I’m J.D. Mo, and welcome to the Bob Boozer Jinx, an NBA blog mostly, with an irrational sometimes focus on the Milwaukee Bucks. I’ve been a Bucks junkie since 1977 when Nellie drafted Marques Johnson and the team was Green and Growing and built to contend for NBA championships … until their power forward, Dave Meyers, retired for reasons unknown (he won’t talk about it to this day). I knew then that things stranger than fiction could happen to the Milwaukee Bucks, which they certainly did and surely will until the day the franchise folds due to the whims of the interplanetary economy.
Often these strange occurrences have revolved around the power forward position, whether it’s losing Curtis Perry in the 1974 expansion draft; the ill-fated trade of Mickey Johnson for point guard T.J. Ford in 1982; Larry Krystkowiak wrecking his knee against the Bad Boys Pistons in the 1989 playoffs; trading madman 1997 draft pick Danny Fortson for a center (Ervin Johnson) born to be pushed around by Dikembe Mutombo; swapping Dirk Nowitzki for Robert “Tractor” Traylor in the 1998 draft; the league’s suspension of Scott Williams for Game 7 against the Sixers in the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals (not saying he didn’t deserve it); or watching Ersan Ilyasova — who to this day wears Dave Meyers‘ #7 — traded to Detroit for nothing, only to see the Bucks blow $10.5 million a year on Mirza Teletovic.
After much careful analysis and half a bottle of tequila, the conclusion was inescapable: The Bucks are jinxed at the power forward position. Don’t believe me? The current starting power forward is Giannis Antetokounmpo, yet the Bucks have been quick to identify him as anything but: point guard, shooting guard, point forward, forward — but never power forward. I rest my case.
The blog was named after the late Bob Boozer, forward on the legendary 1960 Olympic team with Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Jerry Lucas, an All-Star in the 1960s, and the only power forward the Bucks had on their one and only championship team. Yes, we do care about winning here at the Bob Boozer Jinx, and, above all else, Bob Boozer was one of life’s true winners. Upon the event of his death in 2012, his wife Ella described him as a man who “always said he got everything you could have ever gotten from playing basketball.” He retired from the NBA after Lew Alcindor and Oscar led the Bucks to the 1971 title, and settled in his hometown, Omaha, Nebraska. The Bucks and their fans have known plenty of heartbreak ever since.
Think the missed calls and “what ifs” were hard to take in 2001? To have lived and died a hundred times through the near misses and bad luck of the Nellie years in the 1980s was a special kind of torture. Our stars, Marques Johnson and Sidney Moncrief, and Bob Lanier, never quite got to be like Jim Kelly, loser of four Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills. NFL history may have forgiven Kelly, but NBA history has never forgiven Marques and Sidney for never making it to the NBA Finals. The Basketball Hall of Fame North America Committee confirms this bitter truth each and every year they vote on a new class of inductees.
The effect of all this has been the germination of a certain absurdist fatalism amid Milwaukee pro basketball fandom; it runs like a slow and steady current under much of the content here at the Bob Boozer Jinx. You’ll also find in-depth statistical analysis and the recently introduced Basketball Impact and Efficiency Rating (BIER ), which shares an acronymical homography with the German word for beer. There is a natural bent toward NBA history in many a Bob Boozer Jinx blog because pro basketball history is crazy and good and representative of American life in ways that only it can represent; also because hardly anybody else seems to get it right (I tried watching Bill Simmons’ new sports talk show on HBO but had to quit after Simmons’ Tim Duncan retirement spiel spun off track). History is difficult to write in real time, and should never be written when TV ratings are involved and there’s some jock to sniff for money.
It’s a good idea to follow the Bob Boozer Jinx at twitter, as you’ll get notifications about new content and the occasional tweet about the Bucks, international basketball and other points of interest that are probably not all that important to you in your everyday life, but at least I’ll be able to say that this blog has twitter followers (it’s true!).
Bob Boozer Jinx@Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/bobboozerjinx
Enjoy your visit – there’s quite an archive to dig into! – and come back any time and often.
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