The Milwaukee Bucks' championship caused many to revisit the feud between Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden, which of course took place when Harden was a member of the Houston Rockets. To many, Giannis got the last laugh, as he was the one holding the trophy in the end, and he eliminated Harden's Brooklyn Nets en route to winning the title.
But to long-time NBA veteran, former NBA champion, and current NBA TV analyst Brendan Haywood, the Bucks became the example of how to win the championship, while the Rockets did the exact opposite.
NBA champion cites Bucks title as an example of how the Houston Rockets were doing it wrong
""I think this serves as something different than what we've seen. I have no problem with the superteams, I think when LeBron did what he did, he empowered the players. But it became the superteam era, where everybody started trying to team up. And then you saw what happened in Golden State, and Houston trying to do what they were doing, and we saw a bunch of superteams popping up. Well now it proves to guys, you know what, if I'm that guy, you can build around me and bring the right pieces in. It doesn't have to be a superteam. Jrue Holiday is a great player, but he's not a superstar in this league, but he can help you win games. Khris Middleton is an All-Star, we might not have him as a top-10 player in this league but he can help you win games. I think this validates that you don't have to have a superteam to win a championship. And so many of our younger stars, it's good for them to see that, because when you look at the next wave, they grew up in the superteam era, so they were thinking that's the only way to win. Giannis said not so fast, I've got another trick in my bag. You can win being loyal to the soil and bringing some guys in with you to help you grow.""
The Rockets never quite had a superteam by definition, but they attempted to surround Harden with some of the greatest players in NBA history including Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook, and rightfully so, considering how loaded the Golden State Warriors were, who eliminated them from postseason contention in four of five years, starting in 2014-15.
It's been pointed out that the Bucks don't fit the definition of a superteam, but they surely aren't far from it, as they have a two-time MVP in Giannis, a former All-Star and All-NBA defender in Jrue Holiday, and a multi-time All-Star in Khris Middleton. In other words, the Bucks did their best to surround their MVP with the necessary help to win the title, much like what the Rockets tried doing with Harden.