Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Milwaukee Bucks Championship Brings Unity, But Will It Last?

Chuck Quirmbach
A new sign on the Fiserv Forum reads "2021 NBA Champions, History Made."

The huge celebration for the Milwaukee Bucks is over. Large crowds watched a parade and rally for the new NBA champions Thursday in downtown Milwaukee.

Mayor Tom Barrett told the celebration that the Bucks have done something sorely needed in the city, state and nation.

"They have brought together people of all ages, all races, all nationalities. They are the unifier," he said.

Mayor Barrett at parade
Michelle Maternowski
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett during the Bucks NBA Championship parade.

Wisconsin U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, and Ron Johnson, a Republican, are even in rare agreement, filing a "Bucks in 6" resolution in Congress to celebrate the NBA crown.

But will all this unity last?

Expect in the next few weeks, plenty more debate over how to spend federal rescue plan dollars in the city and Milwaukee County. Milwaukee still has problems with gun violence and opioid abuse. It has both worker shortages and unemployment, depending on the industry.

The state of Wisconsin has a new budget, but is headed to contentious election battles for governor and the U.S. Senate. A redistricting fight is ahead.

The federal government is still divided over topics like infrastructure spending.

On top of it all, COVID-19 hasn't disappeared, partly due to about half the people not yet being vaccinated.

Chuck Quirmbach
A crowd gathered Thursday in the Deer District for the Bucks' NBA Championship celebration.

And what's ahead for the Bucks? Guard Jrue Holiday told the crowd Thursday about being well-treated after being traded to the team last year.

He offered a note of optimism: "Milwaukee's been great to me. Me and my family. This organization took us in as family. And in one year, look what we could do. Maybe we could do it again, huh?"

But other Bucks talked about enjoying the moment because they don't know if this much success will happen again — at least in their career. Injuries occur; other teams improve; a key shot that went in this year, maybe bounces off the rim next year.

Already, some basketball analysts are listing others as the favorite team for the next NBA season that will begin in just a few months.

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018. He focuses his longform stories on health, innovation, science, technology, transportation, utilities and business.
Related Content