Milwaukee Bucks: Sidney Moncrief reportedly inducted into Naismith Hall of Fame

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

According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Milwaukee Bucks legend Sidney Moncrief will be among this year’s class inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield.

UPDATE: When the announcements were made official on Saturday morning, former Buck Jack Sikma was also named to the Hall of Fame.

Whether it’s the fact they sport a leading MVP candidate or that they recently locked down home court throughout their coming playoff run, the present for the Milwaukee Bucks is extremely bright. Now a light is being shined on an instrumental figure from the franchise’s history this weekend in Minneapolis, where this year’s NCAA Final Four is taking place.

First reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski late Friday night, Bucks legend Sidney Moncrief will be among this year’s class to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame this fall in Springfield, Massachusetts.

A finalist for this year’s class with teammates and Bucks legends Marques Johnson and Jack Sikma, Moncrief will become the 12th player throughout the franchise’s history to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

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That’s not counting Hall of Fame head coach Don Nelson or former Bucks general manager Wayne Embry, which brings the count of figures who were affiliated with the Bucks in some way to 14.

Needless to say, this is an overdue honor for Moncrief whose Bucks legacy speaks for itself as he was the lone constant as far as player personnel goes throughout the Bucks’ illustrious run during the 1980’s.

In that span, Moncrief proved himself to be a fearsome all-around player, whose competitive drive and intense work ethic made him the team’s engine under Nelson. This quote from Nelson in a Sports Illustrated profile written by Jamie Diaz back in the fall of 1985 on the former Razorback might sum it up best regarding Moncrief’s brand of gifts and attributes:

"“Nothing stands out with Sidney, and everything does,” says Nelson. “It’s not one minute, it’s 48. It’s not one play, it’s every play.”"

Of course, Moncrief was often recognized throughout his peak as a player as he was named an All-Star five consecutive times from 1982 to 1986 and made All-NBA teams in that span of time as well (one All-NBA first team nod, four All-NBA second team honors).

The crowning achievement in Moncrief’s legacy as a player is the fact that he was the first recipient of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year back in 1983 and won it again the following season. Recently reflecting to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype about the honor, Moncrief has grown to appreciate the recognition and the first player in NBA history to take home the award:

"“I didn’t think a lot of it when I was selected. It caught me off guard, but I didn’t process it. But when I retired, I started realizing, “That’s pretty cool.” It’s really nice to be the first person chosen for that award. I don’t know if they had a lot of criteria developed. (Laughs) They’ve probably changed it a lot over the years based on different teams and different types of players. But it’s certainly an honor to be the first person to win it.”"

Moncrief was also named to All-Defensive teams from 1982 to 1986, the first year being named to the second team while the next four were on the first team.

As we all know, Moncrief’s distinguished career was prematurely cut short at the end of that decade due to chronic knee injuries. While the Little Rock native gave it one last go in the 1990-91 season as a member of the Atlanta Hawks, Moncrief called it quits at the age of 33.

Since hanging it up, Moncrief’s long been recognized for his contributions to the Bucks, whether that’s been through retiring his No. 4 jersey, his name still ranking high across multiple categories in the team’s record books, etc.

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Now the last remaining hole in the 61-year-old’s basketball life has finally been filled and Sidney Moncrief will soon find his name among the legends of the game, in the place where he has always belonged. Congratulations, Sidney!