WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Deal reportedly struck to bring Kidd to Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly struck a deal to bring in Jason Kidd as the team's new head coach. ESPN and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel say the Bucks will give a pair of second-round draft choices to the Brooklyn Nets, where Kidd will leave after coaching just one season in his four-year contract.
The draft picks are said to be for next year, and in 2019. Also, media reports say the Bucks have fired Larry Drew, who's leaving after just one season in which Milwaukee went 15-67. Drew was also just starting a three-year contract with the Bucks, worth a total of seven-and-a-half million dollars. Kidd played for the former New Jersey Nets when Bucks' co-owner Marc Lasry was a part-owner of that team -- and the two were said to have become friends. The 41-year-old Kidd went 44-38 in his only season with Brooklyn, his first as an NBA coach directly after a 19-year pro playing career. ESPN says Kidd is only the fourth head coach in NBA history to leave his team immediately following his rookie campaign on the bench. He was the first to do so since 1980, when Stan Albeck left Cleveland after just one season -- and Jack McKinney did the same with the LA Lakers. Lasry and Bucks' co-owner Wesley Edens reportedly interviewed Kidd on Friday, not telling general manager John Hammond until he read about it in the media during the weekend. ESPN said Hammond's job is safe.
The Milwaukee Brewers are getting whatever breather they can, after playing 20 games in 20 days. The Crew went 13-7 in that stretch, and they lead the National League Central Division by six-and-a-half games as they get ready to play at Toronto tomorrow. It's an early 12:07 p.m. start at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays lead the American League East by one-and-a-half games over Baltimore. But Toronto has lost three straight to the Chicago White Sox -- and the Jays have only taken one of their last seven series, while Milwaukee leads the Majors in wins this month with 18. For now, at least, the Brewers are using their five-man starting rotation in order -- although skipper Ron Roenicke has said it might change, as the Crew looks to remain on top of its division through the All-Star break. Right-hander Marco Estrada goes tomorrow against Blue Jays' righty Drew Hutchison.
Today is the final day of the first half of the Northwoods League regular season. The South Division title remains up for grabs, as the Lakeshore Chinooks hold a two-game lead over La Crosse with both teams playing day-night double-headers against separate opponents. Willmar won the North Division crown over the weekend. Most teams will play mid-day contests before heading to the opponents' stadiums for tonight's games. Lakeshore opens at Mequon against Kenosha, before traveling to the Kingfish home field for tonight's first-half finale. La Crosse opens at Madison. In other twin split-city twin bills, Wisconsin Rapids opens at Eau Claire. The Wisconsin Woodchucks open at Green Bay before playing tonight in Wausau. With two games left in the half, Lakeshore is 23-10 with the most wins in the Northwoods League. Willmar has the league's best record at 21-8.
Steve Stricker of Madison remains at No. 18 in the new World Golf Rankings released today. Stricker remains on a limited schedule, and has not played since the U-S Open where he tied for 21st. The 47-year-old Stricker does have back-to-back PGA events scheduled just before the British Open. At last word, he had not decided whether he'll cross the Atlantic Ocean and play in the season's third major, after he passed on the opportunity a year ago. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson dropped 13 more places to 337th. That's after he missed the weekend cut at the PGA's Quicken Loans National tournament in Bethesda, Maryland.