Comparing the key players Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contributions in the Milwaukee Bucks’ road to 2 NBA championships in the 53-years of the franchise’s existence.
The Milwaukee Bucks were crowned 2021 NBA champions, their first title since 1971. Over the years, the franchise has had its fair share of ups and downs. The Bucks have had 3 NBA Finals appearances in its 53-years of existence as a franchise, winning 2 titles in their 3 appearances.
The franchise’s 1st championship came in only its 3rd season since its inception. The Bucks were the top seed in the NBA during the time, having the record 66-16.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the 1st pick in the 1969 NBA Draft, was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks. Kareem won his first-ever MVP during the 1970-71 season with the Bucks and was also the Finals MVP in the same year.
After a championship drought of over 5 decades, the Bucks won their 2nd title this year. The Milwaukee team had a great post-season defeating the likes of the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns.
Milwaukee superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was crowned Finals MVP in what is described as one of the greatest Finals performances ever.
The Bucks, who were initially down 0-2 in the series, won the next 4 consecutive games.
There is no doubt that the two iconic players of all time when it comes to the Milwaukee Bucks are Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
He led the @Bucks to their lone title 50 years ago.
My conversation with the legendary @kaj33 on what another championship would mean to Milwaukee, the coin flip that made him a Buck and if he could beat @Giannis_An34 1-on-1 in his prime:https://t.co/ZiBaTG6MtR pic.twitter.com/EjrBsN2Az8
— Stephen Watson (@WISN_Watson) July 17, 2021
Comparing the journeys of Finals MVPs Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Giannis Antetokounmpo in their quest for a title in Milwaukee
No team in pro sports history earned a championship quicker than the Bucks, who captured the 1971 NBA title in just their third season of existence.
The Bucks roster in 1971 had 2 MVPs on its squad in Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, two of the most dominant players in league history.
After completing a great regular season, the Bucks faced the San Francisco Warriors in the 1st round. The Bucks defeated the Warriors in 5-games and faced the LA Lakers in the semi-finals.
The Lakers were a competent team with the likes of all-time greats Wilt Chamberlain and 5x NBA All-Star Gail Goodrick and Pat Riley. However, the Bucks defeated the Lakers in 5 games, with Kareem leading the team in PPG.
The Bucks swept the Baltimore Bullets winning their first-ever NBA title. Kareem Abdul Jabbar was crowned Finals MVP averaging 27.0 PPG, 18.5 RPG, and 2.8 APG on 60.5% shooting from the field.
2021 NBA champions the Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks upgraded their roster during the 2020-21 off-season with the likes of Jrue Holiday and PJ Tucker adding depth to their defense.
Their star player Giannis was coming off a great regular season, winning MVP as well as DPOY. However, the Greek Freak was heavily criticized for his performances in the post-season.
Thus having a lot to prove in the 2021 playoffs. The Bucks swept the Miami Heat in the 1st round of the playoffs. The semi-finals had the Bucks face the Brooklyn Nets, who were one of the top contenders for the title this year.
The Nets had one of the strongest offensive teams ever assembled, having the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden.
The Bucks won the series in seven games after being down 0-2 in the series initially. Though Irving got injured in the middle of the series and Harden played with a hamstring injury, Giannis and co put up some great performances, which were acknowledged by 2x champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant as well.
The Milwaukee Bucks had a similar situation during the NBA Finals as well, being down 0-2 initially in the series, the Bucks won the next 4 consecutive games to be crowned 2021 NBA champions.
Giannis Antentokounmpo, who missed the last 2 games of the WCF due to a hyperextended knee, returned in time for his NBA Finals debut and was crowned the Finals MVP.
The Greek freak averaged 35.2 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 1.8 BPG on a 61.8% shooting from the field.
In conclusion, it can be said that Giannis’ championship might hold higher importance for the city of Milwaukee, unlike Kareem, who had one of the greatest point guards of all time, Oscar Robertson, on his team. Giannis was relatively the lone superstar on the team, with Middleton and Holiday in key roles.
While Kareem only played 6 seasons with the city of Milwaukee, Giannis has time and again expressed his loyalty towards the franchise and would like to finish his career there.