Cue the Rocky theme music
- Even with the arrival of Yi, the storyline I'm most concerned with this preseason is the health of Bobby Simmons, who hasn't played in an NBA game that counts in about 17 months. Simmons hasn't played the past two games but Charles Gardner writes that he continues to practice as the Bucks look to play it safe with their $47 million small forward.
Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak is using plenty of caution with Simmons' workload during training camp, striving for a balance that will not create undue stress on the foot. Simmons sat out his second straight exhibition game Tuesday night, but he was back on the Cousins Center court Wednesday morning, staying long after practice to work with coaches Tony Brown and Jarinn Akana.
"One thing, you don't want to push it too fast," Simmons said. "That's one thing Coach told me: 'Take it a step at a time.' That's what I've been doing. Get my shots up, and get my conditioning in, so I'll be ready for the season."
- Tom Enlund writes that following two error-prone losses (56 total TOs), Larry Krystkowiak is emphasizing conditioning.
- The Bucks waived Samaki Walker yesterday, surprising no one and bringing the roster down to 15, the max allowed during the regular season. Given 2nd rounder Ramon Sessions and veteran PF Michael Ruffin are the only two non-guaranteed contracts left on the roster and both seem likely to make the final cut, it would seem the Bucks will likely take the current roster to Orlando when the regular season starts October 31st. Walker didn't play at all last year and didn't sound like he had any expectation of making the final cut anyway.
"Actually, I really wasn't contemplating playing this year," he said. "I think it was a combination of playing with Mr. Yi this summer, and being seen by his trainers. I also worked out with Kiki Vandeweghe. I think they were impressed to see that this old guy was still in shape, and they recommended me to the Bucks.
"I was back home in Columbus, Ohio, and they invited me to camp. It was an opportunity for a veteran player. I'm on a make-good contract; it's not guaranteed."
Walker has embraced the opportunity enthusiastically.
"Whether I make the team or not, it's an opportunity and a platform to build relationships," he said.
- Alex at Boeder Bucks points us in the direction of Charlie Villanueva's new blog at NBA.com. We tend to forget about athletes while they're rehabbing, but CV's blog is a really good read if only because it details the pain, frustration and patience required with rehabbing from a major injury.
My mom (Dora Mejia) was a great help throughout the entire process. She would help me with the exercises as well as with the simple things, like getting dressed in the morning or eating my meals. Also, I had to cautiously learn how to take care of the incisions so they wouldn’t get infected. It was a really tough time for me. Oh yeah and sleeping was the absolute worst. I had to try sleep in a semi-reclined position with this huge cushioned sling, which was so uncomfortable. I would add one or two pillows to support the elbow all across, so that it didn't fall back against the bed. It was a lot of work at first. Especially with this being my first major surgery ever; it was all new to me. But with the great help from my mom, my trainer, and the Bucks staff, I was able to hang in there and overcome. I thank those guys dearly. And I now feel 100% fully recovered, thank God.And in spite of the competition between the two for playing time, CV at least sounds like he's enjoying the hoopla surrounding Yi's arrival.
We also had a team dinner, which they do every year. The team dinner was really fun, because it gave us all the chance to catch up, say a bunch of jokes, and just enjoy the laughs. This year's roster has really good chemistry. Yi still had not arrived at the time. He ended up coming in on Wednesday night, the 3rd of October. His arrival to Milwaukee was awesome. Yi has a lot of fans in Milwaukee; I am telling you it's going to be a fun year.
- Jesse Motiff at Bango's Bunch previews the 07/08 Bucks. I'd say 44 wins is on the higher end of the probability distribution, so I hope he's right.