Samuel Dalembert was supposed to be the starting center for the Milwaukee Bucks. He was traded to the Bucks by Houston for a package of players that included a first round draft pick that would eventually be Jeremy Lamb and Shaun Livingston, Jon Brockman, and Jon Leuer. And the season started out nice enough for Dalembert. He scored double figures in four of his first ten games.
And then the DNPs started piling up. In fact, he would not play for 13 straight games. Apparently, Scott Skiles and Dalembert had a falling out.
Dalembert explains this in his interview with Bucks beat writer Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
Can you be more specific about what Skiles said that upset you?
SD: No, I really don’t want to go into detail. I don’t want to go into it because it really hurt me.
I’m not going to say that conversation was 100 percent the reason for what happened (not him being demoted) but for some reason there was nothing said to me again and everything went downhill. There was no explanation. There was no conversation. Nothing was said to me.
Skiles was always known as a tough cookie when it came to coaching. He was no-nonsense and it tended to wear down his players the longer he stayed there. But, apparently, communication wasn’t exactly the best between coach and player, specifically Dalembert.
Dalembert was actually ecstatic to be in Milwaukee and looked forward to playing under Coach Skiles. But apparently, that one conversation changed everything between them. As mentioned, his DNPs started piling up and there was no communication between the two. Dalembert was being respectful towards Skiles while Skiles figured he didn’t owe an explanation to the Haitian native.
With Larry Sanders emerging (he has become the leading shot blocker in the NBA), Dalembert will settle for back-up minutes. He mentioned in that interview that it was all about winning and is not concerned as much about playing time. Dalembert also wished Skiles and his family well as he holds no ill will towards them.
The Bucks, who lost to the Lakers last night, face the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. Dalembert is averaging 5.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 19 games this season.