The Milwaukee Bucks Are Betting on Déjà Vu
Ahead of their first season in Milwaukee, the Bucks have a history that is as interesting as the team itself. After all, they were the first team to land on the NBA’s original draft weekend, in 1989. So, naturally, we’re going to be paying some attention to what happened when the team arrived in what is now the most recognizable city in the league.
But, before any of that is discussed, let’s look back at a series of events that occurred at the beginning of the franchise’s history. Back in the 1990s, the Milwaukee Bucks were the NBA’s only other team located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. When it came time to build the team, they went out and hired a high profile former NBA player to guide their efforts to fill the arena, hire the staff, and start making the necessary moves to move a franchise into the then-struggling market.
The move to the city that would soon become Milwaukee would take place during a period of both good and bad.
After getting their franchise ready, the Bucks’ owners got into the arena business. The team would have six years of NBA action before the franchise was sold in 1993. With no NBA team in Milwaukee for a while, the team would have to make the investment necessary for it to remain in the city once it became a market team. Because of that, the team was forced to make an additional $45 million in investments during its first year. In fact, the franchise’s first year in the city did not exceed $10 million of investment.
While the Bucks were able to avoid that difficult financial situation, they also had to endure their first losing season – a total of 30 games. But that was not the biggest issue the team faced.
As the season began, the Bucks were in the midst of trying to find a way to create an identity for themselves that would carry over into the future. So, they brought on Larry Drew II, a former assistant coach at Duke, for a very brief period of time. Drew was able to turn around the Bucks’ fortunes in his first season, posting an 11-22 record, during which he was fired.
However, during the offseason the team made another big move. They signed head coach Scott Skiles to a three-year deal worth $2.75 million a year.