The Milwaukee Bucks have the lowest franchise value in the NBA. Their stadium is one of the oldest in the league and cannot pull in revenue streams to make the team competitive. The market is not the best in the NBA. And, oh yeah, they have the worst record in the NBA.
To say the sharks are circling the BMO Harris Bradley Center, especially with owner Herb Kohl hinting he would be willing to sell, is putting it lightly. Seattle is not even the only city seeking an NBA team.
Kohl wants to put a stop to that, firmly stating that he wants to bring in ownership that is committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee and turning away potential buyers throwing lavish amounts at him with the thought of moving the team out of Wisconsin.
Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times reports a deal could be coming sooner rather than later and Kohl has turned down offers from prospective buyers that had an eye on moving the team.
The Bucks are in a tenuous situation with their lease at BMO Harris Bradley Center ending after the 2017 season. The stadium is now 25 years old. It lags well behind most arenas in the NBA as far as amenities and entertainment options. That is already a big disadvantage in that market — what free agent would go to Milwaukee without a winning team already established?
Kohl appears close to doing something with the team, which should make Bucks fans a little uneasy.
Remember, Clay Bennett signed an agreement with Howard Schultz when he bought the Sonics that he would use his best efforts to keep the team in Seattle. That did not turn out to be the case as he did the bare minimum to survive a lawsuit when he moved the team to Oklahoma City a short while later.
If Kohl gives up his controlling interest in the team, then the new owner will not have cart blanche authority but certainly much more authority to do with the team what he wants.
Kohl has been an owner for a long time and has a very deep affection for his home state and its biggest city. He is going to make sure he is still involved with the franchise and will hold whoever buys the team to that clause keeping the team in Milwaukee.
Of course, the inability to get a new stadium could complicate things further.
The future for the Bucks both on and off the court looks incredibly murky right now.