By Josh Staph
Building team chemistry isn't easy, especially when players hardly know each other. Just ask the Milwaukee Bucks.
Of the 14 roster players in training camp in 2005, only five were with the team the previous season. In fact, the team was still adding new players in late October, when they traded Desmond Mason to New Orleans for forward/center Jamaal Magloire.
Understanding how team bonding affects the game, the veterans on the squad planned regular activities that brought everyone together. One night while in Green Bay for an exhibition game, the guys ate dinner together at Brett Favre's Steakhouse. As the team chowed, Toni Kukoc commissioned rookies Andrew Bogut and Ersan Ilyasova to perform song and dance numbersfront and center. The night provided a much-needed opportunity for the Bucks to bond, laugh and learn.
Kukoc's effort to create a chill environment and tight connections lasted throughout the season. The laughing became a huge part of the Bucks' persona as they marched into the playoffs at the end of the '05-'06 season.
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