Milwaukee Bucks Details
The Bucks have played in Milwaukee since 1968, when they joined the NBA as an expansion team. They have played in their current home building, downtown Milwaukee’s Bradley Center since it opened in 1968.
After the Bucks’ inaugural season, in which they finished last in the East, they drafted Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (though at the time he used his birth name: Lew Alcindor). In Abdul-Jabbar’s first season, he won Rookie of the Year and propelled the Bucks to 56 wins and their first playoff appearance—in just their second season—and made it to the second round. In the 1970-71, season, Abdul-Jabbar was league MVP and the Bucks were the top team in the league. They swept the Washington Bullets in the 1971 NBA finals and won the team’s first—and so far only—NBA Championship. Abdul-Jabbar played three more seasons with the Bucks, who continued to be the league’s top regular season team. The Bucks made one more finals appearance in 1974 before dealing Abdul-Jabbar to the Lakers.
Skipping ahead a few decades, the modern-day Bucks are working to build a team that can sustain the kind of success that came so quickly for the franchise in the Abdul-Jabbar years and with other stars like Sidney Moncrief and Bob Lanier. In 2013, they drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo with their first round pick (15th overall). Antetokounmpo set career highs in nearly every statistical category last season, and he made his first appearance in the NBA All Star Game.
The Bucks have played well under coach Jason Kidd since he joined the team for the 2014-15 season, making the playoffs in two out of three years. Kidd will be looking for another superstar season from Antetokounmpo and for 2nd year pro Malcolm Brogdon to build on his Rookie of the Year performance from last season. The Bucks will also hope for 2014 2nd overall pick Jabari Parker to make a full recovery from a torn ACL. Parker may not be back for the start of the season but was averaging a career-high 20 points per game before his injury.
Next season will be the Bucks’ last at the Bradley Center, as the team has broken ground on a new arena that should be ready to open by 2018.