MILWAUKEE — The “Bucks in 6” chants coming from Milwaukee and heard around the world are becoming a realistic possibility on arguably the biggest stage Tuesday night.
“Bucks in 6” has been a rallying cry throughout the team’s journey to the NBA Finals, but it all started eight years ago, and back then, the Bucks definitely didn’t win in 6. Now, fans are bracing for what could be a storybook ending as the popular phrase is one win away from becoming a reality.
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The chants from the Deer District can be heard from blocks away as the proudest Bucks fans make their predictions loud and clear.
“Bucks in 6, baby, Bucks in 6! Phoenix, The sun is going down! Let’s go Bucks!,” said Tony Anderson.
The story of “Bucks in 6” comes from humble beginnings thanks to former Buck, Brandon Jennings. In the 2012-’13 playoffs, the Bucks trailed LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the number one seed Miami Heat 2-0 in the first round.
“Bucks in 6 always, that’s for the culture,” Jennings said in 2013.
The Bucks went on to lose four in a row.
“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,” Jennings explained after losing the series.
Despite no “Bucks in 6” for the 2012-'13 team, the legendary motto took on a life of its own that’s still alive and well today.
“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.
Historically speaking, Godsey knows “Bucks in 6” has been an extremely rare outcome.
Aside from this year’s Eastern Conference Finals, the last time the Bucks won a playoff series in six games happened before Jennings was born in 1984.
“Coming from a little bit of a smaller market that doesn’t necessarily get the national attention, to be able to have something that really just displays that confidence in what we’re going to do,” Godsey said.
“Bucks in 6” can be seen on cars cruising around Fiserv Forum, on the marquee at the Warner Grand Theatre, and written on lawn chairs awaiting a potential championship parade along Wisconsin Avenue.
North of the city, Jordan Garvin and his roommate spray-painted the slogan on their roof for drivers to see along Interstate 43.
“They’re actually expanding the freeway out here so this whole row of houses is actually getting torn down so we thought what better way to send the house off than putting some Bucks memorabilia up there,” Garvin explained.
Garvin said they decided to bring the Bucks some luck after dropping the first two games of the Finals to the Phoenix Suns. Now, everything appears to be falling into place.
“We’ve seen people stop over here and stuff and point and take pictures and stop and I feel like the whole city and everybody is just in for Bucks in 6 and want to see it happen,” he said.