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New Bucks owners say all the right things, that they are committed to Milwaukee

Apr 16, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

Herb Kohl Herb Kohl

In all the time that Senator Herb Kohl has been looking for a new owner for the Milwaukee Bucks, the concern of fans was that the new owners would look to buy the team then move it.

Marc Lasry and Wes Edens have no such plans — the two New York hedge fund managers who are buying the team for a reported $550 million emphasized at their introductory press conference they are committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee and they planned to spend a lot of time in the city.

“Milwaukee fans deserve a winning team, this is about winning basketball games, winning championships, and being part of the community, and we look forward to all of those,” Edens said at the press conference announcing the sale.

The Bucks have a ways to go on the whole winning thing — they finished with the worst record in the NBA this season. That said they have some good players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, John Henson, Larry Sanders, plus this year’s draft pick, to build around.

Bucks fans want to make sure that on the court success happens in Milwaukee, rather than what happened to Seattle fans getting to watch their team succeed in Oklahoma City. Kohl tried to ease those concerns.

“I’m very optimistic, even more than I can express, about the future of our team here in this city….” Kohl said.

“It has been made abundantly clear to them and they have embraced that this is Milwaukee’s team, and that their participation in the NBA is in Milwaukee. That has been gone over with them and they have advanced that proposition themselves.”

To make that happen is going to take a new arena — Commissioner Adam Silver has said that the Bucks current arena does not meet NBA standards. Both Lasry and Edens talked about being hands on in the process to get that new arena built, one that can host hundreds of events and be a catalyst for other development around it.

If course, that costs money. A new arena these days costs at least around $500 million.

At the press conference Kohl committed $100 million from him to get the building built. Lasry and Edens said they would contribute at least that much.

A couple hundred million is a good start, and Kohl said additional money from many different sources, public and private. It’s the public part that could be hard — Milwaukee residents are still paying a little extra sales tax to pay for the Brewers new stadium, and the deadline for when that would sunset has been pushed back twice to 2020. Residents of the city and state may be hesitant to lend much of a helping hand to billionaires to build a new arena for their team.

What should matter to Bucks fans is that right now everyone said all the right things and is committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee in a new arena.

  1. spursareold - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    If you don’t build it, they will leave…

    Field of Nightmares

  2. antistratfordian - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Clayton Bennett said all the right things.

  3. jjthesportsguy - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    I’m sure Northwest Milwaukee is thrilled. It means nothing without a real GM and coaching staff.

  4. moseskkim - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    pretty good timing to buy a franchise.. you get either parker, embiid, or wiggins no matter what.. to add to giannis, john henson, brandon knight looks good, middleton looks good, etc. good investment

    • madnova - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:43 AM

      I wouldn’t say “no matter what”. Parker has to declare, and the Bucks could end up picking #4. I wouldn’t be to upset with Exum, though. It would be kind of interesting if Parker stayed in school another year and the Bucks managed to snag both him and Wiggins, though.

  5. campcouch - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    Now redo those uniforms. Purple,silver and green must go. Either purple and black or go back to the green and white! Shoot,just change it all together!

    • theblackrook - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      The team does not have purple uniforms, haven’t had them since in about 7 years. You just proved you know nothing about this team.

  6. peopletrains - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    They’re as good as gone.

  7. theblackrook - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Dude can ask PBT why they consistently ignore how well Brandon Knight has played, especially since the all-star break. He’s 22 and aside from 3pt percentage improved in every area of his game this season. He will be an essential cog next to anyone they draft and the team will be a better team when the new administration outs Larry Drew and get’s someone who is brings some continuity to the line up. I would be thrilled and would watch a bucks that started Knight at PG, Wiggins at SG Antentokounmpo at SF Henson at PF and Sanders at Center.

    Personally I’d trade Ersan and Sanders to get Tim Hardaway Jr from the Knicks and draft Embiid but either way it is a solid building block of young players. The coach is all wrong though.

    • madnova - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:45 AM

      That trade wouldn’t work for so many reasons….

      • theblackrook - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        Actually it would you traded sanders and ersan this season before his contract rose for bargnani and hardaway. The contracts would have matched up and the knicks kept a stretch 4 and had a defended in sanders with an aging chandler. However we couldn’t make that trade before the deadline. But yeah I have thought that through.

  8. mrlaloosh - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Milwaukee has a NBA team? Who knew?

  9. redstar504 - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:13 AM


    I don’t know too much about the bucks either but one thing I always wondered why the red jersey’s?

    Jersey’s aside keeping the team in its market is good for Milwaukee obviously but just as good for the NBA.

    There has been too much movement as is. The Griz from Vancouver to Memphis, the Hornets/ Pelicans from Charlotte to here in NOLA, the Thunder/Supersonics from Seattle to OKC, the Nets across the NYC metro from North Jersey to Brooklyn. Then the almost moves of the Kings out of Sacramento and the Hornets out of NOLA and to Seattle, luckily for my city Tom Benson stepped up.

    That is a lot of movement in a short period of time. I am sure the NBA doesn’t want to go back to the days of the 60’s and 70’s where you needed a flow chart to keep with who was playing where in a given year.

    • saudishot - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:31 AM

      They are a throwback to their original colors.

    • gmsalpha - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:05 AM

      More than one jersey is jerseys. Not jersey’s. Kind of like you bought two hamburgers. Not two hamburger’s.

      Please learn how to use apostrophes.

    • giantsninerswarriors - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:33 AM

      I really love punctuation nazis. Or is it nazi’s? Now I’m really confused.

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