Bucks Diary

Monday, January 21, 2008

Was McGlocklin as good as Moncrief? No way

For their 40th anniversary the Bucks are reretiring jerseys. On Saturday they reretired "The Space Shuttle", Sidney Moncrief's number 4.

Anyway, they were interviewing Moncrief about it on Bucks Live after the Bucks got hammered by the Golden State Warriors. When they asked him where he ranked himself among the All-Time Bucks, Sir Sid, like Gale Sayers, said "I am third." He put Kareem and Oscar ahead of himself, in that order.

I actually think he's underslotting himself (he did more for the Bucks than the aging Oscar Robertson did), but that's not the point of this post.

When they cut back to the announcers, moderator Craig Coshun said something to the effect that Bucks color man and former G Jon McGlocklin might actually deserve that number 3 ranking.

That's a joke. And its not the first time they've tried to push that hooey. McGlocklin's abilities as a basketball player are constantly overblown by the FoxSports crew. They get away with it because I'll bet 80% of the viewers never saw him play. They only know that he has his jersey up in the rafters, so they're probably inclined to believe he was a really special player. He wasn't.

McGlocklin is Mr. Milwaukee Bucks... no doubt about that. But its because of what he has done for the team and the community after his career ended... its not because of what he did on the court. On the court he was a one-trick pony... he could shoot from the outside... that's it.

And keep in mind McGlocklin played before the advent of the three point shot, so "home run" jump shooters of his ilk were not that valuable (Brian Winters falls in that category also). When a layup is worth just as much as a long jumper, and when it goes in much more often, you want guys who can get layups, not distance shooters. So before the 3 (and to a large extent after the 3) outside shooting specialists, while entertaining as players, were not exactly win producers. I will show that mathematically in my next post.

But Win Production isn't the only way to rank a player. What about pure basketball skill? From what I've seen, McGlocklin comes up short there too.

Now granted, the only time I ever saw Mac play was twice on "Hardwood Classics" on the NBA channel. But, unless he played one way during the Bucks trips to the NBA Finals and a whole different way the rest of the time, I think I saw all I needed to see.

Frankly, I was shocked at what I saw. I don't mean to be indelicate, but McGlocklin played like a bit of a spaz. Sure, he could shoot. But the rest of his game was decidedly unimpressive.

For instance, when McGlocklin dribbled the ball, he seemed to always have his head down... not exactly pro level ballhandling. And he was one of those guys who was so unconfident with his dribbling that he would overprotect the ball, if you understand what I mean. Thus, he couldn't penetrate if his life depended on it. And he wasn't a playmaker either. All of his passes that I saw were two handed chest passes... thrown laterally. All he ever did was "swing" the ball.

And even his specialty, the jump shot, wasn't that impressive. The only time I saw him shoot was when he had both feet set and he was open. I never saw him free himself with his dribble. Thus, I would say he was strictly a spot shooter.

None of this is meant to disrespect Jonny Mac. I love the guy. But there is no way in hell he was even close to being the third best Milwaukee Bucks of all time. Let's be straight about that.

By Win Production, the three greatest Bucks of all time were Kareem, Marques Johnson, and Sidney Moncrief... in that order. I'll make the case with my next post, and rank the all-time greatest Bucks in order. I'll also show you how some of the Bucks whose numbers are up in the rafters aren't even close to being among the team's best all-time players... if producing Bucks victories is the primary criteria.


At January 21, 2008 at 8:28 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

If I could be so bold as to say that Johnny Mac has nothing on Scott Williams as well . . . in the announcers booth that is. Williams is infinitely better as a color guy than JM. The GS game was pleasant simply because Scott was fun to listen to (I loved the GQ comment directed at coach Nelson!) Maybe it is something to look forward to?

At January 21, 2008 at 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Jon McG that I recall from his days at IU through the Royals to the Bucks is that of the prototypical Hoosier basketeer--excellent jumpshooting, great fast break filler, smart, good feet on defense. He was a dream for Coach Branch McCrakin(sp) in his run and gun offense.

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