The moment all basketball fans were waiting for is here. The NBA Finals are all set, with the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns set to go toe-to-toe after decades of struggling to get by in the playoffs.
Two small-market teams completed their major turnaround and will now look to prove that this year's success wasn't a fluke. They have enough talent to make this series go the distance and we sure hope that happens.
Will Chris Paul win his first ring after 16 years in the league? Will Giannis Antetokounmpo become an NBA Champion? Who's going to win Finals MVP? Those - and many more - questions will be answered shortly. But first, let's take a look at some of the fun facts that make this NBA Finals matchup so one of a kind.
Fun Facts About The 2021 NBA Finals
Popovich's Coaching Tree
Both Mike Budenholzer and Monty Williams have strong ties with Gregg Popovich. How's that? Well, Monty played for the Spurs from 1996 to 1998, while Budenholzer won four titles with them as an assistant coach from 1996-2013. Pop's coaching tree is the gift that keeps on giving.
For the first time since 1977, no team will feature a player with an NBA Championship in the NBA Finals. Per ESPN, the last time two teams with no champions made it to this stage was 44 years ago when Bill Walton and the Portland Trail Blazers took down Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Torrey Craig is already an NBA Champion and Game 1 hasn't even started. How's that? Well, he played 18 games for the Milwaukee Bucks early in the season before being traded to the Phoenix Suns, thus becoming eligible to get his very first ring even if his current team loses. Congrats, champ!
It Runs In The Family
Even though Giannis Antetokounmpo is the only one in his family who has a big role in the NBA, his brother Kostas is the one with a ring (from last year with the Los Angeles Lakers). Now, Giannis and Thanasis can brag about becoming the first pair of brothers to make it to the NBA Finals together. Their parents must be proud!
A Lonely Veteran
This shouldn't come as a surprise given the fact that no player from these teams has won a ring. But more than that, none of the players hadn't even made it to the stage. Well, none but Jae Crowder. Crowder has played in 6 NBA Finals games throughout his career, all of which game last year with the Miami Heat.
Shaq's Incredible Streak
This year's NBA Finals put an end to one of the most incredible streaks in league history. For the first time since 1987, a former teammate of Shaquille O'Neal won't play in the Finals. This streak could've been saved had the Los Angeles Clippers (and Rajon Rondo) would've beaten the Phoenix Suns.
A Spooky Prediction
Five years ago, a fan actually predicted this matchup in the NBA Finals, stating that the Bucks would win in 7 games. How is this special or spooky? Well, neither of these teams was that good to predict they would make it to this stage in just 5 years. The Suns hadn't made the playoffs in 10 years and had the second-worst record in the league just two years ago, and Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't a star yet. So, if you want to ride with this prediction, maybe you'd like to throw some money on Bucks in 7.