Milwaukee Bucks

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Bucks Timeline


Milwaukee Bucks Team Formation

The Milwaukee Bucks were formed in January 1968 when the NBA awarded a franchise to Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services, Inc. (Milwaukee Pro), a group headed by Wesley Pavalon and Marvin Fishman. In October, the Bucks played their first NBA regular-season game against the Chicago Bulls before a Milwaukee Arena crowd of 8,467. As is typical with expansion teams, the Bucks' first season, 1968 - 1969, was a struggle. Their first victory came in their sixth game as the Bucks beat the Detroit Pistons 134–118; they won only 26 more games in their first year.

Coin Flip for Lew Alcindor

The Bucks' record that year earned them a coin flip against their expansion brethren, the Phoenix Suns, to see who would get the first pick in the upcoming draft. It was a foregone conclusion that the first pick in the draft would be Lew Alcindor of UCLA. The Bucks won the coin flip, but had to win a bidding war with the upstart American Basketball Association to secure him.

NBA Finals Winners

NBA Finals - 1971
The following season, the Bucks got an unexpected gift when they acquired Oscar Robertson, known as the "Big O", in a trade with the Cincinnati Royals. Subsequently, in only their third season, the Bucks finished 66–16—the second-most wins in NBA history at the time, and still the most in franchise history. During the regular season, the Bucks recorded a then-NBA record 20-game win streak. They then steamrolled through the playoffs with a dominating 12–2 record, winning the NBA Championship on April 30, 1971, by sweeping the Baltimore Bullets in four games. By winning it all in only their third season, the Bucks became the fastest expansion team in NBA history to win the championship, however four decades later, it remains the only title in club history.

Abdul-Jabbar Trade

When the season ended, Abdul-Jabbar made the stunning announcement that he no longer wished to play for the Bucks, stating that he needed the big city, requesting a trade to either Los Angeles or New York. The front office was unable to convince him otherwise and on June 16, 1975, the Bucks pulled a mega-trade by sending Abdul-Jabbar to the Lakers for Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman, Brian Winters and David Meyers. The trade triggered a series of events that led to a change in the team's ownership. Jim Fitzgerald, the Bucks largest stockholder, opposed the trade and wanted to sell his stock. Although Fitzgerald was the largest stockholder, he didn't own enough stock to control the team.

U.S. Senator Herb Kohl

In 1985, Fitzgerald and his partners one of which was Stuart Shadel decided to sell the Bucks. He was having health problems and some of his investors wanted to get out. The Bucks were playing in the smallest arena in the NBA and the city didn't want to build a new one. Milwaukee businessman and U.S. Senator Herb Kohl bought the Bucks after fears that out-of-town investors could buy the team and move it out of Milwaukee. Before the transaction was complete, Jane and Lloyd Pettit of Milwaukee announced they were donating a new arena called the Bradley Center. In 2003, after considering selling the team, Kohl announced that he had decided against selling the Bucks to Michael Jordan and would "continue to own them, improve them and commit them to remaining in Wisconsin."

New Ownership

On April 16, 2014, long-time Bucks owner Herb Kohl agreed to sell the team to New York-based billionaires Brandon Demeuse, Wesley Edens, and Marc Lasry for $550 million. The new owners are expected to keep the team in Milwaukee, and are also expected to contribute $100 million toward building a new Milwaukee Bucks Arena for the franchise. Approval from the NBA Board of Governors came on May 15, a month later.

Bucks Primary Logo History Bucks Alternate Logo History Bucks Wordmark Logo History


Team Information Team History


Bucks - More than 14,000 fans participated in a contest to name the team. Given the hunting tradition in Wisconsin, they saw bucks as being spirited, good jumpers, fast and agile.

BMO Harris Bradley Center
2012 - present
  • Bradley Center
  • 1988 - 2012

Milwaukee Arena
1968 - 1988

Wesley Edens & Marc Lasry
2014 - present
U.S. Senator Herb Kohl
1985 - 2014
Jim Fitzgerald
1976 - 1985
Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services, Inc.
1968 - 1976

Established: 1968

League History:
National Basketball Association
1968 - present

Team History:
Milwaukee Bucks
1968 - present

NBA Championships: 1

Retired Numbers:
1 Oscar Robertson
2 Junior Bridgeman
4 Sidney Moncrief
10 Bob Dandridge
14 Jon McGlocklin
16 Bob Lanier
32 Brian Winters
33 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Mascots: 1977 - present

The Official Site of the Milwaukee Bucks

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