The Milwaukee Bucks joined the National Basketball Association in 1968 and won the league championship three years later—setting a record for the shortest time from entering the league to becoming world champions. The team has won thirteen division titles and played in the conference finals twice. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Junior Bridgeman, Bob Lanier, Jon McGlocklin, Sidney Moncrief, Oscar Robertson, and Brian Winters are the former Bucks players whose jersey numbers have been retired. Future Senator Herb Kohl, a lifelong Milwaukee basketball fan and Bucks supporter, purchased the Bucks from Jim Fitzgerald in 1985 to ensure the team would stay in Milwaukee. In 2014, Kohl sold the team to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry.
After twenty years at the Milwaukee Arena, the Bucks played their home games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center between 1988 and 2018 when they moved to the newly opened Fiserv Forum. In July 2021, under the leadership of Greek-born star Giannis Antetokounmpo, the team beat the Phoenix Suns in game 6 of the NBA championship series. Jubilant after enduring a championship drought of 50 years and the COVID-19 pandemic, tens of thousands of fans celebrated in the newly-designated “Deer District” outside the Fiserv Forum and across the Milwaukee area.
- ^ Entry originally posted June 8, 2016; entry revised July 20, 2021. “Famous Firsts.” Bucks.com, Bucks History, last accessed June 8, 2016. Entry first posted April 30, 2015 and updated July 20, 2021.
- ^ “Team History.” Bucks.com, Bucks History, last accessed June 8, 2016.
- ^ “All-Time Jersey Numbers.” Bucks.com, Bucks History, last accessed June 8, 2016.
- ^ “Seven New Faces.” Time, June 24, 2001.
- ^ “New Milwaukee Bucks Owners Thank Fans, City,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 17, 2014.
- ^ “Team Facilities,” BMO Harris Bradley Center, last accessed June 8, 2016.
- ^ Ben Steele, “Finally! Milwaukee Bucks Finish Off Phoenix Suns to Win First NBA Title in 50 Years,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 20, 2021, last accessed July 20, 2021.
- ^ Drake Bentley, Emiliano Tahui Gómez, Christian Robles, and Sarah Hauer, “Deer District Gates Closed as 65,000 Fans Cheer on the Bucks in Game 6 of the NBA Finals,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 20, 2021, last accessed July 20, 2021.
For Further Reading
Carry, Peter. “Hey, Look, Ma! Only One Hand!” Sports Illustrated, May 10, 1971.
Cotton, Anthony. “There’s No Stopping the Bucks.” Sports Illustrated, February 22, 1982.
Fishman, Marv, with Tracy Dodds. Bucking the Odds: The Birth of the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee: Raintree Publishers Limited, 1978.
Maule, Tex. “Lew Turns Small Change to Big Bucks.” Sports Illustrated, March 9, 1970.
Simmons, Bill. The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy. New York: Ballantine Books, 2010.