Michael Redd is one of my favorite Milwaukee Bucks of all time. His sweet, lefty stroke was smooth and beautiful to watch every time he shot the basketball. Unfortunately, his potential was “capped” due to a countless number of serious knee injuries and surgeries.
The Bucks selected Michael Redd out of Ohio State in the second round with the 43rd pick in 2000. Playing behind Ray Allen and Glen Robinson, Michael Redd wasn’t able to contribute much in his first season, but it was clear that the Bucks found a steal in the second round. After his rookie campaign, Redd took off and elevated his game. From 2001-2006, he improved in every statistical category, especially scoring. He was the last All Star for the Bucks, capturing that honor during the 2003-2004 season.
Although the Bucks never consistently won games when he played for them, it was obvious that he meant a lot for the Bucks on, and off the floor. When the Bucks traded Ray Allen to the Seattle Sonics, Redd was rewarded with full starter duties, and elevated his game to the next level. He even inked a 6 year, 91 million dollar contract. By doing so, he declined an opportunity to play with LeBron James and his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio (2004-2005).
In 2007, Michael Redd averaged a tremendous 26.7 points per game, while shooting a spectacular 46% from the field, and 38% from deep. He was one of the most consistent scorers in the league, he even dropped 57 points in a thrilling game against the Utah Jazz in Milwaukee.
However, things went south in a hurry for Michael Redd and the Bucks. In January, 2009, he tore his ACL and MCL in his left knee. He missed the rest of the 2008-2009 season, but he was expected to make a full recovery and be ready to contribute in the 2009-2010 season. During a game at Staples Center in Los Angeles against the Lakers, Michael Redd re-tore his ACL and MCL in the same knee. I was at that game, and you could hear him scream in pain. It was a devastating, deflating moment as a huge Bucks fan, and Michael Redd fan. He was carried back to the locker room, and you had to wonder “would he ever be the same again?” It’s a shame, that injury took place nearly a year after his first ACL/MCL injury.
After a long, grueling 14 month rehab, Redd finally returned to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2011. He was only able to play in 10 games that season (2010-2011), but watching him comeback from such a serious injury was truly admirable and speaks volumes about his character and dedication to the Bucks.
After the 2010-2011 season, it marked the end of Michael Redd’s career in Milwaukee where he was a career 20 points per game scorer for the Bucks. His last season was in Phoenix with the Suns in 2011-2012 . When Michael Redd returned to the Bradley Center as a member of the Suns, he got the ovation from Bucks fans that he rightfully deserved. He scored 14 points which helped the Suns edge out the Bucks.
Michael Redd should not be remembered for his injury riddled career, but he should be remembered as a true professional and dynamic scorer. Many people forget, but he even won a Gold Medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and a Gold Medal in the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Michael Redd will be a Milwaukee Buck for life.