Herb Kohl has repeatedly told me over the years he has absolutely no intention of selling the Milwaukee Bucks to anyone who wants to move it.
He appears to be a man of his word.
In the last week I’ve talked to some individuals who have been monitoring the Bucks’ impending sale and they claim Kohl has already rejected overtures from two groups interested in buying the Bucks and relocating them to another city.
Keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee has always been paramount with Kohl, going back to 1985 when he purchased the franchise from Jim Fitzgerald. If Kohl, a lifelong NBA fan who frequently attended old Milwaukee Hawks games back in the ’50s, hadn’t decided to buy the Bucks then, they would have more than likely been sold and moved as Fitzgerald had other parties willing to pay even more than Kohl’s purchase price of $19 million.
Kohl, who is 79, announced in December that he wanted to bring on additional owners and had hired Steve Greenberg, the managing director of Allen & Company in New York, to be his advisor.
There was a perception then Kohl would remain the Bucks majority owner and the sale process could take up to a year. Now, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
I’m hearing Kohl will likely give up total control of the franchise, although it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities the new ownership group would smartly retain him in some capacity, perhaps as the team’s “ambassador.”
The people I spoke with contend the sale will probably occur sooner than later. In fact, I’ve been told a deal could be consummated by late April or early June. The Bucks, who have the worst record in the NBA and are already out of the playoff mix, will play their last game of the season April 16 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
If a deal is sealed around that time, the new ownership would still have time to decide the fates of their top basketball operations officials, not to mention their coaching staff, before the ever-so-important NBA draft June 26 and free agency period that begins July 1.
While Marquette University senior Jamil Wilson figures to be playing professional basketball over the next several years, he eventually wants to work with kids.
Wilson, who is close to finishing his degree in sociology, said he was steered toward social work while attending Horlick High School.
“One of my 10th grade teachers was Ms. (Sue) Gabbey,” Wilson said. “I saw her passion in the class and that caught my attention. You want to learn more about something that intrigues you and she intrigued me about sociology. Sociology still intrigues me to this day. I have her to thank for that.”
UW-Green Bay wins the Horizon League regular-season title, posts a 24-6 overall record that includes a 75-72 victory over Virginia, which is a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and a 3-point loss to Wisconsin, which is a No. 2 seed in the tournament, and the Phoenix still can’t get into the NCAA because it lost to UW-Milwaukee, the eventual Horizon League Conference winner, in overtime? Are you kidding me?
* At the beginning of the season, did anyone in their wildest dreams ever envision Marquette University not making the NCAA field, much less being shunned for the NIT?
* You can safely assume Tony Bennett’s phone is going to be blowing up in the next few weeks. Bennett, whose dad Dick won a few games during his illustrious coaching career at UW-Green Bay and Wisconsin, guided a starless Virginia team to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, finishing ahead of traditional powerhouses like Syracuse, Duke and North Carolina. With all apologies to Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, Tony Bennett would be my choice for national coach of the year.
n Speaking of Virginia, the Cavaliers (28-6) will play Coastal Carolina (21-12) Friday night at Raleigh, N.C. One of the Chanticleers’ go-to guys is junior guard Josh Cameron, a former Park High School standout who is averaging 14.1 points a game.
* We’re going to hear the word “upset” ad nauseam during the tournament, which will be ridiculous considering the incredible parity of the field. Wichita State is a No. 1 seed, yet would anyone be shocked if the Shockers didn’t even get out of the second round and lose to Kentucky? Not me.
With that mind, here’s my final Final Four selections: Kansas (I’m obviously counting on injured star center Joel Embiid to return and be a tower of power), Michigan State (the hottest team in the field), San Diego State (the most underrated team in the field) and Duke (led by gifted forward Jabari Parker, who could be wearing a Milwaukee Bucks uniform next season).
Duke and Michigan State will then advance to the title game, with Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski cutting down the nets for his fifth NCAA championship.
One isn’t enough
Belated birthday greetings to Caron Butler, who turned 34 last Thursday. Butler, by the way, chose to wear No. 2 with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Racine native is hoping to collect his second NBA championship ring, having received his first with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.
Gery Woelfel is a sports reporter for The Journal Times. Gery can be reached by calling (262) 631-1713 or by email at email@example.com