Picking The All-Time Bucks All-Star Team
All-Star voting is open (Giannis rightfully leads East voting), the Bucks just announced that they will be retiring the #8 jersey of Marques Johnson, and that leads to this: Choosing the officially unofficial All-Time Bucks All-Star team.
First the rules. You can only pick one player one time. So, while Kareem for example has a few of the best seasons in franchise history, you have to pick him from just one particular season. Just like when I ranked the 50 best individual seasons in franchise history (here and here), this considers the entire season of the player (regular season and playoffs). So this is not picking guys based on career achievements, it rewards single seasons. Also, position designations are out; the goal is to straight-up put the best team on the floor. With that in mind, fit matters. The idea is to create the most successful lineup and team, so this may not be exactly the 12 best seasons, but rather the 12 best players to make one team, to win one all-important game.
One final thing: Guys from the 2018–19 team are not eligible (because they have not played full seasons, so they do not stack up yet). That said, this version of Giannis probably will replace the one from last season, while Middleton, Bledsoe, and hell even Brogdon and Lopez are gunning for spots, which makes doing this now kind of fun.
The toughest cuts include Paul Pressey (1984–85), Alvin Robertson (1990–91), Khris Middleton (2017–18), Ricky Pierce (1986–87), Vin Baker (1996–97), and Flynn Robinson (1969–70).
Here we go.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1970–71)
At center we have one of the most dominant players in league history in arguably his prime season. Averaged 31 and 16 in the regular season to win MVP before going for 26 and 17 in the playoffs on the way to a championship.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (2017–18)
We will be due to update this slot with Giannis from 2018–19 in five months or so, but for now we have two of the most unguardable paint scorers ever in the frontcourt. Giannis went for 26 and 10 (and almost 5) in the regular season and then carved up one of the best defenses in the league in the first round.
Marques Johnson (1980–81)
Marques was really, really good. You could argue putting his 1978–79 season or 1982–82 season here (each of them top 20 Bucks seasons ever), but he was electric to start the 80s, going for about 25/9/5 per game on a silly 55.6 percent shooting in the playoffs, following a 2nd Team All-NBA regular season.
Ray Allen (2000–01)
A good decade before the three-point explosion, Allen (22/5/4) was hitting 43.3 percent on volume, while nearly leading the Bucks to the Finals. On this team he would be lighting it up, so to speak.
Oscar Robertson (1970–71)
Finished fifth in MVP (on 19 and 6 and almost 8) on the title-winning Bucks. He got even better in the playoffs, and while he was not averaging 30 a game like earlier in his career, this all-around version of Oscar would fit perfectly in this lineup.
Sidney Moncrief (1982–83)
This marked his finest offensive season (22 per game along with nearly 6 and 4), as he was particularly unstoppable getting to the line (almost eight times per game), and on top of that he was Defensive Player of the Year. He has a case to crack the starting lineup on merit, but gets pushed to sixth man here for fit reasons.
Terry Cummings (1984–85)
Scoring and rebounding off the bench for this team, a spry 23 year-old Cummings (23/9/3) finished fifth in MVP voting.
Michael Redd (2005–06)
How would Redd look in 2019? He retired right around the time the league went three-point crazy, but he went for 25/4/3 in the regular season and then put up a shooting line of .524 / .467 / .891 in the playoffs including dropping 41 on the Ben Wallace Pistons.
Sam Cassell (2000–01)
A guy who knows how to play with stars, Cassell (18 and about 4 and 7) orchestrated a dominant offense that nearly reached the Finals.
Bob Dandridge (1970–71)
The number three guy on the title-winning team, a 23 year-old Dandridge put up an efficient 18/8/3 and then did that even better on the way to a championship in the playoffs (19/9/3).
Glenn Robinson (2000–01)
Shooting with size off the bench here, from Robinson in his prime (22/4/3).
Andrew Bogut (2009–10)
A dominant defensive center (2nd Team All-Defense) who had evolved his game (about 16 and 10 per game) into much more than that.