Giannis Antetokounmpo Can Help Milwaukee Get The “Casual Fans Bump” During The NBA Playoffs

The Milwaukee Bucks are all the rage these days. New logos have presented themselves to the public; a youthful roster; and a lock to make the NBA Playoffs under Jason Kidd. What else can an organization ask for? Well, a lot, actually.

There are more things to be won in the postseason other than just playoff series. While that should be everyone’s main objective, it is not the endgame as far as deeming successful runs for the teams participating in the event. Among a slew of other, much smaller wins, an NBA team could go a long way in building a broader fan base.

Something like that isn’t necessarily important to lifelong Bucks fans. The heck if they care about Johnny RippleMcsticks joining the fold only after the team has had success. In fact, they will resent all the bandwagon fans. Still, honestly, a giant whatever to them.


Like, I doubt this guy is a reasonable fan.

Those fans are going to be there regardless. A team like Milwaukee can hurl out five of the least talented basketball players in the world (think the Sixers… sorry, I’m not sorry), but they are going to continue to root for them, spend money on the organization’s products, and never go away. Fandom, for better or worse, has made these people slightly crazy and, by no means, logical when it comes to how they deal with their team’s failures and successes.

The logical aspect is pretty important here. When a fan base grows it can have an effect on how much loot the owner is willing to spend. That is not to say they will spend more money, but it would give them less of an excuse avoid to doing so.

More so, a franchise like the Bucks who are more regionally aligned with their fans than many of the more traditional NBA powers, can certainly use the boost by a widened fan base. Get more games on national TV, increase revenue through various means, and other things of that nature can only be good for the overall growth of their brand — and possible future world domination.

All of that brings us to Giannis Antetokounmpo. For those unaware of his exploits: Antetokounmpo is pretty good at the basketball. He can dribble it, score it, rebound it, and a slew of other things that help make him be good at the sport. None of that is actually important, though. Not for this discussion, at least.

What is important is the fact that he is a basketball marvel. Regardless of what his flaws are in his game, Antetokounmpo is young enough (20) that he has that wonderful perception of upside still attached to his name, and is athletic enough (freak levels) that casual basketball fans can give three-poops about whatever his instabilities are.

The Bucks don’t even have to win their first round series to take advantage of what they have been building. Basically, they just have to be mildly competitive. Maybe win two games in the series opener while showcasing their plethora of talented players. But all of the excitement will start and end with Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Casual NBA fans, or ones young enough to currently not have a favorite team, want highlights. They do not care of artsy footwork in the post or a guard’s ability to setup his teammates. They want BOFA. They want all the BOFA. Antetokounmpo is essentially a walking, breathing BOFA maker.

There is also the idea of Jabari Parker floating around in the background, as well. No one expects Milwaukee to win the NBA title — not unless they are a lunatic Bucks fan. When If Milwaukee fails, but does a great job of building excitement surrounding the team going forward, there will be a notion going around that they will be “so much better” next year. You know, because Parker will be back and Antetokounmpo will have developed more as a player.

It starts in the playoffs. Antetokounmpo isn’t exactly built to score 20 points per game. Not right now. Maybe not ever, but that really isn’t important to live in the moment casual fans. He can do enough right now, however, to help continue to enhance the idea of him, which is as important to the reality of him as an NBA player.

Realities don’t build fan bases or get you more games on TNT. Not unless the reality transcends many other factors. Yet, in the same way the perception of the growth of teams and their excitement levels can cause Turner to beg for more {Insert Team X}, it can do the same for the Bucks. Unlike many other teams, though, Milwaukee has a singular player who can help expedite the process during the large platform the Bucks have earned this season — the NBA Playoffs.

Would Bucks fans prefer going deep in the playoffs? Sure. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the Milwaukee Bucks won’t become America’s favorite little-market team by just tossing out some new logos and winning one series in the postseason. It will take all the smoke and mirrors. Including, but not limited to, making casual fans think they have one of the best young rosters in the NBA — even if they actually don’t.

You’re up, Antetokounmpo. Show the world what you can do. Make us all Bucks fans.

About Joseph Nardone

Joseph has covered college basketball both (barely) professionally and otherwise for over five years. A Column of Enchantment for Rush The Court on Thursdays and other basketball stuff for The Student Section on other days.