ST. FRANCIS, Wis. (AP) — Long after the end of practice, the sound of a bouncing basketball echoed down the hall and up the stairs from the Milwaukee Bucks practice court.
It is Brandon Knight again, coach Larry Drew's point guard pupil doing the basketball equivalent of staying late after school to study. He's certainly not giving up in an injury-filled, challenging first season in Milwaukee.
"With Brandon, first of all, every night he steps out on the floor, I know he's going to give me 110 percent effort," Drew said.
At 9-43, the Bucks had already clinched a losing campaign before the All-Star break. They will be the only team in the NBA without double-digit wins when the season resumes Tuesday at home against the Orlando Magic.
No choice: Knight must remain positive. The point guard position is a leadership position by default, even for a third-year pro who's just 22 and still learning.
"It's a type of leadership where you've got to be positive no matter what," Knight said.
It is part of the maturation of Knight, a self-described "quiet guy" who would much rather be that teammate who led by example. In that respect, the extra time in the gym — he's usually one of the last players to leave the court — isn't surprising.
But being more vocal was something he had to pick up in his one college season at Kentucky, and then in his two years with the Detroit Pistons. Now he has more responsibility in Milwaukee, both off and on the court.
Knight missed a few games at the start of the season with a sore right hamstring, one of numerous injuries that have hampered Bucks players all season. Since then, he's been a lineup mainstay. Knight is averaging a career-best and team-high 16.7 points, along with 4.9 assists.
"He attacks the basket the same (ways) he did in Detroit, but he's carrying more of a load here with all their injuries," New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams said last week.