|Arena||BMO Harris Bradley Center|
Good Land Green, Cream City Cream, Great Lakes Blue, Black, White|
|Team manager||John Hammond|
|Head coach||Jason Kidd|
|Ownership||Wesley Edens, Marc Lasry|
|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)|
The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball franchise based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member team of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division. The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and played at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl was the long-time owner of the team, with John Hammond as current general manager; as of April 16, 2014 a group led by billionaire hedge fund managers Wesley 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 a month later on May 16. The team is currently valued at $675 million according to Forbes, ranking second-to-last in the league.
The Bucks have won one league title (1971), two conference titles (1971 and 1974), and 13 division titles (1971–74, 1976, 1980–86, 2001). They have featured such notable players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sidney Moncrief, Oscar Robertson, Bob Dandridge, Bob Lanier, Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson, Ray Allen, Sam Cassell, Junior Bridgeman, Michael Redd, Terry Cummings, Vin Baker, Jon McGlocklin, Marques Johnson, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brian Winters, and Jabari Parker.
On January 22, 1968, the National Basketball Association (NBA) awarded a franchise to Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services, Inc. (Milwaukee Pro), a group headed by Wesley Pavalon and Marvin Fishman. 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 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.
1969–1975: Lew Alcindor era
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 NBA history to win the championship, however four decades later, it remains the only title in club 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 2016, 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. 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. Jim Fitzgerald, the Bucks largest stockholder, 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.
1976–1979: Transition from Alcindor/Abdul-Jabbar
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 cable television executive Jim 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.
1979–1990: Sidney Moncrief era
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 playoffs 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.
Ownership and arena changes
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, it was announced that the naming rights of the Bradley Center had been sold to the BMO Harris Bank division of Bank of Montreal, which had purchased the assets of M&I Bank a year earlier, and after the heirs to the Bradley fortune gave their approval, the arena was renamed as the "BMO Harris Bradley Center".
1990–1998: Era of struggles
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.
1998–2003: The Big Three era
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. That year the Bucks reached the 2001 Eastern Conference finals, which they lost in seven games.
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. 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.
2003–2009: Michael Redd 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 GM, 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.
2009–2013: The arrival of Brandon Jennings
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 GM John Hammond traded Hakim Warrick to Chicago, 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.
2013–present: Giannis Antetokounmpo era
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 Wesley 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. The latter city could be the frontrunner, as the city had a proven fanbase with the Seattle SuperSonics (a name the Bucks would more than likely pick up with a move to the city), and the NBA only needs a $25 million profit to buy the Bucks and move them to one of the two aforementioned cities. Current Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan combined with Herb Kohl to pledge $250 million for the new arena and are seeking 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 wouldn't 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 as of 2016 is the third-oldest arena currently used by an NBA team, behind Oracle Arena, and Madison Square Garden. The arena opened in 1988, and has been used by the Bucks for 27 consecutive seasons.
As of July 16, 2015, the following individuals and groups are among the owners of the Bucks:
- Jamie Dinan, Hedge fund manager and founder of York Capital Management.
- Wes Edens, Co-founder of the Fortress Investment Group LLC, based in New York.
- Giacamo Falluca, CEO Palermo's Pizza.
- Michael D. Fascitelli, former CEO of Vornado Realty Trust.
- Jon Hammes, Co-chair of fundraising for Scott Walker's 2016 presidential campaign.
- Jeffrey A. Joerres, Executive chairman of ManpowerGroup.
- Jim Kacmarcik, President of Kapco, a metal stamping company in Grafton, Wisconsin.
- Craig Karmazin, CEO of Good Karma Brands.
- Ted Kellner, Chairman of the board and CEO, Fiduciary Management, Inc. and formerly of the Marshall & Ilsley Corporation board of directors.
- Gale Klappa, CEO Wisconsin Energy Corporation.
- Michael Kocourek, President of Mid Oaks Investments.
- Partners for Community Impact,
- Herb Kohl,
- Marc Lasry, CEO and co-founder of Avenue Capital Group.
- Keith Mardak, Chairman and CEO of Hal Leonard Corporation, a sheet music company.
- Agustin Ramirez, Executive chairman of Waukesha-based HUSCO International Inc.
- Austin Ramirez, President and CEO of HUSCO International.
- Adam Stern, Minority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, a managing director and head of business development at Aristeia Capital, a New York-based asset management firm.
- Marc Stern, Minority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, chairman TCW Group Inc.
- Teddy Werner, Milwaukee Brewers vice president of business development and son of Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.
Notable firsts in Bucks history
First draft choice
- In the 1968 draft, the Bucks selected Charlie Paulk of Northeastern State in the first round (seventh overall).
- On October 16, 1968, the Bucks hosted the Chicago Bulls, dropping an 89–84 decision in front of a Milwaukee Arena crowd of 8,467. Starting for the Bucks were Guy Rodgers, Jon McGlocklin, Fred Hetzel, Len Chappell and Wayne Embry. McGlocklin scored the first points in team history, draining a jump shot just 13 seconds into the contest and Rodgers led the Bucks with 16 points.
- The Bucks first claimed victory on October 31, 1968, in a 134–118 decision over the Detroit Pistons at the Milwaukee Arena.
First NBA championship
- No expansion team in the history of major North American sports has earned a championship more quickly than the Bucks, who captured the 1971 NBA title in their third season of existence. The 1970–71 Bucks posted a 66–16 regular-season mark under coach Larry Costello. In the postseason, they beat San Francisco (4–1) and the Los Angeles Lakers (4–1) before sweeping Baltimore in four straight for the title.
First Bradley Center game
- In front of a sellout crowd of 18,649 on November 5, 1988, the Bucks dropped a 107–94 decision to the Atlanta Hawks. Terry Cummings led the Bucks with 19 points.
First Bradley Center win
- In their second home game in their new home, on November 9, 1988, the Bucks topped Philadelphia 114–103 behind 31 points from Terry Cummings.
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 for over 37 years. He made his official debut on October 18, 1977, which was Milwaukee's home opener of the 1977–78 NBA 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 all 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.
Logos and uniforms
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 NBA season. In the 1973–74 NBA 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 NBA 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 NBA 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 NBA season.
The Bucks changed their logo and uniforms for the 1993–94 NBA 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 NBA season.
In the 1995–96 NBA 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 NBA season. It would be resurrected for the 2012–13 NBA season during Hardwood Classics Nights, to updated uniform standards.
The uniforms were changed again for the 2006–07 NBA 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 NBA 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 NBA 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 off 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 1800s), 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 NBA 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. In conjunction with the alternate uniform unveiling, the team also unveiled a new alternate court design, a first in NBA history. The team plans to wear the black alternate uniform and play on the alternate court design for four (4) home games during the 2015–16 season.
Milwaukee Bucks roster
Retained draft rights
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 isn't 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.
Basketball Hall of Fame members
|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|
- 1 In total, Robertson was inducted into the Hall of Fame twice – as player and as a member of the 1960 Olympic team.
- 2 Played one season with the Bucks. Inducted as contributor for being the first African American to manage a team in NBA.
FIBA Hall of Famers
|Milwaukee Bucks Hall of Famers|
|Milwaukee Bucks retired numbers|
|2||Junior Bridgeman||F|| 1975–1984|
|10||Bob Dandridge||F|| 1969–1977|
First overall picks
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (as Lew Alcindor) – 1969 NBA draft
- Kent Benson – 1977 NBA draft
- Glenn Robinson – 1994 NBA draft
- Andrew Bogut – 2005 NBA draft
Coaches and others
Current coaching staff
- Head coach: Jason Kidd
- Interim head coach: Joe Prunty
- Assistant coaches: Joe Prunty, Eric Hughes, Sean Sweeney, Josh Oppenheimer
General manager history
- John Erickson
- Ray Patterson
- Wayne Embry
- Mike Dunleavy
- Bob Weinhauer
- Ernie Grunfeld
- Larry Harris
- John Hammond
- Milwaukee Arena/Mecca Arena (1968–1988)
- BMO Harris Bradley Center (1988–present); originally the "Bradley Center" until 2012
- Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, proposed arena scheduled to open for the 2018–19 NBA season
- Kohl Center, occasionally used for Bucks preseason games.
Radio and television
Since the 2007–08 season, all Bucks games not nationally broadcast have aired exclusively on regional cable television over Fox Sports Wisconsin; before that throughout the late 1960s until 1999 after broadcast deals with WITI-TV (Channel 6) and WISN-TV (Channel 12), WVTV (Channel 18) in Milwaukee aired mostly road games over a statewide network of stations in other markets, and from 1999–2007, WCGV-TV (Channel 24) shared games with Fox Sports Wisconsin. Since 1986, Jim Paschke has been the team's TV announcer, with former Buck Jon McGlocklin providing color commentary for the team since 1976. Since April 2012 when Milwaukee Brewers games conflict with those of the Bucks, Bucks games are moved over to Fox Sports Wisconsin Plus, a gametime-only overflow channel. For the 2015–16 season and beyond, veteran announcer Gus Johnson and former Buck Marques Johnson (no relation) will call a select number of games alongside Paschke and McGlocklin on a rotating basis.
On the radio side the team has been carried by WTMJ (620) and throughout the state on the Bucks Radio Network (which is sponsored by Marshfield Clinic) 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.
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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.
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