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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

Someone else who knows the name Vivek Ranadive

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I blogged the other day about a businessman who's tied to the effort to keep the NBA's Sacramento Kings in California.

Someone else is invoking that man's name in connection with Milwaukee, too.  

The Journal/Sentinel's Michael Hunt does so in a Tuesday morning column about the Bucks and the team's need t to think global. "As much as (Herb) Kohl cannot make the proper owner appear, nothing would help more than  the same kind of fresh-look injection the Brewers received nine years ago with the Mark Attanasio group.  Rich guys with both a passion for sports and a willingness to lose money are rarer than the chance of winning a coin toss in the same year Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became eligible for the draft.   But that is the kind of seismic event the Bucks need.   You think about guys like Vivek Ranadive, the Indian billionaire businessman who is a Golden State co-owner.   While his involvement with the Warriors doesn't speak highly for his sports resume, Ranadive is trying to keep the Kings in Sacramento by taking a global outlook on the global sport of basketball.   If such a world view might work in Sacramento, why couldn't it fly in Milwaukee?"

I'd mentioned Ranadive's name over the weekend after reading about him in the New York Times last week.  



He has money, a passion for basketball and a belief that the game is going to go global in the 21st century.   He vows to use the Kings as just such a vehicle if the NBA's owners give him and his group the keys to the franchise.  Blocking his quest is an ownership group in Seattle with plans for a new arena and designs on moving the club to Washington State.   A decision is due in the next few weeks.   If Ranadive's bid fails, does he then turn his sights on the Bucks who would seem to be the next distressed NBA property, a club in need of both a new owner and a new facility?    As Hunt says, Ranadive could be the kind of energy-boost this club needs.   Big money.  Fresh ideas.

Kohl kept the Bucks in Milwaukee--with an assist from Lloyd and Jane Pettit who built the Bradley Center on their own dime after Jim Fitzgerald put the club on the block, saying he couldn't make money playing in the Milwaukee Arena.   Kohl lavished cash on the club over the years, but alas, NBA greatness can't be bought, at least not when the money is spent on the likes of Anthony Mason, Dan Gadzuric, Stephen Jackson and others of that ilk.   And, it still pains this fan to see Ray Allen in another team's uniform, but that's a topic for another occasion.

It's tough to get excited about a Bucks team that's in the playoffs only because the Eastern Conference needed eight combatants to fill out it's postseason grid.   Milwaukee played horrible basketball the final weeks of the season, and got blown out by the Heat in game one of the opening round.   Even the most idealistic  fan knows the team has virtually no chance against LeBron James and company.   I hope I'm wrong, but reality dictates otherwise.

The Bucks are in a malaise--on the fringes of the playoffs and thus assured of mediocre draft picks that condemn the team to more of the same.   It's an operation in search of new owners and answers about its local future.   Is Ranadive the guy?   The league's overlords are about to answer that question when it comes to his quest for the Sacramento Kings.   If his bid fails, will he turn his attention here?

Could be the kind of thing this change-adverse city needs.


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