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The Milwaukee Bucks Are The New NBA Champions

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

The Milwaukee Bucks have won their first NBA championship in 50 years. They beat the Phoenix Suns in game six of the finals with a dominating performance from their biggest star. After being down two games to none, the Bucks stormed back to take the next four straight. Chuck Quirmbach of member station WUWM in Milwaukee reports.

CHUCK QUIRMBACH, BYLINE: Basketball icons Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led the Bucks to their last championship in 1971. This time, it was Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was born in Greece in 1994 to Nigerian parents. He recovered from a knee injury suffered last month and carried his team tonight with 50 points. He was voted Finals' MVP and told the media after the game he likes to think he offers hope to people around the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: You know that it can be done. It can be done. Eight and a half years ago, I didn't know where my next meal will come from. You know, my mom was selling stuff in the street and now I'm here sitting the top of the top.

QUIRMBACH: As the Bucks headed to victory over the Suns, the tens of thousands of people outside the arena watching on video screens grew excited, too. Nicole Harris says she was a baby when Milwaukee last won the title. She says the city is in the national news a lot for bad things that happen. Now Harris says it's time for some respect.

NICOLE HARRIS: And let them know that Milwaukee is something. We're not just something that you can throw and push behind something. We're something.

QUIRMBACH: For younger Bucks fans, this year's championship is something to call theirs. And Taz Barnett says she'll make sure it isn't forgotten.

TAZ BARNETT: I could tell it to my daughter. She could tell it to her kids and so on and so on. It's legacy.

QUIRMBACH: In case Milwaukee has to wait another half-century for their next NBA crown. For NPR News, I'm Chuck Quirmbach in Milwaukee. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Chuck Quirmbach is a Milwaukee-based reporter who covers developments and issues in Southeastern Wisconsin that are of statewide interest. He has numerous years of experience covering state government, elections, the environment, energy, racial diversity issues, clergy abuse claims and major baseball stadium doings. He enjoys covering all topics.

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