Ersan Ilyasova concedes he has some strong emotional attachments to the Milwaukee Bucks organization and the City of Milwaukee. And that’s understandable. The Bucks starting power forward began his NBA career with the Bucks in 2006 and has developed a good rapport with Bucks owner Herb Kohl. What’s more, Ilyasova met his wife, Julia, in Milwaukee. “I really like this team because it was my first team in the NBA; I was drafted by them,” Ilyasova said. “And I have huge respect for Senator Kohl. He was always up there for me during all those seasons.” But Ilyasova admits his allegiance to the Bucks is being severely tested these days. As the team’s longest-tenured player, he has become dismayed about the front office’s penchant for making radical personnel changes. Ilyasova noted how the team went to the Eastern Conference playoffs during the 2009-10 season and then made wholesale changes the following offseason. The result: a 35-47 record the next season. This offseason, Bucks general manager John Hammond blew up the roster again — after having made the playoffs last season. Hammond brought in 11 new players. The result: the Bucks have won an NBA-low nine games and are well on their way to having the worst record in franchise history. The 1993-94 Bucks went 20-62. The Bucks’ despicable season compounded by some nagging ankle and back injuries have obviously taken a toll on Ilyasova. That’s vividly reflected in his 3-point shooting. Considered one of the best shooting stretch 4s in the game, Ilyasova is shooting a feeble 29 percent from 3-point range. For the 2011-12 season, Ilyasova shot a scorching 46 percent from 3-point range, second best in the NBA. Last season, he shot 44 percent from beyond the arc, fourth best in the league. “It’s really frustrating,” Ilyasova said. “I was coming from overseas and playing in the European Championships for Turkey, but then I started training camp with a new team, with new coaches. “Then, in the first preseason game, I hurt my ankle. The season started for me, like off balance. If you miss part of training camp with a new team and new coaches, you find yourself a little behind, learning new plays and trying to find the right chemistry.” The Bucks are still searching for that elusive chemistry. The scuttlebutt around the league is they are poised to make more trades with virtually everyone on their roster available. Ilyasova is arguably the Bucks’ best trading chip and several teams are believed to be interested in him. According to multiple sources, Ilyasova has expressed a desire to be traded, apparently having had his fill of the Bucks’ continual rebuilding project. Ilyasova downplayed talk about him wanting out of Milwaukee and declined to comment on whether he or his agent, Andy Miller, had requested a trade. Ilyasova made it clear, though, the Bucks’ revolving door policy with players has irritated him. “The thing I’m upset about is each year, each season, we go through the same thing,” Ilyasova said. “Last year, we make the playoffs and now we start all over again. That’s really frustrating.
Frustrated Ilyasova wants out
Racine Journal-Times | Feb 15