Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was at his best when it meant the most, erupting for 50 points and 14 rebounds as the Bucks’ topped the Suns in six games for their first title in 50 years.
Mostly, he wet 17-of-19 on free throws after shooting just 56 percent from the line in the postseason.
“People told me I can’t make free throws and I made them tonight,” Antetokounmpo said. “And I’m a freaking champion.”
Antetokounmpo signed a supermax contract extension with the Bucks last offseason, when a lot of people had him pegged to leave for a larger market and join other stars.
“I just couldn’t leave,” Antetokounmpo said. “There was a job that had to be finished.
“Coming back, I was like, ‘This is my city. They trust me. They believe in me. They believe in us.’ … Obviously I wanted to get the job done. But that’s my stubborn side. It’s easy to go somewhere and go win a championship with somebody else. It’s easy. … I could go to a super team and just do my part and win a championship.
“But this is the hard way to do it, and this is the way to do it, and we did it. We f—ing did it.”
More from Milwaukee
- The Bucks finished with the NBA’s best record in each of the previous two seasons, the finished third-best in the Eastern Conference this year. They overcame 2-0 series deficits against both the Nets and Suns. So it made for a somewhat unlikely story.
- The above is something small forward Khris Middleton addressed. “It’s been a long journey,” he said. “I’ve done it all, man. I did anything that I could just to be on the court, just to be in this position. I’ve not played. I’ve come off the bench. When I was 18, I started on the team. I went to the front office and told them to send me to the G League. I’ve played point guard. I’ve only defended. Slashed from the corners and everything. … “Tonight, that’s what I had to do. I had to do a little bit of everything.
- Guard Jrue Holiday eared a $1 million bonus as a result of the Bucks winning the title, per Bobby Marks of ESPN. Milwaukee is now into the luxury tax because it, but as Marks noted, the team’s ownership is just fine with paying it.
- In case you missed it, Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry said ahead of Game 6 the future of coach Mike Budenholzer will be addressed after the season. But there’s no reason to believe Budenholzer will be anywhere but back with the Bucks.