5 Defining Moments Of The Bucks' Championship Playoffs
When the Milwaukee Bucks clinched the NBA Championship, it was hard for some to believe how far the team had come in such a short time. In less than a decade, Milwaukee went from nearly losing the team to dominating the league with MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Deer District, which opened just three years ago, put a national spotlight on the city itself and the community.
As a longtime Bucks fan, Matt Wild has been excitedly watching the playoffs and covering them for Milwaukee Record. He shares five of the most memorable parts of the Bucks playoffs run.
1. The Rise Of Bobby Portis — "The People's Champ."
Wild says, "I was at the parade ... and it was incredible because you, of course, heard tons of chants of 'M-V-P, M-V-P,' for Giannis, of course. But I heard just as many, if not more, chants for 'Bobby, Bobby.'"
Bobby Portis, sometimes called "Crazy Eyes" or "The People's Champ," became a fan favorite because of his energy and tenacity on the court. When Giannis was unable play due to his injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Portis stepped up and became a key part of the Bucks' strategy to clinch the title.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo's Personality & Philosophical Perspective
The legend of Giannis Antetokounmpo's humble rise to fame has become a part of local lore here in Milwaukee. There are dozens of stories about fan encounters, including a couple of UW-Milwaukee professors who gave him a ride as he was running to practice and a recent video of a little girl giving him a collection of artwork she'd made for him.
But more than that, the playoffs highlighted his perspective on how to play and how to live. In one press conference, he shared his views on how to stay mindful and present during the stress of the game.
Antetokounmpo said, "When you focus on the past, that's your ego. When I focus on the future, that's my pride. I try to focus in the moment, in the present. That's humility, that's being humble."
3. Bucks Super-Fan Sheryl Crow Fandom, & Other Celebrities Who Support The Team
While many famous Milwaukeeans showed their support for the team, there were some unlikely fans that came out of the woodwork including: Sheryl Crow. Although she's originally from Missouri, she became acquainted with the Bucks through her son who's a fan, and her Twitter became an ever-present part of the playoffs.
The playoffs saw a variety of other celebrities cheering on the team, including Kanye West, Dave Chapelle and Chance the Rapper.
"It does seem unlikely because Milwaukee still does have that kind of small town mentality, where we’re like, ‘Oh wow, other people like us? Other people like the Bucks?’ And it’s good to have that validation," says Wild.
4. New Songs About The Bucks
"I love sports novelty songs, it's a real passion of mine. I think it's the highest form of musical expression," says Wild. And the playoffs gave birth to some decidedly high forms of music, including: Bucks in 6 by Klassik, Bobby Portis (Remix) by Jeez Louis and Bucks Lust by Eddy J Lemberger.
There are also reportedly new songs about the Bucks coming out from Kanye West and Chance the Rapper, he says.
5. Deer District Dominance
Although the Deer District is still relatively new, it became the central figure in the national image of the Bucks playoffs run.
"When I look back on these playoffs and finals I will think of the Deer District," says Wild.
Throughout the playoffs, the Deer District attracted tens of thousands of fans to the area. During Game 6, there were reportedly `100,000 fans in the area to celebrate.