MILWAUKEE — A former Milwaukee Bucks equipment manager is taking a trip down memory lane as the NBA Finals play out on national TV.
If you're a fan of Milwaukee basketball, you may know the names: Kareem, Oscar, Dandridge, McGlocklin and many more. But they weren't alone.
"I was in every huddle, in the locker room, on the bench and I watched a great championship team win in 1971,” said Patrick McBride, former Milwaukee Bucks equipment manager.
Among the team staff, there were also people like McBride. He would go on to achieve success as a cardiologist and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin.
Before all of that, he was a teen working as the team's equipment manager.
"Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and I came in together. When the Bucks won the coin flip to get Lou Alcindor in the draft, I called the Bucks and found out they were interviewing for ball boys the next day,” McBride said.
McBride would get the job and everything that came with it.
"We'd have to get the courts set up. Get the locker rooms set up get the Gatorade and water prepared,” he explained. "Shootaround, we'd rebound for them, we'd pass for them."
McBride said relentless tenacity is what got the Bucks over the hump in 1971 and back to the Finals in 1974. He sees a lot of that fight in the team today.
"If you watched Giannis last night, you saw that hunger. When he was in those huddles pushing everybody, that's what Oscar was like,” McBride said.
Fifty years later, McBride said he still remembers those electric crowds fueling the team forward.
"That energy in the Fiserv Forum is just like in the Milwaukee Arena. If they turn it on, the players will play at a different level,” McBride said.
McBride said he plans to publish a book featuring more of his stories as a ball-boy, called "The Luckiest Boy in the World." He said it will be published in August.