A month back we asked you to vote for the top ten Bucks of all time. Per your voting, the first five nominees were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (94% of ballots), Oscar Robertson (90%), Sidney Moncrief (88%), Ray Allen (86%) and Glenn Robinson (61%). Since I've been lagging way behind on these nominations, we're going to knock out the second half of the top ten today, lightning round-style. Our Bucks nominees will be eligible for the forthcoming SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame ballot that will also include nominees from Brew Crew Ball, Acme Packing Company, Bucky's 5th Quarter and Anonymous Eagle.
Our top five raised some interesting questions. Oscar over Sidney Moncrief? Ray Allen and the Big Dog over Marques Johnson? Clearly, historical context and what you did outside of Milwaukee impact modern perceptions of a player's impact. For instance, Allen and Robinson certainly benefited from being the leading scorers on the most recent Bucks team to win 50 games, but Robertson's association with the mythical '71 team and exploits before he came to Milwaukee no doubt explain why he nearly nabbed the #1 spot.
The rest of our top ten will probably spur some additional debate, and it also underscores that a player's legacy isn't limited to his exploits in shorts and high-tops. Fortunately, some of the Bucks' best players have also been some of Milwaukee's best citizens, a fact that's also reflected in the retired jerseys hanging from the BC's rafters. Read on after the jump and debate away in the comments.
6. Jon McGlocklin (Included on 53% of ballots)
No matter when you started following the Bucks, you know Jonny Mac. Acquired by the Bucks in the 1968 expansion draft after three seasons with Cincinnati and San Diego, the sweet-shooting McGlocklin blossomed in the Bucks' debut season, averaging nearly 20 ppg and earning a 1969 all-star berth. McGlocklin embraced the role of complementary scorer with the arrival of Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson, scoring nearly 16 ppg for the 1971 championship team. Even as a guard, Jonny Mac finished in the top ten in fg% four straight seasons and retired eighth in Bucks history in win shares (43.3), fourth in games played (595), and seventh in ft% (.860).
But for all his exploits on the court, McGlocklin has meant even more to the state of Wisconsin off it. Upon retiring in 1976, he announced with former Bucks announcer Eddie Doucette the founding of the MACC Fund, which has to date raised $36 million for childhood cancer research. And as we all know, McGlocklin remains a fixture in the Bucks' broadcast booth, having spent over three decades calling games on TV.
7. Bob Lanier (53%)
The first overall pick in 1970 draft and a seven-time all-star with the Pistons, the 31-year old Lanier arrived midway through the 79/80 season. Standing nearly seven feet with size 22 shoes, he teamed with Marques Johnson, Junior Bridgeman and Sidney Moncrief to help the Bucks win division titles in all five of his season in Milwaukee, including two trips to the East Finals and an all-star appearance in 1982.
However, Lanier's time in Milwaukee was beset by knee and other injuries that limited him to 28 mpg or less in each of his final five seasons. That makes him a stretch to be ranked ahead of the other guys in our top ten voting, but don't shoot the messenger. While the injuries prevented him from matching the incredible raw numbers from his days in Detroit, Lanier remained an effective big man and ranks fourth overall in Bucks history in win shares per 48 minutes (.164). Despite the injuries, Lanier finished his career with career averages of 20.1 ppg and 10.1 rpg, and his number 16 was retired by both the Bucks and Pistons.
Lanier has remained heavily involved with the NBA since his retirement, having led the league's Stay in School program and served as Special Assistant to the Commissioner. Also, I was buds with his son Robert in elementary school. You can guess which of us was the better basketball player.
8. Terry Cummings (49%)
I was pleasantly surprised to see Cummings finish in the top ten in voting despite a largely overlooked career in Milwaukee. The 1983 rookie of the year with the Clippers, Cummings came to Milwaukee before the 84/85 season in a deal that sent Marques Johnson and Junior Bridgeman out West. TC averaged 19.4 ppg and 7.8 rpg in six seasons, earning a pair of all-star honors in the process.
But those numbers are also a bit deceptive given they include the 94/95 season, when Cummings returned as a veteran rotation player in Glenn Robinson's first season. Between 1984 and 1989, Cummings averaged 21.7 ppg and 8.3 rpg, helping the Bucks to five playoff appearances including a trip to the East Finals in 1986.
9. Marques Johnson (47%)
How did Johnson end up this low? It's a good question, and I can only assume it has mostly to do with the fact that he arrived shortly after Kareem and was overshadowed in the '80s by Sidney Moncrief. Still, just look at the numbers and you can make a great case for Johnson being one of Milwaukee's top four or five players of all time.
Following an All-American career at UCLA, the 6'7" Johnson was an immediate impact impact player in the NBA, dropping 19.5 ppg and 10.6 rpg as a rookie, and upping those figures to 24.0 ppg and 12.4 rpg in nine playoff games. He earned his first of five all-star berths as a sophomore, earning all-NBA first team honors while scoring a team-high 25.6 ppg--only Michael Redd (26.7 ppg in 06/07) has had a more explosive scoring season over the past 32 years in Milwaukee. Johnson would earn second team all-NBA the following two seasons and help the Bucks win four straight division titles, including a 60-win season and two straight trips to the East Finals.
Traded for Cummings in 1984, Johnson finished his career all over the Bucks' all-time leaderboard. Fourth in points per game (21.0), third in rebounds (3,923), second in PER (21.2), fourth in fg% (.530), sixth in points (10,980), and third in both win shares (71.1) and win shares per 48 minutes (0.187). Aside from Kareem and perhaps Moncrief, you can match those numbers against anyone else in Bucks history, which also makes his #8 jersey (now being worn by Larry Sanders) the most glaring omission from the Bucks' retired numbers.
A neck injury forced the 30-year-old Johnson to retire just after three seasons with his hometown Clippers, but he remained in the spotlight. In addition to a brief comeback with the Warriors three years later, Johnson stayed in front of the camera with a series of acting roles (most notably in White Men Can't Jump) and working as a TV analyst.
10. Junior Bridgeman (40%)
Many will be surprised to see Ulysses "Junior" Bridgeman round out the top ten ahead of names like Bobby Dandridge (35%) and Paul Pressey (27%), but few can argue with his long-term impact both on and off the court. A month after the Lakers drafted him eighth overall in the 1975 NBA draft, the 6'5" swingman was sent to Milwaukee as part of the blockbuster deal for Kareem. Welcome to Milwaukee, eh? Despite the awkward circumstances of his arrival, Junior played nine seasons in Milwaukee before heading to the Clippers along with Johnson in the Cummings trade, and would return two years later to play his final season in Milwaukee.
Bridgeman made his name as super sub that helped the Bucks win six division titles and twice reach the East Finals. He remains the franchise leader in games played (711) while ranking seventh in points (9,892) and tenth in win shares (41.1). Despite that, Bridgeman's accomplishments as an entrepreneur and philanthropist are perhaps even more impressive. As president and owner of Bridgeman Foods, he operates over 161 Wendy's and 121 Chili's restaurants across the country, servers as a director of the PGA of America, and has been honored countless times for his charity work.