clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Introducing the All-Time Tournament

New, comments

A tournament 50 years in the making.

Sports Logos News

Have you ever been trying to fall asleep, but stay awake because your mind is racing a million miles an hour?

Me too.

Is your mind racing a million miles an hour because you have pressing questions that need answers?

Me too.

Are the pressing questions you need answers to something like: could the 2000/01 Milwaukee Bucks have taken the 80s Bucks teams to task? How would a Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar match-up played out? Could Brandon Jennings have dropped 55 on Jon McGlocklin?!

Me too!

Well sleep deprived friends, we will have these answers for you over the course of the dog days of summer! So throw away the melatonin pills and turn off the white noise fans because we will find out once and for all which specific year’s team is the greatest in all of the Bucks’ 50 year history.

In order to get a proper 1-50 seed list, I used fivethirtyeight’s ELO rankings and jotted down each season’s ELO rating at the end of their respective seasons (not necessarily their peak ELO). From there, I threw everything into an Excel spreadsheet and sorted the years from highest ELO rating to the lowest — simple enough!

Here is the top half of the bracket with seed numbers:

Bracket courtesy of

And here is the bottom half of the bracket with seed numbers:

Bracket courtesy of

It is no surprise that the Kareem-led Bucks are four of the top five seeds in the tournament and that all but one of the seasons he was in a Bucks uniform received a bye into the “Round of 32.” Marques Johnson is another famous player that has a majority of his Milwaukee seasons bypassing the “Play-in Round”. In fact, the only Bucks team after the year 1987 to receive a bye is the “Light it Up” Bucks of 2000/01. The highest seeded Giannis-led team was from this past season, and they clocked in as the 20th seed.

So, how in the heck will the winners be determined if they cannot play in real life? Thankfully there is a website for that! Games will be decided by doing one simulation for each game using whatifsports as the arena*.

*The 2017/18 season is not uploaded to whatifsports quite yet, so I will asterisk their game results using the 2016/17 team and adding seven points to the total. Why seven points? The 17/18 Bucks finished with an ELO rating 14 points higher than the 16/17 Bucks finished with. By halving the ELO rating difference into points scored I figure that should be good enough.

So before we get into the first day of games, let’s get a pulse on which decade we think will produce the winner (if you think the 1968/69 team will win it all, vote for the 70s).


Which Decade Will Produce the All-Time Team?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    (133 votes)
  • 13%
    (23 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 2%
    (4 votes)
  • 6%
    (11 votes)
171 votes total Vote Now

And now we will get to the first three games that will be simulated on the first day of the tournament. We will start at the very top of the bracket in the Play-in Round:

We range from teams that are 25 years apart to just two, and with half of the teams being from the 21st century. So, who ya got on the first day of the tournament?


Game 1

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    (32) 1976/77
    (46 votes)
  • 58%
    (33) 2001/02
    (65 votes)
111 votes total Vote Now


Game 2

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    (16) 2009/10
    (74 votes)
  • 28%
    (49) 2007/08
    (29 votes)
103 votes total Vote Now


Game 3

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    (17) 1988/89
    (91 votes)
  • 12%
    (48) 1993/94
    (13 votes)
104 votes total Vote Now