Jason Kidd, Marc Lasry

Bucks owners hope to have site for new arena in 3-4 months


When Wes Edens and Marc Lasry purchased the Milwaukee Bucks for a then-record $550 million it came with one string attached — they had to keep the team in Milwaukee and get a new arena built. If things are not approved an on the way by 2017 the team can be purchased by the league and sold to new owners (mostly likely in the area rather than moved to Seattle or another destination).

Edens and Lasry are taking the first steps toward that new arena, talking with the city about locations, reports Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel.

The new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks hope to identify a site for a new multipurpose arena in the next three or four months, according to Ald. Bob Bauman….

“They have a very tight timetable,” Bauman said. “They want to have a site identified in three or four months. Then they want to do the engineering and design. Then they will focus on the financials.”

The Bucks owners, who live in New York, are trying to learn the lay of the land in Milwaukee — where there is land and where they could get approvals for a stadium (and if it is like every other recent one some retail and residential development around it).

The real question with the arena will be paying for it, this will likely cost at least $500 million. Edens and Lasry have said they would combine to pitch in $100 million, former Bucks owner Herb Kohl pitched in $100 million, and the six minority investors in the team also are expected to kick in some cash for the development.

But to get this done they are going to want some form of public financing. That will prove to be tricky. There is built in opposition to this, particularly any kind of tax (sales or otherwise). If that does become a sticking point, it will lead to some tough decisions for the league about the future of the franchise. Commissioner Adam Silver, even more than former commissioner David Stern, doesn’t want to see franchises move, but this could be his biggest test case, depending on how things shake out over the next few years.

LeBron James with two-handed halfcourt bounce pass for assist (VIDEO)

LeBron James
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Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:

Kobe gets great introduction, loud ovation in Philadelphia

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Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game —  but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.

In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.

Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.

That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.

Rumor: Nets testing trade waters for Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic, Otto Porter Jr.
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If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.

First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.

Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.

Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.

Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.

Just a reminder that Joakim Noah would like some more run

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Joakim Noah is playing 20.6 minutes a night coming off the bench for Fred Hoiberg and the Chicago Bulls this season.

And he doesn’t like it. He wants more run. He was getting 10 minutes more a night last season under Tom Thibodeau, and Noah wants some of those minutes back. Nick Friedel of ESPN sent out a tweet that was a reminder of just that.

Three thoughts here.

1) Reducing minutes for guys who battle injuries every season by the time the playoffs roll around was one huge reason Fred Hoiberg was brought in to coach the Bulls and Tom Thibodeau was shown the door. This isn’t just Hoiberg, the minutes reduction comes from management. While it is possible Noah’s spot in the rotation shifts (he could start at some point) and he might get a little more run, the Thibodeau era is gone.

2) There are legit reasons for Noah to want to play. First, he is a competitor who doesn’t like sitting. Second, the Bulls’ defense is elite when he plays (allowing 95.5 points per 100 possessions) and the Bulls outscore opponents by 1.3 per 100 when he plays. Finally, Noah is in the final year of his contract and scoring just 3.1 points per game is not going to help him earn more cash in the next deal.

3) Barring injury to another big, don’t expect a change.