Sunday Scorecard: The NBA's ugly side rears its head ... again
Hopefully, Bucks fans are paying close attention to what's happening in Sacramento, where residents are in danger of losing the NBA Kings to Anaheim -- or some other city, the only thing that's certain is the Kings' time in Sacramento is quickly coming to an end.
NBA Commissioner David Stern, speaking to the media Saturday as the playoffs got underway, repeatedly mentioned the economic viability of the Sacramento market and the Kings' home court, Arco Arena.
While the Seattle Supersonics' owners were plotting a move to Oklahoma City, Stern repeatedly referred to Key Arena's ability to generate the revenue necessary to be successful in the NBA -- a big reason Sonics owners were looking to the city and state for financing to renovate Key Arena or build a new facility.
The same argument, although much quieter, has been brought up at times in Milwaukee. The Bradley Center is 23 years old. It seats plenty of people (18,717), though it's not hard finding a good seat. It's ability to generate enough revenue to pay the bills, though, has some suggesting it is time for a new facility.
Does Stern think that the arena is keeping Milwaukeeans from coming to games?
Unlike County Stadium, which was in derelict condition when the Brewers moved into Miller Park, the Bradley Center is in excellent condition. Yes, there are some hefty projects on the wish list but the facility is not crumbling, it is not a 1950s relic, it is not a catastrophe waiting to happen.
Again, it seems like the right time to point out to Mr. Stern that the problem doesn't lie in the arenas -- or even the market sizes -- but in the league's economic model.
The looming possibility of a lockout this summer only makes the situation worse. The Bucks finished 23rd in the league in both overall and average attendance this past season. Even last year, when the Bucks got hot late and made the playoffs, the team finished 24th in attendance.
If there's a work stoppage next year, you can expect those numbers to plummet even further and for rumors to get louder regarding the Bucks' future in Milwaukee.
The saving grace for the Bucks is Sen. Herb Kohl's loyalty to his hometown (and the potential political ramifications if he sold the franchise to a buyer intent on moving).
Still, these are very uncertain times for the NBA and if what happened in Seattle and what's taking place in Sacramento is any indication, the Bucks could be in big trouble down the road.
Big crowd: Congratulations to the Milwaukee Admirals, who set a franchise post-season record (AHL games only) Saturday when 6,819 came to the Bradley Center for Game 2 of the West Division Semifinal series.
Unfortunately, the Admirals fell, 4-1, to Texas, evening the series at a game a piece. Games 3-5 will be played in Texas, beginning Tuesday night. Should a sixth or seventh game be necessary, those games would be played next Monday and Tuesday in Milwaukee.
R-E-L-A-X: There's no need to name names (yet), but more than a few people suggested the Brewers bench Randy Wolf after the veteran left-hander got off to a slow start.
Here's a very, very simple question for the armchair GM's: who was available / affordable that would have been an improvement?
Fantasy baseball and the ability to build your own franchise on a video game has created something of a disconnect between perception and reality. Randy Wolf finished the season strong in 2010. Replacing him isn't as easy as checking the message board and clicking "add to roster;" there has to be mutual interest, there has to be a workable financial range and, most importantly, there has to be availability.
Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the Brewers have a very talented baseball operations department which spends an awful lot of time studying players across the league. If there was a better alternative available at the right price, rest assured the player would most likely be in Milwaukee.
Badgers chasing Lord Stanley: According to Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal, 11 former Wisconsin Badgers are participating in the NHL Playoffs. Among that group is San Jose center Joe Pavelski, who scored the game-winner in overtime Thursday, giving the Sharks a 1-0 victory over Los Angeles in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. In all, Wisconsin has 20 players in the NHL, second-most of any school in the country.
Sour grapes: UW-Green Bay women's basketball coach Matt Bollant was passed over when Wisconsin hired Bobbie Kelsey to take over its program and he didn't mince words when discussing the matter with the media.
"I told our players 'in the short term, this is a way better program,'" Bollant told the Green Bay Press-Gazrtte. "What we have going here. The cultures that are built here, how hard our kids work, the players we have coming back. All of those things are significantly better than what they have."
Bollant's Phoenix squad finished 34-2 and advanced to the Sweet 16 this past season. In four years at Green Bay, his teams have gone 117-17 Kelsey inherits a Wisconsin program that finished 16-15 after a loss to Illinois State in the second round of the WNIT.
She replaces Lisa Stone who was let go after going 128-119 in eight seasons with one NCAA tournament and four WNIT appearances.
Larry King Lounge: How much will it take to sign Prince Fielder after this season? At least $154 million over seven years, which is what the Red Sox will pay Adrian Gonzalez ... The Admirals will have viewing parties for their road playoff games. Tuesday, you can watch the game at Major Goolsby's ... The NBA fined Phil Jackson and the Lakers $75,000 each for their comments about the possibility of a lockout this summer. David Stern sure is sensitive when it comes to reality, isn't he? ... Here's some irony: Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett is heading the NBA's relocation committee ... Zack Greinke will make his first rehabilitation start this week -- great news for an already impressive Brewers rotation ... Harris Turer and Jon Greenberg celebrated their sixth anniversary as Admirals owner and president, respectively, this week. Congrats to a pair of dedicated, hard-working Milwaukee guys who have done great things for the franchise ... Congrats also go out to Marquette guard Angel Robinson, who became the second player in school history to be selected in the WNBA draft.
Bucks attendance and fans are both a reflection of the poor quality of the NBA itself, not to mention that poor character of many NBA players.
Really? Who would miss the Bucks? Tickets are so expensive and the team plays so poorly...what's to miss?
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