Heisley on his interest in the Bucks: “It’s a false rumor”

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.

Categories: Ownership

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  1. Kohl is heavily criticized for his role as owner, but it seems to me that he is trying. He hired John Hammond, who has had Championship level success as a GM. He hired Skiles, who most would rate in the upper half of coaches in the league, and before that he hired George Karl. He has refused to sell the team to those not committed to keeping them in MKE, and now he is trying to get us a new stadium. Am I missing something? Why do people dislike Kohl as owner so much?

    • the elements you mentioned above are why many people feel Kohl is great owner. However, there is a large segment that believes his directions for Skiles and Hammonds have been “Win Now-Playoffs or bust”. This may seem like a good strategy, but it has kept the Bucks hovering in the Limbo of NBA mediocrity for a decade. His refusal to suffer through a few years of rebuilding has hindered long-term success and that is where I feel people get frustrated with him.

      • that sounds like a bit of speculation to me though, one would think that Hammond would have quite a bit of freedom to run the organization as he saw fit, at least when he first got here.

  2. Because a team owner does not want to ‘tank’ for six years in a row to MAYBE get a lucky lottery pick does not make the owner bad. It just makes his opinion of how to build a team different than yours.

    Just me, but I think it’s a ridiculous strategy and much prefer to watch the Bucks play .500 every year. At least they have a 50/50 chance of winning every night. Bottom line, it just doesn’t make business sense.

    Herb Kohl has been committed to the Bucks and more importantly, to the people of Wisconsin and Milwaukee. It just won’t be the same when they are sold and become the Miami Bucks!

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