James Khristian Middleton is an American professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Middleton attended Porter-Gaud School and played his school basketball for the Cyclones. In his junior season, Middleton averaged 21 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and was named state player of the year. He repeated similar kind of stats as a senior, scoring 22.4 points per game and grabbing 8.6 boards per game leading Porter-Gaud to the state title game. Middleton scored 22 points in the championship match and was named Most Valuable Player of the Porter-Gaud Holiday Classic.
Noted amongst best prospects in the class of 2009, Middleton was considered as one of the best shooters at his position. He chose to play his college basketball for Texas A&M University. Starting for the majority of the games as a freshman, Middleton averaged 7.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game and led the team in scoring five times. As a sophomore, Middleton led the team and finished ninth in the Big 12 scoring 14.3 points per game while adding 5.2 rebounds per game. Middleton scored in excess of 10 points in 27 games and led the team in scoring 16 times. He was selected to the All-Big 12 Second Team at the end of the regular season.
Middleton was selected as the 39th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. After playing just 27 games in his rookie season, Middleton was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. Middleton emerged as an important "3-and-D" player in his second season with the Bucks, 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 for the season. In 2015, Middleton re-signed with the Bucks to a five-year, $70 million contract, with a player option for the fifth year.
After missing most of the 2016-2017 season due to a left hamstring injury, Middleton had a breakout season in 2017-2018 and played all 82 games. He scored a career high of 43 points and also recorded his first triple-double with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. Middleton elevated his game in the 2018 NBA Playoffs as the Bucks faced the Boston Celtics in the first round. Middleton had 31 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in Game 1 and 32 points in Game 7. For the series, Middleton averaged 24.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists while shooting 59.8 percent from the field and an astonishing 61 percent from the three-point line as the Bucks lost to the Celtics in a grueling seven-game series.