MILWAUKEE -- Bucks coach Scott Skiles said he learned more when he was a rookie in Milwaukee than he did in any other season when he played in the NBA. That was Sidney Moncrief's team, and now the former teammates are together again on Skiles' coaching staff.
"Sidney was the leader of that group. It felt like the right time," Skiles said Monday. "Obviously, he's had NBA experience as a player, he's had NBA experience as a coach. He's been around our team, knows some of the things we do. It was just a good fit right now."
The 53-year-old Moncrief was hired as an assistant in a move that had been widely expected for weeks. Moncrief was an NBA assistant with Dallas (2000-03) and Golden State (2007-09), along with a stint as head coach of the Fort Worth Flyers in the D-League in 2006-07. He also spent one year coaching at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.
In recent years, he's also has been running a basketball skills academy that focuses on fundamentals.
"Milwaukee was one of the very few places I wanted to coach, first of all. And I only want to coach for people I respect as coaches, and Scott Skiles certainly has those credentials," Moncrief said. "I've always worked for myself and if I worked for anyone, I'd have to like them, like the city. Milwaukee certainly fits those criteria."
The five-time NBA All-Star played for 10 years in Milwaukee after becoming the fifth overall pick in the 1979 draft. He won the league's first two Defensive Player of the Year awards (1983-84) and is among the Bucks' leaders in points (11,594, third), games (695, second), free throws (3,505, first), rebounds (3,447, seventh), assists (2,689, second) and steals (874, third).
"I just want to make a contribution," Moncrief said. "We want the Bucks to be at a level that they we recall years ago. I'm here to assist Scott Skiles and the rest of the coaching staff in reaching that level. I think the timing is right."
The Little Rock, Ark., native replaces Kelvin Sampson, who took a coaching position with the Houston Rockets. Sampson was extremely close with 21-year-old point guard Brandon Jennings, who went from prep to overseas professional before being drafted 10th in the 2009 draft.
Skiles couldn't talk about Moncrief's responsibilities directly because of the ongoing NBA lockout, but said Moncrief would fit well with his staff that includes Jim Boylan, Joe Wolf, Bill Peterson and Anthony Goldwire.
I'm really excited," Moncrief said. "Milwaukee is very special to me ... It's a no-brainer being back."