Marc Lasry Rumors
The Milwaukee Bucks are reaching new levels of commercial appeal and marketability, thanks to their first NBA title in 50 years. Co-owner Marc Lasry, who runs the hedge fund Avenue Capital Group, told Bloomberg TV that the Bucks are being approached by brands looking to capitalize on the team’s newfound success and the elevated profile of its superstar player Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Bucks were already busy signing new deals just before the playoffs began in May, agreeing to a multiyear partnership with Motorola Solutions Inc., bringing the telecommunications firm on as the new patch on its jersey. Other sponsors include Molson Coors Beverage Co, the transaction processing company Fiserv Inc. and BMO Financial Group.
And on Tuesday night, they captured the franchise’s first title in 50 years, celebrating inside a new $524 million arena and with 65,000 Bucks fans watching outside on a Jumbotron. An incredible turnaround. “At each moment, and each step in time, we got very lucky,” Lasry told the Daily News in a phone interview. “We wanted to build the arena and were able to build it, and the state ending up coming through, the city came through so that we could build the arena. Then being able to sort’ve put the team together. Giannis staying as well. “It sort’ve feels like this was our moment in time.”
“He’s a great guy and he’s a sweet guy. He loves the city, and he loves his teammates. Couldn’t ask for a better person,” Lasry said of his star. “The biggest moment of his career he scores 50 points and makes 17 out of 19 free throws. You couldn’t have predicted that.”
It’s impossible to know. But it came together spectacularly Tuesday night, when Lasry anxiously watched his Bucks break a 50-year drought. “It was surreal. It was fun. It was exciting,” he said. “While it was happening, you were praying to every God known to mankind, saying, ‘Please hold the lead.’ It was phenomenal experience.”
After seven seasons in New Orleans, Holiday was finally ready for a change of scenery and desperately wanted to contend for a title. A source with knowledge of his situation said Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations Dave Griffin was given a list of preferred destinations that included more than five teams, including the Bucks, and Holiday was ecstatic when the word came that he was Milwaukee bound. Five months later, Holiday and the Bucks would come to terms on a four-year, $160 million extension that showed yet again that the Bucks’ ownership group, headed by Marc Lasry and Wes Edens, was willing to cut the kinds of enormous checks necessary to up their odds of winning it all.