By Steve Haywood Special to Published Mar 29, 2008 at 1:56 PM

Well, we are at the point now where we have to talk about that bad relationship that you know is no good for you, but you stay in it anyway.

It's that Uncle that stays at Nana's house in that back bedroom we never see; the guy that takes a plate up to every barbecue and knocks on the door and runs. That childhood scar that you never talk about in public. It's time to talk about our dirty little secret ...

The Bucks, the professional basketball franchise that resides in Milwaukee and plays in the NBA.

Our dirty little secret has really started to embarrass us recently with its play and lack thereof. After four consecutive losing seasons, Larry Harris was ousted as general manager, a move that was justified. Larry did have two playoff teams during his tenure as GM, which was OK, but not the ultimate goal.

I have to admit my bias here, outside of a couple -- and I mean a couple -- of personnel moves, I thought Larry did what was required to get this team in position to win, and I believe, like Larry did, that this was the season to make the first step towards being great.

It didn't happen.

Everything was in place to make a run. You had an all-star caliber No. 2 guard coming off a great summer, you re-signed your up and coming point guard with a knack for making big shots late in games.

The No. 1 overall draft pick at center is in his third year and ready to take his game to a higher level. You add to that the return of a player that missed an entire year to injury and another multi-skilled player who struggled through injuries the entire season the year before.

Now you bring back a dynamic, energetic player that should have never been traded two years before, as well as re-sign one of your best bench players to a multi-year deal, and last but not least, you draft an international star, who has the potential to become a NBA all star according to scouts.

You commit to a coach you feel has the right plan for these players, demands that they perform at a high level and will make them accountable. All the ingredients to make a great batch of winning basketball here, but like we all see sometimes in other aspects of our lives, preparation is not always the drinking buddy of execution. For whatever reason it all came apart right in front of our eyes.

Multiple loses of games by more than 40 points, close to losing at least 20 (yes, that's 20) games after going into the forth quarter with the lead, losing to the woeful Knicks, Clippers and Heat at home ... I'll stop here, I could keep going.

The truth is this should have not happened, but it did. Changes are clearly in order and are being made. Nobody's senator but yours is "going to look outside the organization for a different approach." It is still a problem because the owner and the "circle of trust" will still have major input in terms of how the general manager will run the basketball side of the franchise.

Herb Kohl does not consider himself a meddler, but at the same time admits wanting and maintaining input in major decisions involving his business from trades to the head coach.

This is where its gets dicey. He has every right to run his business as he sees fit. Contrary to overwhelming public opinion, "meddling Herb" did give the keys to George Karl and Ernie Grunfeld for a couple of years of and he was rewarded with a memorable run to the Eastern Conference finals.

Kohl also allowed the trades of Ray Allen and "Showtime" Sam Cassell, who are currently helping the Boston Celtics to the best record in the NBA. It's at a point now where I can't ask you to "hang in there" because they haven't earned your trust, so all I can say is this: "Sen. Kohl, thank you for your commitment and passion to keeping this team in Milwaukee."

Now, let's all pray to the basketball gods ... Please shine on this deserving fan base, franchise and an owner who seems to have put together all the ingredients, but is left with batches of failure when he has mixed them up.

Please help us find our Favre, Wade or Ortiz by whatever means it takes, and just see what it is like to be a winner. Finally, basketball gods ... help us not have to hide our dirty little secret anymore. 

Steve Haywood Special to

Steve Haywood is the host of “That Being Said,” which airs weeknights at 6 p.m. on Milwaukee’s ESPN Radio 1510 Days / 1290 Nights. A lifelong Milwaukee resident, Steve has been working on the radio since 1996 and also is executive producer of Sports Perspectives on MATA Community Media.

After graduating from Milwaukee Tech High School in 1985, Haywood attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he graduated in 1991.

He has covered a number of major events, including the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2002 and the NBA All-Star Game in 2003.

Haywood, 39, is married with two kids, a dumb cat and a dog described as a “real curmudgeon.”