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Report: Longtime NBA employee calls 2012-13 Bucks’ locker room worst he’d ever seen

Oct 4, 2013, 2:04 PM EDT

Brandon Jennings

The Bucks have had one of the NBA’s busiest offseasons. They traded Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Ish Smith, waived Drew Gooden and Gustavo Ayon, let Monta Ellis, Samuel Dalembert and Mike Dunleavy Jr. walk in free agency and signed-and-traded Brandon Jennings and J.J. Redick.

That’s most of the roster turned over, yet it’s not clear the Bucks made any progress. They’ve just replaced those eight with players of similar ability.

Why? Perhaps this is a clue.

Gery Woelfel of

Without an assertive leader last season, the Bucks’ locker room was a cesspool. Players didn’t get along with each other. Players didn’t along with the coaches and vice versa.One longtime NBA employee who witnessed all the shenanigans told me it was the worst locker room he had ever observed.

Milwaukee certainly hopes it has progressed off the court, but it’s not just about dumping the troublemakers. It’s about adding players like Caron Butler, who recently organized a team dinner.Woelfel:

“I just wanted to get off to a good start with my teammates,” Butler said. “I think it was a good way to build camaraderie.“All the guys showed up and we had a great dinner and talked about expectations for the season together on and off the court.“It was a good session.”It was also a tad expensive. Often times when a group of athletes congregate for a night out on the town, they’ll throw their respective credit cards into a hat. The person whose credit card is withdrawn winds up picking the tab.Not this time. The only credit card that made its way on to the table was Butler’s.

Butler has talked about being a good leader, and now he’s putting his money where his mouth is. I can’t claim to know exactly which players were causing problems last season, and subsequently, whether they’re among the jettisoned. But Butler has to be an improvement in the locker room, even if the Bucks are running in place on the court.

  1. bougin89 - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Interesting. I heard lots of rumors and stories of players not getting along with Skiles and it was clear these guys weren’t exactly “tight” but didn’t know it was this bad. Makes sense why they totally overhauled the roster pretty much. Well that and Jennings/Ellis needed to go.

  2. earpaniac - Oct 4, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Living there, I can tell you Woefel is usually pretty accurate.

  3. muzzie0323 - Oct 4, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    The Bucks have been a dying franchise since Kohl took over. As long as he owns the team, I can’t see the Bucks being anything but laughing stocks. I hope they prove me wrong.

  4. louhudson23 - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Skiles is/was a coach that holds his players personally responsible for improving their game,conditioning an attitude….and calls them on it when they fail to hold up their end….this is not a characteristic held in high regard by a great many of the fools who collect checks in the NBA(and life in general)….

  5. bhunter1995 - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    The bad chem on last years bucks squad is no suprise to me. Both Monta and Jennings were low percentage chuckers who tried to do too much. Sanders took a shot at Jennings earlier this week for not passing the ball and Dalembert also took a shot at Jennings for the same reason last year. Monta isnt a PG but even though he is a two guard it doesnt excuse his love of what he calls “Monta ball” where he chucks and keeps chucking regardless of what his percentage is looking like. Just from the actions on the court some tension and annoyance between the players is ecpected although what I read wasnt something I had expected it doesnt suprise me in the least.

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