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Tidbits from the Milwaukee Bucks' 1971 and 2021 NBA championship seasons
Khris Middleton and members of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrate after defeating the Phoenix Suns in Game Six to win the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum on July 20, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP

Tidbits from the Milwaukee Bucks' 1971 and 2021 NBA championship seasons

Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - July 22, 2021 - 12:48pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Milwaukee Bucks ended 50 years of frustration when they defeated the Phoenix Suns, 105-98, in Game Six of the NBA Finals to take home their second championship.

Interestingly, there are nice oddities to glean from when comparing both championship seasons.

When the Bucks won the NBA title in 1971, they competed out of the Western Conference where they defeated the Baltimore Bullets, 4-0.

Today, the Bucks are in the Eastern Conference where they moved in 1981. 

That 1971 Finals was the first since 1956 to feature neither Wilt Chamberlain nor Bill Russell, the two dominant players of that era.

This just-concluded season is the first finals since 2015 without Stephen Curry or LeBron James, two of the most dominant players of this span of time.

In 1971, the finals format was 1-1-1-1 or teams alternating home matches with every outing.

In 2021, the finals was played in the 2-2-1-1-1 format (the Finals returned to that in 2014 after playing 2-3-2 since 1985).

While there were a sprinkling of foreign talent in the early decades of the NBA, by 1971, there were no foreign players in the league.

During this 2020-21 season, there were 107 listed.

During the 1971 season, American player Lew Alcindor (aka Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) was both regular season and finals Most Valuable Player.

In this past 2021 season, a Serbian, Nikola Jokic, was the regular season MVP while a Greek, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was named Finals MVP.

In 1971, the Bucks drafted Gary Freeman No. 16 in the first round, He played half of the season’s games but was not on the playoff roster.

Bill Zopf was the second pick and earned a slot on the team.

In the 2020-21 season, Milwaukee selected R.J. Hampton with the 24th pick in the first round, except Hampton was traded to Orlando.

The Bucks’ second pick, Jordan Nwora (second round, No. 45), earned a roster slot but not for the playoffs.

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