Archive for April 16th, 2014

Bucks being sold. Team will stay in Milwaukee

Herb Kohl, Milwaukee Bucks President and Owner, today announced that he has entered into a signed purchase agreement to transfer ownership of the Bucks to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry.  Mr. Edens and Mr. Lasry are highly regarded investors who are firmly committed to the success of the franchise and its importance to Milwaukee.

Furthermore, consistent with his commitment to the Bucks and Milwaukee, Senator Kohl has pledged a $100 million gift for the development of a new arena for the team.  In addition to honoring Kohl’s requirement that the team be kept in Milwaukee, the new owners have committed to contribute at least an additional $100 million towards the development of a new arena in the city.

“My priority has always been and will continue to be keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee,” said Kohl.  “This announcement reinforces that Milwaukee is and will continue to be the home of the Bucks.  Wes and Marc agree, and they share my commitment to the long-term success of this franchise in Milwaukee.”

Messrs. Edens and Lasry jointly stated:  “We would like to thank Senator Kohl and his team for their support and cooperation throughout the purchase process.  The Senator has provided the Bucks with nearly 30 years of dedicated stewardship, and we are very excited to join Bucks fans, the city of Milwaukee and the NBA to build the long-term success of this franchise.  Having attended various sporting events in Milwaukee and Green Bay over the years, it is easy to see why the greater-Milwaukee area is such a storied sports atmosphere.

“We are lifelong basketball fans who are committed to the success of the Bucks and the identity of the team as a part of the city of Milwaukee.  It is our vision for this franchise to be admired both locally and nationally for its success on the court, the quality of its organization and the loyalty of its fan base.  Having each built competitive teams in the business world, we will apply that same intensity and determination as owners of the Milwaukee Bucks.  We are as passionate and energized as Bucks fans are about bringing home an NBA championship to Milwaukee.”

Under the terms of the agreement Edens and Lasry have agreed to buy the team for a total purchase price of approximately $550 million.

The parties will proceed to closing following review and approval by the NBA Board of Governors.

“Today’s announcement signals the start of a new, exciting era for the Milwaukee Bucks,” said Kohl.  “Now, with a long-term commitment from the new owners and major components of the funding in place for a new arena, we need to come together as a community to develop plans for a new sports and entertainment facility that will host more than 200 events a year, including Bucks games.  I am confident we will do this.”

The incoming Milwaukee Bucks owners, Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry, issued the following statement regarding the purchase of the franchise from Senator Kohl:

We would like to thank Senator Kohl and his team for their support and cooperation throughout the purchase process.  The Senator has provided the Bucks with nearly 30 years of dedicated stewardship, and we are very excited to join Bucks fans, the city of Milwaukee and the NBA to build the long-term success of this franchise.  Having attended various sporting events in Milwaukee and Green Bay over the years, it is easy to see why the greater-Milwaukee area is such a storied sports atmosphere.

We are lifelong basketball fans who are committed to the success of the Bucks and the identity of the team as a part of the city of Milwaukee.  It is our vision for this franchise to be admired both locally and nationally for its success on the court, the quality of its organization and the loyalty of its fan base.  Having each built competitive teams in the business world, we will apply that same intensity and determination as owners of the Milwaukee Bucks.  We are as passionate and energized as Bucks fans are about bringing home an NBA championship to Milwaukee.

In addition, our leadership of the Milwaukee Bucks will not be limited to the basketball court.  We are eager to become active contributors to the greater-Milwaukee community, and plan to establish a presence in the city.  Furthermore, we are committed to spending a significant amount of personal resources, including a contribution of at least $100 million, to work alongside the community and Senator Kohl to develop a new state-of-the-art sports venue in Milwaukee.  We want to provide fans with the best sports experience imaginable, and we believe a new arena and the development of the surrounding downtown area will immensely benefit the game-day atmosphere as well as the city of Milwaukee.

We would like to convey our appreciation to Commissioner Adam Silver and the entire NBA organization.  It will be an honor and a privilege to be the new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks and a part of the NBA.

We look forward to playing an integral and active role in the future success of the Bucks on and off the court, with the organization’s operations and talent as well as through the development of a new arena in Milwaukee.  Fear the Deer!

The deal is subject to the approval of the National Basketball Association Board of Governors.

Knicks sign Lamar Odom

Knicks sign Lamar Odom

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed forward Lamar Odom for the remainder of the season, which ends tonight. Though multiple reports state that the deal is a two year deal, with the first season ending tonight, and next season nonguaranteed.

Odom has been the subject of very negative drug-related rumors for the better part of a year now. His marriage to Khloe Kardashian fell apart for that reason, according to virtually every gossip news outlet in existence. It makes sense that Odom’s deal is so short. This gives the Knicks a chance to get to know him and see if he’s fit for a contract next season.

Odom, 6-10, 221-pounds, holds career averages of 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 33.4 minutes in 961 games (684 starts) over 14 seasons with the L.A. Clippers, Miami, L.A. Lakers and Dallas. He appeared in two games for Baskonia (Spain) this season and last played in the NBA for the Clippers during the 2012-13 season, averaging 4.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 19.7 minutes in 82 games (two starts).

The Queens-native, was originally selected by the Clippers after his sophomore season at the University of Rhode Island in the first round (fourth overall) of 1999 NBA Draft. He is a two-time NBA champion (2009 & 2010) with the Lakers, and was on the Bronze-medal winning team with USA Basketball in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. In addition, Odom was the 2011 NBA Sixth Man of the Year and was an NBA All-Rookie First Team selection in 2000.

Here’s the Bay Area News Group, via the San Jose Mercury news, reporting on the Golden State Warriors, who are 50-31 entering tonight, the final day of the NBA regular season. The Warriors qualified for the playoffs, which begin Saturday.

Within hours of the discouraging news about Andrew Bogut, the Warriors got an encouraging report from another corner of the medical department: David Lee was looking like his old self.

Lee scored 25 points and had nine rebounds Monday night against Minnesota, a far cry from what was thought to be possible a week ago. At that time there was doubt that the 6-foot-10 forward would be able to help the Warriors much down the stretch or in the playoffs because of a hamstring pull that was complicated by severe nerve pain. Lee missed seven games after suffering the injury on March 22 against San Antonio, and he didn’t seem to be making much progress.

Even when he returned to action last Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers and then again Sunday in Portland, Lee didn’t look himself. He made only four of 12 shots against L.A. even though he did get 10 rebounds, but appeared to regress against the Trail Blazers. He made just 2 of 9 shots despite playing 33 minutes, had only four rebounds and fouled out while trying to contend with Portland power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

But lo and behold, on the tail end of a back-to-back no less, Lee miraculously found his footing Monday after a rough start defensively against Minnesota’s Kevin Love. He started hitting some of his patented post-ups and mid-range jumpers, and also worked the boards and ran the floor much more effectively than he had during his first two games back.

Lakers have big roster decisions to make

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on the Lakers, who didn’t even come close to making the NBA playoffs this season, and face a challenging future:

The chants started midway through the fourth quarter, near the end of a rare Lakers blowout victory.

“Keep Gasol!” a motley group of a dozen or so out-of-place Lakers fans repeated rambunctiously Monday at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.

Twenty rows down from the purple-and-gold revelers on the visitors’ bench, Pau Gasol sat in a trim brown suit. The pending free agent looked up, smiled and offered his Utah-based fan club a thumbs up.

A two-time champion, Gasol will be the face of the Lakers’ tough offseason decisions, but he is only the most high-profile of the Lakers who will find himself on the open market after the season concludes here Wednesday.

It’s likely that a majority of the players on the floor for the Lakers at the AT&T Center will be in their last game. So embrace it now: Nick Young’s celebrations after 3-pointers; Jodie Meeks’ calm and even play; Jordan Hill’s work on the offensive boards.

Only Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre have guaranteed contracts beyond this season.

Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting on Channing Frye, who has enjoyed a terrific season for the Phoenix Suns. The team came close to making the playoffs this season, but just missed out on spots that went to the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies:

Channing Frye hopes for contract extension from Suns

Frye has a $6.8 million player option for next season. Only Goran Dragic ($7.5 million) and amnestied Josh Childress ($7.32 million) are on the Suns’ books for more next season, although restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe stands to make more.

Frye would like to negotiate a contract extension after averaging 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds this season on 43.3 percent shooting, including 37.1 percent on 3s.

“I want to talk to the Suns and make sure we’re both on the same page about what I want,” Frye said. “I’d love to stay here. It’s up to them and their future and what they want to do. I love wearing this uniform. I think I take a little more pride in it than everyone else because I’m from here.

“It’s looking for the future and if I could get something longer. I got kids and I want to be somewhere. I’ve been here for five years already so it wouldn’t be bad to kind of not be worried about being traded or buying a house.”

Carmelo Anthony out with shoulder tear

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks failed to qualify for the NBA playoffs, and Melo’s season has ended slightly early now with an injury:

If Carmelo Anthony indeed has played his final game as a Knick, this is a doubly painful way for his time in New York to end.

The pending free agent was shut down by the going-home Knicks after an MRI on Tuesday revealed he has a small labrum tear in his right shoulder.

Anthony bypassed surgery after he was diagnosed with a torn labrum and rotator cuff in his left shoulder one year ago. The Knicks said he’s also not expected to require surgery for this injury and will be reevaluated in a month.

“Obviously, he knew it was bothering him when he hurt it a few weeks ago,” Mike Woodson said. “But he hung in there with us and tried to make this last push to get in the playoffs.”

Anthony, who has stated plans to opt out of his contract this summer and test free agency, arrived at Barclays Center just before 7 p.m. But he did not address reporters before the Knicks’ penultimate game of the season against the Nets.

Ekpe Udoh starts online book club

Epke Udoh starts online book club

Ekpe Udoh will leave one positive lasting impression from this dreary season for the Milwaukee Bucks, and it has nothing to do with basketball.

Few, if any, NBA players can say they’ve started a book club over Twitter. Fewer still probably cite entertainment magnate Oprah Winfrey as a role model.

Udoh, a four-year NBA veteran, is thinking big.

“I want to be like Oprah. I want to be like Oprah’s book club,” the Bucks forward said Tuesday. “I’ll get there. It might take me a couple years, but I’ll get some buzz going.”

He’s off to a decent start in a relatively short time.

– Associated Press

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles with an update on the Clippers. Tonight is the final night of the 2013-14 NBA regular season:

Blake Griffin, JJ Redick out tonight for Clippers

Clippers forward Blake Griffin and guard J.J. Redick will not travel with the team for its final regular-season game Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers already had planned on resting Redick, but the decision to give Griffin the night off was essentially taken out of his hands Tuesday night when Griffin picked up his 16th technical foul in the first half against the Denver Nuggets, drawing a league-mandated one-game suspension.

“The worst case is he’s suspended one game, I’m not going to bring him anyway,” Rivers said. “They’ll probably rescind that. I’d be surprised but you never know. I want Blake to stay home and get some rest. He’s so banged up.”

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