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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, April 18, 2014

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In Sports Commentary

Coach Larry Costello (center) led some of the Bucks' better all-time players.

In Sports Commentary

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (right) has to be near the top of the list.

In Sports Commentary

Many of the Bucks' great performances came on Robert Indiana's MECCA floor.

Who are the 20 greatest Bucks players of all time?


In conjunction with their 40th anniversary, the Bucks have created a contest to pick the top 20 players in franchise history.

The Bucks asked me to pick my top 20 for OnMilwaukee.com. The way I figure it, and I don't think I'm mistaken, I have seen every single player who has ever played for the team.

I saw the team in its first year and I've seen them every year since. Unless somebody was on the team for only a couple of games, I'm pretty sure I've seen them play. Some of them I remember, some I don't. But at least I've seen them all.

For a number of reasons, trying to pick my top 20 isn't easy.

Gary Payton, for example, was one of the best point guards ever to play the game. But he played most of his games in Seattle and not even a full year in Milwaukee, where he didn't have much of an impact.

Oscar Robertson only played four seasons in Milwaukee, but he led the Bucks to a title. It's the same with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who only played six seasons, but was on a championship team.

So, here's my deal. I'm putting guys on the team who made contributions to the success of the Bucks. If they were great players before they became Bucks (Payton, Jack Sikma) or became great players after they left the Bucks (Alex English) they don't make my team.

So, what follows is my top 20, with capsule descriptions of my valuation. Feel free to jump in.

1. Oscar Robertson: Very simply the best basketball player I ever saw with the possible exception of Elgin Baylor. The Bucks would never have won a title without him.

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The most dominant force the game has ever seen. An absolute scoring machine. If he'd stayed in Milwaukee we'd have won at least a couple of more titles.

3. Sidney Moncrief: The definition of heart. Never once mailed it in. He played both ends of the court every minute he was in the lineup. Very smart.

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Talkbacks

uwwcommuter | Jan. 26, 2008 at 12:37 p.m. (report)

Todd "I dont care what" Day "it is I can still shoot the 3" - was a freak, a stud, and a class act. If he is not included in a top 20 all time Bucks list and a guy like M. Redd - who cannot even spell Defense - is in the top 10..... I just do not understand

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DanEBoy | Jan. 25, 2008 at 2:23 p.m. (report)

Dave: Your list and mine are incredably similar, especially the top 10. I know your criteria to make this list may limit some, but my list would have to include Jack Sikma replacing Vin Baker and Flynn Robinson replacing Mickey D. even though each were only here for limited years. Great list. Great minds think the same. Hope to see you soon on the links. Dan Surges

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Breestjm13 | Jan. 25, 2008 at 11:14 a.m. (report)

I think you need to include guys like Sikma and some others to condsider so here's like and top list, the honorable mention Marques Johnson Craig Hodges Blue Edwards Toni Kukoc Dale Ellis Alvin Robertson Jay Humphries Eric Murdock Frank Brickowski

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sandstorm | Jan. 24, 2008 at 11:10 a.m. (report)

no Jack Sikma discredits the entire list.

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LegallyBlonde | Jan. 24, 2008 at 9:33 a.m. (report)

Begel...Big Dog over Allen? Maybe if you're talking strictly on total points scored, but that's it! Not even close skill-wise. Ray is Sick. Big Dog is like Antonio Freeman, lots of talent, never worked hard once after his 1st or second year, and their careers fall short of what they could have been. Love your new picture though. Also, where's Blue Edwards?

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