People Want To Watch The Bucks

Four seasons ago, the Bucks ranked last in the league in road attendance. That is to say, when the Bucks came to town, the ticket was not hot.

People who refrained from up scooping up tickets during that 2014–15 run missed things like Giannis breaking out with four triple-doubles in three weeks, Brandon Knight playing just well enough as a lead playmaker to split fans into two divisive camps when he was traded for Michael Carter-Williams in February, an abbreviated rookie season of full-hops Jabari, Kendall Marshall outlet passes, a beloved vet quartet (Dudley, Zaza, Mayo, Ersan), and that month when Kenyon Martin showed up.

It was an oddly compelling season, they made the playoffs, and the team was a better watch than the road attendance figures showed. No matter, it marked the 14th straight season that the Bucks ranked in the bottom 10 in road attendance. (And I am only saying 14 because that is as far back as the ESPN stats go, though one would assume they were higher in 2000–01.) They had no business being down there in the Fear The Deer (2009–10) year, but the Bucks had a reputation to break and that takes time, and… last season the Bucks broke into the top eight in road attendance?

Season — Bucks Road Attendance Rank2014–15: 30th2015–16: 23rd2016–17: 14th2017–18: 8th

They did. Their company:

2017–18 — Road Attendance1. Warriors2. Cavaliers3. Thunder4. Lakers 5. Spurs6. Rockets7. Celtics8. Bucks

Quite suddenly, the only more in-demand teams to catch when they arrived in an NBA city last season than the Bucks were 1) the defending champions, who employ the two greatest shooters in NBA history and along with that one of the handful of purest scorers ever and one of the handful of best villains ever 2) a team that employs arguably the greatest player in history of the sport 3) just a squad with someone who was on his way to averaging a triple-double for the second straight season 4) a team so famous that the aforementioned player who is possibly the greatest ever just chose to play with them despite them having no chance to win a title this season, despite a title being exactly what said player wants, and maybe what he needs to be considered the greatest player ever 5) the model franchise of the league since 1990, during which time they have won five championships and have won 47+ games in 27 of 28 seasons 6) a team with the current MVP and one of the greatest point guards in NBA history, and a team that almost took down one of the greatest teams of all time in the playoffs 7) the signature franchise of the league, the franchise with more titles than any other team.

I am ranking these teams by capacity of stadiums filled, rather than straight-up attendance, but if we made it the latter, that would bump the Bucks up to seventh, even ahead of the Rockets. People want to watch the Bucks. (People want to watch Giannis.)

Last season, the top eight teams in terms of home attendance, based on capacity, were all at 100 percent (or more).

Now, about the Milwaukee crowds, about that new Forum…