Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl gives an emotional interview when speaking of the sale and the future of the Bucks, proud to announce they will stay in Milwaukee. The sale of the Bucks was not an easy decision for Kohl; although he will keep a percentage in the team, he will no longer have control over the franchise.
Kohl grew up in the Milwaukee area and was a big part in bringing the NBA to Wisconsin. He has spent most of his adult life as the team owner, purchasing them for $18 million in the 1980’s. The sale was approximately 27% above what Forbes valued the team at, with the sale at $550 million to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry.
The Bucks will more than likely finish their season with the worst record in NBA this year. Not exactly what the fans thought would be the season’s end after sheltering hopes that they would make a playoff run this year. The Bucks went the longest in NBA history of not winning back to back games. This is not the way to the playoffs, but it got them into history if that means anything.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker weighed in on the sale of the team. He stated he was happy the announcement of the sale did not mean the Bucks would be leaving and vowed to work with the new owners to help the team flourish.
The biggest obstacle for Edens and Lasry will be getting a new building for the Bucks to play in. Adam Silver, the new NBA Commissioner, said that the arena was an obvious issue that will need to be dealt with. The commissioner said in order to keep the Bucks put in Milwaukee a new arena will need to be purchased, so the new owners will have to come up with more cash beyond the sale. Kohl will more than likely invest as well, with the rest possibly falling on the public’s shoulders. It is not completely clear what will happen if the team is not able to get a new arena built.
For Kohl this has been a long process, after the announcement last year that he was putting the Bucks up for sale. He had turned down more than one offer; his concern was to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee or within the Midwest.
There will more than likely be a lot of changes within the Milwaukee Bucks organization. After taking a look at the performance of the Bucks it would not be a surprise if the new owners, Edens and Lasry, do a little house cleaning. The current management has fallen short of its goals by far.
The Milwaukee Bucks fans have to be excited about the new prospect. Bucks fans have not had a great run of it this year and are in favor of making changes. It is clear that something needed to happen for the Bucks to get in gear. One thing the Bucks fans can be happy about is the team clinched the number one spot in the 2014 NBA draft. The hope is that whatever the change, it will make the team better. The sale of the Milwaukee Bucks coming off the back of their worst season will have the benefit of their fan base supporting them, considering they will remain put in the area.
Commentary by Jabar Morarend