Sidney Moncrief has been a Milwaukee Bucks legend since he first joined the team in 1978. The former shooting guard and three-time NBA All-Star had lots of great memories playing for his beloved Bucks, but one stands out to him more than others: when he was 16 years old, on Thanksgiving Day, Sidney never got off the bus that took players from their hotel right to the arena.
Sidney Moncrief was a Milwaukee Bucks legend who never played on Christmas. He remembers his Thanksgiving Day bus ride. Read more in detail here: bucks nba.
One of five NBA Christmas Day matches has the Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Boston Celtics. With the team’s recent success and the rise of Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have become a Christmas favorite. Sidney Moncrief, a five-time Bucks All-Star and NBA Hall of Famer, never got to play on Christmas Day, and he’s OK with it. When we got up with him, he remembered playing Thanksgiving Day during his first year and shared the memories with Sportscasting.
On Christmas Day, the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Boston Celtics.
During an NBA basketball game at the MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1986, Sidney Moncrief of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots against the Boston Celtics. | Getty Images/Focus on Sport
The Bucks will play on Christmas Day for the fourth year in a row. They’ve gone 2-1 in the previous three seasons, with their one defeat coming in 2019 against the Philadelphia 76ers. They beat the New York Knicks 109-95 when they started their four-year run in 2018. The Bucks defeated the Golden State Warriors 138-99 last season.
Prior to the Greek Freak years, the Bucks don’t seem to have been considered when it comes to obtaining national publicity on the holiday. The Bucks hadn’t played on Christmas since the 1977-78 season until the game versus the Knicks in 2018. They beat the Kansas City Kings 131-122 that year.
The Bucks-Kings game was one of seven NBA games held during the holidays in 1977. Alex English, a future Hall of Famer, came off the bench for Milwaukee and scored 18 points on seven of ten attempts from the field. Behind Brian Winters, who ended with 22 points, English was the team’s second-leading scorer.
The Bucks will take on the Boston Celtics this year. The Celtics have played on Christmas for the last five years. Boston has a 15-19 record on holidays in its history. Milwaukee has a 4-3 record.
Sidney Moncrief, a Milwaukee Bucks great, has never played on Christmas Day, but recalls playing on Thanksgiving.
Why would the NBA play on Thanksgiving Day any longer? The NFL has dominated Thanksgiving Day television ratings, particularly since adding a third football game in 2006.
Moncrief, an NBA Hall of Famer and Milwaukee Bucks standout, was recently interviewed by Sportscasting and was questioned about his opinions about playing on a significant holiday. He hasn’t played on Christmas since he was a kid, and he’s happy with it. As a professional athlete, he explained, playing on holidays is unavoidable.
Would he have loved to perform around the holidays?
He replied, “Not necessarily.” “You will have to play at times that are inconvenient for you as an NBA player.”
He then recalled his debut year in the league, when he played on Thanksgiving Day.
He recalls, “I played on Thanksgiving.” “I think that was my first year.” At Rutgers, we faced the New Jersey Nets (Athletic Center). The game was not shown on television.
“I recall wondering to myself on the 45-minute bus trip, ‘Why am I performing on Thanksgiving?’ I was able to overcome it. “However, I recall wondering to myself, ‘Why am I on this doggone bus?’”
Moncrief came off the bench to score 14 points and went on to have a Hall of Fame career.
In his rookie season, Moncrief came off the bench to score 14 points and grab four rebounds in a 117-109 win against the Nets on Thanksgiving Day. It was merely the start of a stellar professional career for the 6-foot-3 guard, who was drafted fifth overall in 1979.
Moncrief played in the NBA for 11 years, 10 of them with the Bucks. He has been named to the NBA’s All-Star and All-NBA teams five times. Moncrief was the whole shebang. He could score, as shown by his four seasons of averaging more over 20 points per game. He was also a fantastic defender, winning Defensive Player of the Year two times. In 2018, he was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Despite his honors, many people thought Moncrief was underappreciated. The NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team did not include him. He does not believe he is underappreciated and has no regrets about his career.
“I consider myself a distinguished player,” he said. “A lot of players have gotten more notoriety and are higher-ranked, but I don’t think so.” It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the top 75. I was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“Some people say, ‘You should’ve played in a larger market,’ but life is about more than exposure. I had a great time performing in Milwaukee. “I don’t have any regrets.”
Basketball Reference provided all statistics.
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