Bucks guard Michael Redd almost always gets the biggest ovation when the starting lineups are introduced at the Bradley Center. More fans wear his jersey (22) than any other.
Walk around the building and ask fans to name their favorite current Bucks player and his name is mentioned more than any other. He even gets some votes when you ask people to name their all-time favorite Milwaukee player. He has been an all-star, an Olympic gold medalist, a model citizen and recently moved into fourth place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.
All this leads to a question: Is Redd under-appreciated by Milwaukee fans?
Put it another way -- if the Bucks were to trade Redd before the mid-February deadline, would fans be upset? Would sports talk radio and the blogosphere howl in protest?
It doesn't seem that way.
Last night in Sacramento, Redd poured in 44 points in a victory over the Kings. It marked the fourth game in nine outings this month that he surpassed the 30-point mark. Fans can talk about his defense, which is somewhat improved but still sub-par, but it still seems that Redd is about as anonymous a superstar as this state has known.
Packers wide receiver Donald Driver has much more juice in terms of endorsements and fan love, but the numbers on the back of Redd's trading cards are more impressive.
With 11,204 points, Redd trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (14,211), Glenn Robinson (12,010), Sidney Moncrief (11,594) and Bobby Dandridge (11,478) on the team's all-time points list.
"The Milwaukee Bucks have been so loyal to me and my family, it's been an honor to be here," Redd said after a recent game. "I've got so much respect for the heritage of this organization. I'm grateful and I'm humbled just to be here and to be in the top five with those great names."
When OnMilwaukee.com asked him to elaborate about the milestones following a recent game, Redd smiled and said: "That's something you think about during the off-season, when you sit around with the family. In the middle of the season, you don't really think about it. You just keep moving forward.
"In the off-season, I'll think about it. It motivates you to get better. You always want more. I'm hungry for more. I'll never lose that hunger as long as I'm playing. The day I lose it, I'll just retire."
Redd's story -- the way he worked his way from unheralded second-round pick from Ohio State to star status -- is inspiring. Fans may not remember now that this was a guy who stayed after practice to work on his game and then sat on the bench to watch Robinson, Ray Allen and Sam Cassell run the show.
"He is a great story," veteran TV announcer Jim Paschke said, referring to Redd. "We were just talking on the air about the fact that every year he has picked something in his game and improved it. He's been able to do that. That's impressive. It's one thing to identify it. It's one thing to work on it. And, it's another thing to make it better and he has done that."
Though he is a preacher's son who would never create headlines with off-court problems, Redd isn't without his faults. Like all marquee players, he has an ego and there have been whispers around the team that his selfishness has been a detriment to the overall cause. He's forced (and missed) his share of shots in clutch situations.
It's not exactly unusual for the best (and highest-paid) player on a bad team to bear the brunt of criticism and to adopt an "if I don't do it, who will?" attitude. Redd, who earns a max contract, has been the best player on some horrible teams. After stumbling through the darkness for a couple years, the Bucks seem to be improving this season. Redd's scoring power has been a factor. But, is it one that fans appreciate?
"If he's under-appreciated, it's a product of his teams not having the success that people appreciate," Paschke said. "It comes with winning."
Siohvaughn Wade further alleges that her husband cut her off financially and "has dissipated substantial sums of marital property including ... buying his mother a $2 million church; placing substantial sums of money in an account with another woman; providing numerous friends and family members with unfettered access to accounts with hundreds of thousands of dollars of marital funds from which they made substantial withdrawals ...''
Wade, who turns 27 today, filed for divorce last May in Chicago. Through his attorney, he denied the allegations. The Wades have two boys, Zaire, 7, and Zion, 1. Dwyane Wade was named a "Father of the Year" in 2007 by the National Father's Day Committee.
On Deck: Given the cold weather and the Packers' early exit this season, many fans are looking forward to the Brewers' "On Deck" event next Saturday at the Midwest Airlines Center. The Brewers will introduce closer Trevor Hoffman at a public press conference to be held at 10:30 a.m.
The Brewers announced a schedule for autograph sessions and some fans are miffed that while some autographs are free, other signatures will cost up to $25 each (Ryan Braun, Trevor Hoffman and Bob Uecker). The team is making available 250 autograph vouchers on the day of the event for each player and coach. Cash will be the only form of payment accepted for autographs requiring money.
Most of the proceeds will go to Brewers Charities and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Brewers aren't alone in charging for autographs. Other teams have made similar decisions in the past.
All fans who attend the "On Deck" even will receive a free Terrace Reserved ticket to any one of the three games against the Cincinnati Reds, April 13 - 15. Advance tickets for the event are $15 for adults and $9 for children (ages 2-14). On the day of the event, tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children.
Tickets are available in advance at brewers.com and by calling the Brewers ticket office (414) 902-4100.
Photo sessions with players and coaches will begin at 11 a.m. and continue in 30-minute sessions until 4:30 p.m. Fans are advised to bring their own cameras. Photos are free.
Here is the tentative schedule for autograph sessions, along with prices:
11-11:45 a.m. -- Ryan Braun, $25
12:30-1:15 p.m. -- Trevor Hoffman, $25
2-2:45 p.m. -- Corey Hart, $10
3:30-4:15 p.m.-- Tony Gwynn, $10
11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. -- J.J. Hardy, $10
1-1:45 p.m. -- Yovani Gallardo, $10
2:30-3:15 p.m. -- Todd Coffey and Manny Parra, $10
Noon-12:45 p.m. -- Dave Bush, $10
1:30-2:15 p.m. -- Jeff Suppan, $10
3-3:45 p.m. -- Carlos Villanueva, $10
11-11:45 a.m. -- Rickie Weeks, $10
12:30-1:15 p.m. -- Mike Cameron, $10
2-2:45 p.m. -- Mat Gamel and Angel Salome, Free
3-4:15 p.m. -- Taylor Green and Casey McGehee, Free
11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. -- Mark DiFelice and Brad Nelson, Free
1-1:45 p.m. -- Ken Macha, $10
2:30-3:15 p.m. -- Vinny Rottino and R.J. Swindle, Free
Noon-12:45 p.m. -- Bob Uecker, $25
1:30-2:15 p.m. -- Tim Dillard and Mitch Stetter, Free
3-3:45 p.m. -- Mike Rivera and Eduardo Morlan, $10
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.