Milwaukee Bucks: Imagining a documentary on the early 1970s Bucks

CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 5, 1974: (Photo by Ron Kuntz Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 5, 1974: (Photo by Ron Kuntz Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks' Jon McGlocklin
BUFFALO, NY – 1974:  (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

The 1973-74 Milwaukee Bucks team currently remains the last squad in the team’s history to reach the NBA Finals. Their rise and subsequent dissolution makes them perfect for a Last Dance-style documentary.

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles where we’ll take a closer look at teams, seasons, and moments in Bucks History that could make for a documentary in the vein of ESPN’s The Last Dance (more details to be found here). Check back on Monday each week for a closer look at the four candidates

In the history of the Milwaukee Bucks, only two teams have reached the NBA Finals. It so happens that they were three years apart from one another.

More from Bucks History

The Bucks teams of the early 1970s reached the pinnacle of success in the NBA during the 1970-71 season, winning their first NBA title three years into their existence.

With players such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Dandridge and Oscar Robertson headlining their core and head coach Larry Costello pulling all of the strings, the Bucks looked set up to dominate the decade, given the presence of all four figures.

Milwaukee became the first-ever team to win 60 games in three straight regular seasons, starting from 70-71 to 1972-73.

However, the Bucks were unable to replicate their literal crowning achievement from 70-71 in the ensuing couple of seasons. The Bucks ran into the eventual 1971-72 NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, during the Western Conference Finals, and suffered a heartbreaking first round collapse to the Golden State Warriors to end their 72-73 campaign.

Suddenly, this dominant Bucks team that many loudly proclaimed to be the future of the NBA at the start of the decade, was nearing a critical point in the franchise’s history entering the 1973-74 year. Although, no one at the time knew it yet.

So without further ado, let’s run through the 1973-74 Milwaukee Bucks season and why it’s such a captivating season in the history of the franchise.