Bucks parade in downtown Milwaukee on Thursday to mark 2021 NBA championship win
Fifty years ago, there was no championship parade for the Milwaukee Bucks.
That's not going to be the case this year. After Milwaukee defeated Phoenix on Tuesday in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, 105-98, this year's team will indeed get that parade celebration.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of East Wisconsin and North Prospect avenues, according to an announcement from the Bucks.
It will proceed west on Wisconsin Avenue before turning north on North Water Street.
From there, the route will continue on Water Street to East Knapp Street before ending near the Milwaukee River.
Following the parade, a celebration will be held in Deer District with Bucks players, coaches, owners and executives taking the stage.
It will take place north of Fiserv Forum between North Phillips Avenue and North Fifth Street.
The stage will be set up on the north side of that block near the intersection of Fifth Street and West McKinley Avenue, with viewing areas and screens throughout the Deer District. The anticipated start time of the championship celebration is 12:30 p.m.
The last, and only, Bucks championship team famously didn't get a parade when Lew Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and his teammates won the NBA title in 1971.
"It was just the third season of the team’s existence, so perhaps it happened too fast for unfamiliar city leaders to process and a still-developing fan base to clamor for. Perhaps, as some feel, Milwaukee politicians didn’t want to so publicly acknowledge a team led by Black players or encourage a mixing of races downtown after years of marches and protests," the Journal Sentinel's Jim Owczarski wrote in an April feature story.
"Five decades later, the lack of pageantry has shadowed some memories of one of the greatest seasons in NBA history," Owczarski said.
So, perhaps Kareem and some of his former teammates can join this parade.