By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jul 11, 2021 at 11:01 AM Photography: Milwaukee Bucks Facebook

Tonight, Milwaukee will host its first NBA Finals game in more than 45 years. And sure, the team is down after two tough games in the desert, but Fiserv Forum and Deer District should be going nuts to help the Bucks get back into this series. And just to make sure of it, Bucks forward, star bench contributor and unofficial Milwaukee mayor Bobby Portis wrote an editorial for The Players' Tribune asking for exactly that. 

In his Players' Tribune essay, "Milwaukee, We Need Y'all Energy," posted on Saturday, the bench mob member reflects on his incredible Game 5 performance – stepping into the starting five for the injured Giannis and putting in 22 points against the Hawks – and the even-more-incredible crowd response, cheering on Portis and turning his name into rallying cry. It's a memory he'll never forget, he points out – and one he wants to see again tonight as the Bucks attempt to get out of an 0-2 hole. Again. 

"The thing that people don’t understand about the Milwaukee Bucks is, we some dogs, bruh," Portis writes. "I always say one of my favorite players growing up was Kevin Garnett. That’s the kinda energy we trying to bring to the building. That’s what we on, you feel me? That’s why you can’t count this team out, even down 0–2. We ALL been here before. If you think that’s funny, ask yourself a question…. Where Brooklyn at?" 

Amid the pump-up talk and banter, Portis also gets emotional talking about his journey to get to this point – living in 18 houses growing up while his mom worked several jobs and ridiculous hours to provide for them, getting to the University of Arkansas, getting drafted by the Bulls and earning a bad reputation, and then playing for some of the NBA's worst teams before playing for the league's ultimate prize. 

"I wanted to be on a team that really, really wanted me," Portis writes. "And I was looking at all the teams I thought I could fit on and make an impact. Watching the Bucks last year in the bubble, I felt like that could be my spot. A team with big aspirations. And a team that needed a big that could do what I do. Bring that big energy. So it was just like a match made in heaven. I signed with the Bucks, and it’s been one of the best decisions of my career."

And clearly it's worked out for Milwaukee too, as the team's gotten solid production from the spark plug and the fanbase has a new favorite player, a guy who gets them out of their seats and gets them chanting whenever he merely makes a free throw, snags a rebound or does ... just about anything.

It's the perfect message – and he's the perfect messenger – the Bucks faithful need right now: That even down two games after a pair of somewhat dispiriting results in Phoenix, this thing isn't over. Far from it. So let's show the world what the Bucks and Milwaukee can do – and how loud we can get. 

To read the entire pump-up essay, click here – and for tips on how best to celebrate today's historic sports day in Milwaukee, check out our sports bar guide, Deer District (and surrounding areas) guide and, in case you're cheering from the comfort of your couch, our streaming guide. And here's to fearing the deer. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.