Recently, the Milwaukee Bucks extended the contract of General Manager John Hammond through the 2016-17 season, a move that solidifies the leadership of the team.
The action also puts to bed a report I wrote in July that Coach Jason Kidd was going to be named head of basketball operations and Hammond would leave the team or be put into another position.
It might be helpful to explain how this came about. I won’t go through every minute, but a little bit of explanation is necessary. And it may shed some light on how difficult it can be to use anonymous sources, which is something I based this story on.
The Sunday night after the Fourth of July I got a text from a sportswriter in another town who was very familiar with the Bucks saying he heard that Hammond was going to be fired the next week and that Kidd was going to take over basketball operations.
The first thing I thought was that the report seemed possible. The Bucks’ owners had hired Kidd without even telling Hammond. Kidd had tried to become the head of basketball operations with the Brooklyn Nets, and failed.
So, it passed the original smell test.
Then I recalled a conversation a few days earlier with someone who was in the draft room with the Bucks when Kidd and Hammond reportedly argued over whether to draft Arkansas forward Bobby Portis. Kidd won that argument.
I then decided that even though it was a Sunday evening I’d make some calls.
The first person I called was reluctant to talk. He was a highly-placed source but did not have any history of talking out of school. It was obvious that this was a difficult issue for him since he he is very loyal to his organization. I kept asking the question several different ways and finally the person said that he knew Hammond had something lined up with another team.
I made a second call to someone who worked for the Bucks in the basketball side of the operation. He said that he heard that a July 10 date (five days away) was being set for a big annou…Read more...