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Report: Bucks owner reaches out to Junior Bridgeman as minority investor, Kareem wants gig, too

Mar 4, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics Getty Images

We’ve told you before that current Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl is looking for more investors to come in, to help keep the team in Milwaukee. It’s a few years out until their lease is up (2017) but a new arena is needed there, even Commissioner Adam Silver has said as much. That leaves other cities and people looking to buy a team and move it (yes, maybe Seattle) lurking in the wings).

Among the people Kohl reached out to is former Buck player and successful entrepreneur Junior Bridgeman.

This according to the Journal-Sentinel, via Bucksketball.

A source with knowledge of Herb Kohl’s efforts to bring in new investors to the Milwaukee Bucks as a way of keeping the team in Milwaukee, said Bridgeman, one of the wealthiest African-Americans in the country, has been approached about investing in the team, and he expressed interest.

Kohl has retained Allen & Co., of New York, to locate potential investors. Bridgeman would seem to be an ideal candidate for the Bucks. He knows the game. He played in Milwaukee. And he is a successful businessman.

Bridgeman played a dozen years in the NBA and 10 of those were in Milwaukee. He still holds the record for most games played by anyone in a Bucks uniform (711).

After his playing days Bridgeman got into fast food franchising and now owns 160 Wendy’s, more than 100 Chili’s and an assortment of other restaurants. Forbes estimated his net worth at north of $200 million.

Bridgeman is currently a minority investor in the new Sacramento Kings ownership group, if he were to buy into the Bucks he’d have to sell that share. Not hard or a big deal, but a hurdle.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar does not have any role with the Bucks — but he would like one. In some capacity, not necessarily just as an investor.

That’s what he told the Associated Press.

“If I get a call, I will definitely offer my services,” said Abdul-Jabbar, the franchise’s career leading scorer with 14,211 points. “There’s nothing on the table right now. A couple of people have asked me and if I had the chance to be part of this franchise again, I would take it….

“They have to get their business model right,” Abdul-Jabbar said Monday. “I hope that the Bucks are able to sort it all out and get on a good footing. You can’t win it all unless you get the right players and you can’t get the right players unless you’re really in a good position as a business.”

We’ll see if that call comes for Kareem. His years of being aloof and unresponsive to fans and people around the league have kept him out of coaching jobs and more — people don’t go out of their way to help people who are not nice to them. But maybe the Bucks — the franchise he carried to its one and only title — would be a place to get his foot back in the door.

  1. shaggytoodle - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    If you build it, they will come…

    A team worth watching, that year the tore of that 20ish game win streak after the All Star break was amazing, then caught an unfortunate all star break with Bogut’s arm.

    They were going to be a tough out that post-season.

  2. bougin89 - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Herb Kohl is actually still alive and has an interest in what the Bucks are doing?

    • sportsfan18 - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:15 AM

      Old Herbie is 79 yrs old…

      just finished being a Senator…

      Still has all those Kohl’s stores all over too…

  3. asimonetti88 - Mar 4, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Kareem managed to coax out the only productive years of Andrew Bynums career.. Bucks should consider bringing him in to shape up Larry sanders as well as mentor Henson

    • spursareold - Mar 4, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      Sanders needs a shrink, not Kareem. He’s nuts.

  4. asimonetti88 - Mar 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Junior Bridgeman was a pretty good player… a fairly efficient scorer off the bench for much of his career. He was one of the players the Lakers traded for Kareem actually, so it would be kind of cool to see them connected in Milwaukee.

  5. TheMorningStar - Mar 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Junior Bridgeman = super dope.

  6. brianjoates - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    Why are we calling bridgeman ,African-American? He was born in Indiana. Just because he is a black man we have to qualify him as African-American? Why not just an American man? My mother was born in Johannesburg, south Africa and is white, holds dual-citizenship, she is an African American. Have friends in Miami from the islands who hate being called African-American just because of their skin tone. Black skin tone doesn’t mean someone is from Africa. Everyone ultimately seems to come from Africa anyways.

    Too bad kareem gets looked over on the first pass when talking about the GOAT. Go watch some kareem vs Wilt footage on YouTube, two greats, fun to watch.

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