Ask anyone to name the top all-around players of the 1980s, and Sidney Moncrief will be on that list. If any player could do it all, it was Moncrief, who played 10 of his 11 NBA seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. He could shoot from the outside, post up, dunk over 7-foot centers, make the key pass, crash the boards, and slash through the paint for a layup. And although he was a legitimate offensive threat, Moncrief may have been best known for his unrelenting defensive play. The NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award was seemingly created just for him in 1982 as he won the award its first two years of existence.
His consistency, dependability, and versatility made him a fan favorite in Milwaukee and an admired figure among the league’s top stars. Michael Jordan once
told the Los Angeles Times
, “When you play against Moncrief, you’re in for a night of all-around basketball. He’ll hound you everywhere you go, both ends of the court. You just expect it.”
Moncrief finished his career with an average of 15.6 points per game, 4.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He made the playoffs in all 11 of his NBA seasons and won 50-plus games in seven consecutive seasons. The Bucks were 522-298 (.637) while he was with the team and had three trips to the Eastern Conference Finals. Moncrief finished his career as a four-time All-NBA First Team, five-time NBA All-Defensive Team, and a five-time All-Star, and had his #4 retired by the Bucks in 1990.
As great as Moncrief’s pro career was, many still remember him best for his high-flying style of play at the University of Arkansas. Moncrief, along with teammates Marvin Delph and Ron Brewer (“The Triplets”), resurrected the Razorback basketball program in the late 1970s. Moncrief lead the Razorbacks to the SWC championship, and a Final Four appearance in 1978. His jersey was retired not long after he graduated, and is still one of only two retired numbers in Fayetveille, along with Corliss Williamson. On Nov. 10, 2014 Moncrief was inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame.
Moncrief now lives in the Dallas area with his wife Debra.