With Marques Johnson's #8 now in the rafters, joining several others, what will be the next number to be retired by the Milwaukee Bucks?
First, we have to eliminate the numbers already retired of course:
#1 (Oscar Robertson, 1974): The Big O was the only one to wear this digit. Robertson helped lead the Bucks to their only NBA title in 1971. He's in the Hall of Fame.
#2 (Junior Bridgeman, 1988): The only player to wear this uniform number as well, Bridgeman started just 23 games for the Bucks, but played in 711 games, averaging 13.9 points per game in his career. Bridgeman came to Milwaukee along with Brian Winters (below) in the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar trade.
#4 (Sidney Moncrief, 1990): Two other players donned #4 before Moncrief: Greg Smith, who had a career year in 1970-71 when the Bucks won the NBA Championship and played three-plus seasons for the Bucks, averaging 9.7 points per game in 271 contests... and the swan song for Norm Van Lier, the longtime Chicago Bull who played half of the 1978-79 season (38 games) for the Bucks, averaging 2.8 points per game. Sir Sid had a little more success than those two players, playing in nearly 700 games for the Bucks across the 1980's and making the All-Star Game five times. Moncrief shot over 50% for his career, averaging 16.7 points per game for the Bucks across his 10 seasons with Milwaukee.
#8 (Marques Johnson, 2019): When Johnson left the Bucks, only one other player (Jeff Webb) had ever donned the uniform. Several recognizable names have come and gone since that have worn #8 for the Bucks, including most recently Matthew Dellavedova, but also players such as Larry Sanders and Moses Malone (who is in the Hall of Fame after spending two seasons with the Bucks late in his career). You can read more about Johnson's jersey retirement by going here, or watch the clip below.
#10 (Bob Dandridge, 2015): Dandridge won a title with the Bucks in 1971 and was a three-time All Star for Milwaukee. He averaged 18.6 points and over seven rebounds per game with the Bucks, and played nine seasons for Milwaukee (and four for Washington). All told, Dandridge played in 618 career games for the Bucks, shooting nearly 49% in Milwaukee. Sam Cassell was one of several other players who wore this uniform number after he retired.
#14 (Jon McGlocklin, 1976): One of the original Milwaukee Bucks, whose career has spanned from his playing days in the 60s to his current broadcasting gig, McGlocklin played in nearly 600 games for the Bucks, scoring 12.6 points per game and earning an All-Star nod in 1968-69 after scoring 19.6 points per contest. He's the only player to wear this number in Bucks history, as it was retired shortly after his retirement.
#16 (Bob Lanier, 1984): Another Hall-of-Famer, albeit mostly for his exploits in Detroit, Lanier played five seasons in Milwaukee, racking up 278 games and a double-digit scoring average. Lanier helped the Bucks win five straight division titles, and his number was hung in the rafters shortly after retirement. The only other two players to wear #16 for the Bucks were Zaid Abdul-Aziz, an NBA journeyman who spent less than two seasons in Milwaukee (109 games), and one season from Freddie Crawford, who played just one season for the Bucks (77 games).
#32 (Brian Winters, 1983): Acquired as part of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar trade, Winters went on to play eight seasons in Milwaukee, averaging 16.7 points per game and retiring as the all-time franchise leader in assists (since broken). Upon implementation of the three-point shot, Winters hit at a 36% clip, in addition to a career average of 4.3 assists per game during his time with the Bucks. He's the only player to wear this uniform number in Bucks history.
#33 (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1993): In just six seasons, Abdul-Jabbar was able to place, and keep, his name atop the franchise record books with the most points, rebounds, and points per game of any player in franchise history. He's also fifth in career blocked shots, although the stat was kept for only his final two seasons in Milwaukee. A six-time MVP (thrice in Milwaukee) and 19-time All-Star (including every season in Milwaukee), Abdul-Jabbar helped lead the Bucks to their lone NBA title (one of six for Abdul-Jabbar) and also won Rookie of the Year in 1969-70. He's the only player to wear #33 for the Bucks.
So, with those eight numbers off the table, here's a look at some other numbers that could be in the discussion for the next number to get retired by the Milwaukee Bucks.
#34: 11 Players; Currently Giannis Antetokounmpo but also Ray Allen and Terry Cummings
Cummings won Rookie of the Year for the Clippers in 1982-83, and later was acquired by Milwaukee in exchange for two guys mentioned above: Junior Bridgeman and Marques Johnson. Cummings promptly made two All-Star squads and All-NBA teams in his first run in Milwaukee that lasted five seasons. He bounced around the league for a bit, even returning to Milwaukee for one season (1995-96, when he averaged eight points per game), and in six seasons with the Bucks, played 480 games, averaging 19.4 points per contest for Milwaukee. He retired in 2000 after a pair of seasons with the Golden State Warriors, concluding a career that lasted 18 years.
Allen is in the Hall of Fame, playing with four franchises in his career. He retired having shot 40% from deep across 18 seasons, which included 10 All-Star appearances and two NBA championships (one each with Boston and Miami). Allen spent six and a half seasons with the Bucks, averaging 19.6 points per game for the Bucks and was one of the key members of the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals squad, the last Bucks team to win a playoff series. He also holds the Bucks record for career made three-pointers (1,051).
Antetokounmpo is in his sixth season with the Bucks, with his career still approaching its prime ahead of his pending free agency in a couple of years. Currently the centerpiece of the team with the NBA's best record, Antetokounmpo is a three-time All Star and a one-time Most Improved Player award winner. It's still too early in his career to know exactly how high he will go, but the future is bright for Giannis.
Not so much a look ahead as it is a nod to some NBA history of players who have donned these digits for the Bucks. The other eight players to wear this number combined for just 10 seasons in Milwaukee.
#22: Nine Players; Currently Khris Middleton but also Michael Redd Alex English and Ricky Pierce
Another time warp for Bucks fans: Ricky Pierce wore the number from 1984 through part of the 1990-91 season, and again for his final NBA season in 1997-98. In his seven-plus seasons for the Bucks, Pierce played in 460 games, averaging 16.5 points per game. His lone All-Star appearance came in the season he was dealt to Seattle, but during his time in Milwaukee, he was a two-time Sixth Man of the Year award winner. Pierce developed a three-point shot in his age-30 years in the NBA, finishing as a 32% shooter from deep (30% in Milwaukee) while playing for eight different franchises in his 16-year career.
Michael Redd was the face of the Bucks post-Big 3 breakup. He earned one All-Star honor, in 2003-04, and retired as a 38% shooter from long range over his 12-year career, 11 of them with the Bucks. Robbed of some of his late career by injuries, Redd still scored 11,554 points for the Bucks, good for fourth all-time in franchise history, and is the franchise all-time leader in three-point attempts. Redd's arc from 2002-2003 through 2007-2008 saw him ascend to becoming a consistent scoring threat, averaging 26.7 points per game at his peak.
Although his time with the Bucks was brief (142 games in two seasons), Alex English later became a Hall of Fame player for the Denver Nuggets in the 1980's, leaving in 1978 to sign with Indiana. The Bucks got Calvin Natt as compensation, who they dealt to New Jersey for Harvey Catchings, who wore #42 and played five seasons with the Bucks.
Now, it's Khris Middleton's turn in the #22, and like his two most prominent predecessors, he's a reliable deep threat. Middleton is a career 39% shooter from three-point range, making him a nice compliment to the inside presence of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Middleton has already racked up nearly 7,000 points in a Bucks uniform in a little under six seasons with the franchise, which now includes an All-Star nod for this year's work.
Like the #34, this isn't so much prediction as it is a fascinating trio of players who have been big contributors for the Bucks over the years, albeit a tad short of stardom. The other six players combined for eight seasons with the Bucks wearing #22.
#25: Nine Players, most prominently Paul Pressey but also Mo Williams
Pressey is by far the most significant player to wear this uniform number for the Bucks in their history. In eight seasons with the Bucks, Pressey made three All-NBA defensive teams, and the 1980's-era Bucks mainstay put up nearly 7,000 points in his time with Milwaukee and is the franchise record-holder with 3,272 assists.
Williams won a title with Cleveland in his final season in the NBA in 2015-16. As a Buck, he averaged 14.1 points per game across four seasons from 2004-2008.
The other seven players to wear #25 combined for eight seasons with Milwaukee.
#13: Eight Players; Currently Malcolm Brogdon but also Glenn Robinson
Big Dog Glenn Robinson, one of the trio of Bucks that led them to their last playoff series victory in 2001 (along with Ray Allen and Sam Cassell), is second to only Kareem on the Bucks' all-time scoring list, as well as being second in field goals made. Robinson played eight of his 11 career seasons with the Bucks, appearing in 568 games and making two All-Star appearances. He later won a title with San Antonio in 2004-05.
Brogdon is in his third year with the Bucks, who was the first second-round pick to win Rookie of the Year in 2016-17 in NBA history. He's shooting 42.6% from deep this year and 40.8% in his career from long-range, although he's going to be out of commission until the playoffs with a foot injury.
A series of Bucks players have worn #13 since Robinson was the last to wear it. Robinson was the second player in franchise history to wear the uniform number, but between Robinson and Brogdon, five players wore #13, including Luke Ridnour and Ramon Sessions.
So, as of right now, #34, #22, #25, and #13 appear to have the inside track as to the next numbers to be hung in the rafters at Fiserv Forum.
For fun, here's some other numbers with some interesting history.
#77: Ersan Ilyasova (and Johnny O'Bryant)
The highest number any Milwaukee Buck has worn in history is the #77, as Ilyasova climbs his way up certain all-time lists in Bucks history due to his tenure in nearly eight seasons with Milwaukee. He's currently 10th all-time in Bucks history in games played, for example. O'Bryant played 100 games across two seasons for the Bucks. There's not much chance this number gets retired, particularly since Ilyasova wore #19 and #7 in two previous stays with the Bucks, but hey, why not.
#00 or #0: O.J. Mayo and Gary Payton
Hey, Gary Payton is a Hall of Fame player! Oh... THAT Gary Payton. As in The Mitten. Gary Payton II, currently with Washington, appeared in 18 games for the Bucks. His father, though, actually did play for the Bucks, for all of 28 games in 2003 (and wore #20). Meanwhile, Mayo played in 164 games for the Bucks before being suspended for two years by the NBA. Why bring them up? Well, since we brought up the largest number worn by a Milwaukee Bucks player, we had to bring up the smallest as well. Ten players have worn #00 or #0 in Bucks history.
#5 and #12: 25 Players Each In Franchise History
Maybe they should retire these numbers because nobody can stick with either one. We wrote about the #5 when D.J. Wilson was drafted; we opined about #12 a bit with Jabari Parker seemingly in line to be the best player in Bucks history to wear the digits, but alas, he was unable to surpass the nearly four-year legacy left by Luc Mbah a Moute, who wore #12 from 2009 to 2013. Only six of the 25 players to wear #12 lasted more than one season, led by Mbah a Moute. Meanwhile, we gave the best #5 ever in Bucks history to Guy Rodgers, who racked up the assists in the early years of the franchise (1969-1970) and is a member of the Hall of Fame. Tim Thomas and Michael Carter-Williams are probably the other notable Bucks to wear #5. Wilson is already now the second-longest-tenured Buck to wear #5, behind only Thomas, who wore it from 1999 to 2004.
#28 (Andrew Lang) and #36 (Dave Cowens): One And Done
Outside of the retired numbers mentioned way above, only two other numbers have ever been worn by just one Bucks player in history. Lang had a brief stop with the Bucks near the end of his career, playing in 109 games from 1996-1998. Boston Celtics great Dave Cowens came out of retirement to play one season with the 1982-83 Bucks, averaging 8.1 points per game and pulling down 6.9 rebounds per contest in 40 games played. He's a Hall of Fame member, but obviously for his exploits in Boston moreso than his one season with the Bucks.
#7 (Tiny Archibald and Adrian Dantley)
Speaking of Hall of Fame players, two spent their final seasons with the Bucks before retiring. Archibald put together a serviceable age-35 season with 46 starts and 7.4 points per game, while Dantley got in 10 games in 1990-91 in his final campaign.
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