Milwaukee Bucks: Meet the 1970s All-Decade Team

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, Junior Bridgeman
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images /

Milwaukee Bucks: Meet the 1970s All-Decades Team – Junior Bridgeman

Lucius Allen would have easily been suited for this role as he played an integral role for those early 1970s Bucks teams before eventually stepping foot in the starting unit. And his presence, or lack thereof, certainly influenced the fact that the Bucks came within a game of winning the 1974 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.

But the honors go to Junior Bridgeman, who, like Winters, arrived to Milwaukee on the day of the 1976 NBA Draft when the Lakers selected the Louisville product with the eighth overall pick and shipped him out to Milwaukee. Reflecting on his role in such a massive trade, Bridgeman told in March of 2014 that not feeling the weight of that trade let him and all of the newcomers to come in and play their respective games:

"“When we came, being a rookie, I know I really didn’t understand the magnitude of the trade – being part of a trade for Kareem, who would go on to play a total of 20 years, and was arguably one of the best players of all time,” Bridgeman said in retrospect. “I don’t think any of us comprehended that at the time, and in some ways that was good, because I don’t think we really had the pressure that could have brought.”"

When he immediately entered the fray starting in that 1975-76 NBA season, Bridgeman carved out a super sub role for the Bucks and it’s where his productive and steady scoring gave the Bucks a nice scoring punch off the bench.

Even though the Sixth Man of the Year award hadn’t been created until the 1982-83 NBA season, well into Bridgeman’s 12-year NBA career, he would have been an incredibly deserving candidate and even led all bench players in scoring for the 1978-79 season at 15.5 points per game.

Bridgeman’s durability, save for the 1980-81 season where he appeared in 44 games, helped him make an impact on his many Bucks teams. And even after departing for the Los Angeles Clippers in a star-studded trade before the 1984-85 season, Bridgeman returned to Milwaukee for one more stint that helped become the franchise’s all-time appearances leader.

Over his 711 appearances, Bridgeman averaged 13.9 points on .478/.187/.840 shooting splits, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.9 steals across 25.4 minutes per game

Next. Building an all-time team around Giannis Antetokounmpo. dark

With the 1970s in books, keep on coming back to Behind the Buck Pass as we’ll continue running through our All-Decade teams in the days ahead.