Milwaukee is a city of subtle greatness but it seems to fly under the radar and out of the public eye even though it’s beauty and amazing culture radiate authenticity and midwest grit. Honestly, I think we kind of like it that way but I also don’t think anyone would be opposed to seeing us talked about on a larger scale.
Each city has a trade or industry that gives it a uniqueness. Milwaukee is manufacturing. But that isn’t giving us headline news every night. A city also has another means by which they can make a name for themselves. And that means is sports. Sports allows for high volumes of national media attention and can stimulate economy. And for some odd reason, I believe the factor that is bringing Milwaukee into the spotlight, or at least partially, is the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks have struggled in past years, to say the least. Multiple full rebuilds takes a lot of time and it isn’t always successful. But this recent rebuild has shown some signs that there may be something special here. Beginning with the acquisition of Jason Kidd as head coach we have seen promising growth in the organization. But what allows a Bucks fan to separate the real growth from the false growth that we have seen in the past? Look no further than the team.
Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak. An unknown draft pick 4 years ago has turned into an all-star. Jabari Parker. Going 2nd pick of the 2014 draft, has also become a dominant force but has struggled with injury. Khris Middleton, the marksman, also made his debut all-star appearance in 2016. These all-star caliber players are not only growing individually but they are shaping the Buck’s organization as they advance themselves into the conversation of top teams in the NBA.
If the caliber of the team isn’t reason enough to recognize what the Bucks have, the last game of the season should shed some light. 1st round of the playoffs facing elimination. Bucks are down a draining 25 points at home with 6 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. One may call it right there, but you have to remember the team now and the fight they have. The next 14 minutes of game time were nothing short of extraordinary, a 34-7 run, taking the lead with 4 minutes remaining in the game. In the end, the Raptors were the better team but the Bucks scared them and they assured fans that the growth they have been witnessing is real. There is a movement in Milwaukee and we are experiencing something amazing.
The future of the Bucks is bright. Lead by a driven coach and brought to life by a young and highly-motivated team. With a new stadium to come in two seasons, it’s an amazing time to be a Milwaukee Bucks fan. And what would we like to see at the pinnacle of this growth? A top contending team? A championship team? I would like to think that, but patience is necessary for all Bucks fans.
Not only are the Bucks bringing Milwaukee to the map but they provide inspiration for those who have been watching through the struggles and have seen the worst but caught glimpses of the best. The process of becoming a high caliber NBA team is not pretty but those shimmers of hope keep a fan dedicated and we can learn a lot from watching their journey. As individuals, we can feel for their failure only to watch them bounce back next season and do it again. Failure builds character. The memory of the disparity will push you to do everything in your power to become stronger for the next time you may face it. Jason Kidd said that he has never seen anyone work harder than Giannis and what do you know? He’s now an all-star. Work ethic is everything and it is the simplest concept to grasp...the hardest work will produce the best. And lastly, when you find yourself in those situations where you need to dig deep within yourself to execute, you have to rely on your faith that what you put in will come out accordingly.
So to the Bucks, I want to say thank you for the excitement of your journey and for not just playing the game but by example, teaching those watching the moral foundations of success. And to Milwaukee, I will always love and wish the best for and appreciate your subtle greatness. In the years to come, I truly hope that the city of Milwaukee can make it’s way into national conversations. If it doesn’t though, just know that us Milwaukeeans are perfectly content with our city.