Small-Market Teams and Big Stars: The Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo
In October 2019, National Basketball Association (NBA) team the Milwaukee Bucks are about to tip off their first home game in the 2019-2020 NBA season. Peter Feigin, president of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Jon Horst, the league's youngest general manager, could look back at a very successful prior season. In fact, just five years after a new ownership team led by Wes Edens, Marc Lasry, Jamie Dinan and Mike Fascitelli came in after the Bucks experienced one of the worst seasons any NBA team had ever seen, the Bucks finished at the top of the standings in the NBA's Eastern Conference. Star player Giannis Antetokounmpo played an instrumental role in the team's ascent. Superstars of his caliber, however, often do not stay in smaller markets like Milwaukee. In fact, many superstars switch franchises while at the peak of their abilities, electing to team up with another superstar (or even multiple stars, forming what had become known as 'super teams'). The summer of 2019 in particular saw a number of stunning moves by big names. Now, Feigin and Horst are leading the charge to try to buck the trend. Do they have the right approach to keeping Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee, and away from other teams plotting to attract him? And what else can they do to ensure the Milwaukee Bucks will not only rise to the top of the league, but also manage to stay there?