Recovered from stab injuries, Copeland focused on Bucks
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. (AP) A connection with Bucks coach Jason Kidd lured free-agent Chris Copeland to Milwaukee.
He's looking forward to playing for a familiar face in a new home, and not dwelling on the injuries he sustained after getting stabbed outside a New York night club in the spring.
''I'm just focusing on the season this year,'' Copeland said. ''I'm really excited about the year coming up. What happened is what happened. I'm just looking forward to playing for Jason Kidd and playing with my teammates.''
Copeland, who said he had numerous other offers in free agency, was introduced by the Bucks on Thursday at their suburban Milwaukee training facility. He called it a ''no-brainer'' when the Bucks offered a one-year, $1.1 million contract last month.
Copeland and Kidd were teammates with the New York Knicks during Kidd's final season as a player in 2012-13.
''Jason Kidd was the top reason,'' Copeland said of signing with Milwaukee. ''It was a blessing playing with him while we were in New York. I learned a lot from him behind the scenes.
''When they reached out, it was a no-brainer,'' he said.
The 31-year-old averaged 6.2 points over 16.6 minutes in 50 games with Indiana last season, his second with the Pacers.
Copeland danced around questions about the stabbing in the early hours of April 8. He needed surgery following injuries to his left elbow and abdomen that forced him to miss the final two weeks of last season.
''The things I've experienced in my life is what drives me,'' Copeland said. ''I really appreciate the opportunity to be an NBA player in the first place. That hasn't changed. It has been the same since day one.
Milwaukee is hoping Copeland will provide much-needed shooting off the bench. Copeland is a career 37.3 percent 3-point shooter over 147 games in the NBA.
The Bucks also introduced forward Marcus Landry, who signed a non-guaranteed contract earlier this week.
The Milwaukee Vincent High School and University of Wisconsin product last played in the NBA in 2009-10 when he spent 17 games with the Knicks and one game with the Boston Celtics.