Bucks owner on board with plans for new downtown arena

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After the bid of a Seattle group to buy and move the Sacramento Kings fell short of its goal, some turned their attention to who might be next to move.

The Milwaukee Bucks name came up. They have a lease that is up in 2017 and are in need of a new arena, and the league has put pressure on the city and organization to get a new deal done.

On Monday Bucks owner, retired senator Herb Kohl, put his personal weight a plan for a new arena in downtown Milwaukee. There are a lot of details to work out — starting with how to pay for it — but if a senator really wants to get things done they tend to happen. Here are the details, from The Business Journal, which serves the Milwaukee area.

In his first remarks in more than a year on a possible new arena for downtown Milwaukee, Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl said winning public support and unspecified funding for such a facility will be a challenge but that he will make sure it gets done….

“We’ll see to it that the Bucks stay here,” Kohl said. “We need each other — the facility needs the Bucks and the Bucks need a facility. And we are determined to get there.”

That’s a good first step. Like any good politician knows, his first step will need to be to get public support behind the idea of replacing the 25-year-old BMO Harris Bradley Center. He also knows a winning Bucks team would help that cause.

Then there’s the little detail of the money. Okay, not so little. This likely would have to be some kind of public/private partnership.

The Bucks have about four years to get everything in place, which is time enough. If not, you can bet if it is not Seattle it will be other cities and other billionaires coming up to Kohl, looking to buy one of the league’s historic franchises and moving them somewhere else.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.