Could THIS be the next owner of the Milwaukee Bucks?
If you're an NBA fan, get to know the name Vivek Ranadive.
He wants to bring the sport to India, and he's really hungry for a team of his own.
The New York Times says he's part of an effort to snag the Kings who are either going to stay in Sacramento or flee to Seattle. Wherever they end up, a new arena is in their future.
Ranadive is currently part of the Golden State Warriors front office and is working with the group trying to keep the Kings in California. He has deep pockets, says the Times, and plans to bring the NBA to his native India where he sees massive marketing potential. Ranadive says pro hoop is going global this century, and he tells the paper, "Independent of whether the Kings bid succeeds or not, I'm very committed to making it the number two sport in India."
If he fails, does Ranadive come to the NBA's next damsel in distress, the Milwaukee Bucks?
It's no secret Herb Kohl wants to sell, provided he finds someone who'll keep the team here. Ranadive wants a franchise, has cash, and presumably would keep the team put--if Sacramento would be good enough for the Kings he so badly covets, why wouldn't Milwaukee continue to be a good fit for the Bucks, if he lands them? There's that new-arena-conundrum, but between Kohl's committment and Ranadive's bank account, there might be enough to put a healthy dent in the tab.
All of this is premature, of course, but let the record show that if no one steps up to keep the NBA in Milwaukee, there are others out there who are willing to snarf the club up. For all those who think there's no value in a pro basketball franchise, there are some out there with a lot of cash who think otherwise. Fellows like Ranadive, for example, who see a sport on a global uptick. Deny it if you will, but there's something to be said for having your city's name flashed internationally on a nightly basis, attached to a hot global brand. The NBA may not be America's past time, but there's no denying how big it is elsewhere on the planet. Remember the Chinese buzz when the Bucks drafted one of their countrymen a few years ago?
Ranadive becomes a non-factor in Milwaukee if owners grant him and his group the Kings--he sells his interest in the Warriors, becomes general partner of the Kings and uses Sacramento as a portal to internationalize the game, starting with the 1.2 billion people who live in his native India. "We would have a full court press on this," he tells the Times.
If he fails, does he start making a pitch to Kohl? The Bucks would seem to be the lowest hanging NBA fruit, a team in search of both a new owner and a fresh building. Deep pockets seem to be at a premium in these parts, or are doing a great job of staying beneath the radar. Ranadive could swoop in and bring some energy to the discussion--not to mention a whole lot of cash and some definitive global plans.
The Bucks assure Commissioner David Stern they'll have a plan in place when the BMO Harris Bradley Center lease expires in 2017. Who will make that happen? Don't know. Will Ranadive be a part of the team's future in Milwaukee?