At the start of the season, the Milwaukee Bucks released a video for Fox Sports Wisconsin on opening night called “Milwaukee ‘Home’ Intro,” previewing the 2015-2016 season and continuing the “Own the Future” campaign (see below). The video contained many images and sounds of Milwaukee, and described the team in relation to the city as a whole. A key moment that stuck out for me was when Marcus Dousette of 88Nine radio mentioned that Greg Monroe, nicknamed “Moose,” would be choosing Milwaukee over the two largest markets in the United States in New York and Los Angeles to spend the next few years of his NBA career.

When Monroe opted to sign a 3-year, $50-million deal with the Bucks last July, headlines broke as one of the biggest free agent names of the summer was coming to a town that was just trying to keep its team. But, from Bradford Beach to Door County and everywhere in between, Wisconsinites were fired up about the landing of Moose, who would help add some key interior presences that have been voided by the troubled Larry Sanders. Moreover, Moose would also add some applied learning and internal leadership to a locker room of young, inexperienced players. I remember watching Moose when he was a big name clogging up the middle at Georgetown, and was personally enthralled by his decision to come to Milwaukee. As general manager John Hammond had said, the decision “speaks volumes about the culture we’re developing.”

Still, what has been great is how quickly Monroe has adapted on the basketball court. Monroe currently averages 16.5 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game, which are the second-highest and highest totals on the team respectively. His turnover rate is the lowest since his rookie season, and almost a fifth of the team’s points are assisted by him. He also has had a decent amount of success shooting from mid-range, which is not exactly what the Bucks were expecting when they signed him.

The internal chemistry has also been a strong suit for Monroe. As the veteran presence, he is doing exactly what he needs to do as a leader in the clubhouse, helping to propel the team to achieve success off the court. While the Bucks are in last place in their terribly difficult division, they are still only a game back of .500, and are playing with a somewhat decent level of consistency. As the season progresses, things will only pick up, but with Monroe leading the way, I believe anything is possible for these young Bucks.

Clearly, Monroe wanted to Own The Future, and Milwaukee is sure happy he has.