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Injury-plagued Redd likely waving goodbye to Bucks
Question of the Day
Despite two separate injuries to his left knee that have cost him large chunks of three straight seasons _ and playing only sporadically off the bench since he returned last month from the second injury _ Redd still believes he can be a regular contributor in the NBA.
“Absolutely,” Redd said. “For me right now, these last eight, nine games for me were like a training camp-type experience. I never really had a rhythm, just tried to build on limited minutes. We wanted to ease my body back into it. But having another offseason training, getting stronger, then having a training camp _ which is so important, you need training camp and a preseason. So I’ll be involved in that next year, wherever I’m at.”
Redd is in the final season of a six-year, $91 million deal he signed in 2005. The Bucks aren’t expected to re-sign him, so Wednesday night’s season finale at Oklahoma City probably will be his last game in a Bucks uniform after 11 seasons.
In the Bucks‘ final home game of the year, Redd played a quiet 14-plus minutes and scored 2 points on 1-for-6 shooting in Monday night’s victory over Toronto. He received a warm round of applause before the game and a small pocket of fans chanted for him late in the fourth quarter.
“It’s been a glorious 11 years,” Redd said. “I wouldn’t trade anything. Just had a tremendous journey over these 11 years. They’ve seen me grow up, because I’ve been here since I was 20 years old. It’s been an amazing journey. Some ups, some downs. But through it all, the fans have been great, the organization’s been great to my family and it’s pretty awesome.”
Redd sounds ready to move on to another team, but is looking forward to spending some time with his family first. After spending the summer of 2008 playing for Team USA in the Olympics, Redd tore ligaments in his left knee in January 2009 _ then did it again in January 2010.
Of course, there’s a chance Redd _ and the rest of the league _ could have plenty of time to rest, as the NBA could be headed toward a work stoppage.
Although it isn’t at the top of his mind, Redd clearly is aware of the labor situation.
“Obviously, it’s a concern for all the players and parties involved,” Redd said. “I’ll side with the players and want to make sure everything’s right for us and fair for us. But I haven’t worried about it too much.”
“Being a second-round pick and being in an organization this long, that says a lot,” Drew Gooden said. “That’s almost unheard-of. I don’t know who else has done that. That’s a huge, huge, huge accomplishment for Michael Redd.”
Bucks coach Scott Skiles isn’t one to get misty-eyed over Redd’s farewell; asked before Monday’s game if he would give Redd a ceremonial start or some extra playing time, Skiles responded bluntly, “We’re going to try to win the game.”
By Matt Kibbe
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