guy at the bar will land a bulls-eye once or twice throughout the course of his drunken binge… it’s science.
Yes, John Hammond won the NBA Executive of the Year Award as the Bucks General Manager in 2010 (first ever for a Bucks executive). The Bucks went from 34 to 46 victories in one season and went to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Most people figured the Bucks would come in last place that year. I was pleasantly surprised that the Bucks played with a chip on their shoulder and made the playoffs. You have to wonder though, when is just making it beyond the regular season good enough? (Sound familiar Madison?)
After winning his award, Hammond was quoted saying, “You make the decisions, you hope they work. We’ve been fortunate this year a few of the things have worked,” Hammond said. “It’s about the fit, it’s about the chemistry of this team. These guys like each other, they play well together and Scott’s done a great job with them.”
Unfortunately, the constant shuffling of players is now biting the Bucks in the butt. The things the Bucks are doing aren’t working this year and it has to be somewhat blamed on chemistry. There isn’t any fight in this team partly because of that lack of chemistry. You can’t win now and rebuild for the future. It’s one or the other, not both. Unfortunately for Bucks players, fans, John Hammond, etc. this isn’t something that seems to be understood. Hammond focuses too much on bringing in players that will contribute a bit now and then drain the Bucks organization of precious time and money.
I’m definitely appreciative for what Hammond has done since taking over for Larry Harris. He has drafted some decent players. He’s ditched some awful contracts. He brought in a hard-nosed defensive minded coach. He has done the things that are necessary to make the playoffs. Unfortunately he’s doing it with such meritocracy you’d think he was…. well, part of the Bucks organization. He is putting together teams that are just squeaking into the playoffs. He’s drafting guys that are just ok. He’s shuffling guys in and out of Milwaukee. And he’s making sure the Bucks stay somewhat competitive until reaching the playoffs. Ultimately that will be his demise…
Herb Kohl extended the contract of John Hammond through the 2012-2013 season. My guess is that we’ll suffer through another 2 years of mediocre basketball before bringing in someone new. I like Hammond’s aggressiveness with trades but there has to be a moment in time where you look at your squad and you say… screw it, we’re starting over. Enough of this, taking on water b.s. Let’s stop bailing water out of the boat with a cup and craft ourselves a brand new boat Noah style. It’s time to step back, look at the pieces we have and start to rebuild from the top down. It’s time Milwaukee finds a carpenter to build a new boat.
My vote goes to Bill Simmons for the Milwaukee Bucks “Official Carpenter” position in the 2013-2014 season and beyond. This would be a good – no, a GREAT – idea.
– B More Than Mediocre!!