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Former Irish star Pat Connaughton proud of Bucks’ championship brotherhood

That hard nosed mentality from Connaughton and the Bucks comes from the adversity and heartbreak they’ve faced in the postseason the last three seasons.
Former Irish captain Pat Connaughton poses with Larry O'Brien Trophy after helping the...
Former Irish captain Pat Connaughton poses with Larry O'Brien Trophy after helping the Milwaukee Bucks win the 2021 NBA Finals.(NBA/Milwaukee Bucks)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 7:42 PM EDT
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WNDU) - Former Irish hoops star Pat Connaughton is all smiles because he’s now a NBA champion.

“We have a real brotherhood here,” Connaughton told NBA TV after the game. “This team was special. This team was like family. They were brothers the entire year. We’ve had each others backs and that’s what championship caliber basketball is all about.”

While the box score might not have shown the championship caliber basketball for Connaughton - not scoring any points in the title clinching game - he still recorded eight rebounds and was one of the five Bucks on the floor when the clock hit zero.

“We found a way to impact our team every single night,” Connaughton said. “It didn’t matter what it was. Sometimes we’d make shots and sometimes we’d miss shots. At the end of the day, we need to impact winning in some way. We did it with the hard nose stuff.”

That hard nosed mentality from Connaughton and the Bucks comes from the adversity and heartbreak they’ve faced in the postseason the last three seasons.

“We’ve had a taste of it - of what it looks like in the regular season,” Connaughton said. “We’ve got a look at what it takes to get to the eastern conference finals and take a 2-0 lead.”

That taste of a title never changed the culture in the Bucks locker room.

“We came together stronger,” Connaughton said. “We had each others’ backs more. That’s what makes up a championship caliber roster. That’s what makes up a championship caliber team. That’s what wins you a championship.”

Now that he has that championship, the party is only getting started for Pat Connaughton.

“To be able to do it and win it and be able to call ourselves world champions in front of our home fans, however many were in the arena, to, who knows, how many were outside the arena,” Connaughton said. “I saw people climbing up on poles and everything. It’s incredible and the city of Milwaukee deserves it.”

Connaughton becomes the first Notre Dame men’s basketball player to win a NBA title since Joe Kleine of the 1998 Chicago Bulls.

However, Kleine did not play during the Bulls postseason run.

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