Sidney Moncrief, the recipient of the NBA’s first ever Defensive Player of the Year award in 1983, and the repeat winner in 1984, demonstrated that the only real way to play basketball was all-out on both ends of the floor. Moncrief played in a golden era of great guards where on any given night the defensive stalwart hounded the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Maurice Cheeks, Clyde Drexler, and Isiah Thomas. Built more like a linebacker than a basketball player, he stood opponents up from baseline to baseline, never giving an inch, perpetually locked in to a battle for position. Moncrief played 11 seasons in the NBA, including a stretch from 1982 to 1986 where he averaged 20 points per game, made five consecutive All-Star appearances, and earned All-Defensive First Team honors four times. During that same span, the former two-time All-America made the All-NBA team five straight years. A native of Arkansas, he led the University of Arkansas to the 1978 NCAA Final Four, the school’s first appearance in more than 30 years.
BornSeptember 21, 1957 Little Rock, AR
Professional CareerAtlanta Hawks Milwaukee Bucks
Player of the Year