The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division. The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and play at the Fiserv Forum. Former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl was the long-time owner of the team, but on April 16, 2014, a group led by billionaire hedge fund managers Wes Edens and Marc Lasry agreed to purchase a majority interest in the team from Kohl, a sale which was approved by the owners of the NBA and its Board of Governors one month later on May 16. The team is managed by Jon Horst, the team's former director of basketball operations, who took over for John Hammond in May 2017.
The Bucks have won one league title (1971), two conference titles (1971 and 1974), and 13 division titles (1971–1974, 1976, 1980–1986, 2001). They have featured such notable players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sidney Moncrief, Oscar Robertson, Bob Dandridge, Bob Lanier, Glenn Robinson, Ray Allen, Sam Cassell, Junior Bridgeman, Michael Redd, Terry Cummings, Vin Baker, Jon McGlocklin, Marques Johnson, and Brian Winters.
|Team colors||Good Land green, Cream City cream, Great Lakes blue, black, white|
|General manager||Jon Horst|
|Head coach||Mike Budenholzer|
|Ownership||Wes Edens, Marc Lasry, Jamie Dinan, Mike Fascitelli|
|Conference titles||2 (1971, 1974)|
|Division titles||13 (1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 2001)|
|Retired numbers||8 (1, 2, 4, 10, 14, 16, 32, 33)|
On January 22, 1968, the NBA awarded a franchise to Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services, Inc. (Milwaukee Pro), a group headed by Wesley Pavalon and Marvin Fishman. A fan contest was held to name the new team, with over 40,000 fans participating. While the most-voted fan entry was the Robins, named for Wisconsin's state bird, the contest judges went with the second-most popular choice, the Bucks, which was a reference to Wisconsin's official wild animal, the white-tailed deer. One fan, R. D. Trebilcox, was awarded a new car for his part in reasoning why the Bucks was a good nickname, saying that bucks were "spirited, good jumpers, fast and agile." The Bucks marked a return of the NBA to Milwaukee after 13 years; their previous team, the Hawks, played for four seasons in the early 1950s before moving to St. Louis in 1955 (they are now based in Atlanta). In October, the Bucks played their first NBA regular-season game against the Chicago Bulls before a Milwaukee Arena crowd of 8,467. As is typical with expansion teams, the Bucks' first season (1968–69) was a struggle. Their first victory came in their sixth game as the Bucks beat the Detroit Pistons 134–118; they won only 26 more games in their first year. The Bucks' record that year earned them a coin flip against their expansion cousins, the Phoenix Suns, to see who would get the first pick in the upcoming draft. It was considered a foregone conclusion that the first pick in the draft would be Lew Alcindor of UCLA. The Bucks won the coin flip, but had to win a bidding war with the upstart American Basketball Association (ABA) to secure him.
Despite the Bucks' stroke of fortune in landing Alcindor, no one expected what happened in 1969–70. They finished with a 56–26 record – a nearly exact reversal of the previous year and good enough for the second-best record in the league, behind the New York Knicks. The 29-game improvement was the best in league history – a record which would stand for 10 years until the Boston Celtics jumped from 29 wins in 1978–79 to 61 in 1979–80 (the difference again being a highly touted rookie, Larry Bird). The Bucks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in five games in the Eastern semifinals, only to be dispatched in five by the Knicks in the Eastern finals. Alcindor was a runaway selection for NBA Rookie of the Year.
The following season, the Bucks got an unexpected gift when they acquired Oscar Robertson, known as the "Big O", in a trade with the Cincinnati Royals. Subsequently, in only their third season, the Bucks finished 66–16 – the second-most wins in NBA history at the time, and still the most in franchise history. During the regular season, the Bucks recorded a then-NBA record 20-game win streak. They then steamrolled through the playoffs with a dominating 12–2 record, winning the NBA Championship on April 30, 1971, by sweeping the Baltimore Bullets in four games. By winning it all in only their third season, the Bucks became the fastest expansion team in the history of North American sports to win a championship. As of 2018, it remains the only title in team history.
The Bucks remained a powerhouse for the first half of the 1970s. In 1972, they recorded their third consecutive 60-win season, the first NBA team to do so. During the year, Lew Alcindor converted to Islam and changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Milwaukee beat the Warriors in the playoffs 4–1, but lost the conference finals to Los Angeles 4–2. Injuries resulted in an early 1973 playoff exit, but the Bucks were back in the 1974 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. In game six of the series, Abdul-Jabbar made his famous "sky hook" shot to end a classic double-overtime victory for the Bucks. The Bucks lost game seven and the series to the Celtics; as of 2018, they had not returned to the NBA Finals. As the 1974–1975 season began, Abdul-Jabbar suffered a hand injury and the team got off to a 3–13 start. After his return, other injuries befell Milwaukee, sending them to the bottom of their division with 38 wins and 44 losses. When the season ended, Abdul-Jabbar made the stunning announcement that he no longer wished to play for the Bucks, stating that he needed the big city, requesting a trade to either Los Angeles or New York City. The front office was unable to convince him otherwise and on June 16, 1975, the Bucks pulled a mega-trade by sending Abdul-Jabbar to the Lakers for Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman, Brian Winters and David Meyers. The trade triggered a series of events that led to a change in the team's ownership. The Bucks' largest stockholder, cable television executive Jim Fitzgerald, opposed the trade and wanted to sell his stock. Although Fitzgerald was the largest stockholder, he did not own enough stock to control the team.
After the deal, the Bucks had several seasons in transition, but most of these players would go on to help the team. After being sold to Fitzgerald and several partners in 1976, the Bucks would enter into another era of greatness. It began with Don Nelson who became head coach in November 1976 after Larry Costello abruptly resigned. In the 1977 draft, the Bucks had three first round picks and drafted Kent Benson, Marques Johnson and Ernie Grunfeld. Johnson would become a staple in the Bucks for years to come. Rookie Sidney Moncrief made his debut in 1979. Don Nelson went on to win two NBA Coach of the Year awards with the Bucks, both during seasons where the team won division titles, in 1983 and 1985.
On October 18, 1977, Abdul-Jabbar, playing with the Lakers, punched Benson during a game. Abdul-Jabbar broke his hand in the process. Benson had been aggressive under the boards and Abdul-Jabbar, a martial arts blackbelt, snapped. Abdul-Jabbar was fined $5,000 by the NBA and missed the next 20 games. Meanwhile, Benson never played as aggressively again and the Bucks traded him to the Detroit Pistons in 1980 for veteran center Bob Lanier to fill in the hole left by the departure of Abdul-Jabbar. They then won the Midwest Division title in 1980. After losing to Seattle in the semi-finals, the Bucks moved to the Eastern Conference's Central Division.
There, they would win six straight division titles and have .500 seasons for the next 11 years. Within those years, the Bucks became perennial Eastern Conference contenders, primarily due to the strong play of Moncrief, Paul Pressey, Craig Hodges and the arrival of Terry Cummings, Ricky Pierce and Jack Sikma from trades with the Los Angeles Clippers and Seattle SuperSonics respectively. However, the Bucks were unable to make it to the NBA Finals again, being eliminated by either the Celtics or the Sixers each time.
For much of the 1970s the Bucks colors were forest green, deep red and white. In 1978, they added various shades of green to the uniforms, and in 1985, they eliminated red from the team colors.
Noteworthy for the 1980s Bucks is that in 1983 they became the first, and until 2003, only team in NBA history to sweep the Boston Celtics in a best-of-seven playoff series, being the first team to meet and defeat Michael Jordan in a playoff series (during Jordan's rookie year), and hosting Julius Erving's final NBA game in the 1987 NBA Playoffs, which would see the Bucks advancing with a game five first-round playoff victory.
In 1985, Fitzgerald and his partners (one of which was Stuart Shadel) decided to sell the Bucks. He was having health problems and some of his investors wanted to get out. The Bucks were playing in the smallest arena in the NBA and the city did not want to build a new one. Milwaukee businessman and U.S. Senator Herb Kohl bought the Bucks after fears that out-of-town investors could buy the team and move it out of Milwaukee. Before the transaction was complete, Jane and Lloyd Pettit of Milwaukee announced they were donating a new arena called the Bradley Center. In 2003, after considering selling the team, Kohl announced that he had decided against selling the Bucks to Michael Jordan and would "continue to own them, improve them and commit them to remaining in Wisconsin".
On May 21, 2012, the naming rights of the Bradley Center were sold to the BMO Harris Bank division of Bank of Montreal, which had purchased the assets of M&I Bank a year earlier. After the heirs to the Bradley fortune gave their approval, the arena was renamed the "BMO Harris Bradley Center".
For most of the 1990s, the Bucks franchise was mired in mediocrity under coaches Frank Hamblen, Mike Dunleavy, and Chris Ford. From 1991 through 1998, the Bucks suffered seven straight seasons of losing records. During this period, the Bucks drafted Glenn Robinson with the first overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft and in 1996 acquired rookie Ray Allen in a draft day trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Both players would have prominent roles in the Bucks resurgence during the late 1990s.
After the franchise's 25th anniversary in 1993, the Bucks overhauled their logo and uniforms. The colors were green, purple, and silver. The old logo, which featured a cartoonish deer, was replaced in favor of a more realistic one. The primary color scheme was altered as well, when red was supplanted by purple. Purple road uniforms replaced the former green away uniforms.
In 1997, the Bucks sent all-star forward Vin Baker in a three-team trade to the Seattle SuperSonics, and they would acquire Cleveland Cavaliers guard Terrell Brandon and forward Tyrone Hill. They also traded their 10th overall pick Danny Fortson, guard Johnny Newman, and center Joe Wolf to the Denver Nuggets for center Ervin Johnson. The 1997–98 Bucks finished their season with a 36-46 record, yet failing to make the playoffs for the seventh consecutive time.
After a decade of dwelling near the bottom of the NBA's standings, the Bucks looked to add credibility to their basketball operations. In 1998, the team hired veteran coach George Karl, who had reached the NBA Finals with the Seattle SuperSonics. Under the leadership of Karl and general manager Ernie Grunfeld, and with the steady addition of talent such as Tim Thomas and Sam Cassell, the Bucks developed into an elite team in the Eastern Conference. The nucleus of the "big three"—consisting of Ray Allen, Cassell, and Robinson—along with Karl, created a successful renaissance era in Milwaukee. The team reached its zenith in 2000–2001, winning 52 games and the Central Division title. The Bucks reached the 2001 Eastern Conference finals, which they lost in seven games to the 76ers.
After coming close to an NBA Finals appearance in 2001, the Bucks sought to make key off-season player additions to put the team in the NBA Finals. Behind the strong encouragement of George Karl, the Bucks acquired forward Anthony Mason at the beginning of the 2001–02 season. On paper, this move made the Bucks the team to beat in the East. However, Mason battled with his weight and had a tough time finding his role. The Bucks, who at the season's midway point were the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, began to free-fall. The collapse culminated with a loss to the Detroit Pistons on the final night of the season, which eliminated the Bucks from the playoffs and gave the division to the Pistons. The fallout created tension between the team's players and coach, resulting in a trade of Glenn Robinson to Atlanta (for Toni Kukoč and a 2003 first-round draft pick, used to select T. J. Ford).
During the 2002–03 season, the Bucks traded Ray Allen and backup Ronald "Flip" Murray to the Seattle SuperSonics for Gary Payton and Desmond Mason. The trade allowed emerging star Michael Redd to see increased playing time, and with Payton in the backcourt, they finished the season with a 42–40 record. The Bucks made the playoffs, but lost in the first round to the New Jersey Nets in six games. That offseason, team leaders Sam Cassell and Ervin Johnson were traded to Minnesota (for Joe Smith). Payton left via free agency, after playing only 28 games for the Bucks. Coach Karl's tenure also ended after the season. Within a one-year period, the team had lost the coach and players most responsible for the team's success during that era.
Under the direction of new general manager Larry Harris, the Bucks struggled with inconsistency and injury for the next six years. During that period, they reached the playoffs twice, first under coach Terry Porter in 2004 and then under Terry Stotts in 2006. In both instances, they were defeated by the Detroit Pistons in five games. During that period, Michael Redd blossomed into an all-star and a perimeter shooting threat, becoming the new "face of the franchise". The Bucks received the first pick in the 2005 NBA draft, and used it to select center Andrew Bogut. Bogut struggled with both inconsistency and injuries in his first four years in Milwaukee, but over time became a key contributor to the Bucks.
In 2006, the team finished 40–42, last in their division, 24 games behind Detroit, but still made the playoffs in a season where every team in their division did. They were paired as the eighth seed versus the 64–18 conference-leading Pistons. They won game three at home, but lost the other four in a 4–1 series loss.
Also in March, the Bucks announced that they would not renew general manager Larry Harris's contract, which was to expire in June. In April, the Bucks hired John Hammond, formerly vice-president of basketball operations for the Pistons, as their new general manager, giving the Milwaukee team a fresh director recently associated with success.
Also in April, the Bucks announced that Larry Krystkowiak, the third and final head coach hired by Larry Harris, had been relieved of his duties. Scott Skiles, formerly of the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns, became head coach.
On June 26, 2008, the Bucks acquired Richard Jefferson from the New Jersey Nets in a trade for 2007 first-round draft pick Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. Later that day, the Bucks selected West Virginia's Joe Alexander with the eighth pick of the NBA draft. Alexander was the first Taiwanese-born player in the NBA.
In the 2009 NBA draft, the Milwaukee Bucks selected point guard Brandon Jennings, who had not gone to college but played in Italy the previous year. Midway through the season, Bucks' general managerJohn Hammond traded Hakim Warrick to the Chicago Bulls, and acquired John Salmons. In a Bucks uniform, Salmons averaged a team-leading 19.9 points per game. The play of Jennings, along with the improvement of Andrew Bogut, the improved Ersan İlyasova, and the Salmons trade, catapulted the team to be a playoff contender. At the beginning of the season, the Bucks had low playoffs expectations; they had not been in four years. In October, the Bucks quickly fell behind the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Central Division, but Milwaukee ultimately clinched a playoff berth on April 6, 2010, with a road win over the Chicago Bulls. It was during that time that the phrase "Fear the Deer" started, most likely by an ESPN commentator, and adopted on message boards and within Andrew Bogut's Squad 6. The slogan rang well with Bucks fans, who started bringing signs with the phrase to games. The slogan became the team's battle cry in the NBA playoffs. The Bucks finished the regular season with a record of 46–36. The Bucks clinched the sixth seed and were eliminated in a seven-game series against the Atlanta Hawks. It was the farthest Milwaukee had gotten in the post-season since 2001. The Bucks short playoff run was also in part due to Bogut suffering a broken arm after making an awkward fall after a dunk in a late-season game, thus ending his season. In the 2010–11 season, the Bucks finished ninth in the Eastern Conference, just out of reach of the playoffs.
With Bogut sidelined for the rest of the season and Stephen Jackson and head coach Scott Skiles not seeing eye-to-eye, the Bucks decided to trade both players. On March 13, 2012, 48 hours before the trade deadline, the Bucks traded Bogut and Jackson to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown.
Before the 2012 NBA draft, the Bucks sent a first-round pick, Shaun Livingston, Jon Brockman, and Jon Leuer to the Houston Rockets for a first-round pick and Samuel Dalembert. In the 2012 draft, the Bucks selected Doron Lamb and John Henson.
After 32 games of the 2012–13 season, the Bucks fired Skiles, their coach since 2008. Jim Boylan was announced as the interim head coach and led the Bucks to a 22–28 record to finish the season at 38–44. The Bucks qualified as the eighth seed, where they were quickly swept 4–0 by the reigning, and eventual, champions, the Miami Heat.
Jim Boylan was relieved of his coaching duties and ex-Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew was hired. On June 27, 2013, the Bucks chose Greek forward Giannis Antetokounmpo with the 15th overall pick of the 2013 NBA draft. They also traded the 43rd pick, Ricky Ledo, for Nate Wolters. In the 2013 free agency campaign, they brought in O. J. Mayo, Carlos Delfino, Zaza Pachulia, and Gary Neal as well as seeing Monta Ellis opt out of the final year of his contract. The Bucks also agreed to sign-and-trade Brandon Jennings to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, and Viacheslav Kravtsov. The Bucks later extended their contract with Larry Sanders with a four-year, $44 million contract and traded Ish Smith and Kravtsov to the Phoenix Suns for Caron Butler. By the start of the 2013–14 season, the Bucks only had four players on their roster from the previous season. The season itself was a struggle, as the Bucks finished with the worst record in the league at 15–67, the worst record in team history.
On April 16, 2014, long-time Bucks owner Herb Kohl agreed to sell a majority interest of the team to New York-based billionaires Wes Edens, and Marc Lasry for $550 million, but Kohl still retains a significant minority interest in the team. The new owners are expected to keep the team in Milwaukee, and are also expected to contribute $100 million toward building a new arena for the franchise. Approval from the NBA Board of Governors came on May 15, a month later.
On July 1, 2014, the Milwaukee Bucks secured the coaching rights for Jason Kidd from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for two second-round draft picks in the 2015 NBA draft, and the 2019 NBA draft. With the acquisition of Kidd, the team fired coach Larry Drew.
With the many changes to the Bucks in ownership, coaches, and acquiring new young players to rebuild the team, the Bucks' new slogan for the 2014–15 season became "Own The Future".
The Bucks' overall play vastly improved, and on December 26, the Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks 107–77 for their 15th win, matching their win total of the previous season just 30 games in. The Bucks then went on a stretch from January 24 to February 20, where they went 10–2. The Bucks beat the Sacramento Kings on February 11 for their 30th win of the year, and also became the first ever NBA team to double their win total from the previous season before the All-Star Break.
Off the court, the Bucks made several changes to their roster, releasing Larry Sanders after several off-court incidents that led to multiple suspensions. On February 19, in the final minutes of the trade deadline, the Bucks became part of a 3-way deal with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns, sending Brandon Knight, who was in the final year of his contract, to the Suns, and receiving reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, Miles Plumlee, and Tyler Ennis. The Bucks also lost expected superstar Jabari Parker to a season-ending knee injury on December 15 in a game against the Phoenix Suns.
On January 25, the NBA passed the 'Jay-Z Rule', prohibiting ownership groups from consisting of more than 25 individuals, and also mandating that no ownership interest in a team be smaller than 1%. Both Lasry and Edens had sold chunks of Bucks ownership to family, friends, and prominent members of the Milwaukee community.
The Bucks finished the 2014–15 season with a 41–41 record. Their 26-game improvement from the previous season was the second highest in franchise history. The Bucks made the 2015 NBA Playoffs as the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference, where they faced the Chicago Bulls in the first round, losing in six games.
On July 6, 2015, Bucks president Peter Feigin stated if public funding for a new arena falls through, the NBA may buy the team and move it to Las Vegas or Seattle. Current Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan combined with Herb Kohl to pledge $250 million for a new arena and sought a match from the public. Of those funds, $93 million would come from the Wisconsin Center District in the form of new debt on Milwaukee citizens. The district would not commence repaying the bonds until 13 years thereafter.
On July 9, 2015, the Bucks confirmed their signing of center Greg Monroe to a three-year, $50 million contract. The Bucks also announced the club's re-signing of Khris Middleton to a five-year, $70 million contract.
On July 15, 2015, the future for the Bucks in Milwaukee was solidified after the Wisconsin State Senate voted 21–10 in favor of a proposal to use public money to help finance a new arena. The Bucks' new arena would replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center, which at the time was the third-oldest arena being used by an NBA team, behind Oracle Arena, and Madison Square Garden. The arena opened in 1988, and had been used by the Bucks for 27 consecutive seasons.
On the court, the young roster of the Bucks went through a step backward, to a 33–49 record in the 2015–16 season, though Giannis Antetokounmpo had an encouraging stretch in the final half of the season, accumulating 5 triple-doubles.
On June 18, 2016, ground was broken for the Bucks' new arena.
On September 19, 2016, the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo agreed to a 4-year, $100 million contract extension. In addition, the team would add new young improvements to the roster in drafting Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon, and made trades to bring in Tony Snell and Michael Beasley. When the 2016–17 season began, the Bucks were without Khris Middleton, who suffered a torn hamstring during a practice. Even so, the Bucks remained competitive, staying around .500 for the first half of the season, with both Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker leading the offense. While Parker missed making the All-Star team, Giannis was voted in as a starter, becoming the first Bucks All-Star since Michael Redd in 2004. In January, the Bucks slumped, though fans anticipated a turnaround with Middleton's return on February 8 against the Miami Heat. In the same game, however, Parker tore his ACL for the second time in 3 seasons, ending his season. Even so, Middleton's return still sparked a turnaround in March. During the month, the Bucks went 14-4, putting the team back in the thick of the playoff race. On April 8, 2017, the Bucks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 90–82, clinching the Bucks a playoff spot. On April 10, the Bucks beat the Charlotte Hornets 89–79 to clinch only the third winning season for the Bucks since 2001. The team finished the 2016-17 regular season with a 42-40 record. Giannis Antetokounmpo made history, becoming only the 5th player in NBA history to lead his team in all five major statistical categories, and was the first in NBA history to finish in the top-20 in the league in each category. The Bucks were the #6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and lost in the opening round to the Toronto Raptors, 4–2.
On May 23, 2017, Bucks general manager John Hammond stepped down to become general manager with the Orlando Magic.
On January 22, 2018, the Bucks fired Jason Kidd, who had a 23–22 record in the 2017–18 season. In Kidd’s three and a half seasons as head coach, the Bucks had a regular season record of 139–152 and reached the first round of the NBA playoffs in the 2014–15 and 2016–17 seasons. Bucks' assistant coach Joe Prunty was announced as Kidd's replacement on an interim basis for the rest of the season. Prunty finished the season with a 21–16 record, leading the Bucks to an overall 44-38 record, their best since the 2009-10 season. Seeded 7th in the 2017-18 Eastern Conference playoffs, the Bucks lost the series to the #2 seed Boston Celtics, 4–3.
On August 26, 2018, the Bucks' new arena, Fiserv Forum, opened to the public.
As of July 16, 2015, the following individuals and groups are among the owners of the Bucks:
The Bucks' official mascot is Bango. The word "Bango" was originally coined by Eddie Doucette, the longtime play-by-play announcer for the Bucks. Doucette used the word whenever a Bucks player connected on a long-range basket. It was often used for sharpshooter Jon McGlocklin. When it came time for the Bucks to choose a name for their new mascot, the name "Bango" won the contest.
Bango has been the Bucks' official mascot since on October 18, 1977, which was Milwaukee's home opener of the 1977–78 season. In addition to the date being Bango's home debut, the game itself pitted Milwaukee against former Bucks center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his Los Angeles Lakers at the Milwaukee Arena. Bango has worked hard to become popular with Bucks fans throughout the state of Wisconsin over the years, appearing at schools, parades, and festivals as a goodwill ambassador for the team. His high-flying acrobatic layups, daring rebounds, and other entertaining antics still play an important role in energizing Bucks fans at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Since 2001, Bango has also made perennial appearances at the NBA All-Star Game.
At the 2009 All-Star Weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, Bango suffered an injury during a mascot-participative skit. While standing on one basket's rim, Bango's right leg slipped through the hoop, and he fell on the rim. He then slipped further and fell through the basket entirely. Bango tore his ACL due to the fall and was unable to perform for the remainder of the 2008–09 season, periodically making appearances at games in a wheelchair. A video of Bango's injury at the 2009 Mascot Challenge was uploaded onto YouTube shortly after the incident occurred.
During game four of the 2009–10 first-round playoff series between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks, Bango successfully performed a back-flip dunk from the top of a 16-foot ladder, a feat similar to the Seattle SuperSonics' mascot Squatch's feat during a March 19, 2008, game between the SuperSonics and the Phoenix Suns.
The Bucks' first uniforms were based on the Boston Celtics' uniforms, featuring block lettering and numbers. The hunter green road uniforms featured the city name and numbers in white with red trim. The home white uniforms featured the team nickname and numbers in hunter green with red trim; the color scheme was reversed for the 1971–72 season. In the 1973–74 season, the road uniforms featured a script "Milwaukee" and numbers in red with white trim; two seasons later they used the same design for their home uniforms. In the 1976–77 season the road uniforms reverted to the block "Milwaukee" lettering while retaining the script home uniform. The shorts featured the alternate Bucks logo on the left leg.
Coinciding with the debut of Robert Indiana's iconic MECCA court in the 1977–78 season, the Bucks redesigned their uniforms. It now featured side stripes of kelly, lime and hunter green (a.k.a. the "Irish Rainbows"), inspired by the "Rainbow Guts" uniforms of the Houston Astros. Both the hunter green and white uniforms featured the streamlined "Bucks" lettering from the team logo and block lettering. They removed the color red prior to the 1985–86 season.
The Bucks changed their logo and uniforms for the 1993–94 season. The purple road uniforms featured a modernized "Bucks" lettering from their logo and numbers in silver with hunter green trim, with green side stripes. The home white uniforms featured the same lettering and numbers in hunter green with silver trim, with purple side stripes. The stripes were extended to the jersey in the 2001–02 season.
In the 1995–96 season the Bucks unveiled a hunter green alternate uniform. The script "Bucks" lettering was in white fading to silver and purple and numbers were in white with green and purple trim. The uniform featured the graphic deer logo on the right side. They were retired after the 1998–99 season. It would be resurrected for the 2012–13 season during Hardwood Classics Nights, to updated uniform standards.
The uniforms were changed again for the 2006–07 season. The new home uniform was white with hunter green stripes on the sides. Inside each green stripe is a thinner red stripe that splits into two stripes near the shoulders. The numbers are green with a red outline. Milwaukee had two road uniforms as part of this set. The primary one was hunter green and a similar design to the home uniform with white numbers with a silver highlight and red outline. Both uniforms jerseys said "BUCKS" across the chest in beveled block letters, the 'B' and 'S' slightly larger than the rest of the letters. A secondary road uniform was introduced in the 2008–09 season. Consisting of red jersey and shorts, it was made to resemble the 1968–73 uniforms. It says "Milwaukee" in white and silver writing, along with the numbers. The uniform set was tweaked for the 2014–15 season, with the addition of a gold tab commemorating their 1971 championship and the move of the NBA logo to the back. The 'Bucks' lettering was tweaked to make all the letters the same height.
During the 2014–15 season, hints were made by the Bucks that their logo and uniforms were going to be redesigned. For one home game, it was anticipated that new uniforms were going to be revealed with hunter orange replacing red as the secondary color. It turned out to be an April Fool's joke, though the Bucks did announce that a new logo and colors would be revealed on April 13, 2015.
On April 13, 2015, the Milwaukee Bucks unveiled new primary and secondary logos, as well as a new color scheme. The new branding will take effect beginning with the 2015–16 NBA season. The Bucks' new official colors are Good Land Green (a reference to "Milwaukee" being supposedly based on an Algonquian word meaning "The Good Land"), Cream City Cream (based on Milwaukee's old nickname of "the Cream City", which came from the cream-colored bricks that were used for constructing many of Milwaukee's buildings back during the late 19th century), Great Lakes Blue, Black, and White.
On June 6, 2015, the Milwaukee Bucks unveiled their new home and road uniforms, to be worn beginning with the 2015–16 season. The new uniforms remained white at home and green on the road, but red is now replaced by cream. The 'Milwaukee' city name also returned to the road uniforms for the first time since 1977. In addition, the jerseys feature a unique color block pattern on the sides, titled the "Cream City Rainbow". The pattern consists of the team's new colors of green, cream, royal blue and black, which the Bucks described as an homage to the "Irish Rainbow" design of the 1980s. Blue was also included inside the collar, representing Milwaukee and Wisconsin's "blue collar" citizens, while the inscription "Fear the Deer" was written on the bottom left upside down. The back collar features a small gold tab above the NBA logo, commemorating the Bucks' 1971 NBA championship.
On October 3, 2015, the Milwaukee Bucks unveiled a new black alternate uniform. The uniforms still feature the trim and the "Cream City Rainbow" on the sides, with the new Bucks logo in the center and the uniform number placed between the antlers of the logo. In conjunction with the unveiling of the uniform, dubbed the "Fear the Deer uniform", the team also unveiled a new alternate court design, a first in NBA history. The team planned to wear the black alternate uniform and play on the alternate court design for at least four (4) home games during the 2015–16 season.
In 2017, as part of the NBA's new protocol for uniforms, with each team allotted 5 different uniform sets, the Bucks added to their regular home and road uniforms, as well as their alternate black uniforms. For their retro uniform, the Bucks went with a replica version of their inaugural home uniforms from 1968 to 1970, as part of the Bucks celebrating their 50th season in the NBA. In addition, the Bucks were also given new "City" uniforms, conceived by Nike as a way of commemorating each of the NBA teams' city history and pride. The "City" uniforms, dubbed "Cream City" uniforms, featured cream-colored jerseys and shorts, with the "Cream City Rainbow" running horizontally along the front of the uniform, with the Bucks logo in the middle. The "Cream City Rainbow" was also on the shorts, shaped in an "M" on both sides that are part of the regular Bucks' uniform design.
For the 2018–19 season, Milwaukee's "City" uniform will pay homage to Robert Indiana's famous MECCA court, featuring yellow, beige and red as base colors and light blue and forest green on the hem of the shorts. "Bucks" is written vertically on the right while the number is on the left; both are in forest green with lime green trim. The Bucks would also wear an "Earned" uniform by virtue of qualifying in the 2018 playoffs; this uniform is essentially the "City" uniform but with the visual elements of red with green stripes, inspired from the 1977–1985 "Irish Rainbow" home uniform.
Milwaukee Bucks roster
The Bucks hold the draft rights to the following unsigned draft picks who have been playing outside the NBA. A drafted player, either an international draftee or a college draftee who is not signed by the team that drafted him, is allowed to sign with any non-NBA team. In this case, the team retains the player's draft rights in the NBA until one year after the player's contract with the non-NBA team ends. This list includes draft rights that were acquired from trades with other teams.
|Milwaukee Bucks Hall of Famers|
|1||Oscar Robertson 1||G||1970–1974||1980|
|Don Nelson||Head coach||1976–1987||2012|
|Wayne Embry 2||General manager||1972–1979||1999|
|Milwaukee Bucks Hall of Famers|
|Milwaukee Bucks retired numbers|
|1||Oscar Robertson||G||1970–1974||October 18, 1974|
|January 17, 1988|
|4||Sidney Moncrief||G||1979–1990||January 6, 1990|
|March 7, 2015|
|14||Jon McGlocklin||G||1968–1976||December 10, 1976|
|16||Bob Lanier||C||1980–1984||December 4, 1984|
|32||Brian Winters||G||1975–1983||October 28, 1983|
|33||Kareem Abdul-Jabbar||C||1969–1975||April 24, 1993|
|Milwaukee Bucks first overall picks|
Since the 2007–08 season, all Bucks games not nationally broadcast have aired exclusively on regional cable television over Fox Sports Wisconsin, with selected games also airing on the FS Wisconsin Plus feed, in case of Milwaukee Brewers conflicts. Bucks games produced by Fox Sports are also carried on the Fox Sports Go application within the team's broadcast territory.
Prior to the Fox Sports Wisconsin exclusivity, the Bucks split their television broadcasts between FS Wisconsin (which through various incarnations have televised Bucks games since 1996) and WCGV (Channel 24) from 1999 to 2007, and prior that, WVTV (Channel 18) was the over-the-air partner from 1994 to 1999. WCGV also previously carried Bucks games from 1988 to 1994, and WVTV again, this time from 1976 to 1988; these two stations are currently owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. The telecasts during each station's tenures as the over-the-air TV home of the Bucks consisted of almost exclusively road games; very few Bucks home games on either station were televised through the years, as the Bucks were one of the last NBA teams to regularly televise home games. The Bucks, along with their respective TV partners, co-produced and distributed the over-the-air telecasts to stations throughout Wisconsin.
In the franchise's early years, Bucks games were carried on then-ABC affiliate WITI (Channel 6), from 1968 to 1971, and on then-CBS affiliate WISN-TV (Channel 12) from 1971 to 1976; both respective runs also coincided with NBA coverage already carried by their networks at the time--ABC (1965-1973) and CBS (1973-1990). The two stations swapped networks in March 1977, with WISN since remaining with ABC, and WITI switching from CBS to Fox in December 1994.
Since 1986, Jim Paschke has been the team's television play-by-play announcer, with former Buck Jon McGlocklin providing color commentary for the team since 1976. Since the 2015–16 season, veteran announcer Gus Johnson and former Buck Marques Johnson (no relation) have called selected games alongside Paschke and McGlocklin on a rotating basis. Veteran sportscaster Eddie Doucette served as the team's original play-by-play voice, working in that capacity from 1968 to 1984; he also called selected Bucks games on WITI, WISN-TV, and during most of WVTV's first tenure with the Bucks. He and McGlocklin also co-founded the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Fund in 1976, which raises money to help cancer research.
On the radio side the team has been carried by WTMJ (620/103.3) and throughout the state on the Bucks Radio Network (which is sponsored by BMO Harris) for most of the team's history. Ted Davis announces, with former WTMJ-TV sports director Dennis Krause providing color and serving as solo announcer on nights where Davis has a broadcasting assignment elsewhere.
If the player is already under contract to, or signs a contract with a non-NBA team, the team retains the player's draft rights for one year after the player's obligation to the non-NBA team ends. Essentially, the clock stops as long as the player plays pro ball outside the NBA.
The 1970–71 Milwaukee Bucks season was the third season for the Bucks. Milwaukee posted a 66–16 record in only its third year of existence, and its second since getting Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Key part of the championship season was the acquisition of Oscar Robertson. Other role players on the Bucks included players such as Bob Dandridge (18.4 ppg) and Jon McGlocklin (15.8 ppg), power forward Greg Smith and key reserves Lucius Allen, Bob Boozer and Dick Cunningham completing the nucleus. The season included a 20-game winning streak, the NBA's longest at the time, and still ranked fifth all-time. And the Bucks became the first team from the Midwest Division to win the NBA title; it would be 23 years before the Houston Rockets would do the same.1971 NBA Finals
The 1971 NBA World Championship Series was the championship series played at the conclusion of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 25th anniversary season of 1970–71. The Western Conference champion Milwaukee Bucks, who were founded just three years earlier, swept the Eastern Conference champion Baltimore Bullets in four games. Baltimore had dethroned the 1969–70 NBA champion New York Knicks.
The Bucks were the first Western Conference champions to win the league's finals since the St. Louis Hawks did so in 1958.
This was the first NBA Finals not played in the state of California in 10 years. It would also be the last time that both participants were playing in their first NBA Finals until the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat got together in the 2006 NBA Finals.
The Bullets were forced to play Game 1 on a Wednesday night, just 48 hours after having defeated New York in Game 7 of the 1971 Eastern Conference Finals, then had to wait four days before playing Game 2.
The series was the second (and last) time in NBA history that the teams alternated home games, the other being in 1956. Most other series were held in the 2-2-1-1-1 or 2-3-2 format. It was also the last NBA Championship Series completed before May 1.
The series was broadcast by ABC with Chris Schenkel and Jack Twyman providing the commentary.
As both the Bucks and Washington Wizards (the Bullets' successors) now play in the Eastern Conference, a rematch of this Finals is not currently possible.2018–19 Milwaukee Bucks season
The 2018–19 Milwaukee Bucks season is the 51st season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Bucks moved from the Bradley Center to the new Fiserv Forum before the start of the season. On May 17, 2018, the Bucks hired Mike Budenholzer as head coach. The Bucks opened the season with seven straight wins, the first time they started a season 7–0 since 1971–72.
On March 1, 2019, with a 131–120 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Bucks became the first team to secure a playoff berth in the season.Andrew Bogut
Andrew Michael Bogut (born 28 November 1984) is an Australian professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The 7-foot (2.13 m) center began his career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) after he was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the first overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft. He earned All-NBA Third Team honors with the Bucks in 2010. He was traded to the Golden State Warriors in 2012, and was named NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2015, when he won an NBA championship with the Warriors.
Bogut played college basketball for two years with the Utah Utes, and earned national player of the year honors in 2005. He declared for the NBA draft, and became the first Australian to be the NBA's first overall pick. In his first year with the Bucks, Bogut was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2006. He earned all-league honors in 2010 after averaging a career-high 15.9 points along with 10.2 rebounds per game. He missed most of 2011–12 with an ankle injury, when he was traded to Golden State. After winning the NBA Finals in 2015, Bogut helped the Warriors win an NBA-record 73 games in 2015–16. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, where he played briefly before other short stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. In 2018, he returned to his home country to play for the Sydney Kings.Don Nelson
Donald Arvid Nelson (born May 15, 1940), sometimes known as Nellie, is an American former National Basketball Association (NBA) player and head coach. He coached the Milwaukee Bucks, the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Golden State Warriors.
An innovator, Nelson is credited with, among other things, pioneering the concept of the point forward, a tactic which is frequently employed by teams at every level today. His unique brand of basketball is often referred to as Nellie Ball. He was named one of the Top 10 coaches in NBA history. On April 7, 2010, he passed Lenny Wilkens for first place on the all-time NBA wins list with 1,333 wins. His all-time record is 1,335–1,063 (.557). Nelson was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.Donte DiVincenzo
Donte DiVincenzo (born January 31, 1997) is an American professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Villanova Wildcats. He won national championships with Villanova in 2016 and 2018.Ersan İlyasova
Ersan İlyasova (born May 15, 1987) is a Turkish professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has previously played in Turkey, Spain and the NBA Development League.Fiserv Forum
Fiserv Forum () is a multi-purpose arena located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Groundbreaking and construction began on June 18, 2016, and the arena received its certificate of occupancy on June 5, 2018. It is the home of the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Marquette Golden Eagles men's basketball team of Marquette University. The arena opened on August 26, 2018.Glenn Robinson
Glenn Alan Robinson Jr. (born January 10, 1973) is an American former professional basketball player. Nicknamed Big Dog, he played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1994 to 2005 for the Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, and San Antonio Spurs. Robinson attended Purdue University, was the first overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft, and is the father of Glenn Robinson III, who played college basketball at the University of Michigan and plays in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons.Jon McGlocklin
Jon P. McGlocklin (born June 10, 1943) is an American former professional basketball player born in Franklin, Indiana.List of Milwaukee Bucks head coaches
The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball franchise based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They are a member of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team plays their home games at the Fiserv Forum. The Bucks are owned by Wes Edens and Marc Lasry, with Jon Horst as their general manager.
Since the team was formed in 1968, there have been 15 head coaches for the Bucks franchise. The franchise won its only NBA championship in the 1971 NBA Finals under the leadership of its first coach, Larry Costello. Don Nelson is the franchise's all-time leader for the most regular season games coached (884), most regular season games won (540), most playoff games coached (88), the highest winning percentage in the regular season (.611), and most playoff games won (42). Nelson is also the only Bucks coach to win an NBA Coach of the Year Award and to be one of the top 10 coaches in NBA history. Larry Krystkowiak and Joe Prunty are the only people to have spent their entire head coaching career with the Bucks. Mike Dunleavy, Krystkowiak, and Scott Skiles have played and coached for the Bucks. Skiles was the head coach of the Bucks from 2008 until he and the team mutually agreed to part ways in 2013.List of Milwaukee Bucks seasons
This is a list of seasons completed by the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Bucks joined the NBA as an expansion team in the 1968 season. Milwaukee's 1971 NBA title in their 3rd year of existence marks the Bucks as the fastest team ever to go from being an entirely new franchise to being an NBA champion.Malcolm Brogdon
Malcolm Moses Adams Brogdon (born December 11, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Virginia Cavaliers under Tony Bennett. As a senior in 2015–16, he was named the ACC Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first player in conference history to earn both honors in the same season. He was selected in the second round of the 2016 NBA draft by the Bucks with the 36th overall pick. He went on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, becoming the first second-round pick in the NBA to win the award since 1966.Marques Johnson
Marques Kevin Johnson (born February 8, 1956) is an American retired professional basketball player. The small forward played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1977–1989, where he was a five-time All-Star. He spent the majority of his career with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Johnson was a Los Angeles City Section player of the year in high school before attending the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins and won a national championship in 1975. In his senior year, he won multiple national player of the year awards. Johnson was the third overall pick in the 1977 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. He played seven seasons with Milwaukee before finishing his NBA career with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors. He is currently a basketball analyst for Fox Sports Net.Mike Budenholzer
Michael Vincent Budenholzer (born August 6, 1969) is an American professional basketball coach who is the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Before joining the Bucks, Budenholzer spent five seasons as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and 18 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, serving as a video coordinator for the first two seasons and then as an assistant coach under head coach Gregg Popovich.Mike Dunleavy Sr.
Michael Joseph Dunleavy Sr. (born March 21, 1954) is an American retired professional basketball player, head coach, and former general manager of the National Basketball Association's Los Angeles Clippers. He was most recently the head coach of the Tulane University men's basketball team. Dunleavy is the father of former professional basketball player Mike Dunleavy Jr.Scott Skiles
Scott Allen Skiles Sr. (born March 5, 1964) is an American basketball coach and former player. He most recently served as the head coach of the Orlando Magic. He also coached the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, and Milwaukee Bucks. A first-round draft pick out of Michigan State University, Skiles played ten seasons as a point guard in the NBA. He holds the NBA record for assists in one game with 30, set in his fifth season in the league and second with Orlando, in which he also earned the 1990–91 NBA Most Improved Player Award.Sidney Moncrief
Sidney Alvin Moncrief (born September 21, 1957) is an American retired professional basketball player. As an NCAA college basketball player from 1975 to 1979, Moncrief played for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, leading them to the 1978 Final Four and a win in the NCAA Consolation Game versus #6 Notre Dame. Nicknamed Sid the Squid, Sir Sid, and El Sid, Moncrief went on to play 11 seasons in the National Basketball Association, including ten seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and won the first two NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1983 and 1984.Wayne Embry
Wayne Richard Embry (born March 26, 1937) is a retired American basketball player & basketball executive. Embry's 11-year playing career as a center/forward spanned from 1958 to 1969 playing for the Cincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, all of the NBA. After his playing career, Embry transitioned to a career as a professional basketball executive, becoming the first African-American general manager & team president in NBA history.
Since 2004, Embry has served as a senior basketball advisor for the Toronto Raptors.
|G League affiliate|
|Culture and lore|