Right now, Giannis Antetokounmpo is without a doubt the biggest name on the Milwaukee Bucks as they look to win their second title in franchise history. He has emerged as one of the most dominant players in the game today, and what’s scary is that he got so good at such a young age. There’s little doubt that The Greek Freak will continue dominating the league in years to come, and that by the time he calls it a career, he’s going to be up there with the all-time greats. But who is the greatest Bucks player ever?
Giannis is obviously not the only great player who has donned the franchise’s uniform. There have been a fair amount of players who have made their mark on the Bucks’ news cycle throughout the years, so let’s take a look back at the five greatest Milwaukee Bucks in history.
5. Ray Allen
Ray Allen is widely regarded as one of the best shooters in NBA history, and while he won his two championships with the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat, there’s also no denying that the 6-foot-5 shooting guard had some of his best years in Milwaukee.
The Bucks drafted Stephon Marbury fourth overall in 1996 but was traded on the same night for the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ fifth pick in Allen. It was in Milwaukee where the former UConn standout would cut his teeth. He spent the first six and a half seasons of his career with the Bucks, being named an All-Star in three of them. In this three-year span, Allen averaged 22.0 points (on 46.5 percent shooting), 4.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per game to go along with 2.6 triples on a 43.0-percent clip.
4. Sidney Moncrief
6-foot-3 combo guard Sidney Moncrief is likely the most unpopular player on our list. Nonetheless, he still stands out as one of the all-time great Bucks. Like Allen, Moncrief was also picked by the Bucks with their fifth pick in the 1979 NBA Draft. The Arkansas alumni is a five-time All-Star, a five-time All-NBA Team member, and a five-time All-Defensive Team member.
Moncrief was a defensive stalwart for the Bucks during his time and was actually the first Defensive Player of the Year winner in 1983. He defended the title the following season. Moncrief is one out of only five guards to have won this prestigious award, along with Alvin Robertson, Michael Cooper, Michael Jordan, and Gary Payton.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
The rise of Giannis Antetokounmpo has been nothing short of spectacular. At just 26 years old, the 6-foot-11 forward is already a back-to-back MVP. Antetokounmpo still has a long way to go in his career, and it would not be surprising if he ends up being the greatest Buck of all time once it is all said and done. That’s just not yet the case today, but a championship would certainly help his case.
2. Oscar Robertson
With Giannis still on the rise, though, we have a couple of players that are able to edge him out on our list. One of them is the Big O, Oscar Robertson. It wasn’t until he was 32 that he joined the Bucks in 1970, after spending the first decade of his career with the Cincinnati Royals. Nonetheless, he made an instant impact in his first year in Milwaukee, helping the squad to win its one and only NBA championship in 1971.
Robertson would spend the final four seasons of his career in Milwaukee, before retiring in 1974. Throughout his decorated career, Robertson’s accolades include Rookie of the Year, 12 All-Star appearances, 11 selections to the All-NBA squad, three All-Star Game MVP titles, and one MVP. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980.
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
While Robertson played a significant role in Milwaukee’s title run in 1971, it was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar that led that squad to its historic championship. This was just in his sophomore season, and he averaged a mind-boggling 31.7 points on 57.7 percent shooting from the field, 16.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.
Abdul-Jabbar is considered by many as one of the greatest of all time, and for good reason. The Hall of Famer finished his career as a Rookie of the Year winner, 19-time All-Star, two-time scoring champ, 15-time All-NBA Team member, 11-time All-Defensive Team member, two-time Finals MVP, and a record six-time MVP winner.
The only downside here for the Bucks is that they parted ways with Abdul-Jabbar after six seasons, trading him to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would have an even more illustrious career. Kareem won one title with the Bucks and another five while with the Purple & Gold, bringing his total tally to six championships.