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News » Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies

Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies

Bucks co-founder Pavalon dies By CHARLES F. GARDNER

Wesley D. Pavalon, one of the founders of the Milwaukee Bucks franchise, died Saturday in West Bend after an illness, the team announced. He was 76.

Pavalon and Marvin Fishman led a group of investors called Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services, Inc. that was awarded a National Basketball Association franchise in January 1968.

The fortunes of the Bucks franchise changed dramatically when the team won a coin flip with the Phoenix Suns and gained the right to choose Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) with the No. 1 pick in the 1969 draft.

Pavalon and the Bucks ownership group signed Alcindor and traded for Oscar Robertson, and they led the Bucks to their only championship during the 1970-'71 season.

Pavalon also played a major role in hiring Wayne Embry as the first African-American general manager in the NBA in 1972.

"I really feel indebted to Milwaukee and the Bucks organization," Embry said in a published interview. "I'm really appreciative to Wes Pavalon and the ownership group at that time."

Bucks co-founder Fishman died in October.

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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