Tony Mitchell is your favorite newest Buck (if not your newest favorite Buck).
Best known at Alabama for spry defense and dunks that made college kids jump as high as they could but not nearly as high as him, Mitchell completed his rookie campaign with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants ranked second in the NBADL in points per game at 21.9 (and first in points per minute). He ranked among the scoring leaders again this season.
This week, the Bucks signed Mitchell to a 10-day contact.
Without further ceremony, four Tony Mitchell Notes.
Tony Toni Toné
Clarification: There are now two separate human beings named Tony Mitchell in the NBA this season.
One is a rookie who was born in Milwaukee and played college hoops at North Texas. He was the first underclassman to declare for the 2013 Draft, and then the Pistons drafted him at #37 overall. He is a 21 year-old 6-8 forward with top-shelf athleticism.
The other is the newest player on the Bucks. He played at Alabama and went undrafted at the 2012 Draft and became one of the best players in the D-League. He is a 24 year-old 6-6 forward with top-shelf athleticism.
To make matters most confusing, they are both Mad Ants Tony Mitchells.
Pistons Tony Mitchell started the season with the Pistons and now plays for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, while Bucks Tony Mitchell started the season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and now plays for the Bucks.
Tony The Tiger
Like all jobs, there is no single path to the NBA. You never really know. After playing college ball at Alabama, Mitchell wended a path to the Bucks in a way all his own.
His pro hoops resumé is dotted with Summer League appearances with the Kings, Celtics, and Knicks.
Most of the time, he starred with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the D-League affiliate of the Bucks. As it is, 137 current NBA players have D-League experience, including new teammate Ramon Sessions, who starred for the Tulsa 66ers back in 2007. Mitchell won a nice row of honors in 2013 for the Mad Ants, including: All NBADL First Team and NBADL Rookie of the Year.
Mitchell also suited up a bit further away from the Midwest, with the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in the Philippines and the Jilin Northeast Tigers in China.
So, hopefully you are asking everyone around you: What can Bucks Tony Mitchell do on the basketball court?
Most of his best moments are around the rim, as his 2013-14 shot chart above shows. (For emphasis: NBADL shot charts exist. Thank you, 2014.) He tries some threes, but don’t expect much of that in the NBA.
The D-League typically features a higher scoring, more wide open style of play, and Mitchell naturally excels in this environment. Since acquiring Sessions and Jeff Adrien, the Bucks have run a faster and much more efficient offense. It is a bit simplistic, but hopefully these things combine nicely for his debut.
The Tony Awards
In other words, the NBADL Slam Dunk Contest, which Mitchell has now won two years in a row. (This year, he defeated Giannis Antetokounmpo’s big brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo.) Now for some video proof and enjoyment.
Writing and the Bucks. Two of my passions. So it is good to be here. I have reported on media row for just about every Bucks home game since 2009. I started writing for the Bucks in 2012. Before that, I co-founded and wrote for BrewHoop. I have written for the Milwaukee Brewers, SB Nation, ESPN Milwaukee, Slam Online, and so on. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @alexboeder or email me at email@example.com.