HoopsHype Herb Kohl rumors

March 3, 2014 Updates

Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he would be interested in returning in some capacity to the Milwaukee Bucks, the franchise that drafted him first overall in 1969. Bucks owner Herb Kohl said in December he was looking to add to the ownership group in hopes of building a new arena and cementing the team's long-term future in Milwaukee. Abdul-Jabbar said before the Bucks' game Monday against Utah that no one had approached him, though he would "definitely offer" his services if he got a call. Later, he told the crowd he hoped "everything works out so that the Bucks stay here." Abdul-Jabbar was in town to promote a new tourism ad for the state of Wisconsin that played off his acting role in the movie "Airplane." Boston Herald

March 2, 2014 Updates

Former Bucks star Junior Bridgeman was in Milwaukee on Saturday to be honored by the franchise on his bobblehead night. But there was another reason for all the media interest in his appearance. Bridgeman was identified in a Journal Sentinel story last week as a potential investor in the franchise as owner Herb Kohl searches for additional ownership partners. Bridgeman said he was not able to discuss his interest because of his involvement with a group that has a partial stake in the Sacramento Kings. “Because I’m involved with another franchise, they have some rules against those things,” Bridgeman said. “So I can’t even touch it without having my tongue cut out.” But Bridgeman, who played for the Bucks from 1975 through 1987 and has gone on to a successful career in the fast-food business, did say he is sizing up the situation. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

February 25, 2014 Updates

Junior Bridgeman, a former NBA star with the Milwaukee Bucks who forged a highly successful career in the fast-food industry, has emerged as a potential investor in the Milwaukee Bucks. 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. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

February 20, 2014 Updates

Marc Stein: As ESPN reported this AM, Bobcats trying to push through Sessions-for-Gary Neal deal. But Bucks owner Herb Kohl has not yet approved trade Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

February 19, 2014 Updates
February 18, 2014 Updates
January 23, 2014 Updates

All of them, that is, except Caron Butler. While the Bucks veteran small forward from Racine was stoked after scoring 30 points in the Bucks’ 104-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Caron Butler Bobblehead Night, he made a pit stop to talk to Bucks owner Herb Kohl. “I had a moment with Sen. Kohl after the game because I really wanted to talk to him and express to him how excited I am to be here,” Butler said later. “I want to be here in Milwaukee and I want to be part of the process. This is home to me. I want to help these guys develop.” Racine Journal-Times

January 21, 2014 Updates

In regard to the potential sale of the Bucks, I have been told there likely will be four serious suitors who’ll be more than happy to do business with long-time Bucks owner Herb Kohl. One is said to be a consortium of five or six individuals who are from Wisconsin or have Wisconsin ties. Because of the delicate nature of the situation, none of the individuals I spoke with would publicly acknowledge their interest in the Bucks. Additionally, a source contends there is an individual from the Chicago area who has made it perfectly clear to Kohl that he’ll buy the franchise whenever the latter desires to sell. This offer, I’ve been told, has been on the table for several years. Racine Journal-Times

Kohl has said he will contribute a “significant” amount to the construction of a new entertainment facility that would not only be home to the Bucks, but also would host other sporting events, concerts and conventions. There is zero doubt in my mind Kohl will keep his word. One person I talked to said Kohl is so obsessed about a new arena being a major piece of his legacy to Milwaukee and Wisconsin that he could make a contribution in excess of $100M toward the project. Asked the odds of a new arena being built, one source replied “70 percent.” Another source close to the Bucks’ situation said “80 percent.” Racine Journal-Times

January 20, 2014 Updates

In recent weeks Bucks management has gotten signals from owner Herb Kohl that he's ready to get on board with the direction the team is heading. Old-school owners like Kohl are never going to endorse tanking, but at this point in the season there's very little the Bucks can do to turn it around anyway. ESPN.com

December 30, 2013 Updates

With the Kings safely in Sacramento for years to come after the sale of the team and a pledge for a new downtown arena, the Bucks are the only team in the NBA that has any question about its future. The Bucks' lease at Bradley Center, where they've played since 1988, runs out in 2017, and that makes them the one team that is vulnerable, potentially, to a move. Kohl wants to head that off. NBA.com

Even if Kohl can find a buyer, or investors, the league has insisted that Milwaukee get a new building to replace Bradley Center, one of the league's oldest arenas. Only Golden State's Oracle Arena, built in 1968 (but renovated in 1995) and Madison Square Garden, built in 1968 (and just renovated), are older. Sacramento's Sleep Train Arena and Detroit's Palace of Auburn Hills also opened in '88. NBA.com

A new building in Milwaukee is currently priced at around $450 million, Kohl said. "Whenever the issue of public financing comes up, people get their dander up," Kohl said. "I understand that. I appreciate that. But, my goal is to do everything in my power to keep the team here in Milwaukee, to keep Milwaukee an NBA city. I think it's important for Milwaukee to remain an NBA city. But in order to do that, we need a new building. So in a sense, we're going to get both. You can either stay in the NBA with a new building, or we're not going to stay in the NBA, and we won't have a new building. We'll get both or we'll get neither. So, I'm working on it. I'm working on it." NBA.com

December 23, 2013 Updates

It’s less than two months before commissioner David Stern steps down and is succeeded by Adam Silver, but the potential relocation issue has crept up again with the Bucks as owner HerbKohl is seeking additional investors to help keep the team in Milwaukee. The Bradley Center is the worst facility in the league and Stern has encouraged owners and the city to develop an arena plan after the Sacramento Kings saved their team with a new project. Meanwhile, the city of Seattle is waiting for a team so it can begin its arena construction. Boston Globe

December 17, 2013 Updates

In announcing that he is interested in finding investors willing to keep the Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee, former senator Herb Kohl kept using the word "process." "It is a process," the Bucks owner said. And while there is no timetable, Kohl has set in motion a plan he hopes will strengthen and reinvigorate the franchise. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

December 16, 2013 Updates

The Milwaukee Bucks are trying to stay the Milwaukee Bucks. Commissioner Davis Stern gave his thoughts: “Senator Kohl bought the Bucks in 1985 in order to ensure the team would remain in Milwaukee. During his extraordinary stewardship his goal remained the same -- to bring the fans of Wisconsin high-quality basketball from a team they would be proud to call their ‘home’ team. With this announcement, Senator Kohl continues his mission: to assure continuity of ownership by broadening its ownership base, and assuring that the fans of Wisconsin will enjoy NBA basketball and other events in a new state-of-the-art facility.” Sulia

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.