There have been some reports about Gary Payton joining the staff of the Milwaukee Bucks to be a special coach for Giannis Antetokounmpo as a point guard. Here is the video of Payton, talking from a press event in Greece. I’m not quite sure is rises to the level of being a member of the staff, but Payton does say that he will be back in Milwaukee in the preseason working with Antetokounmpo.
“Jason (Kidd) let me see (Giannis Antetokounmpo) personally. I talked to him after some of the Summer League games. Jason put him at the point guard in the Summer League and he did very well at the point guard. I’m going to go down there for the preseason and training camp and work with him a little bit on his point guard skills. Being 6’10” or 6’11”, he has great skills to play basketball (at) the point. I think he’s going to be very successful if he gets point guard skills. He’s very talented. He’s a young kid. He’s raw. so he needs to work on a lot of things. Last year, when he was in Milwaukee, he was hurt a little bit and he didn’t get to play as much. (With) a coach coming in like Jason, who is a point guard, who also , I think he’s going to be very good, but he just needs a little guidance. They’re a very young basketball team; they don’t have veterans that can teach him things, so he needs someone like myself of Jason to teach him the skills.
The biggest news in all of this stuff is that it seems like Jason Kidd plans to keep at this point guard experiment. (Of which I am greatly in favor.) If Payton worked with Giannis at Summer League, and is planning a return tutoring visit to Milwaukee in October, then Kidd must be scheming to use Antetokounmpo as a point guard — or at the very least give it a shot until it’s has been proven fruitless. (And as I indicated before, I don’t think it will be proven fruitless. It’s probably the position that best suits Antetokounmpo’s approach to basketball.)
Raduljica signs a deal to play in China
Miroslav Raduljica tweeted that he will be signing with the Shandong Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association. If he got the $2 million deal that was rumored, then he probably got as much as he could possibly get, especially considering that the good people of the Los Angeles Clippers will continue to play the salary owed on his NBA deal.
With Shandong, Raduljica was be paired with former Sacramento King Pooh Jeter, for whom he’ll be setting massive (and oftentimes illegal) picks.
Bucks conducting six-city state-wide promotional tour
Per the team’s press release:
Bucks players, Bango, Hoop Troop and Milwaukee Bucks Dancers will visit Madison, Janesville and Kenosha Sept. 19-20, and Eau Claire, Wausau and Appleton Sept. 26-27
Bucks forward Khris Middleton will tip off the first weekend this Friday, Sept. 19, with a trip to Madison to visit the American Family Children’s Hospital at UW Health Center, drop by the University of Wisconsin, and take a walk down State Street to see the state capital.