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Milkwaukee. "City of Brotherly Love." Yeah right! The Milwaukee Bucks play basketball, an American sport where you shoot a regulation basketball into a hoopesque object. This sport has a long great history in the country, however there is one great blight on this shining star of American ingenuity, commercialism, and Olympic success. The Bucks! Rarely do I call sports teams sinners. The Milwaukee Bucks must surely be managed by Beelzebub himself.

There will be three main sins covered within this legitimate sports article: theft, nepotism, betrayal. We will start with the least of the 3 deadly sins: theft. Damian Lillard. You may have heard of this bloke before. Lillard played for the Portsmouth Trail Blazers for 13 years. During this time he fought with Ireland against British rule, played a fair bit of football with some of the other blokes in the pub, and forged a longtime connection to his city and its people. However, there was a small problem: Portsmouth (for all its charm) is a dirty town in a nasty borough. Lillard had had enough of the "jolly rodger" they called a front office in Portsmouth. He requested; nay, demanded! a trade to the Miami Heat. Miami, the city of Scareface and "In the Air Tonight" seemed a welcome home for Lillard who had spent the previous 13 years of his life in a frigid, rainy, cold-causing climate. In Lillard's exit interview with Portsmouth, he mentioned the deep joy he felt in sunny weather and knew that Miami was where he would feel immense and long-lasting joy. WELL THERE GOES MILWAUKEE! Milwaukee, like a thief in the night, stole Lillard from his dream city and his dream team (Jimmy Buckets, Bam Buckets, Tyler Buckets, Duncan Neutron, Udonis Haslem, others, etc.) in order to play with...the other sinners. This act of theft was a belligerent attack on good taste and the international liberal world order. A price must be paid.

The second sin: nepotism. Do I really have to explain this one? Brook Lopez. Cool guy...I guess. Gets blocks. Gets threes. Gets in state farm commercials. Legitimately a very talented and adaptable basketball player. He has a brother though. In the following clip you will see big brother Brook Lopez play immaculate basketball and then you will see the Cain to Brook's Abel.

Sinner! You can even see Beelzebub himself on "Robin's" Groucho Marx shirt. Robin is his name (Robin to Brook's Batman--even the parents knew!) and he has been lingering on the Milwaukee bench for the better part of the year (maybe 2 years? 3?). The nepotistic tendency of the Milwaukee Bucks has led to the rewarding of this (let's admit it folks) WASHED basketball player as opposed to helping out a young prospect, picking up a helpful veteran, developing a beautiful relationship with someone who will help you in the future, maybe deciding that you want to stay with them, to settle down, live out your days in the home by the sea, raise a child, feel deep love, strong love, adore your family and hold them dear to you; tragedy strikes--it's the biggest storm you've ever experienced in your entire life, the entire house is rocking, it seems close to being over. You look in their eyes. Everything calms down. You know it will be okay. This is what the Bucks could have had. They chose otherwise. [Editor's Note: Robin was traded to the Sacramento Kings and then waived. Luke forgot this? Maybe he never knew. Also, Robin Lopez seems like a good guy to me, The Editor.-the editor] Luckily, Lopez seems to be the only example of the Buck's immoral stain of nepotistic sin. Wait. Wait no. It can't be.

Squint and look quickly and perhaps your eyes will grant you the favor of believing this image is the "Greek Weirdo" Giannis Antetokounmpo. Alas! If only that were the case. This gentlemen we see above us goes by the name of Thanasis. Thanasis Antetokounmpo. Thanasis has become a bit of a joke, a bit of a meme within the NBA community for being a clear beneficiary of the Buck's (sinful!) nepotistic tendency. If I was to be serious for a moment though, Thanasis has made 9,101,841$ during his time with the Milwaukee Bucks. Are we spending too much money on sports contracts? Thanasis has been with the Bucks for 5 years. If we divide 9 million by 5 that is 1.8 million dollars a year. The average human being would benefit substantially from receiving even a piece of this money. Yet, all the money seems stuck at the top:

The inequality of wealth (i.e. inequality in the distribution of assets) has substantially increased in the United States in recent decades.[2] Wealth commonly includes the values of any homes, automobiles, personal valuables, businesses, savings, and investments, as well as any associated debts.[3][4]

Although different from income inequality, the two are related. Wealth is usually not used for daily expenditures or factored into household budgets, but combined with income, it represents a family's total opportunity to secure stature and a meaningful standard of living, or to pass their class status down to their children.[5] Moreover, wealth provides for both short- and long-term financial security, bestows social prestige, contributes to political power, and can be leveraged to obtain more wealth.[6] Hence, wealth provides mobility and agency—the ability to act. The accumulation of wealth enables a variety of freedoms, and removes limits on life that one might otherwise face.

Federal Reserve data indicates that as of Q4 2021, the top 1% of households in the United States held 32.3% of the country's wealth, while the bottom 50% held 2.6%.[7] From 1989 to 2019, wealth became increasingly concentrated in the top 1% and top 10% due in large part to corporate stock ownership concentration in those segments of the population; the bottom 50% own little if any corporate stock.[8] From an international perspective, the difference in the US median and mean wealth per adult is over 600%.[9] A 2011 study found that US citizens across the political spectrum dramatically underestimate the current level of wealth inequality in the US, and would prefer a far more egalitarian distribution of wealth.[10]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the wealth held by billionaires in the U.S. increased by 70%,[11] with 2020 marking the steepest increase in billionaires' share of wealth on record.[12]

Should athletes be making millions more than the average American? Should billionaires exist? Should wealth management firms, corporate lobbyists, CEOs, interest groups still be allowed to hide in the shadows and affect our lives without us even knowing? How is this happening? What can we do? "If the ideas of a ruling class were once the dominant (or hegemonic) ideology of bourgeois society, the advanced capitalist countries today are now a field of stylistic and discursive heterogeneity without a norm. Faceless masters continue to inflect the economic strategies which constrain our existences, but no longer need to impose their [ideals]."-Fredric Jameson


Lastly, I would like to talk about Mike Budenholzer. Mike was the coach of the Bucks from 2018 to 2023. He took a clearly talented yet at the time unoptimized roster and created a system which would lead the Bucks to the promised land. In 2021, the Bucks won the NBA title. Due to Budenholzer's defensive schemes and his optimization of Giannis and the rest of the roster (other primary roster members were Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez) the Bucks became a perennial title contender and appeared to be a potential dynasty on the horizon. In the 2022 playoffs, the Bucks handily beat the Chicago Bulls in the first round and then played the Boston Celtics in a hard fought 7-game series. After four games had passed, the Bucks were facing a difficult path to winning the series. Game 5 at Boston, a notoriously rowdy and riotous fanbase. And then, the Bucks went into their arena, played their hearts out and stole game 5 on the Celtic's home court 110-107. It couldn't last. The Bucks would lose the last two games of the series in heartbreaking fashion. The Celtics would go on to become the representative of the Eastern conference in the NBA Finals. The next year, the Bucks were ready. A revenge tour. They placed first in the Eastern conference standings and coach Bud was ready to blast his way through the playoffs with his superstar player leading the way. The first round was against the once-mighty, now-lowly Miami Heat. The Bucks faced some early struggles out of the gate but game 1 was still supposed to be an easy victory. 4:13, first quarter. Giannis is fouled. Fouled hard. Rolling around on the floor (Sort of like Thanasis after now-Sun Drew Eubanks YAMMED on him). He's hurt. Coach Bud tries his best but the Bucks lose the game and then the series 4-1.

This was a surprising result but after this, the Heat took the early momentum and went on to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. So in 2021, title. In 2022 and 2023 the Bucks lost to the team that made it all the way to the Finals. And what does Mike Budenholzer get for this franchise rejuvenation? Fired. The Bucks front office fired Budenholzer after the Heat series. Some information was released after some time had passed which stated that Budenholzer had lost his brother in a car accident during that first round series. The real sin of the Bucks was revealed here. This is a man who led the franchise to the promised land, gave everything to the team for years, was admired and respected, lost his best player and his brother in a first round series, and then was made to take the fall. I don't have a brother but I think anyone can empathize and feel for Mike Budenholzer and I do believe it is absolutely disgusting that the Bucks fired him for losing a series which would have been lost no matter what due to Giannis' injury. And now they deal with the consequences. Adrian Griffin was hired, immediately implemented an unpopular scheme and lost the locker room. Well they fired him too. Now the king of the grift is the Bucks coach. They have gone 3-7 since the Doctor joined. It is unfortunate that so much money goes into things that will benefit exclusively the rich and not into measures that would reduce inequality, it is unfortunate that NBA players and coaches even with their fame and money can get jostled around by billionaire owners who only care about profits, and it is sad that people experience loss. Grief is hard. I hope Mike Budenholzer is feeling okay.

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