MILWAUKEE — A man who suited up for the Milwaukee Bucks the last time they were in the NBA Finals is still dressing for the team, just in a different way.
Dick Garrett traded in his jersey and basketball shorts for a suit and tie. He has been a security guard for the team for more than two decades.
Garrett used to roam the hardwood as a guard for the team. He played during the 1974 Bucks Finals appearance. That year the team lost the Finals in Game 7 to the Boston Celtics.
"I still remember Kareem hitting the hook shot in Boston. I thought that was the sign that said, 'this was the year for us and we’ll put a ring on our fingers.' Didn't happen, but we were there,” said Garrett.
That wasn’t Garrett’s first taste at the Finals. He played for the LA Lakers his rookie year. But again, his team lost out in Game 7.
"I lost the 7th game twice. That's why I'm hoping so much the Bucks can pull this thing off,” said Garrett.
Garrett has been a security guard for the Bucks for more than 20 years. He is so well known around Fiserv Forum we could not walk more than a few feet outside of the arena in the Deer District without someone saying hi. Bucks president Peter Feigin even heckled Garrett during our interview.
“Hey! I love you, Dick!” shouted Feigin.
Of course, that is because they are friends, often chatting before each home game.
"Dick has been part of the fabric of the organization for decades. He is a big part of who we are today,” said Feigin.
Garrett’s son, Diante Garrett, went on to become a professional basketball player as well. He played for the Phoenix Suns. So is Garrett secretly rooting for the Suns? He says no.
“I’m pulling for the Suns to play well, but not to win,” said Dick.
He wants the Bucks to bring home the championship he just missed out on.
“I don't think most people will understand or realize how much effort it takes to get to this point,” said Garrett. “It’s one of the reasons you can't squander the opportunity to win an NBA championship. You have to be lucky as well as good.”