By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Feb 10, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Bucks general manager John Hammond said it first.

"Nobody's going to feel sorry for us."

Then, it was coach Scott Skiles' turn.

"There isn't anyone who's going to feel sorry for us."

How wrong they are. Because I, for one, am leading the"Feel Sorry For The Bucks Parade" down Wisconsin Avenue and veering north up 4th Street to the doorstep of the Bradley Center.

In the space of just a couple of weeks, the Bucks have seen their hopeful season virtually fall apart.

First, they lost Michael Redd for the season. Then, they lost Andrew Bogut for at least two months. Then, they lost Luke Ridnour for at least a month.

Talk about bad luck coming in threes... This is one of the most horrible triplets to hit a sports team in state history.

Redd was the team's leading scorer. Bogut was beginning to fulfill the expectations that come with being the first pick in the draft. And Ridnour was the kind of spark-plug point guard who reminded Skiles of, well, himself.

And this couldn't have come at a worse time for this basketball team that has provided thrills, chills, heartbreak and hope for this city for four decades.

For one thing, the Bucks were in the thick of the race for a berth in the NBA playoffs. That's what the NBA is about, and it's been awhile. While attendance was slipping, partly as a result of the bad economy, there was at least a sense of spirit about this team.

The Bucks had finally made it back to the water cooler. People actually talked about them. The sports talk radio stations had discussions about the Bucks. The buzz, while not deafening, was at least a persistent hum.

The other thing that takes a shot in the gut from these injuries is the Bucks' need for a new place to play.

The Bradley Center, while a nice place, does not afford the kind of revenue potential that other arenas provide for their teams. We can sit here and argue about it, but the argument is absurd

The Bucks need a new place. That part is clear.

How to get it done is the real crux of the argument.

There are people who think Herb Kohl should just go ahead a build one. That's not going to happen -- under any circumstances. And people should know that while Kohl is rich, he's not that rich. By a long shot.

There is going to have to be a mixture of public and private funding mechanisms, but right now is not the time to talk about spending tax dollars. Things are bad in this country and bad in this city and state.

If the Bucks had been able to continue their winning ways and prove that they were on the right track toward an NBA title, then we would have been interested in helping to find a solution to the arena problem.

It's human nature that if the Bucks fall back into the category of also-rans, people will begin to turn their attention elsewhere. And that's too bad. This team doesn't deserve to be ignored.

And that's why Hammond and Skiles are wrong. I feel sorry for them.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.