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Building a championship: Congratulations to the Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts while holding the NBA Championship trophy, left, and Most Valuable Player trophy after defeating the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals in Milwaukee, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The Bucks won 105-98. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrates while holding the NBA Championship trophy, left, and Most Valuable Player trophy after defeating the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Milwaukee on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

By BRIAN MAHONEY
AP Basketball Writer

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had the Larry O’Brien Trophy in one arm, the NBA Finals MVP trophy in the other and there was a cigar on the table in front of him.

All the work it took to lift the Milwaukee Bucks from a team that won 15 games when he was a rookie to one with 16 wins this postseason was finally finished.

“This is time to celebrate,” Antetokounmpo said.

Milwaukee waited 50 years for that.

Antetokounmpo ended one of the greatest NBA Finals ever with 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots as the Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 on Tuesday night to win the series 4-2 and cap off a joyous return to a fan-filled postseason after last year’s NBA bubble.

The title comes on the heels of a championship effort by the construction industry, which pulled off a public-private partnership to build the $524 million Fiserv Forum. The work on the Fiserv Forum, overseen by Mortenson Construction, was finished four weeks early in 2018 and nearly $2 million under budget.

Hunzinger Construction, along with RINKA, Kapur & Associates and various other companies, oversaw the construction of the 30-acre Deer District, which housed 65,000 fans on Tuesday night.

And there’s more plans in the works.

This fall, construction will begin on the next phases of the Deer District, including The Trade Milwaukee, a 205-room boutique hotel; and another hotel to be named later.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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