We’re champions. That’ll really never get old, will it? We’re champions.
A lot of digital ink has been used up raising countless toasts to the Milwaukee Bucks, to Giannis Antetokounmpo, to Khris Middleton, to Jrue Holiday, to the entire roster, to the coaching staff, to the front office, to the city of Milwaukee, to Brandon Jennings, to Michael Redd, to virtually anybody and everybody who has had even a partial role in hoeing the tough road to glory. Of course, the fans have gotten a good amount of credit as well, but ultimately to the ones who did the physical work (rightfully) goes the adulation.
Which is why I just want to use this week’s column opener to salute all of you, the fans, for being so important to the mix that made this title so sweet. Sports fandom occupies a strange place in the year 2021, diffuse as it is between social media, blogs like this, professional media, and of course those who still follow the team through box scores and just watching the games. And yet it is that diffusion that gives us the freedom to approach the fandom in so many unique ways. One moment we can be in the Brew Hoop comments section, the next sending out an observation on Twitter, and after that heading downtown to attend a game. This dispersion can mask the sheer number of us who are out there, and gradually we silo ourselves off into the necks of the wood we enjoy most.
That’s what made the Finals so special: there was simply no denying how in love the city of Milwaukee (and much of the world, if we’re honest) fell in love with these Bucks. Whether they’ve been life-long fans or just jumped aboard a few weeks ago, they collectively had day after day after day to celebrate a team and a city that had beaten the odds. Together, we make it everyone’s title.
The readership/commentariat at Brew Hoop have stuck by the site through thick and thin, ups and downs, changes in site managers, and an evolving sports fandom landscape. For having tolerated the lows and reveling in the highs, I and the entire staff thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Our current site team is just the latest iteration of a project that continues to propel itself forward thanks to you and your participation. If you’ve been here since the start or only jumped aboard a few weeks ago, thank you for being with us to enjoy this.
So many links. So. Many. Links. Which means it’s a link-dump sort of week.
The Milwaukee Bucks Win the N.B.A. Championship (New York Times)
The Bucks’ Long Game Pays Off (Sports Illustrated)
‘It Means More’: Giannis and the Bucks Deliver Defining Moment For Resilient Milwaukee (The Recombobulation Area)
Giannis Antetokounmpo represents everything great about sports (SB Nation)
The Fire That Forged Giannis Antetokounmpo (The Ringer)
The Bucks Have Their Savior, and Their First NBA Championship in 50 Years (The Ringer)
Giannis Antetokounmpo Has Reached the NBA’s Mountaintop (The Ringer)
Giannis Antetokounmpo Has Gone Where Few Players Have Before (FiveThirtyEight)
How The Bucks Stormed Back And Won A Title (FiveThirtyEight)
The Fans Are What Make This Bucks Title Special (GQ)
Why not Milwaukee and why not now? (Milwaukee Record)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: What the NBA Championship Means to Me (Jacobin)
Khris Middleton was the tough shot king the Bucks needed in the NBA Finals (SB Nation)
One on one with Giannis Antetokounmpo on the Bucks’ NBA championship: ‘It’s crazy. It’s f—ing crazy.’ (The Athletic)
Enough ‘no bag’ talk: Giannis Antetokounmpo put the NBA on notice (Basketballnews.com)
Fan Post of the Week
EVERYBODY WINS THIS WEEK!
- retired janitor with “Bucking the Trend”
- daedbird with “What does’ the hard way’ mean?”
- stoneAge with “Who to pick in this draft?”
Know Your Enemy
We beat everyone! Free space!
The Social Media Section
Just a bunch of victory posting
And so... the title defense begins? There’s a draft this week, or something, and then Summer League, and of course the Olympics, and free agency, and a whole bunch of other stuff, so I guess you’ll be best served hanging with us as we start our journey back to the mountaintop.
Oh, and one final bit of thanks to all of you who subject yourselves to this “column” week after week. If you’ve any suggestions on improvements or changes you’d like to see made, do let me know. The offseason is for retooling more than just the sports team, and I’m always happy to hear constructive criticism of whatever I’m putting out there to better suit your needs.
Anyways, thanks a million. You’re all the best. We’re all the best.