Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Giannis Antetokounmpo

Congrats to the NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks!

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Folks, last night I watched the Milwaukee Bucks play game six in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA’s) finals against the Phoenix Suns. Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo (there’s a reason Bucks announcer Ted Davis calls Giannis “the Alphabet,” folks), Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday, along with many other excellent players like P.J. Tucker, Thanasis Antetokounmpo (yes, Giannis’s elder brother), Pat Connaughton, and fan favorite Bobby Portis, helped the team win the first NBA championship for the city of Milwaukee (and for the Bucks franchise) in fifty years.

All I can say is what I’ve said in the title: “Congratulations!”

The Bucks as a team are excellent, but the people who make up the team are even better. Giannis is a good person, known for his philanthropy and down-to-Earth attitude. (Giannis also overcame a huge injury, that of a hyperextended knee, in order to play exceptionally well in the NBA Finals, finishing game six with fifty points. Yes, fifty points on a bad knee! But I digress.) Middleton is a hard-working sharpshooter and a devoted family man. Holiday is married to an Olympic athlete, is planning to play on the US Olympic team this year (along with Middleton), and was quick to integrate himself into the team and helped a great deal with his unselfish attitude and play.

Of course, there’s also coach Mike Budenholzer to thank, as he worked tirelessly to put together a game plan that would give Giannis, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday the ability for each of them to do what they do best. Plus, he’s been great at working the bench players into games, and seems to have a sixth sense as to when someone needs a rest.

For that matter, I’d like to thank Bucks General Manager (GM) Jon Horst, as no team succeeds without a great GM.

So, while the state of Wisconsin and the city of Milwaukee continue to celebrate, and rightfully so, I wanted to say thank you to the entirety of the Bucks organization. Everyone — from the ticket sellers to the beer vendors to all of the assistant coaches and trainers plus the Bucks announcers on TV and radio — played a role in this championship. And every one of them deserves to be proud, not just of the Bucks, but of their own hard work on the Bucks’ organization’s behalf.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 21, 2021 at 8:23 pm

Narrative Framing, the Milwaukee Bucks, and You

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Folks, over the past week or so as I’ve battled an illness, I’ve been thinking about how we shape our own narratives. (Again, as this is one of my besetting sins as a novelist.) And that led me to ponder the Milwaukee Bucks, which have had one of the best years in their team’s history and have made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals…which you’d think would be good enough for anyone.

But as the Bucks were expected throughout to go to the NBA Finals, people have been up in arms (including yours truly) when they lost game 5 to the Toronto Raptors at home to put them down three games to two. They now face elimination in game 6.

The thing is, if you think about it, just getting to the Eastern Conference Finals is wonderful. The Bucks were “one and done” last year. And, I believe, the year before that.

But this year, they swept their initial playoff series, against the Detroit Pistons. And then they won easily over the Boston Celtics in the second round.

This, mainly, along with a stellar regular season, is why Bucks fans have taken a doom-and-gloom attitude.

And that led me to consider how else we tend to frame our own narrative in our lives. Do we think of the bright side? (Should we is another question, but that’s for another day.) Or do we think of what’s not working rather than what is, and concentrate on our failings rather than our successes?

I don’t know about you, but I tend to think about the failures, myself. I think about how I could’ve done this, that, or the other better. Sometimes, in the moment, it’s almost like I see myself from above and wonder, “Why can’t I do better than this? Why is it that I can barely explain myself? Why is it that I can’t make better decisions? Why do I run out of time?” and so on.

I wonder if that’s where the Bucks are at, right now. But I strongly suspect, as their season is not over, that they aren’t.

Are they happy to be down 3-2 and facing elimination? Of course not. (Who would be?)

But they have things they can still do. And I believe they’re most likely concentrating on them, and how they need to just do a few more things to get a win (in sports parlance, a W)…they may even be focusing on past success against the Raptors, and be looking at what they’ve done differently (and worse) in this series that hasn’t been working.

Forward, they are probably looking. Not back.

Now, does this make any difference in what happens in Game 6? You better believe it does. They can go in there and do their level best, knowing their season will be over if they don’t give it everything they possibly have.

And of course they could still lose. But if they do, they’ll know — providing they gave it their all, and tried their best, and focused their minds and bodies properly — it wasn’t their time to shine after all.

That can be a bitter lesson, sometimes. Because we try our best, and we want to shine all the time.

But no one — not Michael Jordan, not LeBron James, not Wilt Chamberlain, not George Mikan, nor any other basketball superstar over the years — has ever shined all the time. Because it’s not humanly possible.

So, let’s take a step back, and frame this differently, OK?

The fact is, the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo is a great player. He may well win the NBA Most Valuable Player award this year, and if so, it’ll be richly deserved.  And he’s  led the Bucks to an excellent season.

These pluses are not negated, nor should they be, if the Raptors do succeed in beating the Bucks.**

How does that relate to your own, personal situation, though?

In essence, you need to learn how to frame your own narrative. Stop beating yourself up because you can’t seem to get ahead no matter how hard you try. Think about your successes once in a while, rather than always and only your failures. And do what you can to remember that you are a vital person with a role to play whether it seems like it or not.

That’s how you can learn from the doom and gloom over the Milwaukee Bucks and their current situation.

What do you think about this blog? Tell me about it in the comments!

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**As a fan, I will admit that if the Bucks can’t win game 6 and force a game 7, for a few days I will go around with a bad taste in my mouth. (That comes with the territory.)