LeBron James on the Milwaukee Bucks

Ah, the offseason — the perfect time for implausible trade scenarios, over-exaggerated league drama, and crazy hypotheticals. We should cherish this moment by not shying away from feeding into this homer-heavy heaven. So, let’s just go all in: What if LeBron James joins the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2017-2018 season?

For continuity sake, let’s assume that the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2016-2017 season roster is unchanged (besides for the King) and that the league landscape is unaltered by this impossible blockbuster.

The Milwaukee Bucks will be better than mediocre for the first time in a long time.
Mediocrity is usually ambiguous, lying more on a diverse spectrum rather than in a concrete category. This is not the case for the Milwaukee Bucks franchise, which has been objectively average since the 2000-2001 season (except for maybe the 2009-2010 “Fear The Deer” season). The addition of LeBron James, as well as Giannis’s continued rise to superstardom, will definitely end this bout of moderateness. A team that has two top ten NBA players (top seven… top five…?) will be a successful team. A team that has two top ten NBA players, however, will also have its problems.

There will be a power struggle between LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
A generational player and a young burgeoning superstar, what can go wrong? Everything. I can see it already: Giannis takes an ill-advised pull-up early in the shot clock of a late possession in a tight game and LeBron shoots the youngling a deadly glare. Their opponent scores immediately afterwards, the Bucks call a timeout, and a not-so-friendly exchange between the King and the Greek Freak ensues. It’ll be like all those LeBron vs. Kyrie/Thompson/etc. “talks,” except Giannis is young and impressionable. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. Who takes the last shot? Who initiates during the last possession? Whose role will get bigger and whose role will get smaller? Damn, I thought these hypotheticals were supposed to be happy.

There will be awesome nicknames. The Freaky Kings. The Kings of Greece. The Ringmaster and the Freak Show. Whichever one catches on, there is absolutely zero doubt that it will be legendary.

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will anchor an incredible transition defense.
Fear. Trepidation. Dread. These thoughts, and only these thoughts, will encompass the Bucks’ opponents on any sort of fast-break. Imagine yourself, somehow an NBA-caliber player, thieving a steal at the top of the key and running quickly in the opposite direction. As you near the basket, you glance back for a quick second and see a nightmare: the King and the Greek Freak, long-limbs, broad shoulders, fierce concentration, and all, closing the gap. The sight is so terrifying you straight-up shut down and hang a runner from the free-throw line. It’s an airball. Somehow though, that was actually your best option. Just ask Andre Iguodala and DeMar DeRozan.

SportsCenter and other national media outlets will invest in a map that includes Milwaukee.
The days of being a low-profile NBA team are over, for the good and the bad. The good: a bunch of national television games, actually catching Bucks highlights on SportsCenter, and feeling cool and important. The bad: bandwagon fans, unsubstantiated and detrimental drama, and super high expectations. It will be a weird experience and one that most Bucks fans will not be fully prepared for.

The best highlights, like, ever.
Is it possible for a single mind to fathom a fast-break led by LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jabari Parker? Think of the one-of-a-kind poster jams, incomprehensible chase down stuffs, and Lob City-like lobs. It’s okay to drool. Honestly, most games will double as top-level mixtapes. Just think of all the filthiness that already happened this past year with just the Greek Freak. Add the King and who knows what will happen. Which makes me think…

There will be crazy, sellout crowds.
Not only will the BMO Harris Bradley Center be packed, but also the fans will be in a constant state of hype. With LeBron and Giannis on the court, literally anything could happen. Giannis gyrosteps from the logo and goes between the legs to LeBron who then jumps over his own teammate Jason Terry for the monster dunk? Sure. There will be no breaks for the fans.

The Milwaukee Bucks will enjoy a magical regular season, fight like hell in the playoffs, and reach the Finals. It’s the Warriors, again, and LeBron’s legacy is the center of attention. So far so good – he’s been averaging a triple-double throughout the postseason. Meanwhile, Giannis flies relatively under the radar. He recently had an underwhelming series against the Celtics in the Conference Finals and critics are sort of writing him off. The Bucks, with home-court advantage, find themselves in Wisconsin for Game 7. After being forgotten, Giannis, without question, has the best game of his young career. None of it matters anymore. It’s the final possession, the Bucks are down by one but have the ball. Coach Kidd calls a timeout to prep. What’s this? LeBron looks a bit mad as cameras catch him emphatically pointing to himself. Suddenly, a familiar dread enters the hearts of Bucks fans around the globe, but especially you. Game on, and, you guessed it, LeBron has the ball. Giannis, with a 40-15-15 line, stands patiently in the corner. LeBron shakes, LeBron bakes, and LeBron heaves a great looking shot from three. You’re already walking away from the TV though, because, well, you just know. But, you glance back because you understand that it’s your goddamn duty as a Milwaukee Bucks fan to fully experience it. The ball dips in… for a second. There was no hope though. The ball rims out. Game over, the Warriors win. With or without LeBron, the Bucks will always be the Bucks.


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