Monday, July 23, 2007

Mason Officially Signs

As we've known for a while now, Desmond Mason will once again be a Buck next season, inking a very palatable two-year deal worth about $11 million. Underscoring just how young the Bucks are, the 29-year old Mason will be the Bucks elder statesman. He was officially unveiled today and everyone hugged and talked about how they didn't hate each other:

Milwaukee appeared to be the last place Mason would want to go, after his acrimonious parting when the Bucks dealt him to the Hornets in late October 2005, just before the start of the regular season.

Mason called Bucks general manager Larry Harris "a snake in the grass" at the time of the trade, but the forward said all has been forgiven.

"I was upset," Mason said. "The reason I was upset is we put our roots in the ground here; we were happy being here. It was tough for us to leave."

One reason it was difficult for Desmond and his wife, Andrea, to leave was due to the birth of their daughter, Jada. She was born in Milwaukee on Oct. 5, 2005, just a few weeks before the family was uprooted to join the Hornets in Oklahoma City.

"I thought what I was doing was in the best interests of the team, to win right now," Harris said of the deal which brought center Jamaal Magloire to the Bucks. "I just think it says a lot for Desmond to be able to accept what happened two years ago and be able to come back with open arms.

"When those statements were made, I knew it was out of emotion."
The possibility of Mason returning was first mentioned by his agent to Gery Woelfel in May, and you immediately had the feeling that the Bucks could very well end up bringing Mason back in spite of the opportunities they would have at going after more expensive FAs like Gerald Wallace and Andres Nocioni. While he's not a great player by any stretch of the imagination, he's a proven character guy whose signing will likely create some buzz among casual fans who fondly recall his earlier high-wire stint with the Bucks. Don't doubt that Herb Kohl wasn't the driving force behind this acquisition, as Mason is exactly the sort of person and player who will give the Bucks a PR boost without costing top free agent dollars. Desmond's return also speaks highly for Milwaukee as it continues its slow push to signing Yi Jianlian, with Desmond noting the less-than-excited feelings he had when he first was traded to the Bucks:
“It was the same scenario for us,’’ said Mason, who met with members of the media Monday morning at the Cousins Center after signing a two-year, $10.4 million contract with the Bucks. “We didn’t necessarily know if Milwaukee was a great place for us.

“When we got traded here, we were in the Pfister Hotel and it was snowing sideway. I mean the snow was coming down so hard. I was like, ‘I can’t believe we’re here in Milwaukee. This is crazy.

“(But) after we found our niche and got our home and got into the community, we realized what a great place it was here. There are many great opportunities.’’
Mo Williams' new deal is expected to be announced at a press conference tomorrow, and he's happy to have Desmond back in town.
"I remember during the season, Mo was commenting that he was missing his 'lob guy,'" Harris said. "I don't know who he was referring to. When Desmond agreed to come back, I called Michael, who was ecstatic. Michael said he got his 'road dog' back.

"When I told Mo, he said, 'I got my lob guy back.' The electricity in the building will be back. Ruben (Patterson) did a tremendous job for us last year, but I think we've upgraded our situation. We're bringing back a guy who was a leader in his short amount of time with us. He understands what his niche in the league is. What you see is what you get, and it's pretty good."
Road dog? Lob guy? I'm going to remember those.

Desmond Mason is good at dunking basketballs.

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