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Bucks center Bobby Portis feels he’s the face of Milwaukee

James Foglio profile picture
Updated 2 months ago on

3 min read

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Bucks center Bobby Portis feels he's the face of Milwaukee
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While Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is the face of the NBA franchise, teammate Bobby Portis believes he’s the face of Milwaukee.

In an interview with Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Portis was asked in which ways playing for the Bucks changed his life.

“In all ways, man, just obviously being on the basketball court, being on a championship team that has a realistic chance of winning the championship.” replied Portis.

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“Each and every season, you go into the season, there’s about a group of five to eight teams that have a realistic chance of winning the championship. And I think we’re one of those teams.”

Last season, in 72 appearances, Portis averaged a career-high 14.6 points, along with 9.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. During the 2021 NBA Finals, the center helped the Bucks win their first title since 1971 against the Phoenix Suns.

“So being able to be on a championship team these last couple of years and going forward is big for me,” continued Portis. “Earlier on in my career, I never really had a chance to play meaningful games…”

“Obviously, when you get drafted to a team, you love that team. And that team supports you. But once you kind of cement yourself in a city like this, low-market city, and not much media attention here. But they love their sports here.”

Bucks center Bobby Portis believes he’s the face of Milwaukee

Owczarski then asked Portis how it feels to serve as an icon for Milwaukee. “Actually, it’s a huge honor to even be in a position to represent a city like this,” replied the Arkansas product.

Some younger fans living in the southern states might identify with Portis more than they would Antetokounmpo.

“Just having an opportunity to be an ambassador of any city is great for any player, no matter what it is. But it’s a cool partnership. I’m from Little Rock. This is Milwaukee. They’re similar to how people are raised, how people grow up.”

The 27-year-old also enjoys hearing the “Bobby Potus” and “The People’s Champ” chants in the crowd. Fans have nicknamed the Bucks center “The Mayor of Milwaukee” as well. He’s not received this much attention since his first few years in the league with the Chicago Bulls.

However, scouts were unsure how much of an impact Portis would have on a team’s roster. The Bulls selected him 22nd overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. And he played his first four seasons in the Windy City.

Then, the Bulls traded Bobby Portis to the Washington Wizards in 2019. Of course, he then signed with the New York Knicks after half a season played with the Wizards.

Despite having fans in every city, Portis never felt like he was home until he played in Milwaukee. It’s one reason of many why the center has no plans on leaving anytime soon.

In June, Portis signed a four-year, $49 million extension with the Bucks. So, he’s locked in for a long time. The center also has a 2025-26 player option worth $13,445,754.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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