Sidney Moncrief Rumors
26 Sep 13
Milwaukee Bucks assistant coaches Joe Wolf, Sidney Moncrief, Chris Gilmartin, Bill Peterson and Anthony Goldwire will not have their contracts renewed, club officials confirmed Wednesday. New Bucks coach Larry Drew is in the process of putting together his own staff. Although nothing has been announced yet, two of his former assistants in Atlanta, Bob Bender and Nick Van Exel, helped Drew run the team’s draft workout Wednesday.
While head coach Jim Boylan was dismissed from the team two weeks ago, his assistant coaches — Sidney Moncrief, Bill Peterson, Anthony Goldwire, Joe Wolf and Chris Gilmartin — are still under contract until the end of June. Whether any of them will be retained is uncertain. They aren’t the only ones in the Bucks organization on shaky ground. Player personnel director Dave Babcock, scouting director Billy McKinney and head athletic trainer Marc Boff, among others, are also in the final year of their contracts.
Q: Best players you’ve coached? A: Sidney Moncrief. [Dirk] Nowitzki and [Steve] Nash. [Chris] Mullin, [Tim] Hardaway and Richmond. I think those would be the top guys.
Bucks assistant coach Sidney Moncrief not only played for Nelson in Milwaukee but was later an assistant coach for him, Monrief, one of the NBA’s greatest defensive guards ever and the recipient of the first two Defensive Player of the Years awards, said he wouldn’t have accomplished as much as he did without Nelson’s mentoring. “I would not have been a five-time NBA All-Star, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the year, an all-pro without Don Nelson and playing in his system,’’ Moncrief said. “The way he coached us, the way he trained us was exceptional. “He had high expectations for us and expected us to play at a high level.’’
Moncrief played for the Bucks from 1979-’89 and was part of Nelson’s string of seven consecutive division titles. Moncrief was a five-time all-star and two-time NBA defensive player of the year. “I remember when I was a rookie I was trying to play defense a certain way, like I played in college (at Arkansas),” Moncrief said. “I was very passive. “He said, ‘You can’t play defense like that in the NBA. You’ve got to get up on the guy, body the guy, be physical. All the things that were very important to me later as a player, he was able to bring out. Also from an offensive standpoint, I don’t know if I would have been a five- time NBA all-star and do the things I’ve done without Nellie being my coach.”
Bucks assistant coach Sidney Moncrief became a star player with the franchise in the 1980s. And he gives much of the credit to coach Don Nelson, who learned Wednesday he will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Nelson won 540 games with the Bucks from 1976-’87 and went on to win 1,335 NBA games, the most of any coach in league history. “Nellie has had such a profound impact on the game of basketball, on the offensive and defensive end,” Moncrief said Thursday. “A lot of people don’t realize that Nellie was one of the first coaches in the NBA, that had the creative defenses that looked like a zone but was a man-to-man. “I think one thing you have to remember is his ability to adapt to his players and his players’ style.”
As comfortable as he feels here now, Moncrief wasn’t sure what to make of Milwaukee when the Bucks drafted him fifth overall in 1979. He arrived as a 6-foot-4 All-American guard who’d starred at the University of Arkansas. He was born and raised in a hardscrabble section of Little Rock, and the extent of his travels to that point were with a Razorbacks team that had advanced as far the NCAA Final Four in 1978. “I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I was a southern guy from Arkansas and we played most of our games in the south, so I didn’t know much about Milwaukee when I was drafted. There was no Internet, so you couldn’t Google Milwaukee. “As a matter of fact, I think I went to the encyclopedia to look up information about Milwaukee.”
Last August Moncrief finally received the opportunity, when he was hired as an assistant to coach Scott Skiles. Now a few weeks into the lockout-abbreviated 2011-’12 season, he couldn’t be happier. “It’s very exciting,” he said Tuesday after the Bucks’ shootaround at the Bradley Center. “I always like to say that you never know what life has in store for you. It’s been a treat, it really has. “I’ve been so many places the last 30 years. I lived in Dallas, been in Arkansas and Phoenix, here, there and everywhere. So to come full circle and come back to the place I spent so many years playing basketball has been really fun.”
Members of the current Bucks coaching staff also were in attendance, including head coach Scott Skiles and assistants Jim Boylan, Joe Wolf, Anthony Goldwire and Bill Peterson. And Moncrief doubled up as an alum and the newest member of the coaching staff. Nelson hired Moncrief for coaching jobs in Dallas and Golden State and said he was delighted the former Bucks star was back with the franchise. “It was a great hire by the Bucks,” Nelson said. “He’s worked for me two different times. I cried when he left me, but he had to go to another job because they paid more. But I really enjoyed working with Sid and he’s an outstanding coach. “He demands respect because of what he’s done, and he’s a great leader.”