A conversation with Bucks great and new NBA Hall of Famer Sidney Moncrief
News broke recently that Bucks legend Sidney Moncrief made the 2019 Class of Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductees.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Sidney's career: He led the Arkansas Razorbacks to the Final Four in 1978, he was a key piece of the great 1980s Bucks teams (leading them to seven straight division championships and two conference finals) and he was a five-time NBA All-Star. He also won NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 1982 and 1983, the first two years of the award's existence — some even say it was invented for him.
Last fall, we were lucky enough to have Sidney on The GoGedders Podcast when he was in town to speak at the Great Lakes International Innovation Summit.
We covered a lot of ground on the podcast, touching on what it was like growing up as a black kid in the South in the 1960s and how he was said to have done more for race relations in Arkansas than anyone else. We talked about what made him great, his tunnel vision, his Bucks teams and Milwaukee. While reflecting on the city, Sidney said, "I love Milwaukee, I could not see myself playing anywhere else. I did not want to play anywhere else … Milwaukee reflected who I was — it was a blue collar, hard working, loyal, family-type town. I don't think my career would have been the same in any other city."
Towards the end of our conversation, I had to ask about the Hall of Fame, as many people had him on their "biggest Hall of Fame snub list." (This was, of course, before he was inducted.) Speaking to the Hall of Fame point guard, he said, "It would be nice, but doesn't define who I am." Then, laughing, made a point that if he got in, he'd like it to happen before he's deceased.
Fast-forward to present day, and Sidney's wish just came true. It's well-deserved and long overdue. Aside from getting in the Hall of Fame, Sidney keeps busy these days running his Moncrief One Team organization where he and his team are committed to the personal and professional development of individuals, teams, and organizations. On his current career, he says, "When you know you've made an impact, that's better than making a last second shot. There is nothing like impacting a life."
I'm grateful that Sidney came on the show. He was extremely nice, he was fascinating to interview, and it was great spending time with a legend!
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