Suspended O.J. Mayo says Bucks were paying for 'a subpar player'

O.J. Mayo is halfway through his two-year suspension for violating the league's anti-drug program, and as he tries to work himself back into NBA shape, Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver caught up with the 2008 No. 3 overall pick to see what he's been up to during the first year of the ban. 

The feature presents some eye-opening details, but one of the most interesting revelations is Mayo's transformed attitude towards the game. 

Mayo notes multiple times that he took things for granted, and in his words, "cheated" the game. In regard to his time in Milwaukee, where he was up until his ban last summer, Mayo said the Bucks were paying for a "subpar" player. Via Sports Illustrated:

"I want to go back to what I left [in Milwaukee]," Mayo said, when asked for his dream destination. "I was real close with Jason Kidd. That was the best relationship I had with a coach besides [Dwaine Barnes]. I had great relationships with Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and Khris Middleton. I was comfortable there. I felt like I let them down, cheated them for two years. They paid me $8 million to be, in my eyes, a subpar player. They invested millions of dollars for me to be on top of my s---, and when you're not on top of your s---, it shows. I'll be 30 next summer. If they just give me the chance, I can make it up. I owe them."

During his three seasons in Milwaukee, Mayo played only 164 of a possible 246 games, as he dealt with a multitude of injuries, including a broken ankle, and during his final season with the team he averaged only 7.8 points. 

Mayo will still have to be reinstated by the league next summer before he can sign with the Bucks or any other team, but based on his growth during the suspension, it doesn't appear that that should be too much of a problem. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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