Suspension just adds to Mayo’s disappointing Bucks season


VIDEO: O.J. Mayo suspended for hitting Greg Stiemsma.

The NBA doesn’t give out a Most Disappointing Player Award, but if it did, one of the prime candidates this season would have to be Milwaukee’s O.J. Mayo.

Mayo’s debut season with the Bucks already included a vexing conditioning issue and a blooper moment when he chose to tie his shoelace on a defensive possession. Now he’s added a one-game suspension, his penalty from the NBA on Saturday for striking Pelicans big man Greg Stiemsma in the throat Friday in New Orleans.

Mayo had taken contact on a Stiemsma screen and reacted angrily, earning a flagrant-2 foul and automatic ejection with 1:32 left in the first quarter of what became Milwaukee’s 112-104 loss at the Smoothie King Center. Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova already was sitting out a one-game suspension for slugging Sacramento’s Reggie Evans in the stomach earlier in the week. Mayo will sit out the Bucks’ home game against Washington on Saturday.

The sixth-year guard apologized to teammates after the game and also in an interview for his loss of temper. “I reacted the wrong way and handled it for sure the wrong way,” Mayo said. I just want to apologize to the Bucks fan base, the city of Milwaukee and obviously New Orleans and the [fans] who came out and watched the game. It’s definitely the wrong way to conduct yourself. I’ve got to do better and I will be better.”

The Bucks have been waiting all season for Mayo to be better for them. His production is at or near a career low: 11.8 ppg, 2.2 assists, 40.2 percent from the field, 37.0 percent on 3-pointers. His plus/minus data is the team’s worst: minus-12.5 per 48 minutes, minus-339 overall. Milwaukee, of course, has the league’s worst record (12-49) and Mayo mostly has played off the bench (the Bucks are 5-18 when he starts).

He has missed 11 games, including six in January for illness and four more in February for illness and conditioning. At one point in the season’s first half, Mayo was so out of shape he looked as if he was wearing a flak jacket under his jersey. There’s no doubt Milwaukee had grown frustrated with Monta Ellis, whose spot Mayo plugged, but it expected much more after signing him to a three-year, $24 million contract.

The No. 3 pick in the 2008 draft was traded that night from Minnesota to Memphis for No. 5 Kevin Love and it mostly has been downhill since then. In games he has played, Mayo’s teams have gone 192-240. He appeared in 20 playoff games for the Grizzlies in 2011 and 2012, not exactly rising to the occasion (10.5 ppg, 35.2 FG%).

A week ago, Bucks coach Larry Drew said he finally was seeing “flashes” of the player Mayo can be. “O.J., he’s kind of a gunslinger,” Drew told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I can’t recall a guy whose shots are contested as much as his are, but he knocks them down.”

Drew was dealing with a small sample size: Mayo played four games in February and shot 47.7 percent, including 46.4 from the arc (13 of 28). But in four games in March, he was back down to 36.4 percent and 16.7. And with a forced absence Saturday, the sample size of Mayo’s worthwhile contributions in 2013-14 will remain rather puny.

16 Comments

  1. BIGMatta says:

    Hes a goddam criminal…stealing all that money from the bucks.

  2. #30 says:

    HE needs to find himself first..

  3. Bucks4Life says:

    meh. We had been due for a toilet flush of a season, and this was it. OJ dropped his SHare of IT, but he definitely wasn’t the only one. More is just expected of him because he’s one of our highest profile players.

  4. dustydreamnz says:

    Punch was a major over reaction. The guy is frustrated.

  5. Unkle Daddy says:

    If I’ve said it once… You can’t take a number 3 or 4 guy (position by talent level) as he was in Memphis and try and make him a teams number one player and expect great results. The Hawks tried it with Johnson he was the Suns #4 at the time he was picked up, we all know how that turned out, etc. there was a reason he was given up for Love, because Love is a #1 talent.

  6. V.A. Mustard says:

    I feel bad for Stiemsma. This was the second time he has been hit, last year it was Matt Barnes.

  7. Felix says:

    Orange Juice Mayonnaise.

  8. Ciugaz says:

    what a shame, big wasted talent!

  9. ReppinRaps says:

    never lived up to his own expectations, that’s why he so frustrated

  10. okc2014 says:

    The Milwaukee Bucks will have a new coach (and hopefully a new cast of characters) by the start of the new season this fall, so Larry Drew doesn’t have to question when the draft lottery is.

  11. Captain Canada says:

    Mayo been a wash up after leaving Grizzlies for better money? Should have stay.

    On another note, Anyone think the new commentator in Top 10 going to choke (literally) someday? Sounds like something wrong with his throat.

  12. Darryl Dribbler says:

    he’s toast

  13. lol says:

    Mayo should move to China.

  14. Larry Drew says:

    “is it time for the draft lottery yet?”

    • OKC says:

      I’ve been joking with my friend about how funny it would be if they got the number one pick and took Embiid, adding to the already super young, raw, and long team. What a funny and gangly mistake that would be lol. If they are lucky enough to get the number one pick I really how they take Jabari or at least Wiggins or Randle instead of Embiid, thats just too much raw talent and not enough actual basketball savvy between Embiid, Giannis, Henson, and Knight.

      • OKC says:

        Oh I forgot to mention Larry Sanders… They seriously would be the longest team in the league lol.