Seeing Redd
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NOT MILWAUKEE, Feb. 6, 2007 -- Let's get this out of the way: Michael Redd is an All-Star. More specifically, by averaging 27.7 points per game this season, Redd was well on his way to being named an All-Star.

Or as Cavs coach Mike Brown said on Jan. 5: "If you don't vote for Michael Redd, you don't know basketball.''

So, why then isn't Redd heading for the Vegas Strip?

Before we answer that, let's see what Mr. Redd had to say about his snub:

"Mad. Disappointed. I don't know what it is. I don't know what else you've got to do. We were winning and playing well. I was having the best year of my career and it happens. I don't know. I can't explain it.

"Last year, we were a playoff team and I still didn't make it and I was having a career year. I don't know what else you've got to do. It's frustrating but at the same time you move on. You keep playing basketball and keep doing what you're doing and good things will happen.

"The guys on the (All-Star) team, they deserve it. I just wish I was on there, too. I don't know what you have to do. I really am puzzled by it. I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't disappointed by it."

We at CI (meaning me) feels bad for Michael as well. Redd was having his best year ever until he aggravated his patellar tendon against the Cavs on Jan. 5. He hasn't played since.

And as bad as Michael feels, and as bad I feel about mentioning this publicly, because of his injury and because of the Bucks' near death-spiral (they're 2-13 without Redd), I concur with the coaches on this one.

Ouch, that hurt to say (and I've said it in a roomful of people before this, so this isn't some knee-jerk (sorry) reaction on my part). But I think the coaches found it hard to justify sending a guy who had been projected to miss six weeks and who's team had slid into the Central Division cellar.

Don't get me wrong. I love me some Michael Redd and the following may prove it.

Maybe I was in denial. Maybe I was nuts. Maybe I was in a crazy state of denial, but the day after the Bucks shipped Ray Allen to the Sonics for Gary Payton and Desmond Mason in 2003, I blurted out a proclamation to my then-boss, Randy Kim in the NBAE cafeteria:

"By the end, Michael Redd will have a better career than Ray Allen," I said confidently. "You watch."

Randy nearly spit out his Colombian blend. Once he regained his composure, I think he said to the following effect: "No [blankin'] way!"

You have to understand the audacity (stupidity?) of that comment. Ray Allen had been a three-time All-Star by that point. He won the Three-Point Shootout in Washington at 2001 All-Star. He helped the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals later in the 2001 campaign.

In contrast, Redd had been drafted in the second round, played a measly six games that same season the Bucks fell one game short of the Finals. When Ray was traded Michael had barely started more than 20 NBA games. And here I was talking about how Redd would be better than Ray.

(I love me some Ray Allen as well. I echo my colleague John Schuhmann's statement that watching Allen shoot is a religious experience. That, and Ray's a true gentleman.)

I had heard the reports at how Michael gave Ray all he could handle on the practice court day in and day out. In the moments I saw him spell Ray, there wasn't much of a drop off in production. Redd wasn't afraid to take big shots at the end of quarters or games. I saw Redd hit an NBA record eight three-pointers ... IN A QUARTER! I projected an odd confidence about my statement.

So, I thought Redd had the potential to be a perennial All-Star. I still do. And I could make a great argument for him for this year's team: he's having a better year than Atlanta's Joe Johnson, whose team is 18-29 with him while the Bucks have fallen to 18-30 without Redd; (see also, Curry, Eddy with the Knicks and Charlotte's Emeka Okafor) and he's a better than Ben Gordon, who could raise the biggest snub stink of them all, but I can see Ben losing points for being a sixth man and not a starter.

It may not be fair, and it may not even be right for Redd not to be on the East squad, but I can understand the rationale behind it.

Bucks fans, however, should look on the bright side. Redd's always been an underdog which has pushed him to work hard to be Milwaukee's top dog.

Maybe Michael will try to prove all the doubters wrong in the second half of the season. Maybe he'll bring the team up with him. Maybe the Bucks can scrape out a playoff spot in the weak East. Maybe this will all turn out for the best for Michael and Milwaukee, because if we know Redd, he'll be on a mission.

FINAL THOUGHT

No way, Mark Montieth, no way.
-- Indy Star

One Super Bowl win does not wipe away a century of history that includes John Wooden, Bobby Plump of Milan (which inspired the movie Hoosiers), Oscar Robertson, Rick Mount, Larry Bird, Bob Knight, Steve Alford, Glenn Robinson and Greg Oden and I got those guys off the top of my head. It's gonna take a whole lot more titles than just one.

Thoughts? Complaints? E-mail us. We'll try to work the mail in next week. Also, you can listen to Rob Peterson on NBA Radio, Sirius 127 every Monday at 7:30 a.m. ET, and every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.