Why are the Milwaukee Bucks called Cream City?


Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

I’ve found that during the recent run of NBA City Jerseys you can find a lot out about the history of different NBA cities and the culture around them. The recent Brooklyn Nets Bed-Stuy jersey took me down a rabbit hole where I learned a lot about The Notorious BIG and the place he grew up in, stuff that had been right there in his music, but I’d never engaged with properly. The Milwaukee Bucks 2019/20 City Jersey however had me stumped. What is Cream City all about? 

Why are the Milwaukee Bucks called Cream City? The Milwaukee Bucks have Cream City on the front of their 2019/20 City Edition Jersey because the City of Milwaukee has the nickname, Cream City. This nickname stems back from the early 19th Century when a yellow/cream coloured brick became predominant in Milwaukee’s architecture during a boom period. This added an eye pleasing and popular characteristic to Milwaukee, which has remained to this day. 

Typical 19th century Milwaukee brick work: Picture from www.visitmilwaukee.com

Of course, like most things, that’s the short answer. Let’s dig deeper into how the nickname started, why it prevailed and what inspired the Bucks to choose it for their City Edition Jersey on what had the potential to be a title winning season. Also… am I sure it doesn’t have anything to do with dairy?

Milwaukee, Cream City – a local quirk of geology

Without wanting to get to scientific on this light hearted blog about Basketball, it’s all about geology. South Eastern Wisconsin, where Milwaukee is located, has glacial lake deposits. Found frequently along the shore of Lake Michigan and further inland. This causes the cream colour material that local Milwaukee developers started using in the early 1800’s. There’s a great article here, that explains it all – scientific diagrams and everything.

Milwaukee Cream City local or national nickname?

Cream City is very much a local nickname for the town. The Bucks adopting it for their City Edition Jersey is probably the most exposure the name has ever had. Although many local businesses do adopt it as part of their business name, some even if their business is more national. Cream City Caramels & Confections is a national maker of food products, produced locally in Milwaukee. Within the local area people will understand the reference to the cream coloured cityscape of the Milwaukee, the further away you travel people probably just assume that it’s a reference to the dairy market – maybe adding a touch of prestige to the company name.

So, to answer my earlier question. Yes I’m sure that the Cream City nickname the Bucks have adopted this year has nothing to do with the dairy market!

Milwaukee Cream City Edition Jerseys, inspiration

With all the things that the Bucks could have chosen to represent their City for the 2019/20 season, following Giannis’ MVP winning season, they chose Cream City – why?

The official inspiration for the choice of Cream City as this years City Edition Jersey for the Milwaukee Bucks is as follows:

“Directly inspired by what players wear on court, the 2019-2020 Milwaukee Bucks City Edition Nike NBA Swingman Jersey embodies everything Cream City represents. Strong and resilient like the cream-colored bricks that built the city and give it distinction. Creative like the people known for taking what they’ve got and making something special. And the everyday dedication Milwaukeeans show, not only for their beloved Bucks, but in building an inclusive future.”

Nike.com

That’s good enough for me, plus Giannis Antetokounmpo looks absolutely dope in it!

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Louis

I fell in love with Basketball when I was about 9 years old. Since then I have played on, coached and organised many teams. I've followed the NBA ever since. With no home team I've always rooted for teams and players I like the style of. The last 2 decades that's meant Greg Popoviches Spurs for the most part. My favourite NBA podcasts are The Lowe Post, Open Floor and The Ringers "The Mismatch".

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