Milwaukee Bucks Championship Puts Small Market Teams Back in NBA Spotlight
A Tuesday night where a small market stole the spotlight, the Milwaukee Bucks NBA title felt so good because it felt just like us.
As I watched the game on television, you could hear the chants of "Bucks in Six!" bleed through the broadcast.
Milwaukee's Fiserv Forum was rocking, with an additional 65,000 fans watching outside the stadium in the "Deer District."
It was impossible to not have flashbacks of the 2016 NBA Finals, as Cavs fans chanted, "Cavs in 7!" as Stephen Curry's Warriors fell apart at the seams in Game 6. It took me back to thousands of fans outside of Quicken Loans Arena, hoping to see their team secure the championship in Oakland.
Milwaukee's title was so cool because it felt so much like home.
In a year where Anthony Davis and LeBron James teamed up with Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell in sunny Los Angeles, a year where Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving landed James Harden in Brooklyn, a year where Kawhi Leonard and Paul Geroge had another shot at a ring, homegrown stars Giannis Antekounmpo and Khris Middleton brought the hardware home to Wisconsin.
"It's easy to go win a championship with someone else," Antekounmpo said. "It's easy... I could go to a super team and just do my part and win a championship."
"But this is the hard way to do it," he explained, pounding the table. "And this is the way to do it, and we did it. We f---ing did it."
It's a league fueled by superteams. Stars teaming up in destination cities dominates the news cycle. Antekounmpo did things the right way, staying in Milwaukee and delivering a title to the organization and loyal fanbase that believed in him.
While the Cavaliers and their fans seem to be lightyears away from this position, we can all appreciate when another small market puts on a show and upsets the world, just like we did in 2016.
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