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Milwaukee and Phoenix Meet in Quest for Long-Sought NBA Championship; Bucks Make First Finals Appearance in 47 Years; Suns Make First Finals Appearance in 28 Years and Eye First Championship.
The National Basketball Association will crown its 75th champion when the Eastern Conference Champion Milwaukee Bucks meet the Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals 2021 presented by YouTube TV beginning Tuesday, July 6 at 9 p.m. ET, airing on ABC and ESPN Radio in the United States and on Sportsnet, RDS and TSN in Canada. This year’s Finals will reach fans live in 215 countries and territories in 59 languages on their televisions, computers, mobile devices and tablets.
Download document: 2021 NBA Finals – By The Numbers (https://bit.ly/2Uvenm4)
Here is a by-the-numbers look at NBA Finals 2021 presented by YouTube TV:
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns
1 – The Suns are seeking the first NBA championship in franchise history. 3 – Milwaukee and Phoenix are both appearing in the NBA Finals for the third time. 11 – The Suns have made the NBA Finals in their first playoff appearance in 11 years. 28 – Phoenix last competed in the NBA Finals 28 years ago (1993), when Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and the Suns lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in six games. 47 – The Bucks last competed in the NBA Finals 47 years ago (1974), when they lost to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 in Milwaukee after winning Game 6 in double overtime in Boston. 50 – Milwaukee won its only NBA championship 50 years ago (1971), when Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson led the Bucks to a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Bullets. 1968 – The Bucks and Suns both joined the NBA in 1968. 1969 – Phoenix and Milwaukee participated in a coin flip to determine which team would receive the No. 1 overall pick in the 1969 NBA Draft. The Bucks won the coin flip and used the top pick to select Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who helped lead them to an NBA championship two years later. 1978 – The Bucks and Suns played each other in the first round of the 1978 NBA Playoffs, a best-of-three series won by Milwaukee 2-0. 1,829 – The distance between Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum and Phoenix Suns Arena is approximately 1,829 miles.
Players, Coaches and Executives
1 – The Suns’ Jae Crowder is the one player on either team who has played in the NBA Finals, competing with the Miami Heat in the 2020 Finals. 3 – Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are three of the 12 players who have been selected to play for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team at the Tokyo Olympics. 4 – Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer won four NBA championships as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs. 5 – Milwaukee’s P.J. Tucker played five seasons with the Suns from 2012-17. 7 – Phoenix General Manager James Jones, the 2020-21 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year, advanced to the NBA Finals in each of his last seven seasons as a player. 12 – Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of 12 players to win the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award in back-to-back seasons, accomplishing the feat in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. 16 – In his 16th season, the Suns’ Chris Paul has reached the NBA Finals for the first time. 23 – Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton, a standout in his first NBA Playoffs, celebrates his 23rd birthday on July 23 – one day after a potential Game 7 in the NBA Finals. 34 – Bucks General Manager Jon Horst, the 2018-19 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year, was named to his current position at age 34 in 2017. 70 – Devin Booker scored 70 points against the Boston Celtics on March 24, 2017. 2017 – Suns head coach Monty Williams won the inaugural Sager Strong Award (https://bit.ly/3AyNgqI) in 2017.
NBA Finals Broadcast in the United States
2 – Doris Burke returns for her second time as a game analyst for the NBA Finals when she joins play-by-play voice Marc Kestecher and fellow analyst Jon Barry for ESPN Radio’s coverage. Last year, Burke made history when she became the first women to serve as a game analyst on any platform for the event. 13 – ABC/ESPN’s broadcast team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson will work The Finals together for the 13th time. 15 – Jeff Van Gundy will provide analysis for his 15th consecutive NBA Finals, which is the most for a television analyst covering the event. 16 – Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Mike Breen will call his 16th straight NBA Finals – the most by any NBA play-by-play commentator. 19 – ESPN will produce The Finals on ABC for the 19th consecutive year.
NBA Finals Around The World
2/4 – The Suns feature two former Basketball Without Borders (BWB) campers: Deandre Ayton (Bahamas; BWB Global 2016) and Dario Šarić (Croatia; BWB Europe 2010). This will mark the fourth straight NBA Finals with at least one former BWB camper. 7 – Seven international players representing six countries are on Finals rosters. Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Mamadi Diakite (Guinea) and Axel Toupane (France) Suns: Deandre Ayton (Bahamas), Abdel Nader (Egypt) and Dario Šarić (Croatia) 8 – Eight international television networks – from Australia, Brazil, China, Mexico, Serbia and Spain – will be conducting onsite commentary at The Finals. 9 – The Spurs’ 2014 NBA championship team featured a record nine international players during the playoffs. 27 – There has been at least one international player in The Finals for the past 27 years.
4 – Four is the total number of Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP awards won by NBA TV analysts Isiah Thomas (1990) and Shaquille O’Neal (2000, 2001 and 2002), who will be covering this year’s series.
NBA Social Media
22.8M – Giannis Antetokounmpo has generated over 22.8 million engagements on his Instagram account this season, ranking fourth among all current NBA players. 57.4M – The NBA Instagram account surpassed 57 million followers during the 2021 NBA Playoffs. 100M – Content including Suns star Devin Booker has generated nearly 100 million views across NBA social platforms this postseason. Since the start of the playoffs, Booker has gained the second-most followers of any player in the league on Instagram (+914,000), behind only LeBron James. 225M – Throughout the 2021 NBA Playoffs, the NBA YouTube account has generated more than 225 million video views. 1.4B – The NBA Instagram channel has generated 1.4 billion views throughout the 2021 NBA Playoffs, the second most for an account on the platform during that time.
1 – The first Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award (https://on.nba.com/3wl95GE) was presented recently to Carmelo Anthony of the Portland Trail Blazers. The four other finalists were Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings, Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers, Jrue Holiday of the Bucks and Juan Toscano-Anderson of the Golden State Warriors. 2 – Both the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks will leave a lasting impact in their communities, unveiling two new live, learn and play spaces together with State Farm and Kaiser Permanente. The Suns will unveil a refurbished basketball court at the Maryvale Community Center while the Bucks will renovate a recreational room at the Running Rebels Community Organization. Through NBA Cares, the NBA family has created more than 1,675 live, learn and player spaces around the world. 29 – Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum and Phoenix’s Phoenix Suns Arena are both certified as sensory inclusive venues in partnership with KultureCity, providing permanent accommodations within their arenas to be accessible to and inclusive of the one in six individuals in the United States living with sensory needs. All 29 NBA arenas have taken steps to be inclusive of fans and families with sensory needs.
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