Locals savor NBA Championship

Has it been one week already?
The Milwaukee Bucks won their NBA Championship last Tuesday, and several Sheboyganites were asked to reminisce about the experience.
One former resident even extended his vacation to attend Game 6.



KYLE WHELTON has quite the view of Milwaukee’s celebration last Tuesday. – Submitted photo

Not only did Whelton attend Game 2 in Phoenix because a business partner lives in Arizona, he brought one of his best friends from high school to Game 6 in Milwaukee.

“It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life,” Whelton said. “One, just trying to get through the sea of people – 65,000 people in the Deer District – was insane. … The (Forum) was completely electric. There was not a moment where you couldn’t feel the energy around you.”

The best moment was when Khris Middleton hid a fade-away jumper with about 1 minute to go to essentially clinch the victory.

“We all looked at each other and realized we just watched the Milwaukee Bucks become NBA Champs,” Bayliss said. “After a 50-year drought, to see it in person, I don’t know if I have words to describe it.”


ANDREW BAYLISS (left) stands next to his brother during Game 6. – Submitted photo

The former North girls tennis coach moved to the Orlando area but returns home quite often.

He was here for two weeks and instead of leaving, the family stayed for another in order to see history.

Bayliss bought tickets and took his brother, since the two of them say the Bucks are by-far their favorite team (he says he watched 60 games the year they won just 15 games).

Bayliss will always remember the free throw that gave Giannis his 50th point, as well as a few other things.

“The sheer number of people on the way in, on the way out, how packed the Deer District was, how loud everything was the entire night,” Bayliss said.

“The walk back (to the car), I probably gave out 500 high-fives.”


BRIAN THOMAS (left) attends the last Bucks game with his friend. – Submitted photo

Thomas attended Game 6 at the Fiserv Forum, all because of a social media post from two years ago.

A son of one of Milwaukee’s owners posted something about Teacher Appreciation Week, and Thomas, a teacher, jokingly typed back: “well, if you really appreciate me, how about some tickets?”

No one from the Bucks responded, but a big fan who he never met replied to his tweet. He wrote he loves paying it forward, teachers meant a lot to him and he had a free ticket for Thomas to Game 1 of the 2019 playoffs against Toronto.

Since then, they kept in touch on Twitter and the guy offered Thomas a Game 6 ticket – at face value.

“I want real fans there,” his friend told him. “I don’t want profit. I want real fans.”

Needless to say, Thomas was more than happy.

“It felt like there were 100,000 people who were all best friends there,” he said. “Walking in – I parked quite a ways away just in case it got too crazy in Milwaukee – and the whole time everyone came up to everyone high-fiving, giving people hugs, just saying ‘Bucks in 6.’ We walked in, everybody was doing the same thing. All the people around me, who I’ve never met before, were giving hugs and high-fives all through the game. Taking pictures with each other. The whole way out, people were driving by hanging out of their cars, they were pulling over and people were reaching into cars to give hugs and high-fives to perfect strangers.

“For like five hours straight, that was my night. It was awesome.”


PENNY MacLAUGHLIN (second from left) and friends cheer on the Bucks at The End Zone. – Submitted photo

Her and husband Patrick own the End Zone, which was chosen as one of 10 bars across the state to receive a Bucks care package courtesy of Travel Wisconsin.

The bar, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in December, received signs and thunderstix that were distributed to patrons watching Game 5.

MacLaughlin also got a banner that shows the Bucks logo with “History in the making” on the left and NBA Finals 2021 on the right.

After Milwaukee won the title, customers gathered outside for a picture with it.

“It’s unbelievable,” MacLaughlin said. “It’s amazing.”

THE TEN PAS FAMILY is all smiles Tuesday after watching Milwaukee win the NBA title. – Submitted photo


Her husband gets so intense, he wanted to watch the game alone at home.

No problem, Ten Pas took her two teenage sons to a friend’s house.

“They were loving it,” she said. “They were screaming, rooting and cheering.”

Afterward, they returned home to watch the post-game interviews, etc.

“It was hard to go to sleep after that excitement so late,” Ten Pas said.

MILWAUKEE’S MASCOT, BANGO, leads the parade through the streets of Milwaukee Thursday. – Photo by Dave Boehler

Categories: Sports

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