Milwaukee Bucks: All-Time Greatest 15 Man Roster

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Terry Cummings – Second Unit

Words by Jordan Treske

In the early 1980’s, the Bucks were perennial contenders, along with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference.

With future hall of fame coach Don Nelson at the helm as well as a deep roster headlined by the accomplished and gifted Sidney Moncrief and Marques Johnson respectively, the Bucks found themselves going on deep playoff runs year after year, only to come up short every time.

After falling to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals during the 1983-84 season, the Bucks, namely Nelson, who was also the GM at the time, made a shocking decision that could have sent the franchise in an entirely different direction.

The Bucks sent 4-time all-star Johnson, as well as long time sixth man Junior Bridgeman and big man Harvey Catchings to the Los Angeles Clippers for the young Terry Cummings, as well as two accomplished shooters in Craig Hodges and Ricky Pierce in a very publicized deal.

While it was very risky to shake up a strong group filled with a lot of chemistry, it didn’t take Cummings very long to make a strong impression on Nelson, who said he was “the most gifted player I’ve ever coached.

During his time in Milwaukee, Cummings quickly established himself as an athletic force, as well as an efficient shooter (averaged over 20 points per game 4 out of 5 seasons, shot 48 percent from the field as a Buck) and earned two all-star bids during his time in Milwaukee.

As a team, the Bucks didn’t miss a beat with Cummings in the fold.

The Bucks continued to build themselves as contenders in the Eastern Conference, with the highest point coming during the 1985-86 season where the Bucks fell to the eventual champion Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

After the 1988-89 season, Cummings was sent to San Antonio but eventually returned to Milwaukee during the 1995-96 season, a season where he primarily played as a reserve.

In his 6 seasons in Milwaukee, Cummings averaged 19.4 points per game, hauled in 7.8 rebounds per game, and dished out 2.3 assists per game, along with 1.3 steals per game as well.

While the Bucks could never get past famed Eastern Conference teams like the Celtics, 76ers or Pistons, the high-risk decision to bring in Cummings could not have worked out better during what later became one of the last great eras of Bucks basketball.

Next: Bob Lanier