MILWAUKEE — Kris Middleton and Milwaukee Bucks Are NBA Champions
The Milwaukee Bucks claimed the title after defeating the Phoenix Suns 105-98 last night in game 6.
Khris Middleton attended Texas A&M University for three years from 2009-2012 before being drafted in by the Detroit Pistons 39th overall in the 2012 NBA draft.
Middleton isn't the only Aggie to hold the Larry O'Brien trophy, just last year former TTAMU guard Alex Caruso won the NBA finals with the Los Angeles Lakers. This is the first time in program history that a former Aggie has been crowned an NBA champion in consecutive years.
It has been a long road for this Bucks organization. From drafting a tall skinny kid from Athens to taking a chance on a second-round pick from Texas A&M, this has truly been eight years in the making.
Milwaukee had been one of the NBA's most dominant teams in the regular season for a couple of years now, only to fall short in the playoffs each time. First in the Eastern Conference finals against Kawhi Leonard the Toronto Raptors two years ago, then in an embarrassing sweep against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in last year's conference semifinals.
But this year the Bucks made sure that things would be different. The team traded for former All-star Jrue Holiday before the season and P.J. Tucker during it, while Coach Mike Budenholzer spent the season trying to prepare the team for the playoffs, instead of trying to maximize their regular season success.
And those trials and tribulations were the difference-maker for this year's Bucks team. Overcoming deficits in each of the final three series they played in. Including 2-0 deficits to both the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference semifinals and the Suns in the finals before coming back to win.
It seems like so long ago when all of this could have been in doubt after Giannis Antetokounmpo went down with a hyperextended knee injury in the conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks. But like superhuman he is, he returned a week later and put together one of the most impressive NBA Finals performances of all time.
Antetokounmpo averaged 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting 61.8% from the field. The Greek freak is the first player in NBA Finals history to average that stat line. He also joins Michael Jordan as the only player in NBA history with multiple MVP awards, a Defensive Player of the Year award and a Finals MVP award.
It has been a half-century since Kareem Abdul-Jubar, and Oscar Robertson lifted the club's first championship and I am sure if you ask anyone of the reported 65,000 fans in the deer district last night, yesterday's triumph was well worth the wait.
Next up for Kris Middleton is a flight to Tokyo to meet up with the rest of the U.S. men's basketball team for this year's Olympics. Middleton should fit right in after an excellent 2021 playoffs where he averaged 23.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game.