The Milwaukee Bucks have been one of the NBA’s best stories this season. The team, led by an MVP frontrunner in Giannis Antetokounmpo and a new head coach in Mike Budenholzer, raced out to the best record in the league earlier this season and have not looked back, sitting at 44-16 and boasting the title of the only team to qualify for the postseason at this juncture.
The Bucks have been a joy to watch, and it’s evident that the team just likes playing basketball with one another. That’s a small but crucial thing that most squads with title aspirations have, and in a piece by Sam Amick of The Athletic, Milwaukee standout Khris Middleton praised the team’s front office for making that a point of emphasis when building the roster.
“We’ve been lucky,” Middleton said. “I think Jon Horst and Bud, they’ve done a great job of just having high character guys in here. They speak about it all the time, like we don’t really have assholes on this team. If we have an asshole, (then) me, Giannis, Bled, Malcolm, whoever, we’re able to kind of get him under control, let him know how we do things here.”
Antetokounmpo said something to this extent, too, telling Amick “I’ll say the same thing I always say – and people look at me crazy – is that we’re having fun. Like, we’re working, but we’re not coming in here like, ‘Ah, another day that we’ve got to practice.’ It’s almost like we’re happy that we’re here.”
Still, Middleton’s hilariously blunt breakdown of what has made Milwaukee tick is wonderful, and while it’s easier to be happy when you’re winning, building a harmonious roster is really, really hard. The good news for the Bucks is that you can tell when that happens, and so far, it’s all worked out.