Like It Is:

Moncrief adds Hall of Famer to long list of nicknames

By: Wally Hall
Published: Thursday, April 18, 2019
Former NBA player Sidney Moncrief speaks during a news conference after being named a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2019, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Former NBA player Sidney Moncrief speaks during a news conference after being named a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2019, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Over the course of his 11-year NBA career, Sidney Moncrief picked up a handful of nicknames.

Super Sid, Sir Sid, El Sid and Sid the Squid are a few. They were meant to be complimentary of his athleticism and hard work.

Moncrief — who as one of The Triplets, along with Marvin Delph and Ron Brewer, helped lay the foundation for University of Arkansas basketball — has been chosen for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Some might say it is a little late, but it’s still a great honor for the man who was the fifth pick of the first round of the 1979 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, who retired his No. 4 jersey in 1990.

During his days with the Bucks, the organist oftentimes would play “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze” when Moncrief touched the ball.

On April 26, Moncrief will host a screening of All For The Hogs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at 119 Main St. in Little Rock. Admission is $100, and Moncrief will do a question-and-answer session after the screening of the film that focuses on Moncrief’s Arkansas teams and their impact.

On Saturday at 7 a.m., his foundation, We Are One, will have a 2019 Omega Prostate/Colon Cancer Awareness 5K run/walk at Murray Park. For more information, go to sidneymoncrief.org.

Not sure Moncrief will talk about this, but years ago he shared a story about how Michael Jordan helped him decide to retire from the NBA. The story came with one of Moncrief’s warm smiles.

Moncrief had taken a year off from the NBA before signing with the Atlanta Hawks. In his prime, Moncrief was one of the most tenacious defenders in all of basketball. When the Hawks took on the Chicago Bulls, Moncrief’s primary job was to slow down Jordan.

At the time, Moncrief was 33 and Jordan was 27.

After about five minutes, Jordan turned around and told Moncrief, “Quit holding me, old man.”

Without pause, Moncrief said, “When you are my age, you’ll be holding, too.”

To which Jordan said, “When I’m your age, I’ll be retired.”

Moncrief retired a few weeks later. He is now a motivational speaker.

In his NBA career, Moncrief played in 767 games, started 513 and averaged more than 30 minutes per game. He averaged 15.6 points per game, 4.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals.

He made the NBA All-Star Team five times and helped lead the Bucks and Hawks to 11 playoffs.

His induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame is Sept. 6. He will join Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving and almost every great you’ve heard of.

It was a long time coming, but well deserved. No matter which name you called Moncrief, it was always with respect and admiration for a job well done.

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