By the numbers: Fun facts for the 2021 NBA Finals between Suns, Bucks
The Phoenix Suns will try to win their first NBA championship against the Milwaukee Bucks starting with Game 1 on Tuesday.
Phoenix clinched its first NBA Finals berth since 1993 after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 4-2 in the Western Conference Finals.
Here are some fun facts for this matchup of the NBA Finals.
Suns guard Jae Crowder is the only player on either team that has played in the NBA Finals. He started for the Miami Heat in the 2020 Finals.
Both the Suns and the Bucks are making their third finals appearance.
Phoenix previously advanced this far in 1976 and 1993, falling to the Boston Celtics and then the Chicago Bulls.
Milwaukee won conference titles in 1971 and 1974, winning the 1971 title.
3, Part II
Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are three of 12 players that will play for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team at the 2021 Tokyo games.
Bucks guard P.J. Tucker played five seasons with the Suns from 2012-17.
Phoenix general manager James Jones reached the Finals in each of his last seven seasons as a player. He was recently named the 2020-21 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year.
The Suns reached the Finals in their first playoff appearance in 11 years.
Suns guard Chris Paul will play in the Finals for the first time in his 16th season.
Suns center Deandre Ayton will celebrate his 23rd birthday on July 23, just one day after a potential Game 7 of the Finals.
Phoenix last played in the Finals 28 years ago. League MVP Charles Barkley lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, 4-2.
Milwaukee and Phoenix both joined the NBA in 1968.
The Suns and Bucks participated in a coin flip to see who would get the No. 1 overall pick in the 1969 NBA Draft. Milwaukee won the coin flip and used the pick to draft Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who at the time went by the name Lew Alcindor.
Phoenix and Milwaukee faced off in the first round of the 1978 NBA Playoffs. The Bucks won the series, 2-0.
The total distance between Phoenix Suns Arena and Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum is about 1,829 miles.