Bucks Sign Desmond Mason

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July 23, 2007 - The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free agent guard/forward Desmond Mason to a multi-year contract, General Manager Larry Harris announced today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Mason returns to Milwaukee after spending two-plus seasons in a Bucks uniform from 2003-05.

“We’re happy to welcome Desmond back to Milwaukee,” said Harris. “He was a fan favorite during his first stay and we know our fans are going to love having him back on the team. Adding him to our roster boosts our athleticism, defense and veteran leadership. And in addition to his basketball abilities, we look forward to what he will bring back to the Milwaukee community.”

Mason, 29, appeared in 75 games with the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets last season, posting averages of 13.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He scored over 1,000 points for the fourth time in his NBA career and scored in double-figures 59 times, including 13 games of 20 points or more. He started in each of his 75 games, both a team-high and career-high. In two years with the Hornets, Mason averaged 12.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in 145 games.

“I’ve heard nothing but positive things about Des and what he did for this franchise and community the last time he was here,” said Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak. “We’re bringing back a terrific athlete who will immediately improve our defense and overall intensity. But more than that, he wants to be in Milwaukee and he wants to play for the Bucks. I’m excited for the opportunity to work with him.”

The 6-5, 222-lb. Mason was originally acquired by the Bucks along with Gary Payton in a 2/20/03 trade that sent Ray Allen, Kevin Ollie, Ronald Murray and a conditional first round pick to the Seattle SuperSonics. He averaged 15.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 190 games in a Bucks uniform. He maintained a career-high 17.2 scoring average in 2004-05 and shot a career-best 47.2% from the field during the 2003-04 season. On 10/26/05, Mason was traded from the Bucks to New Orleans/Oklahoma City along with Milwaukee’s 2006 first round draft pick and cash considerations in exchange for Jamaal Magloire.

During his first stint with the Bucks, Mason was very active in the Milwaukee community. He partnered with the St. Michael Hospital Community Foundation Peace Program to help educate school children on the importance of peace and how to manage conflict in non-violent ways. An avid artist and studio art major in college, Mason hosted local art shows in 2004 at the Bresler Eitel Art Gallery and in 2005 at the Pabst Theater. Portions of all proceeds benefited the St. Michael Hospital Foundation. He also conducted his own door-to-door Hurricane Katrina relief project in late summer of 2005 in Milwaukee’s North Shore neighborhoods. He collected truckloads of clothing, food, infant formula and diapers, which were distributed to the Katrina-ravaged region.

Drafted out of Oklahoma State University by Seattle with the 17th overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, Mason owns career averages of 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists over 540 NBA games with Seattle, Milwaukee and New Orleans/Oklahoma City. He comes to Milwaukee with his wife, Andrea, and their daughter, Jada.