Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis discusses Bucks’ culture, expectations and more

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Since joining the Milwaukee Bucks over the offseason, Bobby Portis has enjoyed his career reinvention.

The 26-year-old big man has given the Bucks a consistent scoring spark off the bench all year long as he’s averaging 11 points while shooting .544/.507/.697, along with 7.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.7 minutes per game. Portis’ sparkling 3-point percentage also happens to lead the league in that regard, which has served as the basis behind his highly efficient campaign.

More from Bucks News

Recently appearing on ‘The Alex Kennedy Podcast’ hosted by the Basketball News’ Alex Kennedy, Portis discussed his growing time in Milwaukee, thriving in his sixth man role and playing with a team that is facing expectations, among other topics.

First off, Portis touched on how he’s increasingly embraced his role as a high-value role player to the point where he’s standing as Milwaukee’s sixth man this season:

"“With me coming into the NBA, it was different for me because when I was growing up as a kid, I wasn’t the best player on my team. I was a guy that came in, played hard, hit a big shot here and there, gets a rebound or an offensive rebound. Then as I got older, I worked on my game enough to where I was the best player on the team and show that I can carry a team. When you get to the league, it’s totally different. My first year was tough because I was struggling with not getting the ball a lot. Then in my third season, I found my niche by coming off the bench, playing as hard as I can, scoring when needed or whenever coach called a play for me, I felt like I had to go make that basket.My niche was kind of earned. Fred Hoiberg, he’s a big reason why I started shooting threes because he pushed me more to shoot threes in practice and breaking down my shot with me in summer. It’s kind of fun when you have to go through these ups and downs to find out who you are in this league. It’s a marathon, man, but I think my third season is what helped me find that niche and now it’s easy in my role and know I’ll go out there and play 20, 25 minutes and play with force and just be the best version of myself.”"

Bobby Portis discussed playing in the face of expectations with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Given the trajectory of Portis’ career where he increasingly played for teams well out of playoff contention, much less championship aspirations like the Bucks hold, coming to Milwaukee has been a breath of fresh air for the former Razorback. Portis discussed what it’s like playing and knowing the highest of expectations exist in and around the team this season:

"“When I came here to be on a team that’s contending, to be in the playoffs, obviously that’s not added pressure, but expectations that’s set on the team. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s bad. But with this group of guys that we have here, it’s fun to know our expectations, know what’s given to us and do we want to be the hunters or the hunted.Every game is a tough game for us. Teams always throw their best punch at us. That was one thing I noticed playing on this team. I’ve seen guys shooting 28 percent from three and then they come play us and they hit four out of five threes. A team that’s not known for their 3-point shooting, they’ll make a franchise record amount of threes. Every game is something new and that’s what I’m loving about it man. the marathon that we’re running right now, it’s fun. The ups and downs, COVID, to having no fans to having some fans, not being able to leave the hotel. All of these things, it’s tough. But at the same time, it’s a blessing and I think all of the challenges are going to make us better. It’s fun playing on a contending team, man.”"

Lastly, Portis discussed the differences in the cultures and environments he’s played previously under compared to the culture set up by Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer on down:

"“The biggest difference is I’m on a winning team now and there’s a difference between losing and winning. When you’re on a losing team, you’re always banging the hammer trying to get something to work. You’re going to practice a lot and you’re going to do all of the things to build a winning culture.Here, it’s different. We practice a different way than all of my teams previously. Our shooting routines are a lot different. It’s more like Coach Bud knows players’ needs and things like that and he caters to our bodies. It’s more mental than physical. Physically, we know we have to do this, share the ball and give our bodies up for the team. But here, it’s more mental. He give us a certain amount of days off for our bodies to recover. It’s a lot more than just basketball and I like that.”"

Next. The three Bucks stars of the week as they regain form. dark

I encourage all Bucks fans to check out the rest of Portis’ interview with Kennedy as they both touched on multiple topics in regards to Portis’ growing time in Milwaukee. Meanwhile, Portis and his teammates will look to finish out the first half of the 2020-21 season on a high note.