Watergate, Rubik's Cubes and the 'Rumble in the Jungle:' Changes since the Bucks' last trip to the NBA Finals

NOW: Watergate, Rubik’s Cubes and the ’Rumble in the Jungle:’ Changes since the Bucks’ last trip to the NBA Finals

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Bucks are one game away from their first trip to the NBA Finals since 1974.

That year, the Rubik's Cube, Post-it Notes and purchasing items using a barcode scanner all came to be.

Bucks fans are excited the team could punch its next finals ticket as soon as Saturday night.

"It's really awesome," Bucks fan Zachary End said. "I mean, it's been electric. You look at the Deer District during the games. It's amazing, and we haven't been here in a while."

It has been a long while. 

In 1974, then-President Richard Nixon was battling the Watergate scandal, Muhammad Ali defeated George Foreman in the "Rumble in the Jungle," construction on the Sears Tower was completed and the Milwaukee-based sitcom "Happy Days" premiered.

Bucks historical author Rick Schabowski wrote a book about the Bucks' 1971 championship team, "From Coin Toss to Championship," during an era when the Bucks, and the NBA in general, were an afterthought.

"The first round, we had to play the games in Madison," Schabowski said. "The field house. Because the 'home show' had the arena. A long-term contract."

The book focuses on how the Bucks won the rights to draft Lew Alcindor in a literal coin toss with the Phoenix Suns. Suns gave their fans a vote on the coin toss, utilizing a Kennedy half dollar, and the fans chose incorrectly. The Bucks went on to win their first title with Alcindor, who changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Suns, who came into the league the same year as Milwaukee, have never won a championship.

If the Bucks make the finals, the Suns would be their opponent. Schabowski attended the Bucks' last trip to the finals and hopes he can see the next one this year.

"First time in 47 years, and hopefully it will be the first time in 50 years. Wow, half a century that we can hoist that championship flag in Fiserv Forum."

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