“Bucks in 6” has become the chant for Milwaukee residents over the years as they’ve tried desperately to will their team to an NBA title.
On Tuesday night, that often burdensome chant became a reality for the Bucks as they became NBA champions for the first time since 1971.
However, the meaning behind the now infamous chant is a little more complex than one might have expected.
The Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions once again
The Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions for the first time in 50 years after beating the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6 of the Finals.
The Bucks won the series 4-2, and are only the fifth team in NBA history to win a best-of-seven finals series after losing their first two matches.
The night belonged to Giannis Antetokounmpo, who registered a record-breaking night with 50 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks.
The “Greek Freak” became only the seventh player to register 50 points in a Finals game, and is first player since Shaq in 2000 to have 40+ points in a Finals close-out game.
Giannis now joins Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to win an MVP, Defensive Player of the Year award and Finals MVP.
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What does “in 6” mean in basketball terms?
Throughout these NBA Finals, “Bucks in 6” has been the chant coming out of Milwaukee.
The origins of the chant are more nuanced (more on that in a minute), but the concept is a relatively simple one.
In the NBA, all playoff games are contested as best-of-seven-series (i.e. the first team to win four games).
‘In 6’ just means said team will win the series in six games. So, in other words, they will win the series 4-2.
If you predicted a series would go to a Game 7 (and a team would therefore win the series 4-3), you’d say they’ll win ‘in 7’.
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Who first said “Bucks in 6”?
During this year’s postseason, “Bucks in 6” has been more than a simple prediction.
The chant has been a rallying cry for Milwaukee’s journey to the Championship – an affirmation of sorts.
And on Tuesday night, those words became a reality.
However, the chant actually originated some eight years ago with former player Brandon Jennings.
It started in 2013 when Jennings’ Bucks trailed LeBron James and the Miami Heat 2-0 in the first round of the playoffs.
Rather overconfidently, he predicted how the rest of the series would play out.
“Bucks in 6 always, that’s for the culture,” Jennings said.
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More on the origins of “Bucks in 6” and how it evolved
Jennings’ bold prediction all those years ago didn’t exactly come to pass.
The Bucks lost the series in four, scoring no more than 91 points in any of those four games.
The Heat, meanwhile, went on to win the Championship that year.
However, the legendary motto stuck, and ever since it’s been a cry for all Bucks fans to rally around.
“The fan base just really kind of took it and ran with it and it’s become kind of a calling card and a motto for the fan base really ever since,” said Bucks Chief Marketing Officer Dustin Godsey.
In 2018, Jennings was asked about his prediction years earlier, to which he said: “Bucks in 6, I mean, what else was I supposed to say? We’re going to lose and get swept? You’re supposed to go into the playoffs with confidence.”
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Jennings celebrates the Bucks victory
Jennings appeared to be in attendance in Milwaukee on Tuesday night to see his prophecy come to fruition.
He posted a series of photos to Instagram with a #bucksin6 hashtag, celebrating the victory and Milwaukee finally winning the Championship.
Who knew he’d be right all along?