Friday, February 10, 2017

Bad Luck Bucks

In March of 1969 the Milwaukee Bucks experienced the greatest stroke of good luck in basketball history when they won a coin flip against the Phoenix Suns to secure the number one pick in the NBA Draft that year.  The Bucks would select Lew Alcindor out of UCLA.  Alcindor would change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar--and would lead the Bucks to an NBA Championship in 1971--and another appearance in the Finals in 1974.

But since then, the franchise's luck has been less than stellar.  Kareem would become disenchanted with life in Milwaukee and he forced a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers--where he would win 5 more NBA Championships.  In that same period, the Bucks never made it back to a single NBA Finals.

The Bucks of the 1980's were one of the most successful franchises in the league--but as luck would have it--they were in the Eastern Conference with the Boston Celtics-during the Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish era--and the Philadelphia 76ers--when they had Doctor J and Moses Malone.  The Bucks just couldn't beat both of those powerhouses in the same season.

It looked like the Bucks fortunes may turn for the better in 2001 when they made it to the Eastern Conference Finals behind "the big three" Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell.  Unfortunately, Milwaukee had to play Philadelphia with Alan Iverson--whom the NBA was trying to promote as "the next big thing"--and game 7 of the series was in Philly--so you know every call went against the Bucks and they lost.

It looked like the Bucks may have something going again when they drafted Michael Redd in the late "aughts"--but he kept getting hurt--and the team has been in a "barely in the playoffs/barely out of the playoffs" cycle since.

There was a bit of irony on Wednesday after the Bucks announced their D-League team is coming to Oshkosh.  They hosted a big watch party at The Bar for their game against the Heat to drum up more support in the community.  What happens?  Jabbari Parker--expected to team with Giannis Antetokounmpo to power the Bucks franchise for the next decade--suffers his second major knee injury of his short career.  And the team gets blown out.

Greg Pearce and his group might want to make sure that the roof on that new Oshkosh arena is double the strength necessary--because when it comes to the Bucks, they seem to have used up all their good luck.

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