Milwaukee Bucks WiretapFebruary 2004 Milwaukee Bucks Wiretap

Bucks sign guard Anthony Goldwire

Feb 29, 2004 3:35 AM

MILWAUKEE (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks signed guard Anthony Goldwire to a 10-day contract Saturday as a replacement for injured rookie T.J. Ford.

The 6-foot-2 Goldwire appeared in five games for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season, averaging 2.6 points. Minnesota signed him to consecutive 10-day contracts before he was waived Jan. 26.

Goldwire, a 1994 draft pick of the Phoenix Suns out of Houston, also played in 37 games this season with the Yakima Sun Kings of the CBA, averaging 23.3 points.

He has appeared in 224 NBA games with Charlotte, Denver, San Antonio, Washington and Minnesota, averaging 6.6 points.

Ford was placed on the injured list Feb. 25 with a mild bruise of the spinal cord after a hard fall against Minnesota. He is expected to miss two to three weeks.

Associated Press

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

Joe Smith out with sprained ankle

Feb 27, 2004 9:50 PM

MILWAUKEE (AP) Bucks forward Joe Smith was held out of Friday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies because of a sprained left ankle.

Keith Van Horn started in his place. Van Horn came off the bench in his first four games after being traded to Milwaukee from the New York Knicks on Feb. 15.

Smith is listed as day-to-day. He left Wednesday's game at Boston during the first quarter after injuring the ankle.

Smith is averaging 10.2 points and a team-high 8.6 rebounds.

Associated Press

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

Milwaukee's T.J. Ford out two to three weeks

Feb 25, 2004 9:03 PM

MILWAUKEE (AP) Milwaukee point guard T.J. Ford is expected to miss two to three weeks because of a bruised spinal cord.

Ford was carried off the court on a stretcher after falling hard during the fourth quarter Tuesday night against Minnesota.

The rookie spent the night at St. Luke's Medical Center. Further evaluation, including an MRI, found Ford sustained a mild bruise, the Bucks said Wednesday.

Ford is expected to make a full recovery. He was averaging 27 minutes and seven points per game.

Before Ford's freshman season at Texas began in the fall of 2001, he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the openings of the vertebra the spinal cord runs through.

After consulting with doctors, Ford decided against surgery to fix the problem, and tests later showed that the condition had improved.

Ford was the eighth pick in the draft last summer after leading Texas as a sophomore to its first appearance in the NCAA Final Four in 56 years.

Associated Press

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

Milwaukee's T.J. Ford injured against Minnesota

Feb 25, 2004 6:01 AM

MILWAUKEE (AP) Milwaukee rookie point guard T.J. Ford was taken off the court on a stretcher after falling hard during the fourth quarter of the Bucks' game against Minnesota on Tuesday night.

He was taken to St. Luke's Medical Center, where X-rays revealed a sprained neck, team spokesman Dan Smyczek said. Ford was hospitalized overnight as a precaution and will miss the team's game at Boston on Wednesday night.

Fellow point guard Damon Jones said Ford told teammates while he lay motionless on the floor that he had no feeling in his extremities and that team medical personnel later told the players after the game that Ford had regained feeling in his extremities as he was being carried off the court to an ambulance.

``I was praying for him and wished him the best. As they were taking him out through the tunnel, he regained feeling, so that is a blessing,'' Jones said. ``They say he's 100 percent better, so I guess our players were answered.''

Ford fell hard after scoring and getting fouled by Mark Madsen on a drive to the basket with 4:34 left.

``I heard the impact on the floor and from that point on I just started praying for him,'' Jones said.

It appeared as though Ford fell on his tailbone or a hip, possibly jarring his neck. He rolled onto his side, grimacing in pain.

``I hate to see anybody carried off on a stretcher, let alone one of my teammates. It was a scary situation,'' forward Joe Smith said. ``I was right there and saw him come down. It's tough to see somebody carried off like that.''

Ford stayed down for several minutes before being strapped to a stretcher and taken off the court to an ovation from the crowd and players.

The Bucks trailed 96-85 when Ford got hurt and pulled within three points in the final minute before falling 108-102.

Bucks coach Terry Porter said: ``I did not get a chance to see a replay, so I don't know exactly how he landed. But whenever they bring the board out, you have to be concerned.''

Porter wasn't aware that Ford had a similarly scary fall last spring.

Ford got hurt playing a pickup basketball game last April while still at the University of Texas. Although school officials and Ford refused to reveal the nature of the injury, citing federal privacy laws, a witness said Ford was slapped on the back of the neck and lay motionless after falling to the floor. He was treated at a hospital afterward.

Before Ford's freshman season at Texas began in the fall of 2001, he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the openings of the vertebra the spinal cord runs through. After consulting with doctors, Ford decided against surgery to fix the problem, and tests later showed that the condition had improved.

Ford was the eighth pick in the draft last summer after leading Texas to its first Final Four appearance in 56 years as a sophomore.

Associated Press

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

Van Horn's debut with Bucks delayed until Saturday

Feb 18, 2004 7:27 PM

MILWAUKEE (AP) Although Keith Van Horn didn't like the timing of his latest trade, he says the Milwaukee Bucks should be a perfect fit for him.

``I see a lot of guys that really understand the game. I don't see any selfish players on this team. I think it makes an easy adjustment for a new guy to come who feels the same way about the game,'' Van Horn said Tuesday, minutes after the beginning of the Bucks' game against Orlando.

``You look at this team and the talent that they have, the way they play, the way they play with each other, the love that they display for the game. It's a great situation.''

He said Knicks president Isiah Thomas told him about 24 hours before the trade that it might occur. Van Horn was getting ready for his 4-year-old daughter's birthday party at Disney World. The news was a shock, he said, despite the recent upheaval in the Knicks organization.

``I thought it'd get to a point where it would stop. I was obviously wrong,'' he said. ``I wasn't looking forward to leaving. I didn't necessarily want to be traded. But when you do get traded, you look at all the positives in what has came about and I think there's a lot of positives in the situation.''

Van Horn passed his physical Tuesday, two days after he was traded from the Knicks as part of a three-team deal, but he put off joining the team on the court until Saturday. Instead, he was to fly home to New Jersey to prepare his wife and four young children for the trade.

Van Horn will also miss the Bucks' game at Detroit on Wednesday.

Taking a few days to tie up loose ends might make it easier for the 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward once he does return to Milwaukee for Thursday's practice, coach Terry Porter said. Porter expects Van Horn to play Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

``It gives us three days,'' Porter said. ``That's pretty good, be like throwing a little minicamp for him. Gives us a chance to really go over everything with him and make sure he grasps as much of it as possible.''

Milwaukee is Van Horn's fourth team since he was drafted with the second overall pick in the 1997 draft. He spent five seasons in New Jersey and one in Philadelphia before being traded last summer to New York.

During his short stint with the Knicks, Van Horn was once booed by New York's intense fans. He said he expected something different in Milwaukee.

``It's great to be in an area where you have a fan base that loves the team and supports the team,'' Van Horn said. ``And when you have a situation like that, it does nothing but make you want to go out there and give it your all every night.''

He also heard praise for the city from his former coach at Utah, Rick Majerus, a Milwaukee native who coached at Marquette in the mid-1980s and was later a Bucks assistant.

In exchange for sending Van Horn to Milwaukee, and center Michael Doleac and a 2005 second-round draft pick to Atlanta, the Knicks received Tim Thomas from the Bucks and Nazr Mohammed from the Hawks. Atlanta also got Joel Przybilla from Milwaukee.

Van Horn, 28, averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in 47 games for New York.

``Obviously we think he's going to be able to step in and help us,'' Porter said. ``He's a good all-around player. I think he can run the floor good. I think he rebounds at both ends, offensively and defensively, well.''

Associated Press

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, NBA

Big O created change on and off court

Feb 18, 2004 7:23 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Oscar Robertson turned the triple-double into an everyday accomplishment long before Magic Johnson made it basketball's most eye-catching statistic.

As a member of the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks from 1960-74, Robertson's style was understated _ without the flair and dazzling smile Johnson used as maestro of the Los Angeles Lakers' ``Showtime'' teams of the 1980s.

But The Big O left a most significant mark both on and off the court.

``Oscar set the tone not only for greatness, but as a big guard,'' Johnson said. ``He set the tone for a guy that I looked up to in business, too.''

Robertson has lived in Cincinnati since retiring from basketball. He owns and operates a chemical company, a packaging company and a meat company he recently purchased. He's also involved in several other business ventures and serves on the boards of a number of national and local charities.

One of the dozens of former NBA greats in Los Angeles for All-Star weekend, Robertson said the best thing he ever learned about basketball was to keep things simple.

``My high school coach wouldn't let me dunk the ball _ he thought it was showboating,'' Robertson recalled. ``You couldn't dribble behind your back or do anything like that.''

Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan led the way as the NBA achieved its greatest popularity in the 1980s and '90s. It might not have been possible without what Robertson accomplished off the court.

``All these guys making so much money right now don't realize they have Oscar to thank,'' said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's leading career scorer and a teammate of Robertson's in Milwaukee.

Robertson headed the NBA players' union for the last nine years of his career, and his activities eventually helped pave the way for free agency.

``I'm perceived as a person fighting against the league for many years. So be it,'' he said. ``I'm glad I was a great player. They would have run me out of the league otherwise.''

The union filed a lawsuit against the NBA in 1970, claiming the proposed merger between the NBA and ABA would restrict player mobility and make pro basketball a monopoly. The action called for the abolition of the draft and the option clause that bound players to teams.

Known as the ``Oscar Robertson suit'' because of his role with the union, it was eventually settled in 1976 _ six weeks after the NBA and ABA merger resulted in a 22-team league and two years after Robertson's retirement.

``It affected a lot of change,'' Robertson said. ``Change was going to come. Each generation produces better-thinking people.

``It's a better league now. They're flying private planes, they stay in suites. Look at the locker rooms, training facilities.''

And, Robertson might have added, look at the salaries. Everything has inflated greatly in the past 30 years, but not like paychecks in the NBA, or other sports, for that matter.

Robertson earned $250,000 in his final season with the Bucks. The 24 participants in last Sunday's All-Star game make an average of $10 million this year, not including endorsement deals.

``A lot of players are so insensitive to the history _ both black and white,'' Robertson said.

Now 65, Robertson wrote of that history and other aspects of his life in a book released recently entitled ``The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game.''

Otherwise, he has kept a pretty low profile since his playing days. When asked why, he smiled and replied: ``I live in Cincinnati.''

Robertson wrote of never going to downtown Indianapolis or eating a meal in a restaurant until he was 17 _ after leading Crispus Attucks High to the first of two straight Indiana state high school championships in 1955.

``People don't understand the mood of the country in the 1950s,'' he recalled. ``Downtown was taboo. I went to an all-black high school. You didn't go downtown. You didn't go anywhere.''

The 6-foot-5 Robertson's career averages through five seasons were 30.3 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.4 assists. He had 181 triple-doubles in his career. Johnson ranks second on the NBA's career list with 138.

And Robertson is the only player ever to average a triple-double in a season, doing so with Cincinnati in his second year with averages of 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists.

Asked if another player ever will accomplish that, Johnson said: ``You can forget that. It's hard to get one in a game, much less average one in a season.''

Associated Press

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

Van Horn's debut with Bucks delayed

Feb 17, 2004 7:42 PM

MILWAUKEE (AP) Keith Van Horn will not make his debut with the Milwaukee Bucks until Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Van Horn passed his physical Tuesday, but 6-foot-10 forward is returning to New York to attend to family matters.

He was acquired Sunday in a three-team trade that sent forward Tim Thomas to New York and center Joel Przybilla to Atlanta.

Bucks coach Terry Porter said Van Horn would be back in Milwaukee in time for practice Thursday. That will give him two days of practice.

``Obviously, I want him to learn as quickly as possible,'' Porter said as the Bucks got ready to play the Orlando Magic.

Associated Press

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, NBA

Knicks, Bucks, Hawks made five-player deal

Feb 16, 2004 1:17 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Isiah Thomas made yet another move Sunday in his transformation of the New York Knicks, trading Keith Van Horn to the Milwaukee Bucks and acquiring Tim Thomas in a three-way deal that also involved the Atlanta Hawks.

New York also received center Nazr Mohammed from Atlanta, while the Hawks acquired Michael Doleac from the Knicks and Joel Przybilla from Milwaukee. New York also sent a 2005 second-round draft pick to Atlanta.

It's the third trade made by Thomas, who has also changed coaches, since taking over as team president in late December. Only seven players who were with the Knicks then remain on their roster.

This latest deal gives New York a new starting small forward in Tim Thomas, and a new backup center in Mohammed. Both could be in uniform Tuesday night when the Knicks play the Detroit Pistons.

Van Horn was averaging 16.4 points for New York, third on the team behind Stephon Marbury and Allan Houston. He was acquired last summer in a multi-team deal that sent Latrell Sprewell to Minnesota.

Isiah Thomas gave a strong hint about how he felt about that deal on his first day on the job in New York, saying: ``I wasn't on the watch. What's done is done.''

Van Horn scored 20 or more points in three of the Knicks' final six games before the All-Star break, tying his season-high of 30 in a Jan. 31 victory over Phoenix. He was New York's second leading rebounder, averaging 7.3.

The Bucks will become the fourth team Van Horn has played for since being the No. 2 overall pick of the 1997 draft. He spent five seasons in New Jersey and one in Philadelphia.

Tim Thomas was averaging 14.1 points and 4.9 rebounds for Milwaukee, where the seventh-year forward had spent the past 4{ seasons. This is the second time Van Horn and Thomas have been traded for each other, the previous deal coming on draft night in 1997.

Doleac was averaging 5.0 points and 4.1 points as the backup to Dikembe Mutombo, his role increasing after Lenny Wilkens replaced Don Chaney as coach.

Mohammed was averaging 6.5 points and 5.0 rebounds as the backup in Atlanta, which has undergone its own roster overhaul in the past week. The Hawks dealt Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Theo Ratliff and Dan Dickau to Portland for Rasheed Wallace and Wesley Person.

Przybilla, in his fourth year, appeared in only five games for the Bucks this season, scoring one point.

After the recent moves, Atlanta has only five players under contract beyond this season _ Doleac, Jason Terry, rookie Boris Diaw, Chris Crawford and Alan Henderson. Those players account for only about $21 million, and the salary cap for this season was about $44 million.

``The things that I'm trying to accomplish are things I think will benefit the organization moving forward,'' Atlanta general manager Billy Knight said. ``I feel both of the moves will help us rebuild the team the way we envision it.''

Milwaukee has been one of the surprise teams in the Eastern Conference, going into the All-Star break with a 27-24 record _ fifth-best in the conference. The Knicks (25-29) have climbed into second place in the Atlantic Division, while the Hawks (18-35) are 21 games behind Indiana in the Central Division.

Since taking over the Knicks, Isiah Thomas has acquired Marbury and Penny Hardaway from Phoenix and Moochie Norris from Houston, traded or cut Antonio McDyess, Howard Eisley, Clarence Weatherspoon, Charlie Ward, Slavko Vranes and Maciej Lampe, as well as dealing two future first-round draft picks and the rights to point guard Milos Vujanic.

Associated Press

Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, NBA

Bucks acquire Van Horn

Feb 15, 2004 4:01 PM

ESPN's Stephen Smith is reporting that the Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, and New York Knicks have agreed to a three-way trade that involves five players.

Atlanta center Nazr Mohammed and Bucks forward Tim Thomas will go to New York and the Knicks will send Keith Van Horn to Milwaukee. Also, New York's Michael Doleac and Bucks center Joel Przybilla will head to Atlanta as part of the deal.

The deal is expected to be announced Sunday night.


Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, NBA

Bucks on target for playoffs

Feb 7, 2004 8:00 AM

MILWAUKEE (AP) In the face of last-place preseason prognostications, general manager Larry Harris boldly forecast that his Milwaukee Bucks would be in prime position for a playoff run this season.

Under a man who had no head coaching experience.

With four not-so-big-name free agents.

Without the likes of Sam Cassell, Ray Allen, Gary Payton or Glenn Robinson.

And following the biggest front office shake-up and personnel overhaul in franchise history.

Yet, not only are the Bucks in the playoff hunt a week before the All-Star break, they're jockeying for home-court advantage in the first round.

Harris is resisting the temptation to gloat. He admits there was a little bit of wishful thinking in his audacious playoffs prediction.

``We're simply on a faster track than I thought we were going to be,'' Harris said. ``But I'll take it.''

Harris, promoted after team owner Herb Kohl decided not to sell the franchise to Michael Jordan, sounded downright delusional back in October when he told anybody willing to listen that the Bucks' goal was the postseason, nothing less.

This, even though the ``Big Three'' of Robinson, Allen and Cassell were long gone _ part of the star-studded rosters that underperformed the last two seasons _ along with Ervin Johnson, Anthony Mason and Jason Caffey.

Their exodus followed the unceremonious exits of general manager Ernie Grunfeld and coach George Karl, whose constant sniping at his players and mounting losses despite one of the league's highest payrolls prompted Kohl to fire him with one year and a guaranteed $7 million left on his contract.

Harris replaced Karl with Milwaukee native Terry Porter, whose coaching resume included just one year as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings last season.

Harris was convinced that Porter could coax the same style out of his team that he displayed during a stellar 17-year pro playing career, when he hustled on defense, boxed out on the boards and created fastbreak opportunities by hounding the ballhandler.

All the things the Bucks hadn't done in a long time.

Porter had the Bucks work on defense and rebounding for the first two weeks of training camp before he even bothered to install an offense.

He told his players nobody was inheriting 40 minutes a night, so they'd better show him a thing or two. That approach has produced a bench that regularly goes a dozen deep, something unheard of during Karl's tenure.

``He was a hard-nosed player and that's what he wants us to bring every night,'' newcomer Joe Smith said about Porter.

Fans have embraced the team that places fundamentals and teamwork over feuding and egos.

The Bucks already have more sellouts than they did all of last year, and the Bradley Center is abuzz for the first time since the Bucks went to the Eastern Conference Finals three years ago.

``I can't compare the rejoicing because I wasn't around last year, but people tell me this brand of basketball is refreshing to see,'' Porter said. ``But for me, that's the way I played all my life.''

It's the way Michael Redd is playing, and it's landed him in the All-Star game.

The fourth-year pro and first-time starter was a sixth man the last two years who was relegated to playing the perimeter with so many plays designed for the established stars. Now, he's shown he's equally adept at taking the ball to the basket.

``He's had some nights where it's like, 'Wow! Is he ever going to miss?''' Smith said. ``Every night he's a handful for our opponents. He makes the defender work because he can put the ball on the floor, he can shoot the jumper, he can pass.

``He has a well-rounded game and every night he's getting better.''

And he's taking the Bucks along for the ride.

Harris said Redd ``has really come out of the shadows and into the limelight'' this year.

He's not alone.

Desmond Mason and Tim Thomas also are growing into bigger roles. And Smith and Brian Skinner make for a much improved frontcourt over Johnson and Mason.

Free agent Damon Jones has been splitting the point guard duties with rookie T.J. Ford, the fifth pick in the draft. This is Jones' eighth team in six years but it's the first time he's been allowed to run an offense for 25 minutes.

``This is a coming out party for me,'' Jones said.

And also for Ford, who has quickly shown he can play in the NBA despite his small size.

``I have to give Terry Porter all the credit in the world because he's established a good system,'' Cleveland coach Paul Silas said. ``Everybody's believing in it. They're exploiting defenses. But the main thing is that they are playing together, they're believing in one another and they're believing in Terry.''

Even Karl is impressed.

``The moves have been big-time and have worked out well for them,'' said Karl, now an analyst for ESPN. ``Am I surprised they're contending for a playoff spot? Not really. Right now, in the Eastern Conference, if things go the right way, 30 to 40 wins is easy to get _ if you play hard every night and play together, which was kind of a problem we always had.''

Associated Press

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

Bucks hope Redd is All-Star reserve

Associated Press

Diaw's late shot seals door on Bucks' rally

Atlanta Journal-Constitution