Milwaukee Bucks: Meet the 2000s All-Decade Team

OAKLAND, UNITED STATES: (Photo credit: JOHN G. MABANGLO/AFP via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, UNITED STATES: (Photo credit: JOHN G. MABANGLO/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks, Desmond Mason
MILWAUKEE – FEBRUARY 20: (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks: Meet the 2000s All-Decade Team – Desmond Mason

If there was one thing that Desmond Mason knew how to do on the basketball court, it was bringing the house down. Certainly winning the 2001 NBA Slam Dunk Contest pointed to such a fact.

A little more than two years later after winning that crown, Mason brought his brand of explosiveness and high-flying athleticism when he was part of the Ray Allen trade midway through the 2002-03 season.

Neither Mason nor a 34-year-old Gary Payton could match Allen’s sublime talent and Payton left the organization a few months after the trade. Suddenly, Mason was the last hope in a trade that was clearly ill-fated and fortunately, Mason had taken to the up-tempo game fashioned under Terry Porter following the dismissal of George Karl.

Mason increased his scoring output in his first two full seasons in Milwaukee, going from 14.4 points per game in 2003-04 to 17.2 in 2004-05.

But for as much as Mason’s slashing and effortless bounce produced plenty of highlights, the Oklahoma State product struggled to fill out the rest of his game and play out on the perimeter effectively. In fact, over Mason’s three-and-a-half years in Milwaukee, he only attempted 64 threes and hit them at a 23.4 percent clip.

Yet for as much as Mason loved to be in Milwaukee, his time had initially come to an end when he was dealt to the New Orleans-Oklahoma City Hornets in the summer of 2005 for Jamaal Magloire as the Bucks looked to make some big splashes in free agency. Mason eventually returned to Milwaukee two years later for one more year and recounted why he was upset with Bucks management, specifically general manager Larry Harris, for the move:

"“We put our roots in the ground here, and we were happy being here and our daughter was born here,” Mason said. “We had so many friends, and we enjoyed being here. It was tough for us to leave.”"

Since last playing in the NBA in the 2009-10 season, Mason has traded in using the basketball hoop as his canvas for a more traditional one as he’s had a successful career as an artist and majored in studio art while in college. And it’s helped him continue to maintain a relationship with a city he loves.

In his 249 appearances with the Bucks, Mason averaged 14.3 points on .463/.234/.767 shooting splits, 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists across 32.5 minutes per game.