SB Nation has launched its “Titleless: Best Teams to Never Win a Championship” tournament and the Milwaukee Bucks will, painfully, have several participants in the bracket. Today, our dose of bitter disappointment comes in the form of the 2000-01 Milwaukee Bucks, who ranked 14th in the “They Were Robbed” region. We’ve convened the staff to reflect on this team’s stirring run and saddening exit to start the new millennium...
What do you remember most about the 2000-01 Milwaukee Bucks season?
Kyle: I remembered how much fun that team was. I had season tickets and every game was entertaining and the Bradley Center was a fortress.
Gabe: This was the first season of a Wisconsin sports team that I ever remember following. I was only five years old during the run, but I recall me and my brothers decking out our bedroom with Bucks posters from Sports Illustrated for Kids and other random Bucks memorabilia.
Adam: It can’t be anything else for me than the Glenn Robinson Game 5 miss. I still remember sitting on our living room carpet just looking at my dad in utter disappointment as this shot ricocheted away...
Who was your favorite player from that squad?
Kyle: Ray Allen, I had always wanted to be able to shoot like him and had his jersey and poster in my room. Also Joel Przybilla because I have he gave me his shoes after a game.
Gabe: Yeah, I have to go with Ray Allen. I loved the electricity he brought with his hot shooting.
Adam: Hate to keep the Ray Ray love going but by far he was my favorite player. I had an entire binder of basketball cards (more than 100 I think) all dedicated to different Allen editions.
Where do they rank on your pantheon of favorite Bucks teams?
Kyle: 1st by a wide margin
Gabe: I’d say second behind last year’s team. The nostalgia still runs at a high pace, from the purple and green jerseys to Light It Up, Light It Up!
Adam: I liked them probably third, just ahead of Fear The Deer but behind the 2014-15 and 18-19 squads as detailed in one of our previous roundtables.
So...do we think they were robbed of a Finals appearance?
Gabe: Yes. 100%.
Adam: I don’t remember these games well enough to say that they were screwed by any refs, but on the surface the +43 personal foul disparity in the Sixers favor over the course of the series certainly could reflect that. It usually goes refs may swallow their whistle in the Playoffs, but the Bucks did average 23.5 fouls per game in this series, right in line with their season average for the year. The Sixers averaged 3 less per game than their season average though. That’s tough to square. So...ya, like Kyle and Gabe said.
As Bucks fans, we’ve seen our fair share of disappointment, where did this one land on a scale of 1-10?
Kyle: My dad and I were going to head to the Bradley Center after Game 7 to hopefully buy tickets for Games 3 and 4 of the NBA Finals. The Bucks lost and I cried for an hour (at least) I would put it at 10000000000000000000.
Gabe: You could make the argument that this is a 10 because it’s the most Milwaukee vs. Everyone case (in terms of the NBA rigging the series), and unfortunately, it didn’t result in a favorable result for us. Ugh.
Adam: Personally, I’d say it’s more around a 7 for me, if only because my hooks weren’t entirely in as a Bucks fan at that point in my young life. Had I the same fervor (and age) I do now, I certainly would rank it higher.
What are your favorite memories of that 2000-01 run? How adamantly do you believe they were robbed? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Come back tomorrow to help us pick which of our three Bucks entries in the “Best Teams to Never Win a Title” series we should pick to face off against the rest of the league’s best teams to fall short.