Milwaukee Bucks: Sidney Moncrief’s Hall of Fame wait continues

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1979: (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1979: (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Despite the impressive résumé he built over the length of his 11-year career, Milwaukee Bucks legend Sidney Moncrief has yet to have his ticket punched to the Naismith Hall of Fame.

This article is a part of our ongoing Milwaukee Bucks History Month, which you can follow here throughout the month of September.

Benjamin Franklin once said that in life, nothing is certain, except death and taxes. For former Milwaukee Bucks great Sidney Moncrief, patent disrespect can be added to that list.

It’s been just over 27 years since Moncrief last took the floor in an NBA game and ever since then, the Little Rock native’s imprint on the league throughout the 1980’s has increasingly been lost in the shuffle when bigger picture discussions takes place in regard to that decade.

Of course, that doesn’t apply to Moncrief’s standing within Bucks history, where he undoubtedly ranks as one of the most talented, complete players the franchise has ever sported.

More from Bucks History

Through all of the Bucks’ extended success throughout the 80’s, a period in which they logged multiple 50-win seasons and toppled Eastern Conference giants like the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers in the postseason, Moncrief stood as one of the lone constants throughout the team’s run during that span.

Doing so at the level that Moncrief played at individually, on both ends of the floor, only raised the respect he received from his peers, his coaches, and followers of the NBA during that time.

While Moncrief’s glittering, all-around play drove his appeal in the eyes of fans, teammates and rivals alike, it was the insatiable drive and incredibly high work ethic Moncrief routinely displayed that stood at the heart of his game.

That only led to the many recognitions the Razorback alum earned throughout the peaks of his powers, which ranged from five straight All-NBA selections as well as five straight All-Star nods, all coming from 1982 to 1986.

The most prestigious honor Moncrief is likely known for is being the first recipient of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, which he took home after the 1982-1983 season and the 1983-84 campaign (to this point, Moncrief stands as the only backcourt player to be named DPOY on two separate occasions).

Sidney Moncrief was the picture of consistency. light. From the Archives

As a result of all that and a whole lot more, Moncrief’s No. 4 jersey remains immortalized in the rafters of the Bucks’ arena since January 16, 1990 after he stepped away from the game due to the significant and chronic injuries that cut short his playing career (though, it wouldn’t be for good as Moncrief played one final season with the Atlanta Hawks a year later).

Yet for all that he accomplished with the Bucks, between the perennial success and the many individual accolades he garnered throughout his career, Moncrief still remains on the outside looking in when it comes to being enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Moncrief hasn’t stood as a complete blind spot for the many voting committees as he has regularly been named a finalist in recent classes, but it’s obviously never gone beyond that stage to this point.

From that lens, though, it’s quite strange to see the powers that be continually exclude a player as decorated and well regarded as Moncrief was during his time in the league.

It’s easy to point out the two notable elements Moncrief doesn’t have in his favor regarding his Hall of Fame case, those being not having a championship ring, much less making an appearance in the NBA Finals as well as the lack of longevity in his career.

On the other hand, the overall sum of Moncrief’s track record, both on a team and individual level, honestly speaks for itself and that’s before taking into account what he accomplished during his days at the University of Arkansas where he was named a two-time All-American.

For as long as Moncrief continues to wait to hear his name called in this way, the debate and backing of his long awaited entry into the Hall of Fame will rage on, whether that’s from Bucks fans or pundits in and around the game.

Next. Bucks: Days of free agency irrelevance could be at an end. dark

Until that change of heart comes, that is if it ever does, Moncrief’s merits won’t be lost on the many Bucks fans who still reflect on what he meant to the franchise during his time in Milwaukee.