9 People who turned their backs on the Milwaukee Bucks

David Jones talks to Gary Payton
David Jones talks to Gary Payton / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is without a doubt one of the game's greatest players. Although he's always left out in the G.O.A.T. conversation, as many view it as a question of either LeBron James or Michael Jordan. 

He did things not many others can do. The Bucks drafted him with the first pick in the 1979 NBA Draft and he won Rookie of the Year, while also making the All-Star team in his first season, posting insane averages of 28.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. 

As a rookie. 

Abdul-Jabbar would win the MVP award in each of the next two seasons and averaged 34.8 points and 16.6 rebounds in 1971-72. Kareem was a generational talent and the Bucks' front office had to have been licking their chops at simply being able to reel in a talent like him.

He led them to a championship in his second season, as he and Oscar Robertson made for a hell of a tandem. 

However, after six years, he'd had enough.

KAJ requested a trade, stating that he wanted to be somewhere he felt closer at home. Abdul-Jabbar also cited cultural differences as the motivation for him to leave Milwaukee.

“I don’t have any family or friends here,” Abdul-Jabbar said, per the Los Angeles Times. “The things I relate to don’t happen to be in this city to any meaningful degree. Culturally, what I’m about and what Milwaukee is about are two different things. The reason I haven’t commented on this before is I don’t want to take a knock at Milwaukee or the people here and have them think they’re unworthy of me. That’s not what it’s all about.....my family and friends aren’t here and culturally what I’m into does not exist here."

The Bucks surely weren't enthused to hear this, as he was in the peak of his career arc and they were bearing the fruits of his labor.

Why exactly do friends and family have to live in the city you play in? How common is that anyways?

Why should a franchise be punished for things they can't control or alter, like that? Especially with a once-in-a-lifetime superstar like Abdul-Jabbar.