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Giannis Antetokounmpo came from being a man without a country to becoming an NBA super star and NBA Champion - (Keith Allison photo))

 

 

 

NBA BEAT - MILWAUKEE BUCKS WINNING the NBA TITLE MEANS MORE THAN A GAME

James Loving/National Radio Text Service

 

 

It took the Milwaukee Bucks a half a century to win an NBA title. The squad was led by the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo a man who previously was not recognized for citizenship in any country. What really drives the importance of the win is Antetokounmpo's drive to survive. For a man that was without a country until he turned 18-years-old created the foundation of a man who has THE WILL TO WIN… - NBA's ALL TIME BEST PLAYERS 1st and 2nd TEAMS

 

Friday July 23, 2021

LIFE BEYOND BASKETBALL

The NBA Finals series are all over BUT… the shouting continues following the Milwaukee Bucks thrilling come from 2-0 games behind to win four straight game to take the NBA title. For whatever reason the games were permitted to be a real game where contact was permitted rather than stopping every few minutes to review and seek out a flagrant foul. Since flagrant means obvious it raises the question why seek it out and ruin a game IF IT'S NOT OBVIOUS? The decision to let players play the game as it was meant to be resulted in a series worth watching.

The TV ratings was the proof in the pudding that the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns averaged 9.91 million viewers on ABC for the six-game series, up 32% vs. the six-game 2020 NBA Finals (Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers). The Finals propelled ABC to win the night across television and in all key demographics for every game of the championship series.

Game 6, in which the Bucks defeated the Suns 105-98 to win their first NBA title in 50 years, averaged 12.52 million viewers, up 50% vs. 2020. The game peaked with 16.54 million viewers between 11:30 p.m. ET and 11:44 p.m. ET. Game 6 delivered the largest audience on television in the key demographic of People 18-34 since February 2021 and set 25-year ratings records in the Milwaukee (41.5 rating) and Phoenix (25.9 rating) markets Global viewership on NBA League Pass for the NBA Playoffs was up 19% vs. last season and up 26% vs. 2019. Additionally, NBA social platforms generated 1.24 billion video views during the NBA Finals.

The series spectacle partially focused on 36-year-old Chris Paul attempting to be on a title winning team during his 16-year NBA career. As fate would have it the Suns leader will have to give it another go to achieve that goal. Following being eliminated Paul said his career will continue while indicating that retirement is not an option.

***

TRIVIA QUESTION: During his 16-year NBA career Paul has played on five different teams. Which team did he play the most playoff games with?

***

The Bucks 6'11"power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo upped his game to lead the Bucks to their first title in 50 years. His 30 ppg. average and rebounding was the key to their success that resulted in him being rewarded as the series MVP.

Overall when you look at the Bucks roster they have the ingredients to be the major force to be reckoned with in the league. Only three players Brook Lopez 33, Jeff Teague 33 and Jrue Holiday 31 are over the dreaded dirty 30 and Antetokounmpo is only 26.

In a way the team's production resembles that of the dynamic Celtics teams that dominated the 60's in winning 9 of 10 titles during that decade. The Bucks have an eight man rotation in which seven average double figures in points and all play over 20 minutes per game. That's as solid as any NBA squad could be.

What demonstrated the enthusiasm of the franchises first title in a half century was the scene of more fans outside the arena watching the game on a huge TV than there were fans inside.

A major takeaway from this series is how Antetokounmpo, an African/Greek who was a man without a country since he wasn't recognized as a citizen of his parents origin Nigeria nor his birthplace Greece due to Greek nationality law follows jus sanguinis. For the first 18 years of his life, Antetokounmpo could not travel outside of Greece and was effectively stateless, having no papers from Greece or Nigeria. He was eventually issued Greek citizenship on May 9, 2013, less than two months before the 2013 NBA Draft.

Since being drafted 15th overall in the 2013 NBA draft Antetokounmpo has won back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player Awards in 2019 and 2020, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to win two MVPs before turning 26. Abdul-Jabbar was one of the leaders of the Bucks first title winning squad in 1971 that also included Oscar Robertson.

Along with his MVP award, Giannis was also named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, becoming only the third player after Michael Jordan (1988) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1994) to win both awards in the same season. In 2021, Antetokounmpo helped lead the Bucks to their first NBA championship since the aforementioned 1971 title, and was named Finals MVP.

To the NBA's credit they have backed an African Basketball League which can help develop the talent of African basketball players. A rationalization could be that the league is not giving a hand out but it is giving a continent a hand up.

In a strange way Giannis' career can be an inspirational for other African basketball players to follow. For the Bucks to win this title has a deeper meaning than a title or trophy… it's about the development of humanity.

Of Chris Paul's 16 NBA seasons six were spent with the Los Angeles Clippers . (Verse Photography photo)


TRIVIA ANSWER:

The Los Angeles Clippers. In his six seasons with the Clippers Paul played in 56 playoff games. Paul played six seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans who drafted him as the 4th overall pick in the 2005 draft. He then moved on to the Clippers for six seasons then the Houston Rockets for two season followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and now the Phoenix Suns for one season respectively.

DID YOU KNOW?

Paul was involved in a controversial trade to the Los Angeles Lakers but it was not approved by the then NBA Commissioner David Stern. The reason why was Stern felt that it would be a noncompetitive advantage for the Lakers thus he went to the Clippers. He established the Clippers as being a highly competitive team after a history of being the leagues doormat or biggest loser. During the 2013-14 season he helped the Clippers win a franchise record 57 games.


NBA's 50 GREATEST PLAYERS of ALL TIME LIST

On October 29, 1996 In conjunction with the NBA’s 50th anniversary celebration, the list of The 50 Greatest Players in NBA History was announced. It included: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, Paul Arizin, Charles Barkley, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Clyde Drexler, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, George Gervin, Hal Greer, John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Earvin Johnson, Sam Jones, Michael Jordan, Jerry Lucas, Karl Malone, Moses Malone, Pete Maravich, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Earl Monroe, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Parish, Bob Pettit, Scottie Pippen, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Russell, Dolph Schayes, Bill Sharman, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Jerry West, Lenny Wilkens, and James Worthy

1st Team
Position
2nd Team
Larry Bird
PF
Elgin Baylor
SF
Julius Erving
Bill Russell
C
Wilt Chamberlain
Michael Jordan
SG
LeBron James
Magic Johnson
PG
Oscar Robertson
11th & 12th MAN SUBSTITUTES & Coach
C/F
C
Coach

 


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