Milwaukee Bucks Mount Rushmore
OTG Basketball presents, NBA Mount Rushmore, where we look at who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of each team in the league. Up next, is the Milwaukee Bucks.
Oscar Robertson, G
Robertson was a truly great player and deserves to be brought up in the greatest of all-time discussions, yet rarely does. He spent the first decade of his career with the Cincinnati Royals in the 1960s, and made 10 straight All-Star appearances while averaging 30 points per game or more in six of his first seven professional seasons. The Big O would play his final four years in Milwaukee, and made an immediate impact as he helped the team to their only NBA championship in 1971. An MVP and Hall of Famer, Robertson will forever be remembered in Milwaukee, and is a big reason the Bucks have a gold tab on the collar of the uniforms they wear today.
Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, C
While Robertson isn’t mentioned often in greatest of all-time conversations, Abdul-Jabaar is, and rightfully so. The big man came into the league in 1969 and made an impact right away on a young Bucks franchise. A year later, he became an NBA champion as paired with Robinson he would help bring the city of Milwaukee their only NBA title to date. Abdul-Jabaar would follow up the championship season by averaging a career-high 34.8 points per game in 1971-72. Unfortunately for Bucks fans, he would spend just three more seasons in the red and green, but all were All-Star campaigns, a game in which he would appear a staggering 19 times. Abdul-Jabaar would go on to win six MVP awards over his 20-year career, and also six championships. Only one was in Milwaukee, but Bucks fans wouldn’t trade the joy of watching the first six years of Kareem’s career for anything.
Sidney Moncrief, G
Moncrief may be the least well-known player on the Bucks Mount Rushmore, but he was a fan favorite in Milwaukee and one of the best players the franchise has seen. Moncrief joined the league in 1979 out of Arkansas, and like the others who join him here, made an immediate impact on the Bucks franchise. Sir Sid was known for his outstanding defensive play, but also averaged a career-high 22.5 points per game in 1982-83, the second of five consecutive All-Star seasons for the guard. Moncrief’s numbers would tail off a bit towards the end of his Bucks tenure which concluded in 1989. But many forget how good the Bucks were during the ‘80s, seemingly always coming up short to Larry Bird’s Celtics. These teams featured other standout players such as Marques Johnson and Junior Bridgeman as well, but there is no way they would have had the same success without Moncrief.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, F
Giannis’s career has come several decades later than the rest of his fellow players on the Bucks Mount Rushmore, which speaks a little bit to the lack of success the Bucks had until he came along. Selected 15th overall in 2013, Giannis was a raw but athletic prospect out of Greece that looked like he had some potential. But as the draft spot indicates, no one quite saw this coming.
The Greek Freak showed sporadic flashes of unique ability over his first few seasons in the league, and finally emerged with his first All-Star appearance in 2016-17. Giannis has continued to develop, especially since the Bucks hired Mike Budenholzer in 2018. His first year in the “let it fly” system resulted in an MVP campaign in which the Bucks won 60 games. Before this season was suspended, Giannis looked every bit ready to become a repeat winner. It remains to be seen how long he will be in a Bucks uniform, but the kid out of Greece has already cemented his face on to their Mount Rushmore, and has a chance to become the best player in franchise history if he stays in Milwaukee.
Statistics Courtesy of Basketball Reference