Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James – Who is Bucks’ Star Khris Middleton’s Favorite NBA Player?

Published 07/04/2021, 4:56 PM EDT


The Milwaukee Bucks have finally made the NBA Finals, for the 3rd time in franchise history and for the 1st time since 1974! With their leader in Giannis Antetokounmpo out, Khris Middleton’s performance in Game 5 & Game 6 mirrored that of a young Kobe Bryant.

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In the Finals, they will match up with the Phoenix Suns, another team on a fairytale run these playoffs. In fact, in their journey to the finals, both these teams knocked out the 3 teams picked to win it all! While Phoenix first eliminated the Lakers with reigning Finals MVP LeBron James, and then the Clippers with injured Kawhi Leonard, Milwaukee beat 2-time FMVP, Kevin Durant, in an intense 7 game series.

Jul 1, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) shoots during the second quarter against the Atlanta Hawks during game five of the Eastern Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

One of the chief architects of Milwaukee’s resurgence, even without Giannis Antetokounmpo in the ECF, was guard Khris Middleton. Middleton in 17 games these playoffs has averaged 23.4ppg/8.0rpg/5.1apg.

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In light of Middleton’s 32 points, 7 assists exploit that resulted in a Game 6 Bucks win, here’s a glimpse of who the star continues to draw inspiration from.

Middleton’s career-high would’ve made Kobe Bryant proud

Whether it be stellar performances in the post-season or his career-high 51 in January 2020, Middleton has always looked up to the Black Mamba as a role model who he continues to emulate.

In fact, Middleton dropped 51-points in a game against Washington which turned out to be a point war. Coincidentally, Giannis was out for that matchup too! Thus, Middleton clearly knows when to take over. The all-star joined Antetokounmpo and Kareem Abdul Jabbar as the only other Bucks players with a 50pts/10reb performance.

In the post-game presser, Middleton reminisced about the late Bryant, as he said – “Kobe was one of my favorite players—if not my favorite player—growing up, besides (Michael) Jordan. I took a lot from his game. To go out there and play and put on that type of performance, I definitely can dedicate that game to him as a thank you for what he did for the game.”

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Jun 7, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) shoots over Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (2) in the second quarter during game two in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

With Milwaukee and Phoenix all set to square off Tuesday Night at the Fiserv Forum, Khris Middleton will hope that 1. Giannis is fit and firing, and 2. he is able to replicate his career-high at home in probably what will be the biggest game of his life yet!

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Watch this story – Cam Reddish Emerges As A Star, Khris Middleton’s Scoring Rampage, & Other Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks Game 6 ECF Highlights.

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Nikhil Naik

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