The Internet, generally speaking, is a post-apocalyptic hellscape. And Twitter, generally speaking, is the somehow-worse part of that hellscape where you shovel toxic sludge with your bare hands as punishment for something. NBA Twitter is usually the best spot in that wasteland, the part of the chain gang where all the cool kids hang out. Maybe long-suffering Knicks fan Jason Concepcion is deriding the very idea of hope or perhaps World Wide Wob is wowing the crowd with his sheer appetite for NBA video or maybe some scrawny white guy is unrealistically dunking on everybody. (Actually, if I’m using that clip and talking about the dregs of the internet, it’s got to be 4chan realistically.) But make no mistake, even the best part of the wasteland is filled with reactionaries, zealots and outright maniacs.
The soup du jour in the Bucks Twitter mess hall is Cream of Malcolm-Panic. The Milwaukee twittersphere already had overwhelmingly negative opinions on the Bucks not keeping Brogdon but combine that with his Very Solid start to the season and Giannis’ quote in the Athletic today and everyone loses their minds. Allow me to be the voice of reason here:
This deliciously click-baity but not inaccurate Athletic headline is what most are overreacting to: “‘Wish he was still here’: Giannis Antetokounmpo speaks up about former teammate Malcolm Brogdon.” Read in full, the article makes apparent that Giannis doesn’t see Brogdon’s absence as a failure of the front office but as something that Brogdon himself wanted. From Eric Nehm’s article, the rest of the Giannis quote:
“But hey, man, everybody takes their decision. His decision was to go to Indiana and build a team over there. I think that was best for him.”Giannis via Eric Nehm for The Athletic
And now a quote from Malcolm Brodgon for further context:
“I had to figure out what my options were,” Brogdon said. “I had two or three teams in the mix that we were really considering, but Indiana was by far the best. It was the team I was really pushing for and my agents made it work.”Malcolm Brogdon via Eric Nehm for The Athletic
Combine that with the fact that Brogdon had previously expressed a preference to play point guard and it starts to feel like had the front office kept him in Milwaukee, he wouldn’t have been happy. In the “player empowerment” era, we have to assume that Brogdon made his preferences clear to the club and exerted some modicum of influence over his departure.
There are arguments to be made that the Bucks should’ve paid Malcom his four years/$85 million instead of Eric Bledsoe’s 4 years/$70 million but we’d be in the same boat. Bledsoe could be putting up his very solid numbers on some other team and Giannis could be speaking wistfully about the point guard that travelled to Greece with him this summer.
All that said, I understand the frustration of seeing someone the Bucks let go showing out for a conference rival. But I don’t blame the front office for the choice they made; it’s reasonable to think Brogdon’s absence doesn’t move the Bucks any farther away from an NBA Title. I still believe Marc Lasry when he says he’s willing to go into the luxury tax to contend for an NBA title. With or without The President, the Bucks are contenders. Now, they’re contenders with three more picks than they had before.