Jon McGlocklin shares his thoughts on ’71 champion Bucks: ‘The fans came out’
MILWAUKEE — The goal of this year’s Milwaukee Bucks is to win a championship. It has only been done once before in Milwaukee — back in 1971. One of the men who was a part of that winning team is Jon McGlocklin, who recently sat down with FOX6’s Tim Van Vooren.
McGlocklin: That year is very clear to me. I think about that year, I recall going to training camp in Janesville. Oscar was with us for the first time — now we were complete. We were great with Kareem. But we were a champion with Oscar and we knew then, we were the team. That year, usually this happens — not a lot of injuries. Everything went smoothly and I remember we had a writer with us out of New York that was doing a book on us right away. It’s just something that was evident to us, but we still had to go out and win it and earn it.
Van Vooren: That’s part of what makes it so great, right? It has to line up, to be the ultimate in your league — and that year, it did and that has to still resonate with you.
McGlocklin: That goes into the luck factor. And I've talked about that a lot over the last few years. And I'll give you an example. I haven't talked about a Bucks team that could win a championship since '74. Even those great 80s teams, I thought Philly was better and Boston was better and that usually turned out that way. This team that we have now can win a championship and it's lining up. Haven't said that since. Because everybody works hard, front office, the GM, everybody trying to put it together, the coaches, the players, everybody, 30 teams work hard. Then you have to get lucky. So what happened. We won a coin flip and got Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, that's lucky. We got Oscar because Bob Cousy came into Cincinnati as a coach and wanted Oscar gone. That's a little bit of luck. And then the Bucks doing their work and pulling the trade off. So there's a lot of luck that goes into this also because there are other teams -- three other teams in the east that can go to the finals. So that luck factor and it has to do with injuries and a lot of other things can go into it.
Van Vooren: Back in those days, the parades weren't a big thing, the city didn't even completely celebrate you guys. You're smirking.
McGlocklin: They didn't celebrate us at all. Nor did the state. Nobody celebrated us.
Van Vooren: Right. So has that championship gotten its dues?
McGlocklin: No, and statistically, I haven't done this. But I've read and been told it was maybe over the past few years, the best team in the NBA statistically by how many points we won by. And this current Bucks team is doing that too. But we win the championship, there's no parade, there's no acknowledgment by the city or the state. We had private party the day we got back just for the team. But the fans, the fans... We came in from Baltimore the next day, and they tell us there was 10,000-15,000 fans at the airport. The fans came out. But the city didn't even recognize us and hasn't to this day. So I don't think we received our due that way. Do we receive our due nationally? Not a lot, because we won one.