In January of 1968, the Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services, Inc. were awarded a franchise, which they later named the Milwaukee Bucks. Led by Jon McGlocklin, the Bucks’ inaugural season resulted in a 27-55, which ranks them 15th in all-time first season win percentage.
Despite a relatively slow start to the franchise, the Bucks made the playoffs in 18 out of the next 22 seasons; of those 18 playoff appearances, they went 1-1 in the NBA Finals, including, winning it all in their third season in the National Basketball Association (NBA). With early success and a long-tenured franchise (51 completed seasons), the Milwaukee Bucks’ all-time team is loaded with Hall-of-Fame talent.
Milwaukee Bucks All-Time Team
Starting Point Guard
Oscar Robertson spent the last four seasons of his Hall-of-Fame career with the Milwaukee Bucks after a surprising trade from the Cincinnati Royals. Known for his overall game, he filled the stat sheet by averaging 16 points per game (PPG), eight assists per game (APG), and five rebounds per game (RPG). Although he was a relative shell of himself compared to his early career – he averaged 31 PPG, 11 APG, and 13 RPG in his second year – he made an immediate impact. During his first season with Milwaukee, he helped lead the franchise to their first and only NBA Championship.
Backup Point Guard
After a three-team trade in 1999, Sam Cassell found himself in Milwaukee half-way through his sixth season. An NBA journeyman, Cassell, played for more than a third of NBA teams but found his most success with the Bucks. He averaged career highs in assist per game (9.0) and rebounds per game (4.4), while over the span of his Milwaukee tenure averaged 19 PPG, 7.2 APG, and 4 RPG. Cassell only had higher averages during his stint with the New Jersey Nets. He was able to be a true point guard by running the offense and involving his teammates. But, he showed the ability to play like a new-aged point guard with his consistent scoring ability.
Over the course of eight seasons and 460 games, Ricky Pierce amassed 7,570 points (1st by point guards in Milwaukee Bucks history) and helped with six playoff runs.
Starting Shooting Guard
695 out of 767 career games, Sidney Moncrief stepped onto the hardwood wearing a Milwaukee Bucks jersey. During those 10 seasons, Moncrief displayed his rare combination of athleticism and skill on both sides of the court. A player even Michael Jordan hated to see lineup against him; Moncrief was an absolute menace defensively. His stat sheet will never show the total impact he made on the court, but still put together impressive numbers (averaged 23 PPG, 6 RPG, 4 APG in his fourth season). He was a player that winning seemed to follow. In all 10 seasons, the Bucks made the playoffs with their worst season ending with a 42-40 record.
Backup Shooting Guard
Thought of as an athletic, slashing guard coming out of the University of Connecticut, Ray Allen developed into an elite shooting and scoring guard. Early in his career, he was a terror on the break and around the rim. He flashed his athleticism in every moment he could. As he matured, his near-flawless shooting stroke became his offensive identity. In 494 games, Allen knocked down 1,051 threes (ranks 1st in Milwaukee Bucks history among the shooting guard position) on 41 percent shooting. Although the Bucks’ teams he was a part of didn’t see much success (3 playoff appearances in 7 seasons), he was still one of the best players in their history.
A true “what if” story, Michael Redd was on a blazing path to becoming the best shooting guard in Bucks’ history. Despite battling numerous injuries and knee surgeries, Redd ended his Milwaukee tenure with 11,554 points (40 points behind Sidney Moncrief), 2,334 rebounds (74 more than Ray Allen), and 1,003 three-pointers made (2nd among shooting guards in Bucks history).
Starting Small Forward
Glenn Robinson walked into the NBA as a pure scorer. In his rookie season, he averaged 22 PPG while shooting 45 percent from the field, 32 percent from three, and 80 percent from the free-throw line. He had essentially zero weaknesses offensively. Robinson could stretch the floor out to three. He could take his defender off the dribble. He could play with his back to the basket. And when he wanted to, he could dunk on any defender. He was a nightmare to defend, especially in close games where he hit multiple clutch shots.
Backup Small Forward
Commonly referred to as an “all-around” player from his peers, Marques Johnson was truly an impactful player throughout his entire career. He played a similar game as Andre Iguodala. He leads all Milwaukee Bucks small forwards in steals and blocks, while also ranking second in assists and rebounds, and third in points. Johnson was a terrific athlete that was incredibly skilled for his size at 6’7”, 218 pounds.
Bob Dandridge utilized his incredible length to overwhelm the opposition in transition and around the rim (11,478 total points with the Bucks). He was relentless at attacking the rim and on the offensive end.
Starting Power Forward
According to Basketball-Reference.com, Giannis Antetokounmpo plays power forward, point guard, shooting guard, and small forward. He is quite literally an all-around player. His development over the past six seasons has been matched by very few players in history. After averaging seven points per game in 24 minutes during his rookie season, winning MVP before his 25th birthday was seemingly unfathomable. Yet, after a season of 28 PPG, 13 RPG and 6 APG, Antetokounmpo has achieved the difficult feat. His size is overwhelming. His strength is rarely matched. To combine those traits with his work ethic, it results in one of the best players the Milwaukee franchise will ever see.
Backup Power Forward
It did not matter if Terry Cummings shot the ball well or not. He made his impact on the game from his sheer physical presence. Listed at 6’9” and 220 pounds, Cummings loved contact and could play through it; although he often found himself in the middle of the (in)famous 80’s NBA scuffles. However, he wasn’t simply a bruiser. He was skilled offensively, averaging at least 19.8 PPG in his first eight seasons in the league.
Cummings could play with his back to the basket, where he would utilize a series of moves to ultimately get to a short fade-away. As he became more comfortable handling the ball, he began to expand his game where he sprinkled in slot drives (the area between the top of the key and the corner) and even knocked down open threes. Terry Cummings could be summed up with the sports cliché of, “he is someone you would love to play with, but hate to play against”.
Vin Baker’s patented left elbow pad and all was an immediate impact player for the Bucks. His inside pivot, face-up jumper from the mid-post was nearly unstoppable and helped him to average 18 PPG in 324 games with the franchise.
One of the best players to ever play the game, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a special player for Milwaukee. After winning three straight National Championships at UCLA, he brought his winning ways east, helping improve their win total by 29 games in his rookie season. With help from Oscar Robertson, they were able to lift the Walter A. Brown Trophy (now called Larry O’Brien trophy) in his second season. Abdul-Jabbar’s statistics are seemingly made up. He averaged 30 PPG and 17 RPG in 57 playoff games with Milwaukee. And his “worst” regular season with the Bucks, he averaged 27 PPG and 15 RPG.
To add perspective, Abdul-Jabbar played with the Bucks for the first six seasons of his career, he scored more points in that span than Hall-of-Famers, Dave DeBusschere, Jerry Lucas, and Vlade Divac did in their entire careers. He also grabbed more rebounds than Hall-of-Famers Alonzo Mourning and Kevin McHale did in their careers.
Built like a house, Bob Lanier was physically dominant throughout the ’70s and into the early ’80s. As his career was winding down he moved from one Midwest city to another (Detroit to Milwaukee) to bring his left-hand dominant game to a franchise that was sorely missing a center presence since Kareem left. Despite not being able to recreate his early success, Lanier was an extremely solid center for Milwaukee ending with an average of 14 PPG, 6 RPG, 3 APG in his Bucks’ tenure.
Similar to Lanier, Jack Sikma spent his final seasons with the Bucks. A high-energy type of player with a funky looking shot, he was very productive and efficient throughout his career. The Hall-of-Famer knocked down nearly 200 threes and grabbed 3,087 rebounds in five seasons with Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Bucks All-Time Team
Littered with players with statues in Springfield, the Milwaukee Bucks’ All-Time Team ranks among the best of any franchise. And with such a storied history, the 2019-20 Bucks have an opportunity to add something only the early Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’ and Oscar Robertson’s Bucks’ team were able to accomplish, ending the playoffs with a win.
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