Sidney Moncrief
Moncrief raising his hand in the air, surrounded by veterns on a basketball court
Moncrief in 2015
Personal information
Born (1957-09-21) September 21, 1957 (age 66)
Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolHall (Little Rock, Arkansas)
CollegeArkansas (1975–1979)
NBA draft1979: 1st round, 5th overall pick
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Playing career1979–1991
PositionShooting guard
Number4, 15
Coaching career1999–2013
Career history
As player:
19791989Milwaukee Bucks
1990–1991Atlanta Hawks
As coach:
1999–2000Arkansas–Little Rock
2006–2007Fort Worth Flyers
2007–2008Golden State Warriors (assistant)
2011–2013Milwaukee Bucks (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points11,931 (15.6 ppg)
Rebounds3,575 (4.7 rpg)
Assists2,793 (3.6 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2018
Moncrief's signature
Moncrief's signature

Sidney Alvin Moncrief (born September 21, 1957) is an American former professional basketball player. As an NCAA college basketball player from 1975 to 1979, Moncrief played for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, leading them to the 1978 Final Four and a win in the NCAA Consolation Game versus #6 Notre Dame. Nicknamed Sid the Squid, Sir Sid, and El Sid,[1] Moncrief went on to play 11 seasons in the National Basketball Association, including ten seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and won the first two NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1983 and 1984.[2] He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.[3]

Early life

Sidney Alvin Moncrief was born on September 21, 1957, in Little Rock, Arkansas.

College career

Moncrief as a sophomore at Arkansas

Moncrief, Marvin Delph of Conway, Arkansas, and Ron Brewer of Fort Smith, Arkansas ("The Triplets"), along with head coach Eddie Sutton and assistant coach Gene Keady, resurrected the University of Arkansas basketball program in the 1970s from decades of modest success and disinterest, and helped lay the foundation for what became one of the country's premier college basketball programs through the late-1990s. Moncrief led the Razorbacks to the SWC regular season championship in 1977, 1978, and 1979, and the SWC Tournament championship in 1977 and 1979. Moncrief was also part of the 1978 Final Four run for Arkansas, that saw the Razorbacks lose to eventual champion Kentucky in the semi-finals, and then defeat Notre Dame in the last 3rd place game ever played at the NCAA Final Four. The following year, Moncrief and Arkansas lost to Larry Bird and Indiana State in the Elite Eight. Moncrief's leadership on the court and electrifying play renewed interest in the Razorback program, and ushered in a new winning tradition in Arkansas basketball.

His jersey was retired not long after he graduated from school and went on to the NBA, and is one of only two, along with Corliss Williamson. Moncrief was the school's all-time leading scorer until Todd Day broke his record in 1992. On November 10, 2014 Moncrief was inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame.[4] After being honored decades earlier with an unofficial banner, on February 7, 2015 Moncrief was officially honored by Arkansas when his name was put on a banner that was hung in the Razorbacks’ new home, Bud Walton Arena.[5] He was the first player in Arkansas’ program history to have his number retired.[6] Moncrief has also been inducted into the University of Arkansas Hall of Honor.

Professional career

Milwaukee Bucks (1979–1989)

Although Jerry West wanted to draft him to the Los Angeles Lakers,[7] Moncrief's NBA career started with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1979 when he was drafted 5th overall. In the final game of his rookie season, Moncrief scored 13 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and recorded 7 assists in 107-91 victory over the Utah Jazz.[8]

During the 1980-81 NBA season, Moncrief helped the Bucks to a 60-22 record, third best in the league, while averaging 14 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists.[9] Despite the strong showing in the regular season, Milwaukee lost in seven games to Philadelphia in the conference semifinals,[10] after coach Don Nelson unsuccessfully contested Milwaukee's 99-98 Game 7 loss for two hours and sixteen minutes, while questioning if Philadelphia got away with a 24 second violation at the end of the game.[11] The following year, in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup, Moncrief made a running bank shot at the buzzer to beat the Philadelphia 76ers, though the Bucks lost the series in six games.[12]

On December 5, 1982, in a loss against the New Jersey Nets, Moncrief recorded a career-high 7 steals.[13] On February 24, 1983, Moncrief scored a career-high 42 points, recorded 8 assists, and grabbed 8 rebounds in a 114-103 victory against the Houston Rockets.[14] That postseason, Moncrief led the Bucks to a sweep of Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics in the second round, averaging 23.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game,[15] and being on the dunking end of an alley-oop pass from Brian Winters to help put away the Game 4 win.[16] The following round, on May 14, 1983, Moncrief scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and recorded 4 steals in a Game 3 loss against the eventual champion 76ers.[17] The Bucks would lose the series 4-1, but would be the only team to beat Philadelphia in any postseason game that year.

On November 30, 1983, Moncrief scored 25 points and blocked a career-high 4 shots in a 139-122 victory against former Bucks player Alex English and the Denver Nuggets.[18] The following month, Moncrief recorded his first career triple-double, with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 89-83 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.[19]

On December 5, 1984, Moncrief and teammates Terry Cummings and Paul Pressey combined for 76 points, an impressive 67% of Milwaukee's points, in a 114-99 victory against the Detroit Pistons. A win in which The Bucks were without Coach Don Nelson, Mike Dunleavy Sr, and Charles Davis, who all suffered neck and back injuries the previous Saturday night at a Baltimore airport.[20] Despite again finding regular season success at a record of 59-23, after the Bucks eliminated the Bulls and Michael Jordan in the first round with a 3-1 series record, Moncrief and his team would be eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by Philadelphia again.[21]

On March 15, 1986, Moncrief played 48 minutes, the entire game, and scored 27 points along with recording a career-high 12 assists in a 125-116 regular season victory against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.[22] That postseason, Moncrief and Milwaukee advanced past the Philadelphia 76ers in a tightly contested seven game series. Moncrief was only able to play in three games of the series due to a heel and knee injuries but still rallied the team when he played,[23] and the Bucks won each game he appeared, including a 113-112 victory in Game 7 at home where he scored 23 points.[24] This meant the Bucks would reach the Eastern Conference finals for a third time with Moncrief. However, yet again Milwaukee would come up short, this time losing to the Boston Celtics.[25]

During the 1987 NBA Playoffs, after advancing past the 76ers in the first round, on May 15, 1987, Moncrief scored a playoff-career high of 34 points in a Game 6 win against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The performance was especially notable given he was primarily guarded by fellow defensive-great Dennis Johnson. However, the Bucks would lose the series in 7 games.[26] On May 24, it was announced Moncrief and teammates Jack Sikma, Randy Breuer, Paul Mokeski, Terry Cummings, and Jerry Reynolds would each be fined between $1,000 and $500 for their roles in an altercation in the game. Danny Ainge and Greg Kite of the Celtics were also fined. The altercation began when Ainge fouled Moncrief from behind during a fastbreak layup attempt, and no players were ejected or suspended.[27] In arguably the last healthy playoff series of his career, Moncrief averaged 20.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.[28]

On December 23, 1988, by then frequently missing games due to knee and foot injuries, Moncrief scored 25 points, largely thanks to making 13 of 13 free throw attempts, and added 5 assists in a 113-101 victory against the Dallas Mavericks.[29] Moncrief would retire for the first time at the conclusion of that year's postseason, an Eastern Semifinals loss to the eventual champion Detroit Pistons.[30]

Atlanta Hawks (1990–1991)

After sitting out of the NBA for one year during the 1989-1990 season, Moncrief played one season with the Atlanta Hawks before retiring at the conclusion of their postseason run.[31] On May 2, 1991, Moncrief scored 23 points in only 22 minutes during a Game 4 victory against the Detroit Pistons, although the Hawks would go on to lose the series.[32] The Bucks initially retired his no. 4 jersey in 1990, and rededicated it at halftime on January 19, 2008, when the Warriors, with whom he was a shooting coach, visited the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to play the Bucks.[33]


During the 1980s, Moncrief was the leader of the Milwaukee Bucks, who had the third best winning percentage for the decade behind only the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. Moncrief was known for his versatility on the court, particularly given his 6′4″ stature, but was most known for his tenacious defensive plays. Although he was thought of as one of the greatest shooting guards of his time, he was never able to get to the Finals, as the Bucks frequently came up short in the Eastern Conference Finals. Moncrief was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 1982–83 and 1983–84 seasons. He also made the All-Star team for five consecutive years and was named to the All-NBA first team for the 1982–83 season. Moncrief averaged over 20 points per game in four seasons of his career and finished his 11-season NBA career with an average of 15.6 PPG. Moncrief still holds the Bucks records for career free throws (3505) and career free throw attempts (4214), as well as career offensive rating (119.7).

His career was hampered by a degenerative knee condition that affected the cartilage in both of his knees. Starting in 1986, he also frequently missed time due to a reoccurring foot injury.[34]

Among Moncrief's admirers was All-Star Michael Jordan who once described his on-court intensity to an L.A. Times reporter: "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."[35]

Another all-time great, Larry Bird, heralded Moncrief’s ability to defend anyone, and said that “Moncrief does everything you’re supposed to do on defense and doesn’t take any shortcuts, plus he does it every night.”[36]

On finding success covering the best guards and wing players on opposing teams throughout postseason games, from Jordan to Julius Erving, even though at 6’4” he was slightly smaller in many instances, Moncrief said “I just took it as a responsibility as much as it was a challenge. That was something I needed to do to help the team win games. I’d rather just chill on defense and get back on offense, but I didn’t have that luxury."[37]

Moncrief was elected to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.[38] Moncrief was finally elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.[3]

NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

1979–80 Milwaukee 77 20.2 .468 .000 .795 4.4 1.7 .9 .2 8.5
1980–81 Milwaukee 80 30.2 .541 .222 .804 5.1 3.3 1.1 .5 14.0
1981–82 Milwaukee 80 80 37.3 .523 .071 .817 6.7 4.8 1.7 .3 19.8
1982–83 Milwaukee 76 76 35.7 .524 .100 .826 5.8 3.9 1.5 .3 22.5
1983–84 Milwaukee 79 79 38.9 .498 .278 .848 6.7 4.5 1.4 .3 20.9
1984–85 Milwaukee 73 72 37.5 .483 .273 .828 5.4 5.2 1.6 .5 21.7
1985–86 Milwaukee 73 72 35.2 .489 .320 .859 4.6 4.9 1.4 .2 20.2
1986–87 Milwaukee 39 30 25.4 .488 .258 .840 3.3 3.1 .7 .3 11.8
1987–88 Milwaukee 56 51 25.5 .489 .161 .837 3.2 3.6 .7 .3 10.8
1988–89 Milwaukee 62 50 25.7 .491 .342 .865 2.8 3.0 1.0 .2 12.1
1990–91 Atlanta 72 3 15.2 .488 .328 .781 1.8 1.4 .7 .1 4.7
Career 767 513 30.2 .502 .284 .831 4.7 3.6 1.2 .3 15.6
All-Star 5 2 23.8 .404 1.000 .864 4.4 2.4 2.4 .4 11.6


1980 Milwaukee 7 26.0 .588 .000 .871 4.4 1.6 .7 .1 12.4
1981 Milwaukee 7 39.6 .435 .000 .745 6.7 2.9 1.7 .4 14.0
1982 Milwaukee 6 42.0 .419 .000 .789 5.0 4.0 1.5 .3 15.3
1983 Milwaukee 9 41.9 .437 .000 .754 6.7 3.7 2.0 .3 18.9
1984 Milwaukee 16 38.6 .518 .250 .791 6.9 4.3 1.8 .6 19.1
1985 Milwaukee 8 7 39.9 .556 .400 .933 4.3 5.0 .6 .5 23.0
1986 Milwaukee 9 9 36.3 .426 .286 .698 4.6 4.9 .6 .6 16.9
1987 Milwaukee 12 10 35.5 .473 .286 .811 4.5 3.0 1.1 .5 19.4
1988 Milwaukee 5 5 34.6 .480 1.000 .963 3.8 5.2 .6 .2 15.0
1989 Milwaukee 9 9 20.4 .396 .286 .938 2.9 1.4 .6 .2 6.1
1991 Atlanta 5 0 18.2 .500 .167 .813 3.2 .4 .6 .0 7.2
Career 93 40 34.7 .475 .293 .811 5.0 3.4 1.1 .4 16.0

Coaching career

Arkansas–Little Rock (1999–2000)

Moncrief was the head coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock for one season, 1999–2000. The Trojans finished with a record of 4 wins and 24 losses.

Fort Worth Flyers (2006–2007)

In 2006, Moncrief returned to basketball as the head coach of the Fort Worth Flyers, a professional basketball team in the NBA D-League.

Golden State Warriors (2007–2008)

He rejoined the NBA in October 2007 when he became the shooting coach for the Golden State Warriors.[39][40]

Milwaukee Bucks (2011-2013)

In 2011, he returned to the Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant coach.

Broadcasting career

It was announced in July 2013 that Moncrief would analyze and commentate Bucks games for FSN Wisconsin.

Post-playing career

Books authored

Personal life

Moncrief has four sons.[41] Moncrief's son Brett was a wide receiver for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Troy University.[42][43][44] His nephew Albrey Battle played eight seasons in the Arena Football League and for the San Francisco Demons of the XFL.[45]

Upon retiring for the first time in 1989, Moncrief opened Sidney Moncrief’s Buick, a car dealership in Sherwood, Arkansas.[46]

Looking back on his career in March 2021, Moncrief said "I have a greater appreciation for the accomplishments and the awards [now] then when I played the game of basketball. When I played the game, it was like: 'Okay. You are an All-Star. Okay, cool. You are a Defensive Player of the Year. Okay'. I never really thought about it. When you retire, and you have time to reflect upon your career, I started to have a greater appreciation for what I was able to accomplish."[47]

On May 15, 2021, Moncrief spoke at the posthumous Hall of Fame enshrinement of his former coach Eddie Sutton.[48]

See also


  1. ^ "Sidney Moncrief Stats".
  2. ^ "Sidney Moncrief." Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Divac, Sikma, Moncrief headline Hall of Fame Class of 2019". National Basketball Association. April 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "Southwest Conference Hall of Fame: Sidney Moncrief." Archived September 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  5. ^ Allen. "Moncrief to be Honored with Banner in Rafters at BWA.", February 5, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  6. ^ "Razorback Basketball Greats to be Honored in February".
  7. ^ Pearlman, Jeff (March 13, 2014). "The 'Magic' Coin Flip (Book Excerpt)". ESPN. 'West wanted Moncrief, and he made it very clear to Jack Kent Cooke,' said Rich Levin, who covered the team for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. 'There was a strong belief, for a brief time at least, that Moncrief, not Magic, would wind up a Laker.'
  8. ^ "Sidney Moncrief Final Game of Rookie Season". Statmuse.
  9. ^ "1980-81 Milwaukee Bucks Roster and Stats". Basketball Reference.
  10. ^ "1981 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals Bucks vs. 76ers". Basketball Reference.
  11. ^ "Sixers' lowlights: When fans stayed home". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  12. ^ "1982 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals Bucks vs. 76ers". Basketball Reference.
  13. ^ "Milwaukee Bucks at New Jersey Nets Box Score, December 5, 1982".
  14. ^ "Milwaukee Bucks at Houston Rockets Box Score, February 24, 1983".
  15. ^ "1983 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals Bucks vs. Celtics". Basketball Reference.
  16. ^ "Bucks Sweep Celtics". The Washington Post.
  17. ^ "Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks Box Score, May 14, 1983".
  18. ^ "Denver Nuggets at Milwaukee Bucks Box Score, November 30, 1983".
  19. ^ "Sidney Moncrief First Triple Double". Statmuse.
  20. ^ "Terry Cummings and Sidney Moncrief each scored 27 points".
  21. ^ "1984-85 Milwaukee Bucks Roster and Stats". Archived from the original on July 15, 2021. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  22. ^ "Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls Box Score, March 15, 1986".
  23. ^ "GETTING A MONKEY OFF THEIR BUCKS". Sports Illustrated - Vault.
  24. ^ "1986 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 7: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks". Basketball Reference.
  25. ^ "1985-86 Milwaukee Bucks Roster and Stats".
  26. ^ "Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks Box Score, May 15, 1987".
  27. ^ "Chicago Tribune: Chicago news, sports, weather, entertainment". Chicago Tribune.
  28. ^ "1987 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals - Bucks vs. Celtics".
  29. ^ "Dallas Mavericks at Milwaukee Bucks Box Score, December 23, 1988".
  30. ^ "1988-89 Milwaukee Bucks Roster and Stats".
  31. ^ "Moncrief Joins Hawks In Plans for Comeback". New York Times. October 6, 1990.
  32. ^ "Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks Box Score, May 2, 1991".
  33. ^ "Warriors pour in 41 points in third quarter en route to big win". ESPN. January 19, 2008.
  34. ^ "NBA PLAYOFFS : On Court or Bench, It's Painful for Moncrief". Los Angeles Times. May 15, 1986.
  35. ^ "Moncrief Bio".
  36. ^ "Defensive Player Ladder: Q&A with Sidney Moncrief, the NBA's first Defensive Player of the Year".
  37. ^ "Larry Bird and Dr. J stood in the way of a potential Bucks' Eastern reign in the 1980s". USA Today.
  38. ^ "Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame: Sidney Moncrief." Archived December 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  39. ^ "Warriors Hire Sidney Moncrief As Shooting Coach - THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS".
  40. ^ "BUCKS: Sir Sid: A Player for the Ages".
  41. ^ "Where are they now? Sidney Moncrief". October 5, 2006.
  42. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 4, 2009. Retrieved January 10, 2009.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  43. ^ "".
  44. ^ "Brett Moncrief - 2011 Football Roster - The Official Site of Troy Athletics".
  45. ^ "Albrey Battle". Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  46. ^ "Legends profile: Sidney Moncrief".
  47. ^ "Sidney Moncrief: "I never really thought about the awards". - KJ Hoops". March 19, 2021.
  48. ^ "Sutton gets his due with Hall of Fame". May 17, 2021.