Suspended NBA player O.J. Mayo says Bucks paid him $8 million a year to be "a subpar player"
Suspended NBA player O.J. Mayo says that if he could he would like to go back to the Milwaukee Bucks where his spent his last three seasons in the NBA and admits the team paid him a lot of money to be "a subpar player."
Mayo, 29, tells The Crossover that Milwaukee was where he was most comfortable.
He averaged 10.6 points, 2.6 assists and 2.5 rebounds a game in 164 total games with the Bucks from 2013–2016. He is currently serving a two-year suspension for violating the league's Anti-Drug program and can apply for reinstatement in two years.
"I want to go back to what I left [in Milwaukee],” Mayo said. “I was real close with Jason Kidd. That was the best relationship I had with a coach besides [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. If they just give me the chance, I can make it up. I owe them.”
Mayo burst on the scene in 2007 as an McDonald's All-American in high school and later attended USC, spending one season there before entering the NBA Draft. He was drafted third overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves and was later traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Mayo says that if he had the same focused mindset he had at age 16 that he had a decade later, “we wouldn’t be sitting here talking right now.”
“I knew better,” Mayo said. “I knew guys in my neighborhood who should have made it somewhere but got stuck. I wasn’t raised like that.”
He also doesn't blame the league's drug laws for his ban.
“Every man writes his manner,” he adds. “I just made poor decisions.”