How to lose an NBA final?

Last night, the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA title for the first time in fifty years. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points as he helped his team in its fight against the Phoenix Suns. After three balanced quarters, the Bucks took the lead and won with a score of 105 to 98.

Everybody talks about the team that got the title, but today I want to write about the team that lost. At the beginning of the season, nobody expected the Suns to get to the NBA Finals. This team played very well in the Orlando Bubble last summer, but it is different to play well in eight games and to do it for almost 100 games.

However, led by coach Monty Williams, by Chris Paul and Devin Booker, the Suns became one of the most beautiful stories of this season. Even though they lost the Finals, they won the respect of the league.

With these being said, let’s talk about what happened after the end of game 6. Chris Paul, one of the veterans of the NBA and the president of the Players Association, left the court immediately without congratulating his opponents. I can understand that his pain was immense, but as a leader, I expected more from him.

Devin Booker, his younger teammate and a superstar of this league, stayed on the court and looked around to pay respect to Antetokounmpo and his teammates. Also, Monty Williams went to the Bucks’ locker room and personally congratulated his opponents. He did an amazing gesture and told them that they challenged the Suns to be better.

There are two ways to deal with loss. You can disappear and not acknowledge the winners, or you can stay, accept that they were better, and earn their respect.

*photo: Justin Casterline/Getty Images