Bucks to retire jersey of Marques Johnson on March 24
January 20, 2019
On Sunday, March 24, the Milwaukee Bucks will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in a matchup featuring one of the best teams in the NBA this season against one of the worst. On paper, the home squad should be able to secure a win.
But the period of time in between quarters two and three will also be a win, for any fans of Bucks history. Because, during a special jersey retirement halftime ceremony, the team will retire the No. 8 jersey of Marques Johnson.
Johnson will become only the ninth former Bucks player in history to have his number retired by the team. The other players to have their Bucks jerseys retired are Oscar Robertson (No. 1), Junior Bridgeman (No. 2), Sidney Moncrief (No. 4), Bob Dandridge (No. 10), Jon McGlocklin (No. 14), Bob Lanier (No. 16), Brian Winters (No. 32) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (No. 33).
“This is a well-deserved honor for Marques who was a pillar of one of the most successful eras of Bucks basketball in the late 1970s and 1980s,” said Bucks and Fiserv Forum President Peter Feigin. “Marques is one of the most decorated players in franchise history and played a large role on some of the winningest teams in the Bucks’ 51 seasons. Retiring Marques’ number was an easy decision for us. We look forward to recognizing his prolific career on March 24.”
“I am moved beyond words by such a gesture,” Johnson said. “I have always held a special place in my heart for the fans who supported the Bucks during my time there. For the organization to honor me this way, means more than words can express. Sometimes it takes being away from a situation to really appreciate what you had. I had long felt a sense of disappointment for falling short of the NBA Finals. What I have come to realize is that the fans of Milwaukee only ask that you play hard and give your best.”
Johnson in seven seasons between 1977-84 played in 524 career games with the Bucks. A four-time NBA All-Star and three-time All-NBA honoree during his time with Milwaukee, the Bucks made the playoffs in six of his seven seasons. He averaged 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists, shooting 53.0% FG as a Buck.
In all-time Bucks team history, Johnson is sixth in points (10,980), fourth in field goals made (4,546), third in rebounds (3,923), first in offensive rebounds (1,468) and ninth in games played (524).
A third pick in the 1977 NBA draft, Johnson's UCLA team, coached by John Wooden, won the 1975 NCAA championship. Johnson's No. 54 UCLA jersey was also retired by the team, back in 1996.
Johnson currently works as a broadcaster for the Bucks on FOX Sports Wisconsin.