Former Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley wants to buy another NBA team and has targeted the Milwaukee Bucks, according to Marc Stein on espn.com.
“Heard a fresh round of rumbles this week that former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley...is already interested in buying back into the league and has the Milwaukee Bucks in his sights,” Stein reported Dec. 14.
Heisley received a reported $377 million for selling the Grizzlies in October, according to our sister paper Memphis Business Journal.
Of course, Bucks owner Herb Kohl hasn’t said he plans to sell the team anytime soon. Kohl, 77, is retiring as U.S senator from Wisconsin.
Stein earlier reported that Chicago billionaire Heisley, 75, could make “a serious bid to buy the franchise” if Kohl can secure a new arena in Milwaukee or refurbish the BMO Harris Bradley Center. An upgraded arena in Milwaukee for the Bucks “would cement the team’s future in Wisconsin,” Stein said.
The future of an arena for the Bucks — as well as funding for other downtown cultural and entertainment venues — will be the subject of a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce task force set to begin meeting by March 2013, as we have reported extensively in The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee.
Heisley had dreamed of moving the Grizzlies to Chicago but that never happened.
“Buying the Bucks would give Heisley a very-close-to-home route back into the league he loves, after those long-ago attempts to convince the league that Chicago was big enough for two NBA franchises proved unsuccessful,” Stein said.
Heisley bought the Grizzlies in 2000 for a reported $160 million and moved the team from Vancouver to Memphis the following year, according to forbes.com. Heisley is worth $1.9 billion on Forbes’ 2012 list of billionaires and made his fortune through Heico, a company he founded that buys underperforming or bankrupt companies and turns them around.