Milwaukee Bucks: Meet the 2000s All-Decade Team

OAKLAND, UNITED STATES: (Photo credit: JOHN G. MABANGLO/AFP via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, UNITED STATES: (Photo credit: JOHN G. MABANGLO/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks, Sam Cassell
CHARLOTTE, NC – MARCH 10: (Photo credit should read NELL REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks: Meet the 2000s All-Decade Team – Sam Cassell

As the Bucks were nearing on the millennium, they had promising building blocks in both Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson. All that was missing was a quality floor general to bring it all together. Enter Sam Cassell.

Cassell had reached the mountain top not long after being selected with the 24th overall pick by the Houston Rockets in the 1993 NBA Draft and subsequently playing a reserve role on their back-to-back title-winning teams the next two seasons.

But the former Seminole’s NBA career quickly took a turn after those title runs as he logged stops in Phoenix, Dallas and New Jersey within a three-year span before coming to Milwaukee on the day of the trade deadline during the lockout shortened 1998-99 season.

It was the 1999-2000 campaign where Cassell started to make his mark by helping form the ‘Big 3′ between himself, Allen and Robinson while simultaneously rejuvenating his already journeyed NBA career. Being the assertive figure he always was during his playing days, Cassell spoke of how he would lead the Bucks’ offense at the point to Mark Bechtel of Sports Illustrated in November of 1999:

"“They didn’t bring me here to be Muggsy Bogues,” Cassell says. “Some nights I’ll score big; some nights I won’t. But getting assists won’t be a problem on this team.”"

Cassell’s blend of smooth scoring, improved efficiency from three and overall penetration within the heart of opposing defenses helped give him some of the best marks of his 15-year NBA career and forming the best offense in the NBA during the Bucks’ peak in the 2000-01 season.

To this day, Cassell’s career-high of 9.0 assists per game during the 1999-00 season is the highest mark in Bucks history for a single season and so are the 729 total assists from that same year. And for what it’s worth, Cassell could sure punt a ball out of frustration.

For as productive as he was in Milwaukee, though, Cassell fell short of making an All-Star appearance during his five years with the franchise, making him one of the team’s best players to never make an All-Star Game. He later rectified that, along with an All-NBA selection, after the Bucks traded the veteran Cassell to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the summer of 2003, which saw the full dissolution of the ‘Big 3’ era for players on the court.

In his 313 appearances with the Bucks, Cassell averaged 19 points on .468/.335/.866 shooting splits, 7.2 assists, 4 rebounds, 1.2 steals across 35.2 minutes per contest.