We begin our story on April 18, 2013.
The Bucks are set to face down the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. The odds are stacked against Milwaukee. The Heat are seeded at the first spot with a record of 66-16 against the Bucks, bottom-seeded at 38-44.
Three days from the first game of the series, Bucks guard Brandon Jennings is asked for his thoughts at the Wisconsin Sports Awards.
“I’m real confident,” he says. “I’m sure everybody is writing us off, but I see us winning the series in six.”
Unfortunately, the Bucks do not win in six. They lose in four, and the Heat go on to win the championship.
But despite the sting of failures, Jennings’ confident prediction would grow far beyond a casual comment at an awards show.
The next few seasons weren’t kind to the Bucks, but things began to change in 2018. Jennings, who left the Bucks for the Detroit Pistons, and hopped between several other teams, returned to Milwaukee for a season.
When asked about his comment five years before, he says, “I mean, Bucks in Six. What else am I supposed to say? ‘We’re going to lose and we’re going to get swept?’ … Bucks in Six, always. That’s for the culture.”
This second Jennings quote solidified the chant in the minds of Bucks fans everywhere. It became a triumphant rallying cry and an inside joke wrapped into one beautiful package. Fiserv Forum is filled with fans chanting “Bucks in Six,” to the vague confusion of opponents everywhere.
And in the fabled 2021 playoffs, the chant became a prophecy, when the Bucks took down the Atlanta Hawks in six games and headed to the NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns.
Now, with the Finals tied 3-2, “Bucks in Six” has never been more real, or the screaming chants more frenzied. And Tuesday, you will undoubtedly hear the chant screamed out inside Fiserv Forum, across the Deer District and through homes, bars and public parks across Wisconsin.
It’s for the culture.