Before buying a stake in the franchise, Jimmy Haslam first spoke to Bucks co-owner Wes Edens when he was mulling the possibility of bidding for the Timberwolves, according to Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“We actually took a look at the Minnesota Timberwolves and a friend of mine said, ‘You should call Wes Edens, he operates a team in the upper Midwest, they’ve had great success,'” Haslam said. “‘Cause you’re concerned, can you attract players, can you win in a small market? So we had about an hour-and-a-half conversation and Wes was hugely helpful.”
While Haslam didn’t end up investing in the Timberwolves, his conversation with Edens made him more comfortable jumping at the chance to purchase a stake in the Bucks when the opportunity arose. Asked for his thoughts about the future of the team in Milwaukee, Haslam expressed confidence in the Bucks’ long-term outlook.
“The first time Wes and I ever talked was (asking) could an NBA team not just reside here, but could it be successful? And they’ve obviously proved they can,” Haslam said. “They’ve punched way over their weight in almost everything in the NBA, starting first of all on the court, which is what counts. I anticipate the team being here for a long time. Listen, this isn’t a turnaround situation. These guys have done a hell of a job, so we’re gonna be quiet and listen and learn, and if we can help down the road, that’s great.”
Here’s more on the Bucks:
- Brook Lopez made an All-Star team back in 2013 but has never played in the Olympics and fell just short of earning his first Defensive Player of the Year award this spring. Although he’d like to earn more accolades before he calls it a career, Lopez says he’s motivated by missing out, per Lori Nickel of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I use all that stuff,” he said. “I’d like to be a part of an Olympic team. I still feel like I have a long career left. Hopefully playing the way I play, maybe a couple of all-stars? I have my personal goals, but the way things roll out, it’s definitely motivation for me.”
- Without Giannis Antetokounmpo available in Game 2 due to his lower back contusion, the Bucks showed off their depth and proved that they’re capable of holding down the fort until the MVP finalist returns, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN.com. Pat Connaughton was one of the role players who provided a critical spark for the team, Owczarski writes for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Will Antetokounmpo be able to return for Game 3 in Miami? That’s still to be determined, as the star forward has been listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest. Giannis did some individual work on Friday, but didn’t take part in practice with his teammates, per Owczarski.
- Wesley Matthews, who played nearly 18 minutes in Game 1 of the series and then missed Game 2 with a right calf strain, has been ruled out for Game 3 as well. A source with knowledge of the situation tells Owczarski that the Bucks are hopeful Matthews’ strain isn’t as severe as the one that sidelined him for nine games in February and March.