The Milwaukee Bucks are NBA Champions. But more importantly for our purposes, Texas A&M Aggie Khris Middleton is an NBA Champion. And Middleton wasn’t just a benchwarmer or a role player on this championship run. He was an essential piece to the Bucks’ success, at times even outshining two-time League MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. A few blurbs from the ESPN Stats & Info folks to really drive home how huge of a postseason Middleton just had:
- Khris Middleton has made 15 game-tying or go-ahead shots in the 4th-quarter/OT this postseason. That’s tied with LeBron James (2007) for the most in a single playoffs in the last 25 seasons.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton join Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in 2012 as the only pair of teammates to each have 500 points and 100 assists in a single postseason.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are the 3rd pair of teammates (4th instance) over the last 50 years to each have a 40-point game in a single NBA Finals. The others are LeBron James/Kyrie Irving and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar/Magic Johnson.
- Khris Middleton is the first second-round pick in NBA history to score 500 points in a single postseason.
Middleton had a good but not great career at Texas A&M and was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft (which is only two rounds long) by the Detroit Pistons. It would have surprised nobody if he hopped around on NBA benches for a few years before ending up in the Developmental League or playing overseas, as is the case for so many second round picks. But here he is nine years later as a two-time All Star, halfway through a five-year, $177 million contract, leading his team to an NBA crown before jetting off to Tokyo to play on the US Olympic basketball team.
He may have been an unlikely pick, but Milddeton is inarguably the greatest player to come out of Texas A&M’s basketball program, and if he keeps this up, could go down as one of the greatest Aggie athletes of all time. Gig ‘Em, Khris!