Giannis Antetekounmpo sat down on the Bucks bench exhausted as confetti flew everywhere. The sellout crowd, perhaps the last crowd that will ever see a Bucks game at the 30 year old Bradley Center, stayed well after the final buzzer clapping and cheering.
Last year, Giannis sat in the same spot completely worn out and exhausted after going nearly all 48 minutes of the Bucks Game 6 loss to the Toronto Raptors. He vowed then that if the Bucks were in the same situation this year, he would make sure the outcome was different.
In front of a raucous crowd that included President Bill Clinton, Giannis scored 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds on his way to delivering on a promise he’d made a year ago to both himself and his teammates as the Bucks avoided elimination with a 97-86 victory.
The Bucks play the Celtics in Game 7 tomorrow night at 7pm in Boston with a chance to end the largest drought in the NBA. Milwaukee has not won a playoff series since 2001, the longest stretch in the league.
If the Bucks lose Game 7 then last night’s game will mark the end of the Bradley Center as the Bucks home arena. The Bradley Center, which the Bucks have shared with Marquette for three decades, was the vision of former Bucks owner Herb Kohl, who still owns a minority stake of the team.
As for Giannis Antetekounmpo, tomorrow’s game at boston doesn’t represent the end of anything.
“This series hasn’t started yet,” he said after last night’s game. “It’s big. We’ve grown as a team. For us to win Game 6- we have a big opportunity ahead of us.”