Milwaukee Bucks: The pursuit to hire Al McGuire before expansion season

Once upon a time, the Milwaukee Bucks made an unsuccessful play to hire legendary Marquette University coach Al McGuire before the Bucks’ expansion season.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Marquette University have been tied together throughout the vast majority of the Bucks’ 52-year history.

Of course, the Bucks and Marquette have shared the same arenas since 1974 from the MECCA, the Bradley Center and now, Fiserv Forum. But long before the Bucks and Marquette shared the same home with one another, the Bucks attempted to make a push to bring in one of Marquette’s legendary figures.

After the original Bucks ownership group of Marvin Fishman and Wes Pavalon were awarded an expansion franchise back in January 22, 1968, they had to start from the ground up in filling out the team’s entire identity both on and off the court.

For both Fishman and Pavalon, there was one person they thought could be the perfect coach for the startup Bucks: Al McGuire.

The legendary, Hall of Fame head coach was four seasons into his run leading the then-Warriors and was in the midst of turning around the school’s famed basketball program.

But the lure of the Bucks and the ownership’s push to hire McGuire led to the New York native looking to make the jump to the NBA following the 1967-68 NCAA season. And it would give the Bucks the cache and a smart, driven basketball mind to form the team’s early…

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