Milwaukee Bucks: No shortage of Bucks in ESPN’s top-74 players of all-time

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Turner Sports)
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Turner Sports) /

With ESPN having revealed their top-74 players of all-time in recent days, there’s no shortage of players with Milwaukee Bucks’ ties who’ve made the list.

All-time lists are never anything but controversial, but at the very least the latest buzzworthy NBA list of that sort has brought plenty of good news for the Milwaukee Bucks.

With ESPN releasing their latest all-time list this week, showcasing 74 of the NBA’s greatest players ever, to mark 74 seasons of the league to date, both current and former Bucks players featured prominently.

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In all, there were 10 players on the list who had suited up for the Bucks at one point or another throughout their careers, although the legacies certainly varied from player to player.

Alex English (67), Dave Cowens (66), Pau Gasol (65), Gary Payton (53), and Moses Malone (18) certainly stand out as all-time greats who enjoyed far from illustrious spells as Bucks. But on the other side of the coin, there was an equal share of NBA greats on the list who left a notable mark on great Bucks teams.

They comprise of Bob Lanier (71), Ray Allen (56), Giannis Antetokounmpo (27), Oscar Robertson (11), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (3).

Antetokounmpo’s rank of 27th is certainly striking, with only Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and LeBron James being ranked ahead of him in an all-time context among active players.

With Giannis on track for his second MVP win, and with hopefully multiple championships to come over the course of his career, it’s not difficult to imagine him rapidly ascending the rankings before his playing days are done. But even the most ardent Bucks fan could hardly have a gripe with his ranking, with 27th even being more than a little generous for a player who is still just at the midpoint of his career and has yet to reach the Finals.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s place on the list as the highest ranked Bucks representative is certainly one that does deserve some further scrutiny, though.

For as much as the greatest of all-time discussion generally centers around Michael Jordan and LeBron James, Kareem has much more than just a valid place in that debate. Between individual and team accolades, from dominating the game in both college and the NBA, there has never been a career quite like Kareem’s. There’s certainly no shame in being ranked the third greatest player of all-time, but it would be not all that surprising if Kareem’s place in the annals of history only grows when there’s a greater remove from both Jordan and James’ playing days.

For all of the Bucks who did get to take their place on ESPN’s list, though, there was certainly one notable exclusion.

Considering his absurdly lengthy wait before finally being inducted into the Hall of Fame, it probably shouldn’t be all that surprising that Sidney Moncrief continues to be overlooked and underestimated in the history books.

Damian Lillard is one of the most exciting players in the NBA today, but is he greater than one of the best two-way guards of all-time, who was a five-time All-NBA, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and led his team to seven straight seasons of at least 50 wins? The answer is no.

Tracy McGrady in his prime was a sight to behold, but did his all-around game, and impact beyond stardom, come even remotely close to Moncrief’s? The answer, again, is no.

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The Bucks were undoubtedly well-represented, but there was still room for one undoubted and ridiculous snub.