As an avid Bucks fan, and probably one of about five of us left in Eau Claire, I was stoked on draft night. When Andrew Wiggins went number one, I started high-fiving people at Country Fest. Holy bleep, I thought. We're gonna get the guy we wanted all along.That never happens to the teams I tend to root for (I missed out on the Packers because of a stupid bet I made when I was nine. Long story short, none of the teams I've rooted for outside of UW-Whitewater, where I went to college, have won anything of note). Jabari Parker just sounds like a superstar name.
Before I glanced down at my phone a half a hundred times in two hours--keeping an eye on the Bucks' second round draft picks, while following Twitter feeds eager to see who was going where--I spent some time envisioning a scenario in which the Bucks became a relevant franchise in the NBA again. It's easy to dream, right? Milwaukee is getting a new arena, new owners, new players. Now, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have a foundation to build on and rise to prominence again.
Rodney Atkins and Blake Shelton couldn't match the joy I felt knowing Milwaukee had done the right thing. The funny thing is, they didn't even have to do anything but hand in the card that said "Jabari Parker - Duke" to Adam Silver. Just that felt like the team's 16th victory of the 2013-14 season. Wasted years on the tail end of Michael Redd's career, followed by the Brandon Jennings experiment, and then the disaster of this past season... all of a sudden, a fan could dream. Maybe five more Bucks fans appeared in Eau Claire after the draft.
Imagine the reality check I had when Jason Kidd rumors started flying about. The guy didn't exactly light the world on fire in Brooklyn with a historically-expensive roster, but more to the point, the way things went down... it brought me down from that high of drafting Jabari. Now, the Bucks have Jason Kidd, Jabari Parker, and the publicity from both events, good and bad, that have resulted in them leading some headlines here the past couple of weeks.
The good news? The NBA season is only a few months away, and we'll see Jabari and Giannis side-by-side. That's exciting as hell. The bad news? This team will be dogged by Jason Kidd stories, and the perception is that this was a bad move by new ownership trying to establish their own guys.
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As an aside: The Fourth of July weekend is upon us. Be safe and enjoy wherever you go. Here in town, you can check out the Eau Claire Express at Carson Park and take in fireworks afterwards. There's also the Crush/Predators football game if you need a smaller crowd. Finally, at 619 Cameron St, where the palatial 1400 studios reside, you can watch the action from our back yard!
As for me, I'm off the grid until July 14. When I return, we'll have all kinds of news on the fall sports schedule (our high school football schedule is already out), and we'll be just a couple of short weeks away from NFL Preseason action.