By Jim Owczarski Sports Editor Published May 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM Photography: David Bernacchi

A short time ago, I made a call for the Milwaukee Bucks to make a power move and hire former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan through whatever means necessary.

Sure enough, hours after that article published, it was reported that Bucks general manager John Hammond took a trip to Illinois to gauge the coach’s interest.

Unfortunately, days later, the 71-year-old Sloan said the Bucks position wasn’t the right fit for him at this time.

So much has changed so quickly in many ways, but time seems to be standing still in others. It is now late May, and Hammond has interviewed proven NBA head coaches in Nate McMillan and Larry Drew, an associate head coach in Michael Curry, along with assistants Kelvin Sampson, J.B. Bickerstaff and Steve Clifford.

The NBA Draft lottery has been held, the Finals are around the corner, and the league inches deeper into a full offseason. It seems like the Bucks aren’t doing much of anything, but with four teams still alive in the NBA playoffs it’s no wonder why Hammond hasn’t settled on any of the men he’s interviewed, at least for now.

Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins is a free-agent-to-be and it’s reported the Bucks are very interested in meeting with him – although Sen. Herb Kohl may need to win a bidding war with other teams should the Bucks decide he’s the man.

Then there’s longtime Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer, who is reportedly a top candidate in Atlanta and Detroit.

No one should be surprised by this waiting game: Hammond told us this is exactly what he was going to do.

"We’re not going to limit ourselves (with a timeline)," he said back on May 1 in a press conference to announce the departure of Jim Boylan. "We’re not going to say we’re going to have a coach hired by the first of June. We’re not going to have a coach hired by the draft or whatever it might be. We just want to make sure we go through the process that the most important thing is to get it right."

I asked him if he would want a man in place in time to make roster decisions, specifically with guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings.

"Yeah, that’s the way I’ve worked," he said. "I believe in working that way. I think it’s healthier to do it that way, if you could have a coach who has a say in the roster. He’s got to coach that team. He’s got to live with that team 24/7 and I think it is important that if you’re making those kinds of decisions that you have a coach in place. That would be great. But, if by chance it doesn’t happen, we’ll move forward and make the decisions we have to."

They may be moving in that direction.

Ellis has until June 20 to decide whether or not to return to Milwaukee for one more year and $11 million. The Bucks have no say in that matter.

Jennings’ financial situation will most likely be dictated by an outside team’s offer sheet on the restricted free agent market. The Bucks could offer him an extension, but it seems they will be forced to either match, or let him walk.

Having a coach around before June 20 or even July 1 doesn’t really matter.

What matters for Hammond is finding his second full-time head coach in his tenure is that the new man can relate to his players, but also be an excellent teacher.

"I don’t think that we’re going to start saying it’s someone that has to have head coaching experience. It could fall into any category," he said. "I think in this day and age it seems like you need that coach who can show the player that he cares, cares about them and coach the heck out of them after that.

"I don’t want to repeat myself but I think I’m going to say this a few more times – what we want to do is get it right, rather than limit ourselves on the kind of person we’re going to hire."

When he was pressed about "showing a player he cares" it was clear Hammond didn’t want to insinuate Scott Skiles or Jim Boylan didn’t – but he did acknowledge NBA players in 2013 are a different breed than years ago.

"It’s just kind of a general comment. I don’t want to go too deep into that. I’m not trying to make more of that than what it really is," Hammond said. "In today’s world of coaching, I think that’s what a lot of it is in every sport. Guys are different today. You don’t just walk in and throw down the hammer. It seems like it’s a different day and age and I think that guys are searching for that and hoping for that. But at the end of the day there still has to be discipline and you still have to coach ‘em."

Hammond took a lot of responsibility for the failings of the team down the stretch, indicating that roster full of free-agents-to-be was not the best situation for Boylan and that as a general manager, he has to do a better job going forward.

But, having made the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, Hammond says the bar has been set – and at new coach will have to raise it.

"No question," he said. "That’s where we’re at and that’s who we want to be. We want to be a team that’s competitive each and every year, a team that’s a playoff contending team. You look at the season and I’m not going to use words like ‘disappointing.’ I’m not going to describe our season like that. We made the playoffs and we were heading in the right direction and we had major slippage at the very end. I don’t look at it as a season where we didn’t accomplish every goal. We accomplished an important goal. We got in. And once you get in you have a chance, but we have to be more consistent in doing that."

Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.

A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.

To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.

Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining

In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.

Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.