Owning a piece of Bucks history

Jim Kacmarcik, president of Kapco Metal Stamping in Grafton and a minority owner of team, says it was clear players wanted NBA championship for Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE BUCKS minority owner Jim Jim Kacmarcik, who is president and owner of Kapco Metal Stampings in Grafton, stood at center court in Fiserv Forum and hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy after the Bucks won the championship on July 20, the team’s first title since 1971. Jim Kacmarcik said the trophy is surprisingly heavy, adding, “It’s awkward. It’s just kind of top heavy.”
Ozaukee Press staff

It slowly started to sink in for Jim Jim Kacmarcik this week that he owns a portion of an NBA championship team.

The president and owner of Grafton-based Kapco Metal Stamping, who joined the Milwaukee Bucks’ local ownership group when Herb Kohl sold the team in 2014, said on Monday “It’s still a bit surreal” to comprehend that the Bucks are world champions.

Jim Kacmarcik attended all of the home playoff games, some of the away games and had a courtside seat for July 20’s title-deciding Game 6 against the Phoenix Suns.

“Just a sports fan watching these games, I think many would concur that it was a very entertaining series, notwithstanding the fact that our team was in it,” he said. “Being so close to the action and knowing the guys a bit, it’s kind of like watching your kids play. It’s hard to explain.”

None of those “kids” in their 20s and 30s were alive the last time the Bucks won a title in 1971 or came in second in 1974, but they have a keen sense of what an NBA championship means to them and the City of Milwaukee, Jim Kacmarcik said.

“They have a deep level of awareness,” he said. “This team, in my opinion, really understood much more beyond their years how important this was to them and that this opportunity may not ever come again and they didn’t take it lightly.”

Jim Kacmarcik listened to everyone on the team and could tell each player had a bigger picture in mind.

“They wanted this for their careers and families but clearly they wanted it for the City of Milwaukee — and the time that it took place, this season that we’re in and how important it was,” he said.

Jim Kacmarcik said he imagines other players and teams had similar perspectives “but I can tell you for sure firsthand that (the Bucks) understood and talked about it.”

Jim Kacmarcik was also moved by the victory parade as he rode on one of the buses.

“The streets that we were passing by had sometimes been subject to violence. On that day, people of all colors, likely people who had different religious and political views” came together supporting the same thing, he said.

“It’s inspiring. It proves that our city can come together and it’s really a healing event,” Jim Kacmarcik said.

It didn’t come easily. The buzzer-beating three-pointer by the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant in game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals would have ended the Bucks’ season but was changed to a two-point shot that tied the game and sent it to overtime after officials reviewed the play and saw Durant’s shoes had barely touched the three-point line.

There was also the Jrue Holiday steal on Devin Booker to help seal Game 5 against the Suns and the “most epic block in championship history” in Game 4 by Giannis Antetokounmpo.

“There were so many clutch moments,” Jim Kacmarcik said.

As far as the Bucks’ most popular player and NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, Antetokounmpo is as down-to-earth as he appears in the famous Chick-fil-A video.

“That’s just who he is. He is as authentic as a superstar as there ever will be,” Jim Kacmarcik said.

Jim Kacmarcik also got to meet some of the celebrity fans who came to the Fiserv Forum. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson, who led the Bucks to that 1971 crown, are “great gentlemen” and singer Sheryl Crow is a friend, he said.

Crow, Chance the Rapper and others, Jim Kacmarcik said, “didn’t come to Milwaukee to be seen. They really care about the Milwaukee Bucks and are fans. This is their team. They came to cheer on the Milwaukee Bucks.”

Now, it’s a new day for the team. That championship target is on the Bucks’ back.

“Understand that everybody is coming for you,” Jim Kacmarcik said. “It’s super hard to win, and obviously it’s even harder to repeat.”

Regardless of next year and beyond, however, this basketball season will stand apart for Jim Kacmarcik, who is also majority owner of the Lakeshore Chinooks baseball team and Forward Madison soccer team.

“It’s just humbling. I don’t know how else to say it,” Jim Kacmarcik said. “It’s like, wow, we did it. History made. It was history in the making and it’s made and it’s forever.”


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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