- Charles Gardner caught up with Andrew Bogut at the Bucks' annual golf outing. He's gotten rid of his controversial haircut, and also talks about how he spent his summer, his new house, the adjustments Yi faces, and the Charlie Bell situation.
"I think [Yi] has a chance to be very, very good," Bogut said. "I've played against him a couple of times and he's just very quick and mobile for a big guy. It's going to take time to adjust. He's probably going to come out and play well and then have an adjustment, especially coming from China.
"I think it was a great pick. A lot of people knocked it, and I applaud Larry Harris for sticking to his guns."
Bogut said he liked the way the team was shaping up, including the signings of guards Mo Williams and Charlie Bell, both of whom were offered contracts by the Miami Heat. The Bucks matched Miami's five-year, $18 million offer to Bell last week.
"Mo was probably the big one, and that kind of hurt us in the Charlie sweepstakes," Bogut said. "You've got to feel for what he (Bell) went through.
"I'm just glad we have Charlie back. I think he's an integral part of our team."
- Gardner also writes about the preparations Milwaukee's Chinese community is making for Yi's arrival.
Li said a welcome party for Yi is being planned, with the help of Mayor Tom Barrett's office and the Chinese consulate in Chicago. Fans from Milwaukee, Chicago, Appleton and Madison are expected to attend the event.
And there's no doubt that Yi's progress with the Bucks will be eagerly watched in China. Kenneth Chang of the Ascent Sports Group will provide analysis and color for a Guangzhou sports channel that will televise a number of Bucks games this season.
Most of the games will be Friday night games here, airing live on Saturday morning in China. Chang, who attended the Bucks golf outing on Monday, said stations in about 20 Chinese cities are purchasing those rights from NBATV, for games involving the Bucks and Yao Ming's Houston Rockets.
"The Chinese people are excited that another great player can come out to play in the NBA," Chang said. "It's very significant for the (Chinese) national team, that Yi can have at least one full season in the NBA training and playing. He will have more physical contact and more experience, like Yao, so they can team up together when they play in the (2008 Beijing) Olympics."
- As alluded to yesterday, Brian Skinner officially signed with the Suns. After the Bucks didn't pick up his $5.85 million option, Skinner turned down a smaller but still guaranteed multimillion dollar offer from the Bucks, thinking he could do better. The Bucks in turn signed Jake Voskuhl for $3 million, a number Jake probably feels pretty good about right now. Skinner will get only the veteran's minimum of $1.1 million with the Suns, only half of which is guaranteed. Obviously everyone would rather play for the Suns than Bucks, but it's pretty rare for role players to take notable pay cuts to play for a winner. So let's bid Brian good luck and hope his agent is a better judge of the market next year.
- And not to rip on Gardner--he's the only one writing anything about the Bucks right now--but it seems odd that he wrote both a Bucks blog item and a note at the end of the Bogut article about Greer being released, yet nowhere does he mention that the impetus for releasing Greer was so that he could sign a much more lucrative deal with Olympiacos. Not that the Bucks were desperate to keep him, but it's also not exactly the Damir Markota situation.