The NBA Milwaukee Bucks basketball team play in the Eastern Conference’s Central Division as part of the National Basketball Association. The Bucks are based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and their home games are played at the Bradley Center.
The Milwaukee Bucks team was established in 1968 and first played during the 1968-69 season. The Bucks struggled and won only 27 games during their first season. They won the coin flip versus the Phoenix Suns for the first pick for the next year’s draft and were able to choose UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The next season the Bucks went 56-26 for the league’s second best record. Milwaukee made it all the way into the Eastern semifinals where they lost to the New York Knicks. Alcindor was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. The next year, Milwaukee acquired Oscar Robertson from the Cincinnati Royals. The Bucks went 66-16 and won the NBA Championship in just their third season.
During the first part of the 70’s, the Bucks continued to be a powerhouse, with three 60 win seasons in a row. They made it back into the NBA Finals in 1974 but lost to the Boston Celtics. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar demanded to be traded following the 1974-75 season. In June 1975, Jabbar was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, ending the Jabbar era in Milwaukee.
The Bucks moved into the Central Division of the Eastern Conference following the 1980 season and won 6 division titles in a row and had .500 plus seasons for 11 consecutive years. However, they did not make it into the NBA Finals during this time. Throughout most of the 1990’s, the Bucks were a mediocre team. However from 1998 to 2003 under the coaching leadership of George Karl and the addition of players such as Glen Robinson, Ray Allen, Sam Cassell and Tim Thomas, the Bucks once again became an elite Eastern Conference team. Since 2004, the Bucks have made the playoffs in 2004, 2006 and 2010.