MILWAUKEE (AP) — Larry Drew could have sulked during his last season in Atlanta, complained to anyone who would listen about being a lame duck despite a winning record and three straight playoff appearances. He never did. “When you stay in this game as long as I have, the most important thing is you don’t take a negative situation and keep it negative,” Drew said. “I thought I would get something positive of it.”
That came Monday, as Drew was introduced as the new coach of the Milwaukee Bucks six days after his awkward tenure with the Atlanta Hawks ended with the hiring of his replacement. Drew has a three-year deal with the Bucks, and the team has an option for a fourth season.
“I am very, very excited about being here, I really am,” Drew said. “I’m going to do everything in my power to put this group together as fast as possible, to making us competitive, to making sure these guys are in tune with each other. If I do that, chances are we’re going to be a pretty good basketball team.”
If not, he’ll have to answer to his uncle. Drew’s uncle, Norman Johnson, has lived in Milwaukee for 49 years, and he joined the coach, his wife and the couple’s two younger sons for Monday’s news conference. “I’ve been a Bucks fan ever since the Bucks have been here,” Johnson said. “I’m very proud of him,” Johnson added. “I hope he continues his good work. I think he will.”
Ray Allen #34 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The ageless Ray Allen scored 23 points, and broke the NBA career playoff record for 3-pointers, as the Miami Heat used another of their patented runs to win 104-91 at the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday for a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.
In the day’s other playoff games, the Chicago Bulls held off Brooklyn to take a 2-1 lead, while Memphis got the win it needed, beating the Los Angeles Clippers to cut the series deficit to 2-1. Miami can complete a sweep in Game 4 on Sunday at the Bradley Center. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a series in the NBA playoffs.
Allen’s five 3-pointers against the Bucks gave him 322 for his career, two more than Reggie Miller. LeBron James added 22 points in his standard strong performance for the Heat, and Chris Bosh had 16 points and 14 rebounds. “That’s been our calling card all year, the depth that we have,” said Allen. “As a team, you’ve got to find way to plug in the holes, and every night we find somebody different.” Dwyane Wade scored only four points, but had 11 assists.
LOS ANGELES — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook has been captured in bronze for future generations of basketball fans. Staples Center unveiled a nearly 16-foot-tall statue of the top scorer in NBA history Friday night, immortalizing Jabbar’s famed hook shot alongside statues of fellow Los Angeles Lakers greats Magic Johnson and Jerry West.
The 65-year-old Abdul-Jabbar pronounced himself humbled and grateful during a ceremony attended by numerous NBA greats ranging from Johnson and West to Pat Riley and Elgin Baylor – and even Lakers superfan Jack Nicholson.