Changing a logo in the National Basketball Association means starting from scratch. Think about it. Uniforms, stationary, fixtures, wallpaper, carpeting. If there’s even a hint of purple to be found... rip it up, tear it up, toss it out, down it comes!
But, when it comes to the Bucks practice facility floor, a simple facelift will do the trick.
Enter Greg Koller, a local gym floor guru. Koller is the president of ProStar, Inc. a Milwaukee-based company he founded from the ground floor back in 1979. Koller was called in a decade ago when the Bucks did a major overhaul in St. Francis. He installed and marked up the floor back then, and these past few weeks, Greg and his crew of six are tweaking the court with new and exciting pallets of color chosen by the Bucks.
Purple, be gone! Red, instead!
"I guess it’s like a new set of clothes, you buy a new suit every once in a while, and it’s time to step up a little bit," Koller said while gazing out at the soon-to-be completed court. "I like the original colors, and I like the red, too. I like that red is kind of a power color, has a joyful effect to it. I think the Bucks are ready for a change, I'm in favor of it."
What’s in store for the Bucks new floor? I was privy to a sneak preview, but you'll have to wait for the unveiling by the Bucks in the coming weeks. The practice surface will mirror the Bradley Center floor, which doesn't get its new look until Koller and company finish the practice court first.
"We make sure all the kinks are worked out here, that everybody’s happy, then we'll move on to the Bradley Center," explained Koller. "This is like our practice for the big floor."
Koller says he and his crew will attack the Bradley Center court on August 22nd. There are a few more additions, plus extra nooks and crannies to deal with downtown, but nothing major. No worries for this bunch. Koller has been designing and painting floors throughout the Midwest at every level.
"We've done all the work at Marquette, and The Al (McGuire Center), MSOE, Madison, a number of colleges throughout the state," said Koller. "We go all the way from YMCA boys and girls clubs, to grade schools, middle schools, high schools, D-1, 2 and 3.
But this is the ultimate, doing an NBA floor, the top of the pyramid."
Hoops fans have seen the newest Bucks color scheme, so for now, picture in your mind the green, red and silver mixture splashed on the court. One update that is new, and in vogue with courts of late, is a two-tone look.
"We use riding sanders that strip right down to the bare maple," Koller says. "We'll use a stain to get darker shades of maple outside the three point arc, and keep the white maple color on the inside of the three point line."
Koller and his crew total about three weeks of labor per floor. It’s a timeline that begins with the initial first day of sanding the old paint and stain right down to the original maple floorboards, and concludes with a fresh coat of paint in the lanes and lines specked out by the NBA.
While we were chatting, Koller made a quick call to a league rep -- just to make sure they didn't add any new markings for the coming season. Everything Koller does has to be approved by the NBA.
"We have nothing to do with design," he said. "The Bucks, in conjunction with the NBA, they select the colors, they select the design, then they give us a number to match the paint for red green and silver."
Call him, the Picasso of sport courts. And what details does the "artist" concern himself with most?
"Two things: make sure the logo looks sharp; and, make sure the owner, GM and coaches are happy!" he said.
Bob currently does play-by-play at Time Warner Cable Sports 32, calling Wisconsin Timber Rattlers games in Appleton as well as the area high school football and basketball scene. During an earlier association with FS Wisconsin, his list of teams and duties have included the Packers, Bucks, Brewers and the WIAA State Championships.
During his life before cable, Bob spent seven seasons as a reporter and producer of "Preps Plus: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel High School Sports Show."
And the joke is, Bob has a golf shirt from all four Milwaukee television stations. Sad, but true: Bob has had sports and news anchor/reporter/producer stints at WTMJ, WISN, WDJT and WITI.
His first duty out of college (UW-Oshkosh) was radio and TV work in Eau Claire. Bob spent nearly a decade at WEAU-TV as a sports director and reporter.
You may have heard Bob's pipes around town as well. He has done play-by-play for the Milwaukee Mustangs, Milwaukee Iron, and UW-Milwaukee men's and women's basketball. Bob was the public address announcer for five seasons for both the Marquette men and women's basketball squads. This season, you can catch the starting lineups of the UW-Milwaukee Panther men's games with Bob behind the mic.
A Brookfield Central graduate, Bob's love and passion for sports began at an early age, when paper football leagues, and Wiffle Ball All Star Games were all the rage in the neighborhood.