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In one of the most enthusiastic markets in the country, the Milwaukee Bucks draw some of the most enthusiastic crowds in all of sports. Sharing the BMO Harris Bradley Center in the heart of downtown Milwaukee with the storied Marquette Golden Eagles and just a couple of miles from the Brewers gorgeous new Miller Park, the new-look Bucks are an absolute must-see.
A Brief History
Entering the NBA as an expansion team prior to the 1968-69 season, the Milwaukee Bucks struggled in the first year, as almost all expansion teams do, and were rewarded with the 1st overall pick in the draft. Now, that’s almost always a positive development. And it’s occasionally a franchise-defining moment. But for the Milwaukee Bucks, the prize at the top of the draft was none other than UCLA’s Lew Alcindor.
In his first year in the NBA, Lew Alcindor (before changing his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) won the Rookie of the Year award and led the Bucks to the greatest turnaround in league history (which held up until Larry Bird arrived in Boston) and a berth in the Eastern Finals where they lost to the New York Knicks. The next season, the Bucks traded for Oscar Robertson, giving the Bucks one of the best tandems in the history of sports. Following a 66-16 season, the Bucks cruised through the playoffs and captured the NBA championship.
Following Jabbar’s move to Los Angeles, the Bucks welcomed in legendary head coach Don Nelson who would make the Bucks a perennial playoff team with stars Sidney Moncrief, Ernie Grunfeld, Bob Lanier and later (under coaches Frank Hamblen, George Karl and others) Glenn Robinson, Ray Allen, Sam Cassell and Michael Redd. And while the Bucks made multiple Conference Finals appearances through the decades, they have not been back to the game’s biggest stage since 1974.
A New Era Begins
Since making the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001 (a loss to the Sixers)the Bucks have earned playoff bids just five times and haven’t won a post-season series. It was time for change – and change has arrived in a big way.
Plenty of teams made changes in the off-season, but few have turned over the roster like the Milwaukee Bucks. Gone are stars Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, replaced by a young, talented core of OJ Mayo, Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton. In addition to those deals, the Bucks selected Giannis Antetokuompo with the 15th pick in the NBA draft, traded for the rights to South Dakota State phenom Nate Wolters and hired former Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew to spearhead the process. With so many new faces and a world of possibilities, now would be an EXCELLENT time to get in on the action in Milwaukee. Get in on the action with ScoreBig. You'll save on every ticket, every day.