NBA

Milwaukee Bucks’ Fans Celebrate NBA Championship With Parade

Jul 22, 2021, 11:33 AM

Milwaukee Bucks parade...

Fans attend the Milwaukee Bucks 2021 NBA Championship Victory Parade and Rally in the Deer District of Fiserv Forum on July 22, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Thousands of fans lined downtown Milwaukee streets on Thursday to catch a glimpse of their beloved Bucks in a parade to celebrate the city’s first NBA championship in half a century.

Six police officers on horseback clopped past cheering fans at the head of a procession that included a hook-and-ladder fire truck, occasionally blaring its horn, and open-air buses and flatbed trucks carrying Bucks stars including Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday, as well as the trophy they captured Tuesday night with a Game 6 victory over Phoenix.

Fans could be heard chanting, “Bucks in 6!,” an odd but beloved rallying cry with roots in a former Bucks player’s fruitless prediction in 2013 that the team would take down the playoffs’ top seed at the time.

Neil and Rachana Bhatia, both 34 and from suburban Waukesha, brought 1-month-old son Zain to the Deer District, the area outside Fiserv Forum where the parade was due to finish. The couple said they wanted to give Zain an early taste of being a Bucks fan.

Neil Bhatia called winning the title “surreal.”

“ It unifies the city and puts the city on a global stage. It’s great for the city and the state. It’s just bringing everybody together to celebrate something that hasn’t happened in 50 years,” he said.

“The city has had its struggles. What I know is that it’s been a city that’s coming together,” said longtime Bucks fan Dameon Ellzey, 45, a Milwaukee native who lives near the arena and was stationed there to see the parade.

“In my neighborhood, you could hear everybody on their porches screaming,” Ellzey said. “Black, white, Asian. In a city like Milwaukee, that’s big.”

Milwaukee has long ranked among the most segregated cities in America. Team President Peter Feigin called it “the most segregated, racist place” he’d ever experienced, remarks he later softened. As the Bucks drove toward a championship this year, some people were cheered by the diversity of the massive crowds that gathered in the Deer District to watch the Bucks on big TV screens.

The team’s ascendance has invigorated a Midwestern city far from the league’s more cosmopolitan venues like Los Angeles, Boston or Miami — cities that have traditionally found it easier to attract the game’s top players. One reason fans have embraced Antetokounmpo is his loyalty to the team that drafted him eight years ago when he was just 18.

“He recognizes the city and its quality and he resonates with it,” Timothy Seymour, 20, said of Antetokounmpo. “He really reflects our work ethic. He works hard. And he reflects how we’re only going to get better.”

Police estimated 100,000 people jammed the Deer District for Tuesday night’s Game 6. Though the coronavirus pandemic has lessened compared to a year ago, the level of cases in both Wisconsin and Milwaukee County still is rated by the state as high, with daily new cases in the county roughly tripling over the past two weeks to 80 per day.

City health officials noted Thursday that announcements of the parade had urged that unvaccinated people wear masks. Few were visible among fans on the parade route. The city health department said their contact tracing team would closely monitor the event.

NBA

Mike-Conley-Minnesota-Timberwolves-NBA...

Kyle Ireland

Reports: Former Jazzman Mike Conley Agrees To Extension With Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mike Conley agreed to a contract extension worth more than $20 million, according to multiple reports.

3 days ago

Jacque-Vaughn-Utah-Jazz-NBA...

Kyle Ireland

Brooklyn Nets Fire Former Utah Jazz Guard Jacque Vaughn

The Brooklyn Nets announced that they’ve fired former Utah Jazz guard Jacque Vaughn as the team’s head coach.

3 days ago

LeBron-James-NBA-All-Star-Game-2024...

Tim Reynolds, AP

LeBron James Still Committed To Paris Olympics, But Health Remains Big Key

Los Angeles Lakers forward and NBA star LeBron James still wants to participate in the Paris Olympics this summer.

3 days ago

NBA-All-Star-Game-Indianapolis-Damian-Lillard...

Tim Reynolds, AP

Points Records Fall At 2024 NBA All-Star Game, With East Beating West

The Eastern Conference beat the West 211-186 on Sunday night, with the winners putting up the most points in the game's 73-year history.

3 days ago

Gainbridge-Fieldhouse-NBA-All-Star-2024...

Kyle Ireland

Top Memes From NBA All-Star Weekend 2024

Social media was buzzing with clever and hilarious posts all weekend long as the NBA its players during All-Star Weekend.

3 days ago

Damian-Lillard-NBA-All-Star-Game-MVP-2024...

Kyle Ireland

Former Weber State Star Damian Lillard Wins NBA All-Star Game MVP

Former Weber State and current Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard received MVP honors for his performance in the 73rd NBA All-Star Game.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Milwaukee Bucks’ Fans Celebrate NBA Championship With Parade