WASHINGTON, D.C. — First and foremost for the Milwaukee Bucks is trying to find a way into the NBA playoffs, and winning their next game in Washington, D.C. would be a “capitol” idea.
The main focus for the Bucks when they prepare for a road game at Washington is how they will counter what the Wizards do on the court. However, those in the traveling party also know they are going somewhere unique. Strength and Conditioning Coach Jeff Macy has about 10 years of NBA road trips to D.C. under his belt.
“I always try, no matter how bad the weather is, to go for a run past the monuments, the Lincoln Memorial, down to the Washington Monument and back. We always walk up to the top of the Lincoln Memorial. It’s a motivating and inspirational place,” Macy said.
In basketball, there is a drill called “Around the World,” where you shoot the ball and move around. The NBA guys can do it from behind the three-point line, so they have been around the world on the court, and in the world, and many players say trips to D.C. still stand out.
“To get on the bus and go tot he workout or whatever, you are definitely looking out the window and you are more alert than in, say, Memphis. Then you’ve always got the kind of black cars, and the dignitaries and stuff, so there’s a lot going on,” Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy said.
“Going to Washington is actually a cool trip – riding around D.C. and seeing the White House and stuff like that is always cool. My rookie year, I was able to visit the White House with the Bucks, and that was probably one of my greatest experiences ever,” Bucks guard Brandon Jennings said.
Dunleavy has been on Pennsylvania Avenue before himself, and it was college basketball that got him there. “When I was fortunate enough to win the National Championship, we went to the White House to see President Bush and we went to the Pentagon, and we did a whole tour of Washington for an entire day, so that was fun. Hopefully I can win an NBA Championship and do it again,” Dunleavy said.
After the Bucks visit Washington D.C. Wednesday night, April 18th, they move on to Indiana, where there isn’t quite as much to see driving around downtown Indianapolis.