It seems like anyone who has ever been a part of a NBA championship team has been asked if they could beat the Golden State Warriors, the still reigning champions and holders of the NBA’s single-season record of 73 wins.
Saturday, while at the Milwaukee Bucks’ groundbreaking ceremony, I asked Bob Dandridge, a starter on the Bucks’ one and only championship team in 1971, whether the Bucks could beat the Warriors in a hypothetical matchup.
That Bucks’ 1970-71 team went 66-16 during the regular season, 12-2 in the playoffs and swept Baltimore 4-0 in the Finals.
That Bucks team was led by the dynamic duo of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson, unquestionably two of the greatest players in NBA history. They were joined in the starting lineup by Dandridge, who averaged 18.4 points that season and whom some NBA officials contend should be in the Hall of Fame, sharpshooter Jon McGlocklin and the versatile Greg Smith.
When Dandridge was queried about whether his crew could beat the Warriors, he didn’t hesitate in responding: “Of course, I think we would beat them,’’ said Dandridge, whose averaged 18.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in 13 pro seasons with Milwaukee and Washington. “I mean, you have Kareem in the middle and he could have been the difference. How would they have stopped him?
“And we had the Big O. And who was going to stop him? I really don’t think they could have beaten our championship team, I really don’t.’’
Several thousand fans turned out for the Milwaukee Bucks’ historic groundbreaking ceremony for their new multi-purpose area in downtown Milwaukee.
A star-studded cast attended the event, with the biggest cheers directed toward former owner Herb Kohl. At one point during the ceremony, the crowd chanted, “We love you, Herb.’’
The Bucks’ tri-majority owners of Wes Edens, Jamie Dinan and Marc Lasry gave short speeches as did several political figures, including Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who grew up being a Bucks fan.
A slew of former players were in attendance as well, including Oscar Robertson, Junior Bridgeman, Jon McGlocklin, Bob Dandridge, George Thompson, Wayne Embry and Fred Roberts, who is now a sixth-grade teacher at a school outside of Salt Lake City.
Bucks’ workouts resume
The Bucks will hold at least one more workout before Thursday’s draft, that being on Monday.
Former Whitefish Bay High School and Maryland standout Diamond Stone is expected to audition for the Bucks, as is former Seton Hall guard Isaiah Whitehead.
Stone is expected to be selected in the middle of the first round, while Whitehead’s stock has increased, with one NBA executive ranking him in “the 20s.’’
The Bucks have picks 10, 36 and 38.