Milwaukee Bucks: Unselfish Jon McGlocklin is one of the franchise’s great heroes

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In various capacities, Jon McGlocklin‘s helping hand has made him a Milwaukee Bucks legend for the best part of 50 years.

More often than not, the kind of players who reach iconic status within the annals of any franchise’s history are alpha personalities who famous for asserting themselves on and off the court. That’s not entirely true for the Milwaukee Bucks, though.

Known as Mr. Buck, still representing a through-line of involvement with the franchise from its inception to the present day, Jon McGlocklin has done much of his best work in Milwaukee in a supporting capacity.

McGlocklin arrived in Milwaukee from the San Diego Rockets, having been selected by the Bucks in the 1968 expansion draft that shaped the franchise’s first ever roster. A capable role player up to that point in his career, the former Indiana Hoosier hit new heights with the Bucks, arguably becoming the franchise’s first star.

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In the franchise’s first season, McGlocklin earned a spot in the All-Star game by averaging 19.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists on 48.7 percent shooting. Although he remained an important player for the Bucks for years to come, McGlocklin was forced to settle for more of a sidekick’s role from that point forward.

As McGlocklin joked at the recent announcement of the Bucks one-off return to the MECCA in October, 2017:

"“Do I remember making the first Bucks basket? I didn’t, but one of our long-time scorers who has been with us all 50 years brought the official stat sheet one time, and I got to see the fact that I had the privilege of scoring the first Bucks basket. And I got to shoot a lot that year, but then we got Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], and I didn’t get to shoot any more. And then we got Oscar [Robertson], and I never got to shoot! But, we won a championship.”"

In many ways, that quote perfectly sums up McGlocklin’s impact role during his time in Milwaukee. Not only did the Indiana native understood exactly what his role was throughout his time around the franchise, but he generally embraced it with good humor in an attempt to be as successful as possible.

In total, McGlocklin played 595 regular season games for the Bucks across eight seasons as a player with the team. That included playing in all 82 games during the 1971 championship season, and averaging 10.7 points and 2.7 assists per game during The Finals’ sweep of the Baltimore Bullets.

What’s maybe most remarkable about McGlocklin, though, is how his playing career was really just the beginning of his success, both inside and outside of the Bucks’ organization.

Most notably, McGlocklin has done incredible charitable work over the years, in many ways showing that his playing instincts to support and help others were just one small glimpse into a larger element of his character.

As a player, McGlocklin visited Vietnam in 1969 as a part of an NBA trip to raise the spirits of American troops. McGlocklin joined fellow All-Stars Wes Unseld and Lou Hudson in putting on a show.

"“They would take us out to at least two fire bases a day and back to a base camp. You might play 20, 30 games in one spot, and you’d go to the next one and play that many. If everyone wanted to play against us, we let them. This was what we had to offer, to be able to get out there with them, rub shoulders and play basketball.”"

It was in his post-playing days that McGlocklin’s good deeds really ramped up, though. Upon his retirement in 1976, McGlocklin founded the MACC (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) Fund alongside legendary Bucks broadcaster Eddie Doucette.

Having worked as a volunteer and unofficial figure head for the charity for 30 years, McGlocklin then officially took up a role as president in 2006.

To date the MACC Fund has generated over $56 million as a part of the fight against childhood cancer. The MACC Fund has only further strengthened McGlocklin’s ties with the Bucks organization, who have been frequent supporters of the cause throughout its history.

As McGlocklin stated in 2014:

"“Without the Bucks, there is no MACC Fund. Without the MACC Fund, we do not contribute $50 million to fight childhood cancer. Without that, cure rates would not be so significantly affected. We had the forum – with the game and media opportunities, starting with my retirement night – giving us good exposure and recognition. It would have been impossible if you went out and tried to start a charity without [that kind of] limelight.”"

Of course, Jonny Mac’s continued involvement with the Bucks didn’t end there either. Since 1986, McGlocklin has been a key fixture of the team’s TV broadcasts, generally alongside his play-by-play partner Jim Paschke. The duo celebrated their 30th anniversary of working together in 2016, and McGlocklin’s commentary continues to be a source of joy for long-time fans of Milwaukee basketball.

In a franchise that has gone through significant changes over the years, and has more awaiting close on the horizon, for many, McGlocklin represents one of the few constants who make the Bucks who they are.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: Marques Johnson broke the mold in a variety of ways

He wasn’t the greatest player to play for the franchise. but in many ways McGlocklin remains its beating heart. Now, with 50 years of thriving in supporting roles on and off the court behind him, McGlocklin’s place in Bucks history is indisputable.