How do you feel when Mo Williams does this?
That is what this story is about.
Watching the crowds on television in Portland and Oakland and Dallas and pretty much every stadium inspires daydreaming and nightdreaming about what basketball in Milwaukee can and will be.
Even without the Bucks, these playoffs are something, if not everything.
Since the Bucks are not playing, the next best thing is cheering for competitive and fun games. The weird part is always pulling for the underdog when the game is happening while simultaneously hoping for a LeBron/Durant matchup in the Finals.
For now, we are pretty much Having It All.
Speaking of which (or whom), here is a comprehensive list of my favorite ex-Bucks in the playoffs (they only count if they played for the team) as they are today.
All rankings are completely subjective and entirely personal and obviously kind of silly in nature and would probably change by tomorrow. To clarify, the rankings are based on the present, not based on back in their Bucks days.
21. Steve Blake (Warriors)
Blake has been a role player and sometimes-starter on seven teams, but he happened to have his least efficient year with the Bucks. Really it was just 33 games back in 2006-07. Blake was traded in January of that season for Earl Boykins (along with Julius Hodge and cash), and the latter makes my short list (pun probably intended) of favorite Bucks of the 2000s.
20. Gary Neal (Bobcats)
Like Blake, Neal also only played a partial season with the Bucks (that was this season) before a two-for-two winter trade. He had a few moments but never exactly found his shooting form here, important because shooting is his thing.
19. J.J. Redick (Clippers)
It was probably just due to the randomness of a small sample size and some ill-fitting lineup combinations, but Redick struggled in his 28 games with the Bucks in 2012-13, and so the Tobias Harris trade didn’t go over so well.
18. Gustavo Ayon (Hawks)
He had (probably has) nice footwork for a big man, and he played well in a win against the Raptors that clinched a playoff spot. He is the only player from Mexico to ever play for the Bucks. When he played well, people said: The Goose is Loose. People seemed to enjoy that.
17. Garrett Temple (Wizards)
He only played nine games with the team, but Temple stirred everything the right way in his Bucks debut back in 2011.
16. Beno Udrih (Grizzlies)
There were some really nice things that came with having Udrih on the roster on game nights in Milwaukee, including the PUJIT (Pull Up Jumper In Transition, you know).
15. Samuel Dalembert (Mavericks)
When it comes to Sam you’ll (…) have to forgive the plays on words, the puns. Also, he wore baggy basketball shorts, even large for him, and had one of the craziest, most unforeseen box scores lines of the last 10 years.
14. Mike James (Bulls)
Undrafted, Mike James nonetheless played for 11 NBA teams. The Bucks were number four. James was traded in the winter (in the 2004-05 season), but he actually played rather well as the backup point man in 47 games, probably better than the starter that year, Mo Williams.
13. Chris Douglas-Roberts (Bobcats)
CDR came to Milwaukee with charisma and style, a small army of loyal fans, and a career on the way to somewhere. He left Milwaukee with charisma and style, a small army of loyal fans, and a career on the way to somewhere. These are mostly positive things. CDR piled up points a few times, but also couldn’t find nightly minutes. In the end, he made his 44 games memorable, so that’s a credit.
12. Mo Williams (Blazers)
It is The Damian Lillard Show in Portland now, but we will always have The Mo Willliams Show in Milwaukee.
11. Monta Ellis (Mavericks)
Like most, Ellis was imperfect. Unlike most, he was too good and not good enough all at the same time. He was a lot of things, including an underrated passer, programmed at spinning layups, and sometimes the best shooter in the world for a quarter or two.
10. Jon Leuer (Grizzlies)
Leuer started 12 games as a rookie for the Bucks in 2011-12, and he hasn’t started a game since then. Advanced stats tend to like Leuer, he had PERs of 15.3 as a rookie in Milwaukee and 17.6 this season in Memphis, and he should find roster spots for a while.
9. Royal Ivey (Thunder)
High on the list of best Bucks names in franchise history.
8. Mike Dunleavy (Bulls)
Dunleavy was always the first player out on the court getting up shots after halftime. He was so early, and the halftime performance would often be in the way, on the court. Mascot or dancers or hoop troops or something. Dunleavy would start shooting sometimes, even when things were still happening, or he would hold a basketball with a look of contempt.
7. Caron Butler (Thunder)
He killed it on his bobblehead night and was the singular voice of respect in the locker room this season. Maybe this is focusing on the good things and not his shooting percentage, but he was the player genuinely excited and emotional to arrive here and graceful and accepted when he left here.
6. John Salmons (Raptors)
Salmons carried the offense through the most memorable stretch of Bucks basketball since 2001. That counts for a while or ever. He really knew how to use the basket to shield away defenders, and I really respected that. He also never tucked in his jersey, a recurring discussion point on media row with Bucksketball.
5. Ray Allen (Heat)
It’s been 11 years now. He had the most game.
4. Luke Ridnour (Bobcats)
So many people don’t get the open-court foul right, but Ridnour is my favorite of the modern era. No matter the opponent, Ridnour would put the breakaway opponent on the line, and it wouldn’t be an and-one. He also was a fantastic backup point guard (82 games, all off the bench) in 2009-10, when no one wanted to play the Bucks.
3. Shaun Livingston (Nets)
Livingston always makes it here on this type of list. This is just how it works.
2. Andrew Bogut (Warriors)
He personified the highs and lows of Fear The Deer more than any other human. He moved into all of the right places at all of the right times, the rare dual master of both blocking shots and drawing charges. He passed like a guard but shot free throws like a center. He was an All-NBA talent (third team in 2009-10), but he also moved into all of the wrong places at all of the wrong times, too close of a friend with the injury list to this day.
1. Drew Gooden (Wizards)
He attempted more passes off the backboard to himself than everyone else combined. He dropped an annual triple-double against the Cavaliers. It’s funny: The loudest chant of the year in Milwaukee during the season before he was amnestied: We Want Drew.
Writing and the Bucks. Two of my passions. So it is good to be here. I have reported on media row for just about every Bucks home game since 2009. I started writing for the Bucks in 2012. Before that, I co-founded and wrote for BrewHoop. I have written for the Milwaukee Brewers, SB Nation, ESPN Milwaukee, Slam Online, and so on. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @alexboeder or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.