Look at the picture above. Look long and hard at it. You'll notice there is a Jon McGlocklin banner, and a banner with "1971" on it, which is the championship banner. 1971 was 45 years ago. The Bucks last won the NBA Finals 45 years ago, and the last finals appearance came in 1974, when the Celtics defeated the Bucks in 7 games.
New hope arose in Milwaukee. The new core of MAP would take time, however with the right pieces and some time, the Bucks could bring back a championship to the Good Land. We could have a massive parade, with a city ignited with a new love for the Bucks. All that needed to happen was for the pieces to be there. It would start with the draft, and it had to start now. I was so excited this morning. The NBA Draft, so anticipated, was finally here, and I couldn't wait to hear the names of the 3 new members of the Milwaukee Bucks.
This excitement quickly descended into disappointment, an all too familiar feeling for a Bucks fan.
The 10th pick came, and I was ready to hear a name. Korkmaz, Baldwin, even Ellenson. I wanted to hear a name I knew so I could feel at ease with the pick. What came hit like an earthquake, which makes sense because I've never experienced one living in America's Dairyland, 30 minutes from Milwaukee. NBA commissioner Adam Silver came out to a mixture of cheers and boos. "With the 10th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks select... Thon Maker."
I was in utter disbelief. The only reason I had heard of Thon Maker was because of the confusion of his age. I had seen no film of him and very few stats, but they were high school stats from his time in Australia. After seeing him put on the Bucks draft hat, I knew this was real. It was a real mistake, and while I knew the draft couldn't be perfect, I didn't expect a mistake to be made for our first pick.
The 36th pick came along and we drafted a guard from Virginia by the name of Malcolm Brogdon. I didn't know too much about him, but I knew the name, and after the nightmare 10th pick, that was okay for me. An aftershock came when the Woj bomb dropped reporting that the Bucks had traded the 38th pick to the Warriors for cash. By this point, I was livid and turned the draft off. The Bucks had their chance to get the pieces they needed, and they didn't. There's always free agency, but I won't hold my breath.
I love my Bucks. I can't see myself cheering for anyone else. Whether we're 82-0 or 0-82, I'll be a Bucks fan through and through. I always have faith in our squad. This is the team that shocked the NBA by defeating the Warriors to cause 24-1, adding another streak bust to the collection. This is the team that despite being out of the playoff race early, never stopped playing as hard as they could. The intensity of the players never died, and despite a bad draft, the intensity of the fans should never die. I'm rarely a hometown fan, but the Bucks are our team. A bad draft is only one night.
We are Wisconsin. We are Milwaukee. They will Fear the Deer. We will Own the Future.