Milwaukee Bucks All-Time All-Opponent Teams
EDITION 1: ATLANTA HAWKS
The Milwaukee Bucks are in their 44th season as a National Basketball Association franchise.
Since the Bucks’ flagship season of 1968-69, they have contended with no less than 67 opposing players who are enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, not to mention countless others who earned multiple NBA All-Star Game selections.
In the coming weeks, the Truman Reed Index will present its ranking of the top five opposing players the Bucks have faced from each of the other 29 NBA teams – or their predecessors (ie the Los Angeles Clippers list will also include members of the San Diego Clippers and Buffalo Braves).
A number of the players featured in the TRI rankings played for multiple NBA teams during the course of their careers, but will be listed only once – representing the teams with which they made their most substantial or longest-running impacts against the Bucks.
Wilkins, born in Paris, France, was drafted into the NBA by the Utah Jazz out of the University of Georgia in 1982. Years later, he wore the uniforms of the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic, but he carved out a Hall-of-Fame career during his 11th seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, who acquired him in a trade with Utah several months after he was drafted.
The 6-foot-8-inch Wilkins became a nine-time NBA All-Star and the winner of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1985 and 1990, earning the nickname, “The Human Highlight Film.” He helped the Hawks achieve four consecutive 50-win seasons during the 1980s.
Before his last three NBA seasons, Wilkins never averaged less than 20 points per game. He was the NBA scoring champion in 1985-86, when he averaged 30.3 points per outing, His 26,668 points rank him 11th on the league’s all-time scoring chart, and he also grabbed 7,169 rebounds during his 15 NBA seasons.
Wilkins never won an NBA championship ring, but he did become a champion with Panathinaikos Athens (a professional team in Greece's A1 Ethniki League that won the European Clubs' Championship and the Greek Cup) before he retired in 1999. Wilkins’ jersey No. 21 is one of just four the Hawks have retired (along with Bob Pettit’s No. 9, Lou Hudson’s No. 23 and Jason Collier’s No. 40).
Wilkins was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006, and has been the Hawks’ Vice President of Basketball since 2004.
Hudson came out of Dudley High School in Greensboro, N.C., and averaged 20.4 points per game over three seasons at the University of Minnesota, He was chosen by the St. Louis Hawks with the fourth selection in the 1966 NBA Draft and made an instant impact in his first professional campaign, making the 1967 NBA All-Rookie Team after averaging 18.4 points per contest. He began his career with the St. Louis Hawks in 1966 and moved with the franchise in 1968 to Atlanta, where he played until 1977.
The 6-foot-5-inch sharpshooter could play guard or forward, and he had his most prolific seasons during the Bucks’ early years in Milwaukee, averaging better than 25 points per game in four of five seasons spanning 1969 through 1974. His best season came in 1970-71, when he scored a career-high 2,039 points, an average of 27 per game.
Hudson became a six-time NBA All-Star and earned the nickname, “Sweet Lou” for his smooth playing style and accurate jump shot. He totaled 17,940 points over 13 pro seasons and ranks third on the Hawks’ career scoring list with 16,049 points. He spent the final two seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Drew, a native of Vredenburgh, Ala., received little national acclaim as a collegian since he played at tiny Gardner-Webb University of Boiling Springs, N.C. But Drew put up big enough numbers – averaging 24.4 points and 8.5 rebounds as a freshman and 25.9 points and 13 rebounds as a sophomore – to attract the attention of the Hawks, who selected him with the seventh pick in the second round of the 1974 NBA Draft,
Drew made an impressive transition from small college to the NBA, averaging 18.5 points and, 10.7 rebounds per game and leading the NBA in offensive rebounding during his rookie season to earn a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Team.
Drew started for the Hawks from 1974 to 1982, the immensely talented Drew and developed into a two-time All-Star, averaging more than 20 points per game in five seasons. He put up 24.2 ppg and 9.1 rpg in 1976-77 and 23.2 ppg and 7.3 rpg in 1977-78.
In 1982, Drew was traded by Atlanta along with guard Freeman Williams and cash to the Utah Jazz for the draft rights to Dominique Wilkins, Drew played the following three seasons with the Jazz before retiring with 15,291 career points. He ranks fifth on the Hawks’ all-time scoring list with 12,621 points.
Mutombo, who was born in Kinshasa, DR Congo, Africa, attended Georgetown University on a USAID Scholarship and originally attended to enter medical school. He was recruited to play basketball, however, by coach John Thompson and developed into one of the most imposing defensive players in college basketball, teaming with Alionzo Mourning to form one of the most potent shot-blocking and rebounding duos in college hoops history.
Mutombo, who spoke no English when he arrived at Georgetown, graduated in 1991 with degrees in linguistics and diplomacy and now speaks 10 different languages fluently. The 7-foot-2-inch center was taken with the fourth overall selection in the 1991 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets.
He averaged 16.6 points, 12.3 rebounds and close to 3 blocks per game as a rookie to earn his first of eight NBA All-Star Game selection. He spent five seasons with the Nuggets, setting a record in his third season with 31 blocks over a five-game series as the Nuggets became the first eighth seed to beat a one seed (the Seattle Super Sonics) in NBA Playoff history. The following season, he won his first of four NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards.
Mutombo signed a free-agent contract with Atlanta in 1996 and spent the next five seasons with the Hawks, earning NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1997 and 1998 and making the NBA All-Star Game four times.
Mutombo also played for the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets before retiring in 2009 as the NBA’s second-ranking shot blocker of all time behind only Hakeem Olajuwon.
Johnson, born and raised in Little Rock, Ark., spent two seasons playing for coach Nolan Richardson at the University of Arkansas, averaging 15 points per game over that span before declaring for the 2001 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-7-inch guard was selected by the Boston Celtics with the 10th overall pick, but was traded in February of his rookie season along with Milt Palacio, Randy Brown and a 2002 first-round draft choice to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers.
Johnson averaged 15.2 points per game over his three-plus seasons with Phoenix before going to Atlanta in a 2005 sign-and-trade deal for Boris Diaw and two future first-round draft picks. He emerged instantly with Atlanta, averaging team highs of 20.2 ppg, 6.5 apg and 1.26 spg, and led the team in 3-pointers made (128) and minutes played (40.7 mpg).
Johnson averaged a career-best 25 points per game for the Hawks in 2006-07 and produced more than 21 ppg in each of the following three seasons. He earned the first of six NBA All-Star Game selections in 2007, then eclipsed the 10,000-point mark for his career during a 110-107 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 31, 2009.
Johnson was traded on July 11, 2012, to the Brooklyn Nets for Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson and a 2013 first round draft pick. He finished his Hawks career with 10,606 points, which place him sixth on the franchise’s career scoring chart.