No. 3. Bobby Portis
This selection might be a bit of a stretch, considering the fact that Bobby Portis has only been with the team for three seasons. But, even in that short time he’s quickly become a fan-favorite among all Milwaukee Bucks fans. Many will correlate his arrival to Cream City with the Milwaukee Bucks winning the NBA Title in his first year. His impact on the team during that Finals run was crucial, however it’s his presence on the team in the years that have followed that could see his jersey swaying above in floor at Fiserv Forum.
Bobby’s individual performance has been evident, with averaging 14 points per game in back-to-back seasons after averaging 11 in his first year with the Milwaukee Bucks. He put up a modest stat line during the NBA Finals in 2021, with his points per game nearly reaching 8 during the series. Since that first season, he has become a household name when discussing who the toughest players are in the NBA. He’s also established himself as one of the best sixth men in the league as well, which has been a nice added boost for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Portis acknowledges how much Milwaukee has meant to him in his career. He’s mentioned how he’s been able to play more like himself when wearing a Bucks uniform, and has felt most comfortable playing in front of Milwaukee fans during his career. But, to truly understand the love Portis receives from the city of Milwaukee, I’ll share a quick little personal story to highlight.
During the 2021 NBA Finals, I made the trip to watch the Bucks play the Suns for game three. It was an incredible atmosphere from opening tip to the final buzzer, and to this day still one of the best NBA-game environments I’ve ever been apart of in my life. Yet, the one thing I still remember to this day (and gives me chills as I write this) is the chants that Portis would receive when he was playing.
Almost instantaneously, and in complete unison, the Forum began to erupt when he hit the floor with loud chants of “Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!” which was incredible to witness. As the game continued, the chants grew louder and louder, and you could see him feeding off of the crowds energy in the passion he played with that night. As the chants increased in volume, I began to realize how polarizing a figure Portis is not only for the Milwaukee Bucks, but for the entire city of Milwaukee.
Yes, he hasn’t played nearly as long as many other Bucks have who have had similar impacts, and doesn’t have the extensive trophy case of individual awards either. But, what Portis possesses that many players don’t is a connection to an entire city, which can be more impactful than MVP’s and All-stars. He would need to still play in Milwaukee for a few more years, and obviously pick up another championship or maybe an award to be a true candidate. However, there is no question that the love he has from the fans could very well be enough to one day see his number retired by the Milwaukee Bucks.
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