The Milwaukee Bucks’ home court is an arena that is nicknamed, “the comb-over.” Despite the Fiserv Forum‘s unofficial moniker, there is nothing old fashioned or middle aged about this team.
Led by “the Greek Freak,” Giannis Antetokounmpo, and coached by Mike Budenholzer, the squad out of Wisconsin is a bona fide standout in the NBA, with a recent championship, in 2021—engineered by Antetokounmpo and point guard Khris Middleton—which won over the hearts and sports minds of their young generation.
A first-round draft pick (15th overall) out of the Greek A2 League, Antetokounmpo has proven himself to be one of the league’s best power forwards, putting up incredible numbers in the shooting and rebound departments, and coming through in clutch, stunning fashion in his four seasons as a Buck.
His squad was narrowly edged out in the shortened “bubble” 2019-’20 Covid-reduced season, but they won the championship in thrilling fashion in the ’20-’21 season and lost in a wild, nail-biting series to the Celtics in the conference semi-finals last year.
In terms of betting on the NBA, look for the Bucks to continue their dominance. With Giannis, his brother Thanasis, Jrue Holiday, Middleton, and the recent addition of veteran Serge Ibaka, they are a definite contender for the Larry O’Brien trophy in 2023.
The Bucks are no strangers to legends. The franchise was started in 1968 and the team quickly achieved elite-level basketball status by the 70’s. As a young expansion team, they were able to draft Lou Alcindor, who would go on to change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and become one of the best players to don a Bucks jersey (or any jersey for that matter), along with Oscar Robertson.
The team won their first championship in the 1970-’71 season, with Robertson and Jabbar making GOAT-style contributions. The franchise went into a dormant period in the late ‘70’s-early 80’s but saw a revival in the 90’s and 00’s.
With the strong coaching of Flip Murray, and the acquisition of one of the greatest three-point shooters of all time, Ray Allen, the Bucks became championship contenders again and posted some winning records, albeit inconsistently.
After another lull—and despite the coaching prowess of NBA veteran Jason Kidd—the Bucks were facing a team move to Seattle or Las Vegas. As it turned out, the city of Milwaukee stepped up big to help fund a new facility (the “comb-over”) and a change in personnel proved beneficial. They hired former Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer.