Grantland.com: Brandon Jennings reflects on his time in Italy during the year between his high school playing days and getting drafted by the Bucks. Overall, he counts playing overseas as a very positive experience and notes that he wasn’t as lonely or homesick as other young players might be. He credits the presence of his family and teammates for preventing it.
Jennings not only lived with his mother and brother, but also had three American teammates, including former Michigan State forward Andre Hutson and Villanova product Allan Ray, to show him the ropes.
“When Christmas or Thanksgiving came around, we would all have holidays together with all our families and everything,” Jennings says. “It still felt like [I was] at home. We still kicked back and watched NBA games during the day.”
Bucksketball: Luc Mbah a Moute is frustrated with the progress of his knee injury. Even after playing well a win, he sounds grim about his status.
“It’s not where I’d like it to be yet,” he said as he shook his head. “I can play. The hardest thing is the conditioning and my knee. I’m just happy to be out there contributing, however I can.”
Grey Flannel Auctions (2), (3), (4), (5): Just in time for the Christmas and other holiday seasons, here are five interesting Bucks items up for auction. I’m not going to tell you which one I like best, because I don’t want you bidding against me. There are two Kareem-era warmup shirts and three Del Harris-era jerseys. The warmups are from Dick Cunningham and Curtis Perry, though one mysteriously has Kareem’s #33 written on it in black marker.
The three jerseys are festooned with the magnificent rainbow of green on the side panels. As great as Moses Malone was, it’s hard not to like the Dale Ellis and Jack Sikma jerseys even more with the arched nameplates. Dang it. I wasn’t supposed to tell you which ones I liked.
Bucks.com: Truman Reed incuded former Buck Dave Cowens in his forward-heavy lineup of the greatest Boston Celtics to play the Bucks. Also included were Paul Pierce, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, and Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale. With Havlicek, Bird and Pierce included, though, this lineup wouldn’t be short on ball handers. Plus, Cowens himself led the ’77-78 Celtics in assists (and points and rebounds and blocks and steals).
Cowens made a Rasheed Wallace-like return to the NBA with the Bucks after two seasons of inactivity.
After retiring in 1980, Cowens was lured back into the NBA by former Celtics teammate Don Nelson, who was coaching the Bucks. Milwaukee acquired Cowens in a trade for Quinn Buckner, and Cowens averaged 8.1 points and 6.9 rebounds in 40 games for Milwaukee in 1982-83 before retiring for keeps.
Boston still held his rights, though, so even though Nelson had talked Cowens out of retirement, he still had to work a trade with Red Auerbach to acquire the 6’9″ redhead.
NBA.com: In his weekly ‘The Morning Tip’ blog entry, David Aldridge keeps the Bucks in his Top 15 list by the smallest of margins. The Bucks were also ranked 13th in John Schuhmann’s NBA.com rankings and 11th in Marc Stein’s ESPN’s version