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One Year Later: Reflecting on Milwaukee’s Championship

Brooklyn Nets v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks were NBA champions.


Banners fly forever, the name “Milwaukee Bucks” will forever be etched in the annals of NBA history. That grade on the group project can never be rescinded. The story of the 2020-21 championship team will – and should – live on with the fanbase, and stands as a prime example of how far talent, focus, hard work, and a little bit of luck can take you.

But how much is too much? At what point does reminiscing on the glory of past achievements start taking away from the present, or the future? After a while, does the constant callbacks to The Season That Was take a wrong turn off of Memory Lane and land us straight onto Has-Been Boulevard?

I don’t ask because I want to ruin anyone’s fun. I don’t want to rain on any parades, especially a parade as fantastic as this one was. My fear is not of living in the past, but of what comes after: complacency. It’s easy to rest on your laurels, to kick back and remember. Are we on the verge of overdoing it? Maybe, maybe not. But the path is there and well-worn by those who walked it before us.

This is, potentially, the basis for any pessimism about the team’s outlook for the upcoming season. Are we doing too much based on what was, rather than what will be? Yes, we’re in the doldrums of the summer, there simply isn’t much more to do than ponder the basketball world of either yesterday or tomorrow. The basketball world of today is on a well-earned vacation. At the same time, the Bucks did bring back everybody again and will be putting (mostly) the same team on the court again. It worked two seasons ago, and it would’ve worked last season if not for an ill-timed knee injury, right?

When you focus on the past, that’s your ego. When you focus on the future, that’s your pride. When you focus on the present, when you’re in the moment, that’s being humble.

...Where have I heard that before?

Enjoy the victory lap, Bucks fans, even if the Golden State Warriors are the current reigning champs. The memories of the Milwaukee victory in the 2021 NBA Finals is only a year old, so there’s nothing wrong with re-living it for a little while. Let us just take care that we tuck the memories away afterwards, and avoid over-indulging so that they remain special.

Once the next season rolls around, the Bucks are no longer defending their place at the mountaintop, but fighting to return to it. When we get there, the mentality should shift accordingly.

But we’re not there yet, so...