The Milwaukee Bucks have proven recently that they are here to stay in Milwaukee and should be feared.
The team and organization have made a number of improvements to energize their fan base and make other NBA teams take notice. They changed their logo, hosted successful block parties for fans and broke ground to literally “build the future” with a new arena in Downtown Milwaukee.
These aren’t your Milwaukee Bucks of the past, they are different now.
With top players like Giannis Antetokonmpo signing franchise record-breaking contracts, and the Bucks stepping up their offense on the court to boost a .500 record, tied for the eight spot in the East, writer Alex Boeder shares on NBA.com what makes this Bucks generation different.
What looked like a routine Giannis smash on Tobias Harris – in the second quarter of the win over the Pistons on Wednesday – gave me an unexpected little flashback to 2013.
In his first home game against Milwaukee since being traded by the Bucks to the Magic, Harris had hit a game-tying three to force overtime and helped the Magic run away in the extra period. The cap on the game was this full-court-sprint, rub-it-in dunk by Harris to make it 113-103 as the buzzer approached, as everyone else on the court had stopped playing.
Mike Dunleavy Jr., a couple years before he became a Bucks villain, cared not for these theatrics, and made sure that Harris crossed his path and felt his ire on the way back down the court, earning technical fouls for each.
Even if you were in the camp of people who felt that Harris was never going to develop into a meaningful star player, even if you didn’t wish that Harris was still on the Bucks – and I was one of those people – this was a night of deep breaths and blank stares at your television, at best. It was one of those nights that made you feel part of something, only that “something” was a connection to the suffering of other Bucks fans. The image above encapsulates the exact feeling best.
J.J. Redick, one of the greatest shooters ever and logically in his prime at age 28, was in the tail-end of the worst extended shooting slump of his career. He was the prize (and ultimately a three-month rental) in the trade for Harris. Harris, age 20, finished that game with 30 points and 19 rebounds.
For more on the new Bucks, visit NBA.com.