Kohl. (Photo: Business Insider)

Michael Heisley denies he’s interested in purchasing the Milwaukee Bucks, according to Ronald Tillery from the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

Former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley said he isn’t trying to buy the Milwaukee Bucks amid constant speculation to the contrary.

“It’s a false rumor,” Heisley said.

The rumors of the 74-year-old Heisley purchasing the Bucks began in early November, when Marc Stein first reported in his Weekend Dime column that speculation was circulating. Of course, there was one big IF in all of this:

Sale speculation about the Bucks has been a staple for years, but the latest scenario in circulation has the Chicago-based Heisley making a serious bid to buy the franchise if Sen. Kohl can secure the new building (or Bradley Center refurbishment) that would cement the team’s future in Wisconsin.

Again last week, Stein indicated that the billionaire based out of Chicago could be interested.

Of course, all that stems on Herb Kohl. There has been speculation for years that Kohl would be willing to sell to an owner committed to keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee, but these recent set of rumors are the first in quite some time that appear to hold much weight. The last serious conversation the public has been made aware of with regards to Kohl selling the Bucks came in 2003 when Michael Jordan was interested. At the time, Kohl said, “He was pleased with the time and money Jordan was prepared to commit, but that he did not want to part with the team.”

Kohl will not be returning to the United States Senate next year and said he will focus on helping the Bucks secure a new arena in Milwaukee. He went as far as to say he would commit a “not insignificant” amount of money. If he gets that far, it would certainly get the ball rolling on any future ownership talks.