“On My A**”: Bobby Portis Reveals Khris Middleton’s Stern Leadership Style

Published 07/29/2021, 11:57 AM EDT
Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) is mobbed by teammates after making a shot during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns during game four of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Khris Middleton played a huge role in the Milwaukee Bucks’ dream 2020-21 season. Along with NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Middleton ensured that the Bucks secure the title after 50 long years. But the small-forward played a role that couldn’t be measured by numbers. He was instrumental in maintaining the team spirit, and his influence went well beyond the score sheet.

The unsaid importance of Middleton to the Bucks

In a season with more ups and downs, Khris Middleton was the definition of ‘silent but deadly’ for Milwaukee. Under Mike Budenholzer, the 29-year-old played as a starter, and was second fiddle to the in-your-face Bucks attack. When all the action was going on at one end, Middleton would sneak in 20-25 crucial points.

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In a recent interview, teammate Bobby Portis was all praise for the attacker. “Like Khris Middleton man, I can’t stress enough how important he was for me this year. I ain’t gonna lie; I played defense before but like, sometimes I would just try to get back on offense and get the ball again sometime. But now with him, he’s different bro,” Portis quoted.

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Khris Middleton is always locked in, says Bobby Portis

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Milwaukee Bucks’ savior in the Atlanta series has inevitably gained the respect of so many stars. But as Portis revealed, Middleton is very aware of how his teammates are doing, and corrects them along the way. “He really makes you lock in, and if I miss a f***ing box out or something, he’s gonna let me know. He’s gonna show it to me like, you should have boxed out here.”

“It’s just a different level of respect that I have for him now, knowing that he wants it that bad and knowing how locked in he is,” Portis said on how he looks up to Middleton. “You know, he’s the guy that don’t really say much at all. To his teammates he talks, but none on the court. But he should be on my a** for sure.”

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Jan 8, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) celebrates with forward Khris Middleton (22) against the Utah Jazz at the Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

If not for anything else, Khris Middleton makes the Bucks a better team by bringing out the best in his mates. As the Greek Freak and his men look to defend their crown next year, there is no doubt that Middleton will play a key role in how things unfold.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

653 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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