Just over two weeks have passed since the Milwaukee Bucks took home a title. We’re still celebrating! Wasn’t it incredible? The only bad part of that unbelievable postseason run is that it had to end at some point. Now fans are left to endure a few months without Giannis, Khris, Jrue, and company until the Bucks return to the court to—as Bobby Portis so perfectly put it—”RUN THAT SHIT BACK!”
Though it’s not quite the return of your Wold Champion Milwaukee Bucks, Fiserv Forum will be buzzing once again this afternoon when BIG3 stops in Milwaukee for a slate of games. Now in its fourth season, Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league brings a group of former NBA staples, multi-time All-Stars, WNBA mainstays, and some Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame inductees to the arena.
The six Milwaukee match-ups will also feature a handful of ex-Bucks players, a couple guys who spent time with the Wisconsin Herd, and others athletes with some regional ties. If you’re going to today’s games or if you plan to stream it live on Triller and FITE, here’s a guide to finding former Bucks players in BIG3 basketball.
For three seasons (2010-13) Drew Gooden played a total of 107 games with Milwaukee, during which he averaged 11.3 points per contest. These days, he’s a Co-Captain of 3’s Company.
3 Headed Monsters
We hate to remind you that former SupersSonics great and current 3 Headed Monsters coach Gary Payton was briefly a Bucks player, but it’s true. When Milwaukee mortgaged its future and ushered in some pretty dark days by trading Ray Allen, the franchise got a total of 28 disgruntled regular season games from a 34-year-old Payton.
Longtime NBA player Shannon Brown’s connection to the Bucks organization doesn’t end with his relation to his younger brother (ex-Milwaukee sharpshooter Sterling Brown). In late 2017 and early 2018, the two-time NBA Champ and current Aliens Co-Captain spent a few months with the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s G-League affiliate.
Journeyman shooting guard Jodie Meeks enjoyed a long NBA run, which spanned more than 500 games and found him winning a ring as a member of the Raptors. That fairly accomplished pro career actually started in Milwaukee when the Bucks took the Kentucky Wildcats guard in the second round of the 2009-10 NBA Draft. His stay in Milwaukee lasted just 41 games before he was traded to the Sixers. Meeks is a member of the Ball Hogs now.
After being packaged with Roy Hibbert’s contract in a deal that sent Miles Plumlee to Charlotte, man-bunned center Spencer Hawes played a mere 19 games with the Bucks in early 2017. During that abbreviated stint, he averaged just nine minutes per game, totaling just shy of three hours on the court with Milwaukee. Hawes was waived by the Bucks that September and never played in the NBA again. He’ll return to Milwaukee as the Co-Captain of the Ball Hogs.
Beyond guys with NBA roots, BIG3 also has its fair share of players with extensive G-League and international league experience. Stewart falls firmly into the second camp, having played professionally in Finland, Poland, and in nearby Oshkosh. During the Wisconsin Herd’s 2019 season, Stewart spent approximately six weeks with the Bucks’ G-League affiliate in Oshvegas. Today, he’s a contributor on the 9th place Enemies squad.
Following a solid NCAA Tournament showing with West Virginia, Milwaukee thought it wise to bypass Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, and Lopez twins Brook and Robin to nab Joe Alexander with the number eight pick in the 2008 Draft. The small forward played in 59 games during the 2008-09 season before the Bucks front office swindled the Chicago Bulls front office and traded him for John Salmons and a 2010 pick (which became Larry Sanders). Alexander’s brief NBA career ended after just eight games in Chicago, but he’s continued playing all over the world. Today, he’ll come back to Milwaukee as a member of the Power.
This early press conference suggests otherwise, but Stephen Jackson was not happy during the majority of his brief and tumultuous Bucks tenure. After a contentious partial season with Milwaukee in 2011-12, Jackson wound up with the Spurs before finishing his playing days with the Clippers. In addition to his post-playing pivot to analyst these days, Jackson also coaches Trilogy.
With the 12th pick in the 1972 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks selected Julius Erving. “Dr. J” would’ve joined a stacked young franchise that also had Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but Erving opted to illegally sign with the Atlanta Hawks instead. An injunction stopped Erving from joining the team’s roster, and he went to play in the ABA. When the ABA folded in 1976, Erving signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, where the Bucks draftee would finish out his incomparable career. Super cool, right? Not really! Anyway, he coaches the Tri-State team now or whatever.
Speaking of Tri-State, former Bucks player (and guy who is still on Milwaukee’s payroll, actually) Larry Sanders has found new life in the the BIG3 as his team’s Co-Captain.
Other Players With A Local Connection
Though he has no Bucks connection, Ghost Ballers player Alex Scales was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin.
Scales’ Ghost Ballers teammate Mike Taylor hails from right here in Milwaukee, where he attended John Marshall High School.