Milwaukee Bucks: 30 Most Significant Moments In Franchise History

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22. Dr. J Says No To Being A Buck

Think of the Los Angeles Lakers of the 1960s, think of the Boston Celtics of the 1980s, the Milwaukee Bucks should have been the team sandwiched between them as the dynasty who dominated the 1970s, but fate conspired against them.

With the 12th pick of the 1972 NBA Draft, the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks selected Julius Erving, the ABA’s biggest star. With Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar already in tow and talented role players like Bob Dandridge and Jon McGlocklin as complementary pieces, Erving could have made Milwaukee the most dominant team in NBA history.

The problem was Erving had already signed a contract with the Atlanta Hawks prior to the draft. Bucks general manager Wayne Embry fought his team’s corner:

"As far as the by-laws of the National Basketball Association go, the rights to Julius Erving belong to the Milwaukee Bucks – it’s as clear cut as that."

It wasn’t to be though, Erving ended up back in the ABA with the Nets, and when he did eventually make it to the NBA, he went on to be a Hall of Famer. The Bucks ’70s dynasty wasn’t to be. Fittingly enough, years later Erving’s final NBA game occurred in Milwaukee.

Next: 21. Drafting Jabari