P.J. Tucker slamming champagne. Bobby Portis holding a WWE title belt. Is it too late to attend the Bucks’ championship parade?

Read in Browser

The Association

POWERED BY

P.J. Tucker slamming champagne. Bobby Portis holding a WWE title belt. Is it too late to attend the Bucks’ championship parade?

Milwaukee Rejoices

Milwaukee Bucks

After the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA championship, Giannis Antetokounmpo placed both the Larry O’Brien and Finals MVP trophies in his backseat, drove to Chick Fil-A, and ordered exactly 50 chicken minis to represent his 50-point performance. “Not 51, not 49 chicken minis — 50.”

“What if, all of a sudden, I wake up and this is all a dream? These trophies are my security, basically,” he said in the drive-thru. “Like I touch them and know this is real.”

No it’s not a dream, and neither is this: Governor Tony Evers declared Thursday “Bucks In Six Day” in Wisconsin, a rallying cry among the fan base. Former Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings incorrectly predicted his 2013 Bucks would beat the Miami Heat in six games. He was wrong, but the prophecy came full circle.

Deer District, the area outside Fiserv Forum, held up to 65,000 Bucks fans celebrating during the Game 6 win. Today, they were all out for the championship parade.

Some highlights:

  • Giannis yelled “Bucks in six” while shooting a free-throw into the crowd.
  • P.J. Tucker pulled a Triple H move with the chug-and-spray. 
  • Bobby Portis, the people’s champ, wore a WWE belt
  • Jennings riled up the fanbase from the back of a pickup truck. 

This is the first title for every single player on the Bucks. It’s also the first the fan base can celebrate in 50 years. And to cap off a wild year: Thanks to the pandemic, the 2021 champs got to celebrate their title before the Lakers’ 2020 squad.

Team USA’s Biggest Threats

NBA

USA Basketball is headed to Tokyo for the Opening Ceremonies, which begin tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. ET.

Losers in two exhibition matches, the Americans have some reinforcements on the way. Devin Booker, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday will go from Finals rivals to international teammates.

“We haven’t said a word to each other,” Middleton said of Booker.

The Americans have won three straight Olympic gold medals dating back to 2006. But with the globalization of the sport comes more competition around the world.

  • Australia: Their eight-point win over the U.S. might not have been an anomaly. The Boomers have six NBA players on their roster, led by Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, and Matisse Thybulle.
  • Spain: This is a team with a bunch of current or former NBA players — Ricky Rubio, Marc and Pau Gasol, and the Hernangomez brothers. 

Elsewhere, Slovenia is surely a threat with Luka Doncic, and Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert leads France, whom the Americans face to open up tournament play on Sunday. 

“It’s different. Now you go out there, and the whole starting five are NBA players that are in the rotation,” Damian Lillard said.

The Americans are still favorites (-320*) to win the whole thing. Australia (+750*) and Spain (+900*) are next.

Lakers Interested In Chris Paul

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After the Finals, one of the first questions Chris Paul answered concerned his looming free agency. “We just lost a few minutes ago,” he said. “Everything else will take care of itself.”

CP has a player option worth up to $44 million, but he’s reportedly interested in a long-term deal. According to The Undefeated’s Marc Spears, the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in making a run at the Point God. 

Paul could opt out and sign a three-year deal in Phoenix, then be part of a sign-and-trade — which the Lakers would likely need to execute since they’re already over the cap.

Or he can become an unrestricted free agent.

Don’t count anything out, particularly in this era of player empowerment. James Harden had three years left in Houston but forced a trade to Brooklyn — and Houston didn’t even take any players from the Nets.

LeBron James and Paul have been close for years. In fact, the two were in each other’s weddings, and CP is godfather to Bron’s oldest son, Bronny. 

Perhaps things will come full circle: In Dec. 2011, former NBA commissioner David Stern vetoed a three-team trade that would’ve sent Paul to the Lakers. Instead, he was traded to the Clippers.

Like I said, don’t count anything out.

Around The Association: Ratings, Mikey, OTD

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

  • The 2021 NBA Finals generated an average of 9.92 million viewers, the NBA said in a statement. That’s a 32% increase from last year, but it’s down from the past five years — 20.3 million in 2016, 20.4 million in 2017, 17.6 million in 2018, and 15.1 million in 2019.
  • Here’s another first: Mikey Williams — a top prospect in the 2023 college basketball recruiting class — has signed a contract with Excel Sports Management to handle his name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights.
  • A bit of perspective: On this day last year, the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers played the first of four scrimmages at Orlando’s Walt Disney World campus as part of the 2019-20 season restart.

Today's Action

*All times are EST unless otherwise noted
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.