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In Sports

Moncrief was a leader for the Bucks on and off the floor.

In Sports

The Bucks retired Moncrief's uniform No. 4 in 1990.

Where are they now? Sidney Moncrief


His jersey No. 4 hangs from the rafters of the Bradley Center. More than 17 years after he left Milwaukee, Sidney Moncrief remains one of the best players in Bucks history. Now, at the age of 49, Moncrief is getting back into the coaching business as the head coach of the National Basketball Developmental League's Fort Worth Flyers.

A native of Little Rock, Moncrief was a two-time All-American at Arkansas. He led the Razorbacks to the Final Four in 1978 and is still the school's second leading scorer.

Moncrief was the fifth pick in the 1979 NBA draft and came to Milwaukee as a result of Dick Vitale and the Detroit Pistons flipping spots so that they could draft Greg Kelser out of Michigan State.

While Kelser was a journeyman and helped Vitale get fired into television superstardom, Moncrief was a four-time All-NBA performer and five-time All-Star.

During Moncrief's 10 years with the Bucks, he was twice named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year and made the all-defensive team five times. He is one of seven Bucks players to have his number retired.

Moncrief does have some coaching experience. He spent one season as the head coach at Arkansas-Little Rock before leaving to become an assistant coach with the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. He's been out of basketball the last three years.

Not everything has gone smoothly for Moncrief off the court. He filed for bankruptcy in 2005.

OnMilwaukee.com talked with Sidney about his new job, whether he should be in the Basketball Hall of Fame and his retirement advice for Brett Favre.

OMC: What appealed to you about this NBDL opportunity?

SM: The development and training of basketball players appealed to me. Also the opportunity to run a basketball team as the head coach.

OMC: There was a time when you were an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks when you were viewed as the heir apparent to Don Nelson. You eventually left the staff. Was it just not the right fit or right time?

SM: It was not the right fit for the owner and me. The Dallas experience allowed me to grow as a basketball coach. I am very appreciative of Don Nelson and the Mavericks organization for giving me the opportunity.

OMC: Would you still like to be a head coach in the NBA someday?

SM: Yes, I would like to be a head coach in the NBA one day. The NBDL will prepare me for any future opportunities. I'm really focused on coaching now.

OMC: Doc Rivers said recently that of all of the players that are not in the Hall of Fame that should be, you're number one on his list. Do you think you should be there?

SM: Doc Rivers was very kind with his remarks. I can't think of any player that has gone into the basketball Hall of Fame since I retired that has not deserved to be there. I do think that I belong in the Basketball Hall of Fame and will at some point be inducted.

OMC: You played on some terrific teams for the Bucks in the 1980's but you always seemed to run into Boston or Philadelphia in the playoffs. Is it a void that you didn't play in the Finals?

SM: I had so many exciting and enjoyable playoff years in Milwaukee. We had some very successful playoff runs, so there is not a void.

OMC: I ask you this because of Brett Favre's thoughts of retirement the last few years. You retired and then came back after a year to play one season with Atlanta. What advice would you give Favre or any pro athlete about knowing when to retire?

SM: My advice would be don't let fans or media decide when you should retire. A player should play until they are no longer enjoying the sport. At all cost, do not retire too early. Stay. In 10 to 15 years, people won't remember the bad years. They won't remember that you played too long. They just remember the good years. At least, I'm that way.

OMC: Why did you come back for that year in Atlanta?

SM: When I left the Bucks, I was burnt out and bitter and I just wanted to get away. I had wanted to stay with Milwaukee. The next spring, I was watching the playoffs and seeing guys my age playing 10 minutes a game and I thought 'I can do that'. I didn't want to get to be 40 years old and wish that I'd played longer. That year in Atlanta was the most fun I ever had because it was the biggest challenge. I had to earn every minute of playing time.

OMC: I don't know how often you see the Bucks, but what's your opinion of Michael Redd?

SM: Michael Redd is a winner and a very hard worker. He has so many positive traits as a player and person.

OMC: What current players in the NBA do you especially enjoy watching?

SM: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Ray Allen on the offensive end.

OMC: Are there similarities between your game and Wade's?

SM: Not really. Maybe the intensity level and the basketball IQ. He's more athletic than I was and has developed earlier than I did. Defensively, he's not there yet.

OMC: Why are outstanding defensive players (like you were) so hard to find now?

SM: Because offensive players are so good. Plus, kids are playing at so many different levels. Defense is not being taught as much. The emphasis and media attention is put on offense.

OMC: You're currently the president of Back 2 Basics All-Star Basketball Academy, a basketball training and consulting company. What are your goals with that venture?

SM: The quality of play in basketball has deteriorated, both on offense and defense. Dribbling, passing, just doing things the correct way. The fundamentals have really suffered. That venture is an attempt to help in those areas.

OMC: You have four sons. Do they play basketball?

SM: My sons are Brett, Jon, Jeffrey and Jason. Brett and Jon play football. Jeffrey plays basketball. He's in ninth grade in Dallas. He has the ability and skill set. I don't know how hard he wants to work at it. I'm not going to be a sports dad. If he wants to be great, I'll do everything I can to help him. I'm not going to force him to do anything.


Talkbacks

OMCreader | Oct. 6, 2006 at 1:53 p.m. (report)

Eric said: Sidney Moncrief and Marques Johnson - or as Eddie Doucette called 'em, DOUBLE DYNAMITE!!! Those were the days.

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OMCreader | Oct. 5, 2006 at 6:16 p.m. (report)

Dave said: The Bucks need Sid to come and teach the current team to play some defense.

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OMCreader | Oct. 5, 2006 at 6:11 p.m. (report)

Dan said: People need to go back and look at those records...those Bucks teams were simply awesome. 5-6 straight Div crowns. Nothing, nothing beats the MECCA in May vs the Sixers or Celts.

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OMCreader | Oct. 5, 2006 at 3:26 p.m. (report)

Myke said: Playing in a different era,that Bucks team with Moncrief on it,would have won a championship.It was however the NBA's Golden era with 76er's,Lakers,& Celtics teams of the 80's being some of the greatest teams ever.

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