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History of the Milwaukee Bucks

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball team located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Founded as an NBA expansion team in 1968 along with the Phoenix Suns, the Bucks are in reality the second NBA team to exist in Milwaukee, the first being the Milwaukee Hawks that moved to St. Louis in 1955 and eventually became the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks compete in the Central Division of the NBA's Eastern Conference.

Team creation[edit]

In January 1968, the NBA awarded franchises to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Phoenix, Arizona (the latter team would go on to become the Suns). A group named Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services, Inc. (Milwaukee Pro for short), headed by businessmen Wes Pavalon and Marvin Fishman, provided the money for the franchise. The team became incorporated on February 5, 1968, and named Pavalon and Fishman as the team's president and executive vice president. Former Philadelphia 76ers player Larry Costello served as the Bucks' first head coach, amassing a .608 (410-264) record during his tenure. Costello had in reality been drafted as a player, with the possibility of serving as a player-coach, but transitioned to a coaching-only role due to a torn achilles tendon.[1] Together with the Suns, the Bucks participated in the 1968 NBA Expansion Draft, where they were able to select unprotected players (the league granted teams a limited number of player protections, usually used on star players) from existing NBA teams.

1968-1969: Inaugural season[edit]

For their first season, the Bucks' uniform slate was a home white with "Bucks" lettered in red with green outline from left to right, and a road green with "Milwaukee" lettered in white with red outline left to right. The uniforms went largely untouched until 1973, but the team changed the lettering style of the home uniform for the 1969 season. The Bucks played their inaugural game at the Milwaukee Arena on October 16, 1968, falling to the Chicago Bulls 89-84.[2] The Bucks led at halftime 47-46, but fell off in the remainder of the game. Costello was irate following the defeat, saying, "We had too many violations. We missed free throws. We lacked ball movement. It's taking a long time for our players to work together. But we're going to drill until we get execution. When you hold a team to 89 points, you should win. But we made bad shots."[3] Costello's offensive criticisms were valid, as the Bucks shot only 36% from the floor for the game. Furthermore, the team's "best marksmen,"[4] Fred Hetzel and Bob Love, only attempted nine shots in the game. Costello called their performance "ridiculous," saying that "Shooters like that ought to get 18 to 20 shots a game."[4] Guy Rodgers led the team in scoring that night with 16 points and 9 assists, but the team's disappointing home opener would set a tone for the rest of the season, as the Bucks finished last in the Eastern Division (the NBA did not use the conference-division system until 1971) with a record of 27-55. Their record was 2nd worst in the NBA, surpassed only by their expansion cousins the Suns, who had a 16-66 record.

First win[edit]

The Bucks first franchise win took place on October 31, 1968 at the Milwaukee Arena, where they defeated the Detroit Pistons 134-118. Embry dominated in the matchup, beating all other scorers with 30 points. Another stellar performance not usually noticed in the age of digital box scores was from Rodgers, who scored 15 points but had 21 assists in the game as well.[5] At that time, Rodgers and star Boston Celtics point guard Bob Cousy shared the NBA assist record with 28.[5] The Bucks shot considerably better from the floor in this game, ending with a 49.1% field goal percentage. Costello praised his team for holding Pistons star Dave Bing scoreless in the 2nd quarter, but said he was still "far from satisfied" with his team's offense.[5] Milwaukee Sentinel sportswriter Lou Chapman ribbed Costello in his write-up of the game, saying, "[Costello's criticisms were] like saying that the Wright brothers were disappointed because they couldn't get to Paris the first time up."[5]

1969-1975: Kareem and Oscar era[edit]

During his six seasons with the Bucks, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar averaged 30.4 points and 15.3 rebounds per game.

1975-1979: Rebuilding[edit]

1979-1989: Sidney Moncrief and Don Nelson era[edit]

1989-1994: Struggles[edit]

1994-2003: Glenn Robinson and Ray Allen era[edit]

2003-2008: Michael Redd era[edit]

2008-2013: John Hammond and Brandon Jennings era[edit]

2013–present: Giannis Antetokounmpo era[edit]


  1. "The Spokesman-Review - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  2. "Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks Box Score, October 16, 1968 |". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  3. "The Milwaukee Sentinel - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Milwaukee Journal - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "The Milwaukee Sentinel - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved January 9, 2018.

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