Middleton with the Bucks.
|No. 22 - Milwaukee Bucks|
|Position:||Small Forward / Shooting Guard|
|Full name:||James Khristian Middleton|
|Born:||August 12, 1991|
Charleston, South Carolina
|Listed height:||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight:||222 lbs (101 kg)|
|National Basketball Association career|
|Debut: 2012 for the Detroit Pistons|
|High school:||Porter-Gaud School|
|College:||Texas A&M (2009-2012)|
|NBA Draft:||2012 / Round: 2 / Pick: 39th overall|
|Selected by the Detroit Pistons|
|Playing career:||2012-present (10 years)|
|2012||→Fort Wayne Mad Ants|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Representing the United States|
James Khristian Middleton (born August 12, 1991), is an American Small Forward who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Middleton played college basketball for Texas A&M before he was selected as the 9th pick in the 2nd round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. In 2013, he joined the Bucks and won his first championship in 2021.
After being nominated for the 2009 McDonald's All-American Boys Game, Khris Middleton chose to attend Texas A&M over South Carolina, Michigan, Virginia Tech, and Saint Joseph's on May 30, 2008. As a freshman with the Aggies, Middleton played in all 34 of his teams' games although he averaged only 7.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 1.1 APG.
But with the departure of current NBA basketball player Donald Sloan for Middleton's sophomore year, Khris Middleton quickly rose to lead Texas A&M in points and was also one of the teams' top rebounders. This improvement led him to be named to the All-Big 12 Second Team by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2011. He was also named to the Old Spice Classic All-Tournament Team along with Carleton Scott, Jon Leuer, Reggie Jackson, and Tim Abromaitis. Texas A&M also qualified for the NCAA Tournament during Middleton's sophomore year, where they lost in the first round to Florida State with a score of 50-57.
He slightly cooled down in his junior year after head coach Mark Turgeon left for Maryland, failing to make either the All-Big 12 First or Second Team (although he was a unanimous choice to the preseason All-Big 12 team), with the arrival of Washington transfer Elston Turner .
Middleton was selected as the 9th pick in the 2nd round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons . He averaged only 6.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, and 1.0 APG with the Pistons. On December 12, 2012, he was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, where played only three games before being quickly recalled by the Pistons in just one week.
On July 31, 2013, Khris Middleton was acquired by the Milwaukee Bucks along with Brandon Knight and Viacheslav Kravtsov in exchange for Brandon Jennings , who was sent to the Detroit Pistons. He emerged as an excellent shooter with Milwaukee, being one of just three NBA players to play over 350 minutes and still record a field goal percentage higher than .460 through his first 15 games.
On December 15, 2014, the Bucks were down by one to the Phoenix Suns with under four seconds remaining in regulation as Middleton hit a contested game-winning buzzer beater to defeat the Suns, 96–94, with Middleton finishing with 14 points. On March 7, 2015, he scored a then-career-high 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting in a 91–85 win over the Washington Wizards. In his second season with the Bucks, Middleton emerged as an important "3-and-D" player, shooting 46.7 percent from the floor and 40.7 percent from behind the three-point arc. He averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
On July 9, 2015, Middleton re-signed with the Bucks to a five-year, $70 million contract, with a player option for the fifth year. This constituted a significant pay raise for Middleton, as he earned $915,000 the prior year. On December 29, 2015, in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, he scored a career-high 36 points on 13-of-22 from the field and 6-of-9 from three-point range. On March 4, 2016, in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, he scored 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting, including 8-of-9 on three-pointers, marking the most three-pointers made by a Bucks player since Carlos Delfino had eight on March 18, 2011. He tied his career high of 36 points on April 10, 2016, in a 109–108 overtime win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
On September 21, 2016, Middleton was ruled out for six months after sustaining a left hamstring injury in preseason workouts that required surgery. On February 8, 2017, he made his season debut after missing the first 50 games with the hamstring injury, scoring five points in 15 minutes in a 106–88 loss to the Miami Heat. On March 17, 2017, he scored 14 of his season-high 30 points in the fourth quarter of the Bucks' 107–103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
On November 1, 2017, Middleton scored a then career-high 43 points in a 126–121 loss to the Charlotte Hornets. On November 22, 2017, he scored 40 points in a 113–107 overtime win over the Phoenix Suns. On January 20, 2018, he had his first career-triple double with 23 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in a 116–94 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. In Game 1 of the Bucks' first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Middleton had 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a 113–107 overtime loss. The Bucks went on to lose the series in seven games, despite Middleton's 32 points in a 112–96 loss in Game 7.
On October 22, 2018, Middleton hit 7 of 8 3-pointers and finished with 30 points in a 124–113 win over the New York Knicks. On December 29, despite a quad injury, Middleton scored 29 points in a 129–115 win over the Brooklyn Nets. On January 31, 2019, Middleton was named an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve, thus earning his first All-Star selection. On February 21, 2019, he had 15 points and a season-high 13 rebounds in a 98–97 win over the Celtics. On March 28, he scored a season-high 39 points in a 128–118 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Following the 2018–19 season, Middleton signed a five-year, $178 million contract extension with Milwaukee. On January 28, 2020, Middleton set a new career-high, scoring 51 points, making 16 of 26 shots, including 7 of 10 on 3-pointers, in a 151–131 victory over the Washington Wizards. After the game, Middleton dedicated his performance to Kobe Bryant, who died two days prior in a California helicopter crash, saying "I definitely can dedicate that game to him as a thank you for what he did for the game". On January 30, 2020, Middleton was named an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve, thus earning his second consecutive All-Star selection. On February 24, Middleton scored 40 points in a 137–134 overtime win over the Wizards. Middleton missed a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 28 due to neck soreness. In the postseason, Middleton and the Bucks were eliminated in the Semi-Finals by the eventual Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in five games. Middleton scored a playoff career-high 36 points, along with 8 rebounds and 8 assists, in the lone Milwaukee victory in Game 4.
The following season, the Bucks would again face the Heat in the playoffs, this time in the First Round. In Game 1, Middleton capped off a 27-point, 6-rebound and 6-assist performance with a game-winning fadeaway jumper with 0.5 seconds left in overtime, to lift Milwaukee to a 109–107 victory and a 1–0 series lead. The Bucks would go on to win the series in 4 games. In Game 6 of the Conference Semifinals against the Brooklyn Nets, Middleton dropped a playoff career-high 38 points, alongside 10 rebounds, five assists, and five steals in a 104–89 victory. In Game 3 of the Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks, Middleton tied his career-high 38 points, alongside 11 rebounds and seven assists in a 113–102 victory. In Game 6 of the Conference Finals against the Hawks, Middleton dropped 32 points in a 118–107 win, leading the Bucks to the Finals for the first time since 1974.