When the Milwaukee Bucks and coach Scott Skiles decided to part ways earlier this month, the franchise appeared to be treading on some pretty unstable ground.
Owner Herb Kohl has watched his resilient young team hold it together and on Wednesday decided to try to solidify things even further. Kohl signed GM John Hammond to a three-year contract extension, providing some stability to a front office that certainly needs it with some major decisions looming.
"John does a terrific job for our basketball team," Kohl said in a statement issued by the team. "He and his staff have assembled a roster of very talented players who are also very good people, which our fans appreciate and enjoy watching. John is highly respected by the players and among his peers and I'm happy he will continue to lead our basketball operations department."
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Hammond, who was in the final year of his contract, took over in April 2008 and was voted by his peers the league's Executive of the Year in 2009-10 after swinging a trade for John Salmons that helped propel the Bucks to a 46-36 season that ended with a seven-game loss to Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs. But the Bucks missed the playoffs the next two seasons and Skiles, the only coach who had worked in Milwaukee under Hammond, abruptly left on Jan. 7.
The Bucks are 6-2 under Jim Boylan, Skiles' lead assistant who took over when the hard-nosed coach walked away, and are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff field. At 22-18, the Bucks were just three games out of first place in the Central Division after Tuesday's games.
Hammond has suffered his hits and misses in four and a half seasons on the job. His trade for Salmons in his second year proved to be a masterful move, igniting the Bucks to their first playoff berth in four seasons.
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