Tag Archives: Herb Kohl

How Milwaukee built the NBA Champion Warriors (and other stuff)

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Greetings from your SOB Editor! These pages have been silent for almost a year now, but from time to time certain topics arise related to the history of the Bucks that deserve some commentary.

With the Bucks future in Milwaukee secure and the new arena groundbreaking coming up this month, it is a great time to be a Bucks fan. We can now emotionally invest in the team without the existential threat of relocation that hung over the franchise for much of the past decade.

That said, Bucks fans witnessed enough front office dysfunction the past quarter century that it is instructive from time to time to revisit some of the events of the past, to help guide a better path in the future. To that end, this piece will take on two topics. The first is how the Milwaukee Bucks, Herb Kohl and John Hammond were integral in building the NBA champion Golden State Warriors roster. Most in the media aren’t aware of how these two franchises intersected during the 2010-2012 period with personnel moves. We’ll also debunk a bit the recent blurb where former Bucks GM Mike Dunleavy relays how he had a tremendous deal in place to draft Kobe Bryant back in 1996 but was vetoed by owner Herb Kohl.

How the Bucks helped the Warriors grow

A decade ago, when Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks were atop the Western Conference, it was a common theme for NBA announcers to proclaim: “Boy, I bet the Milwaukee Bucks wished they never dealt Dirk Nowitzki to the Mavericks“.  The reality of that story is a little more complicated, as the Mavericks made that 1998 draft day trade with the Bucks contingent on Nowitzki being available to them. Dirk had a strong relationship with the Mavericks front office and always was going to be a Maverick. He was never on the Bucks radar nor would he likely have come over from Europe to play for the Bucks.

That said, we haven’t heard much commentary from NBA announcers regarding key trades and decisions made by our Milwaukee Bucks that helped the current Warriors team come together (trade links courtesy of BasketballReference.com) :
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Victory! Bucks Plan Passes Final Hurdle!

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With today’s 12-3 vote in the Milwaukee Common Council, the Bucks arena plan has now cleared its last legislative hurdle. All the major stakeholders involved have approved the measure and we head into the design and development phase.

We want to thank the State, County, City, Bucks organization and taxpayers for negotiating this exciting partnership that will secure the future of the team in Wisconsin for many years to come. We also want to thank you the fans who supported the project via the many letters, emails and phone calls to your respective elected officials over the past six-months. There were a few points along the way where things got a bit dicey and you helped stiffen the resolve of the politicians as to the benefits of this project. We hope this project can be a case study for bipartisan cooperation as political leaders on both sides of the aisle took courageous steps that made the new arena a reality.

Also take some time in your day to remember two partners we all worked with in this process. Marc Marotta, former chairman of the Bradley Center board and Don Walker, longtime reporter with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. These two were as involved as anyone with the new arena but unfortunately were taken from us unexpectedly last Spring at too young an age. We know somewhere they are both smiling upon today’s events.

Most importantly we want to thank Senator Herb Kohl. This website began two years ago with one important goal and that was change. Change in the status quo. As fans we knew that our organization was living on borrowed time and something had to happen to set things on a different path. While this site was not without controversy, our goal was to initiate a much needed conversation on the future of the team.

Senator Kohl reflected on the situation and made some critical decisions that made today possible. He located a top tier ownership group and creatively transitioned the team in such a way that ensured the franchise would remain in Milwaukee. Along the way he made sure the new seeds he planted would take root with his $100 million contribution for the new arena. He can now enjoy the Bucks future in Milwaukee and his personal legacy in securing that future for a new generation of Bucks fans.

With today’s vote, we will wind things down here and start to enjoy the actual basketball games soon to come. This website will keep going with the occasional tweet or update during the construction process. As a word of caution, projects this large always seem to hit a few snags. So be prepared for a lawsuit, construction delay or political squabble as specifics of the arena lease or other issues such as the potential closing of 4th street are decided in the months ahead. This is a normal part of the process with a project this large and with this many stakeholders involved.

On a personal note, as your SOB editor I want to thank Paul Henning and Paul Cousins who played huge roles that helped make the SOB movement possible. Paul Henning who most of you already know was our spokesman and the key driver at endless meetings, rallies and talk show appearances to keep the momentum going. He was the man on the ground helping to tie all of you together in a relentless effort to Save Our Bucks.

Less known is Paul Cousins, a Bucks fan from Australia who runs a website development company and has donated countless hours of time, expertise and hosting capacity for everything that SOB has done online. I knew when this thing started we needed a website that wasn’t flashy but at the same time helped present our message professionally and reliably. Paul Cousins continues to donate his efforts there. Our goal is to get him over here to the States for a Bucks game in the new arena after it opens.

Finally a thank you to the Milwaukee Bucks online combillboardphoto-editmunity at over at the RealGM Forums. The SaveOurBucks.com website germinated from ideas stemming from long discussions that took place in the RealGM forum over a period of years. The posters over there helped at every step of the way in driving this movement, including the creation and funding of as Darren Rovell called it “Bucks fans controversial billboard“. Kudos to all at RealGM who stepped up and assisted whenever and wherever necessary.

Training camp begins next week and the first exhibition game is only two weeks away. The team enters the season with arguably as much momentum as any time since the 1980’s. The new ownership group has done a magnificent job in transforming the organization both on and off the court. We are thrilled that we can now 100% emotionally invest in the Bucks knowing they will be in Milwaukee for generations to come!

Go Bucks!

PaulPressey25
@PaulPressey25

Your SOB Editor

 

What to Build and Where to Build It?

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Summer league is complete, LeBron and Love are settled in Cleveland, Packer season is upon us and the Brewers are in a tight division race. All reasons why the NBA and new arena will likely slip from the minds of Bucks fans for the next 60-days.

We want to use this opportunity to offer our thoughts on where the new arena should be located and how the building should be designed taking into account some of the lessons learned from the 1985 construction of the Bradley Center. Strap in and let’s go!

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Four Thoughts for the 4th!

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Happy Independence Day!

We thought we’d take this time for some thoughts coming off this past week’s umm, interesting series of events.

Can the Bucks New Management Model Work?

As it relates to the head-coaching position, the Bucks experienced a significant upgrade with the hiring of Jason Kidd. After a rough start, by all accounts Kidd made significant adjustments in New Jersey last season, allowing the team to finish with a 34-17 record down the stretch, including reaching the second round of the playoffs. He employed some creative lineups and helped reclaim the careers of a few veterans as well. Kidd appears to hold significant promise as a coach in the NBA and we welcome him to Milwaukee.

Our questions of Kidd relate to his future input into player personnel matters. We at SaveOurBucks.com have been consistently in favor of an organizational model whereby the Bucks locate and hire a sharp General Manager, and provide that person with full organizational control. The GM in turn then hires their own coach, much like the model employed by the Green Bay Packers in 1991 when the team hired Ron Wolf, and he in turn identified his coach, sending a second round draft pick to the San Francisco 49’ers as compensation to free Mike Holmgren from his contract to come to Green Bay. That model is the one that works more often than not and has the fewest inherent conflicts. Models where there is an unclear delineation of power between the owner, coach and GM aren’t always the most successful.
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Some Thoughts on Last Week……

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Last week was a great time for all Bucks fans as new owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry made the rounds, talking about themselves, the Bucks and their plans for the future.

Frank Madden at Brewhoop has a nice summary of some of the sportstalk radio interviews. They are worth listening to if you have not already.

We have a few observations on what all went down last week and wanted to share them — better late than never! Continue reading

A Few Thoughts on Questions Raised by @SykesCharlie

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We had a chance to listen to the 11:00am hour of the Charlie Sykes Show this morning on WTMJ 620 AM, the flagship station of the Bucks. Between Charlie, Jeff Wagner and various callers, there were a number of reasonable questions raised regarding the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks and their future in Milwaukee. Some of the discussion revolved around points raised in our article from yesterday that we encourage you to read in conjunction with the Q & A below.

We didn’t take detailed notes on each question or point discussed on Sykes show, but there were clearly some common themes that we wanted to provide our thoughts on, thus we’ve paraphrased questions raised during the show and offered our thoughts to those questions below. So let’s get started! Continue reading

The Next Chapter Begins……

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It has been 48-hours since the sale of the Bucks was announced. We wanted to wait before posting our thoughts, to allow some time to absorb the details. Our reaction to the news is extremely positive and we are optimistic about the team’s long-term future in the City.  Let’s now talk specifics: Continue reading

Save Our Bucks

The New Arena Debate – How You Can Help!

The local debate regarding a new arena facility is just starting to heat up in earnest. While we are all very interested and want to have our voice heard, we still don’t yet have any details on an arena plan or location. As we noted in our prior article, this process is going to take some time to play out. We are only in the early innings. That said, we’d like to suggest two ways that you can help right now. Continue reading

BMO Harris Bradley Center Milwaukee, Save Our Bucks

The Arena Debate – What to Look For in the Months Ahead

On Tuesday March 11, 2014 at 6:00pm, there will be a public listening session at the Mardak Center (1558 N. 6th Street in Milwaukee) to allow the public to provide input to the Cultural and Entertainment Needs Task Force.

At this session the 48-member committee will be listening to input from the public on metropolitan capital needs (hint – a new arena) and how to pay for such a project.  As Bucks’ fans, we strongly encourage you to attend, if only to show the committee that people are interested in the future of the team in Milwaukee.  Our spokesman Paul Henning will be there, and afterwards there will be a SaveOurBucks viewing party of that night’s Bucks game against Minnesota at The Loaded Slate. For more information, check out the Facebook page we have set up for the meeting.

For those who are not able to make the meeting, do not despair.  We are likely only in the second inning of a nine-inning ballgame. This is going to be a long-process and not something that is going to get decided in the next six-months. While the 2017 deadline set by the NBA for the Bucks to have a new facility is a real threat, the building does not need to be constructed by that date; the Bucks just need to have approved and firmly in place the plans for a new facility. They can always reside another year or two in the BMO Harris Bradley Center if needed while construction is completed on a new building.

With that overview, we’d like to note some things to watch for in the near future as it relates to a potential new home for the Milwaukee Bucks. Continue reading

Herb Kohl, Milwaukee Bucks

Part II – Senator Kohl and the Legacy Still to be Written

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George Steinbrenner, Jerry Jones, Mark Cuban and Al Davis.

Collectively that may be the Mt. Rushmore of “hands-on” owners in professional sports.
Those four represent owners who are (or were) the face of their franchise. They took an open and active role in all aspects of franchise operation, right down to wanting to be involved in the calling of actual plays on the field.

In Part I last week, we examined the track record of Bucks’ General Manager John Hammond, and the fact that many of his player personnel moves tended to look like losers very quickly after they were made.  Hammond apparently agrees with our take, since said players acquired or signed to a new contract have been so often traded by Hammond shortly thereafter. However, the question that has dominated the Bucks fan base the past two decades is exactly how responsible is the team’s general manager for the overall record and talent base of the team at any given moment?

Herb Kohl, Milwaukee Bucks, Save Our BucksSenator Herb Kohl has a long-standing reputation as a “hands-on” owner, similar to the NFL’s Jerry Jones and Al Davis, MLB’s George Steinbrenner, and the NBA’s Mark Cuban.  While their respective franchises have had varying degrees of success, the fingerprints of their involvement in the management of their teams are obvious, often to the point of detriment.  This article will explore how Senator Kohl’s reputation for this first came about, illustrate some of the historical instances of “meddling” and finally discuss how Kohl, much like his college roommate Bud Selig, has an opportunity for civic immortality if he is able to successfully navigate the Bucks to a long-term future in Milwaukee.
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