The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns 105-98 at home on Tuesday to win their first NBA title since 1971. A crowd of 17,000 went wild for a victory that sealed the series with a 4-2 final score.
The joy was also felt outside the arena, where 65,000 people gathered to celebrate the end of a 50-year wait. It’s not a dream, the Bucks are the kings of the NBA.
In doing so, it cements an epic comeback after Milwaukee lost the first two games. In fact, they are only the fifth team to win the best-of-seven finals after facing an 0-2 deficit.
On the other side, a heartbroken Suns (seeking their first NBA title) saw glory slip away once again, having lost the 1976 and 1993 Finals.
The star of the night was undoubtedly Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 50 points (becoming the seventh player to record that number in a Finals game), along with 14 rebounds and two assists.
His contribution was not only valuable tonight, as this was also the third game in which he scored at least 40 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Bucks started the game on fire and, led by Greek talent, took the first quarter 29-16.
However, Phoenix turned up the intensity and mopped the floor with their opponents in the second quarter, which they won 31-13. Chris Paul (26 points, five assists and two rebounds) was their best player.
But Milwaukee did not want to play a seventh game and took a hard-fought third quarter 35-30. Khris Middleton (17 points) was also a big man.
Milwaukee did not slow down and also took the last quarter 28-21 to finally touch the glory with their hands.
NBA Finals MVP Antetokounmpo is undoubtedly an example of self-improvement. He grew up as one of five siblings in a family of Nigerian immigrants who came to Greece in search of a better future.
In Sepolia, a rough neighbourhood in Athens where Giannis lived for several years, he and his family had to keep a low profile to avoid being attacked by racists. Being the only black family in the area was not easy to cope with.
Hunger and poverty were ghosts that for a long time haunted him and his family. Even as a child, Giannis had to work selling glasses and DVDs on the streets of Athens to bring a much-needed extra income into the household.
Basketball lifted him out of poverty, but incredibly it was not always his favourite sport. Giannis grew up a football lover and a crazed Arsenal fan.
He didn’t start playing basketball until he was 13 and at first he couldn’t even dribble. Still, this didn’t stop him from making it to the top.