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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

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In Sports Commentary

Bucks guard Michael Redd is fifth on the team's all-time scoring list.

Saturday Scorecard: Do fans appreciate this man?


Bucks guard Michael Redd almost always gets the biggest ovation when the starting lineups are introduced at the Bradley Center. More fans wear his jersey (22) than any other.

Walk around the building and ask fans to name their favorite current Bucks player and his name is mentioned more than any other. He even gets some votes when you ask people to name their all-time favorite Milwaukee player. He has been an all-star, an Olympic gold medalist, a model citizen and recently moved into fourth place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.

All this leads to a question: Is Redd under-appreciated by Milwaukee fans?

Put it another way -- if the Bucks were to trade Redd before the mid-February deadline, would fans be upset? Would sports talk radio and the blogosphere howl in protest?

It doesn't seem that way.

Last night in Sacramento, Redd poured in 44 points in a victory over the Kings. It marked the fourth game in nine outings this month that he surpassed the 30-point mark. Fans can talk about his defense, which is somewhat improved but still sub-par, but it still seems that Redd is about as anonymous a superstar as this state has known.

Packers wide receiver Donald Driver has much more juice in terms of endorsements and fan love, but the numbers on the back of Redd's trading cards are more impressive.

With 11,204 points, Redd trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (14,211), Glenn Robinson (12,010), Sidney Moncrief (11,594) and Bobby Dandridge (11,478) on the team's all-time points list.

"The Milwaukee Bucks have been so loyal to me and my family, it's been an honor to be here," Redd said after a recent game. "I've got so much respect for the heritage of this organization. I'm grateful and I'm humbled just to be here and to be in the top five with those great names."

When OnMilwaukee.com asked him to elaborate about the milestones following a recent game, Redd smiled and said: "That's something you think about during the off-season, when you sit around with the family. In the middle of the season, you don't really think about it. You just keep moving forward.

"In the off-season, I'll think about it. It motivates you to get better. You always want more. I'm hungry for more. I'll never lose that hunger as long as I'm playing. The day I lose it, I'll just retire."

Redd's story -- the way he worked his way from unheralded second-round pick from Ohio State to star status -- is inspiring. Fans may not remember now that this was a guy who stayed after practice to work on his game and then sat on the bench to watch Robinson, Ray Allen and Sam Cassell run the show.

"He is a great story," veteran TV announcer Jim Paschke said, referring to Redd. "We were just talking on the air about the fact that every year he has picked something in his game and improved it. He's been able to do that. That's impressive. It's one thing to identify it. It's one thing to work on it. And, it's another thing to make it better and he has done that."

Though he is a preacher's son who would never create headlines with off-court problems, Redd isn't without his faults. Like all marquee players, he has an ego and there have been whispers around the team that his selfishness has been a detriment to the overall cause. He's forced (and missed) his share of shots in clutch situations.

It's not exactly unusual for the best (and highest-paid) player on a bad team to bear the brunt of criticism and to adopt an "if I don't do it, who will?" attitude. Redd, who earns a max contract, has been the best player on some horrible teams. After stumbling through the darkness for a couple years, the Bucks seem to be improving this season. Redd's scoring power has been a factor. But, is it one that fans appreciate?

"If he's under-appreciated, it's a product of his teams not having the success that people appreciate," Paschke said. "It comes with winning."

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Talkbacks

sijan_heights | Jan. 18, 2009 at 10:50 a.m. (report)

Shouldn't Swindle's autograph cost $25?

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ElizabeJane | Jan. 18, 2009 at 6:40 a.m. (report)

Redd has missed too many clutch shots. My family and I cringe when we see him get the ball in the final seconds of a game when the last shot determines the outcome of the game. Why does the coach set up a play with Redd taking the last shot? I would like to see stats on percent of shots made in the last 10 seconds of a game. I think Redd would be way down on the list of percent made.

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Bango | Jan. 17, 2009 at 10:26 p.m. (report)

Redd's one of the top ten shooters in the league, and Skiles is slowly starting to get him to see the light. It's not all on his shoulders, he knows that but doesn't always play that way. Kobe learned, but it might take Redd a few more seasons to truly become a top 10 over all player in the league. Sadly, the Bucks may not have him by then. But, if they do, I hope Redd can find it within him to dig deep to be the man while also being more to the team. Go Bucks. As for D-Wade, just another example of South Side Chicago corruption.

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High_Life_Man | Jan. 17, 2009 at 5:41 p.m. (report)

Ah, Wade. So much for that faith-based, Jesuit education.

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