First Bucks GM John Erickson, who drafted Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, dies at 92

Associated Press
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LENEXA, Kansas — John Erickson, a former Milwaukee Bucks general manager and Wisconsin men’s basketball coach, has died. He was 92.

Rick Wiseman, funeral director at Porter Funeral Home in Lenexa, Kansas, confirmed Friday that Erickson died Wednesday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Porter Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Erickson served as the Bucks’ general manager from 1968-70. He was in that role when the Bucks won a coin flip with the Phoenix Suns and earned the right to select eventual NBA career scoring leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, with the first pick in the 1969 NBA draft.

Erickson coached Wisconsin from 1960-68 and posted a 100-114 record.

Erickson ran for one of Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate seats as a Republican in 1970 but lost to William Proxmire. He later served as a president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for 16 years and also worked as an assistant commissioner of the Big Eight Conference.