The Best of a Bad Situation: 2. Michael Redd
Michael Redd’s two arms would flick the ball from behind his head towards the hoop from behind the three-point line as only he could. Seconds later, that ball would fall through the net and the crowd would cheer on their star. Between his accuracy and the peculiarity of his stroke, Michael Redd was a very endearing scorer.
Redd would hold the ball and size up the defense from the wing. For two, three, even four second, Redd would stand. Sometimes he’d jab-step, sometimes his back would be to the hoop and sometimes he would face up and just look around. Maybe his defender felt nervous about all the ways a scorer in his prime like Redd could attack him. As losses started to pile up and Redd’s scoring remained high while his assist totals remained low, it was moments like these that became easy to criticize. Michael Redd wasn’t a very enjoyable isolation scorer.
Injuries always nagged at Redd, but they stopped nagging and started taking more action in late 2008. It started with a sprained ankle. He landed awkwardly trying to chase down a loose ball. After that, it seemed every time he jumped, something went wrong. Redd came down on a teammate in January of 2009, tearing both his ACL and MCL. He re-injured the knee on a dunk in just the second game of the next season. He tore the same ACL and MCL on what seemed to be a routine jump shot and landing almost a year to the day in January of 2010.
Michael Redd is no longer the shooter or scorer the league had come to know him as. When basketball resumes, he’ll be a free agent. He’s likely played his last game as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. He’ll find a job again. The memory of what he was and the little bit that he showed in an abbreviated 10 game 2010-11 season have earned him another job. But for now, it wil be the big contract, the ball holding, the losses and the injuries that come to the minds of Bucks fans when Redd’s name is brought up.
Give it some time. As both parties move on and a new star begins to assert his will on the Bucks, we’ll look back on a more complete picture of Michael Redd. Instead of just a contract and games missed, we’ll remember all the points he scored and the fun we had watching him. We’ll remember that big game against Utah and that stroke he made smooth despite it’s obvious flaws. We’ll remember one of the best Milwaukee Bucks players of all time. – JS
NBA players always get crapped on for not being in shape and not trying very hard after they sign their huge contracts. That’s not the case for Michael Redd. After he signed his $91 million contract during the 2005 offseason, rumors started to swirl that Redd was shedding his baby fat. Those rumors were confirmed when Jon McGlocklin spent the first half of the season gushing about how toned Redd was. For the 2005-06 season, Redd averaged 25.4 ppg and a 21.2 PER as he led the Bucks to the playoffs. In the next season, he averaged 26.7 ppg with a 22.3 PER before his injury (he would have been a top 5 scorer that season had he played all of it). Those seasons would be the highest marks he’d ever have in ppg and PER. They were much better than his one all-star year in 2004.
Redd’s legacy has become a story of a bad contract and a bad knee which is so unfair. It should be that he cared and busted his butt every game. He could score with the best of them and is one of the greatest shooters ever. The last thing Redd wanted was for anyone to regret his contract. Some things are just out of our control.
Even if he had never gotten injured, was he still worth the $91 million? There’s some validity to saying no, he was never a superstar. But I think he could have become one. He was getting better every season and got to play with the worlds’ best on 2008 Team USA. But it’s hard to say, I’m not good with hypotheticals. What I do know is that Bucks fans now, would shovel so much money to a guy who could average 25 a game and shoot .390 from the three. – IS
I’ve never met Michael Redd. I’ve never shook his hand. I’ve never asked him any questions. For someone I have had absolutely no personal contact with, I have a pretty good idea of how any interaction with him would go. Redd would give me a friendly hand shake. He would politely answer all my questions. He might even ask me about my family. Basically, by all accounts, Redd is a great guy.
Great guys don’t always make great basketball players. However, for the better part of five seasons, that is what Redd was for the Bucks. Since Ray Allen was sent to Seattle, Redd is the only Milwaukee player selected to the all-star team. He upped his scoring average in each of his first seven seasons, culminating in a 26.7 point per game average in the 2006-07 season. Redd was even a member of Team USA.
So if a player seemingly has such a great personality and so many accolades, why do I have so many negative thoughts about him? The answer is two-fold. First, Redd suffers in the “What has he done for me lately” category. After all, he has been in street clothes for most of the past three seasons. And when he did briefly play last season, he was a shadow of his former self. Two devastating injuries will do that to you.
And while Redd was recovering in Ohio or awkwardly sitting on the end of the Bucks’ bench, he was getting a fat paycheck. I shouldn’t blame Redd for these things. He didn’t force Milwaukee to give him a giant, franchise-crippling contract. He didn’t try to blow out his knee. But it still happened, and I still think about it. No matter how hard I try to remember Redd for his uncanny ability to put the ball in the hoop while shouting “Oh, and-one,” I can’t help but picture him doing it with dollar signs circling his head. – JH
Categories: 20 Bucks for 20 Years
Tags: Michael Redd