Portis’ Hustle, Humility Remain Vital Assets to Hopeful Bucks


Imagine hearing Jrue Holiday wasn’t the biggest offseason acquisition for the Milwaukee Bucks.

You won’t hear it from us because it isn’t true, but what is valid is the Bucks have found another fan-favorite to accompany their big three.


Bobby Portis, who signed a two-year, $7.2 million deal with the Bucks this offseason, has perhaps exceeded his high expectations entering the season.

The former Razorback has been on a tear lately, recording four consecutive double-doubles and reaching double figures in eight of his last 11 appearances. Milwaukee is 21-10 this season when Portis plays 20 minutes or more.


It’s uncertain why there’s been a lack of hype about Portis in the Sixth Man of the Year conversation, an award he’s long desired.

Don’t prematurely conclude that the sixth man award is the only triumph Portis cares about. It seems ridiculous to entertain any conclusive argument that supports this claim, but it wouldn’t be surprising if people did. Some casual NBA pundits believe Giannis Antetokounmpo only cares about winning MVP awards and not championships.

It’s a mind-numbing argument that drives Deer fans crazy but deserves no attention. Fans should, however, captivate the idea that Portis is a substantial competitor who can play meaningful minutes for a contending team.


Humble Yet Deserving

Although Bobby’s stats aren’t spectacular or the best of his career, voters should still see him as a valuable piece for one of the league’s top teams. Portis may not believe he’s worthy of winning the award this year, and yet, he’s still playing with as much passion as anybody on the Bucks roster.

Jordan Clarkson remains the frontrunner candidate for this year’s award. His 17.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game has boosted Utah to an NBA’s best 41-14 record. Clarkson also has the league’s best free-throw percentage at 95.5%.

Philadelphia’s Shake Milton and Orlando’s Terrence Ross are also likely to receive votes. Milton is averaging 13.7 points and 3.0 assists per game. Ross, now in his tenth season, is posting the best numbers of his career, averaging 15.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for Orlando this season.


Individual achievements should not be what teams strive for. It also shouldn’t be a player’s sole ambition. It’s the recognition from your peers and colleagues, and ultimately the sportswriters and broadcasters who submit the votes, that holds the most value. The sixth-man award is merely a compelling “feel-good” story that’s warming for a player.

It’s also comforting for fans (particularly in a small market) to witness a player who enjoys playing for your team as much as Portis does. He loves the fans and genuinely seems happy to be in Milwaukee. Perhaps an extra boost of blessings is what Bobby has yearned for, alongside an NBA championship.

It’s not realistic at this point to believe Bobby Portis is or should be the front-runner for the award. However, the conversation is more balanced with his name in the mix. If Portis can continue his passionate style of play off the bench, then he deserves to be in the conversation.

It’s a discussion Portis could find himself in for many years to come, and Bucks fans would embrace him dearly for it.

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About Mike Konicek

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