The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Milwaukee Bucks win their first NBA title since 1971 as Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 50

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points in Game 6 to close out the Phoenix Suns. (Paul Sancya/AP)

MILWAUKEE — Before the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo declared his intentions. He wanted to stay and win it all in the only NBA city he has ever known.

For half a century Milwaukee has waited for a player like Antetokounmpo — charming and approachable, loyal and transcendent. And on Tuesday night, Antetokounmpo cemented his legacy among the pantheon of Milwaukee Bucks’ greats with a 105-98 win over the Phoenix Suns that secured the franchise’s first NBA championship since 1971.

As fans inside Fiserv Forum realized the dream unfolding, Antetokounmpo soaked in their adoration, found an empty seat, plopped down and cried. While embracing his two new prizes — the Larry O’Brien trophy, awarded to the NBA champion, and the Bill Russell trophy, given to the Finals MVP — he reflected.