21st August 11:51
Jordan Isn't Getting The Bucks
No big loss here to be honest, but who's going to be the new GM?
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl has decided not to sell the
team to Michael Jordan.
Kohl said Sunday that he had extensive negotiations with Jordan but that he
doesn't want to part with the team right now.
``On balance, I simply decided that I am not yet prepared to sell the team
at this time,'' the senator said in a statement released by the team.
Kohl, D-Wis. said he would continue to own the team, ``improve them, and
commit them to remaining in Wisconsin.''
Previously, Kohl had said he was willing to sell the team he bought for $18
million in 1985, with the stipulation that any new owner must agree to keep the
team in Milwaukee.
Messages left with Jordan's spokeswoman, Estee Portnoy. Bucks spokeswoman
Cheri Hanson said no one was available to comment further.
Jordan is a five-time NBA most valuable player and was a member of six
Chicago Bulls championship teams. He retired as a player in October 1993, came
back in March 1995, and retired again in January 1999.
Jordan joined the Washington Wizards in January 2000 as an executive and
part owner. But he gave up his ownership stake, as NBA rules required, to
return to the court as a Wizards player in September 2001, then played two
seasons for Washington before retiring again after last season.
Bucks coach George Karl was in Greece Sunday, but his agent, Bret Adams,
said he would be pleased with the news.
``I know George's feelings towards Sen. Kohl have always been very positive
and I'm sure George will be very happy that Sen. Kohl will be maintaining
ownership of the team,'' Adams said.
Karl is heading into a lame-duck season under the two-year contract
extension that pays him $7 million a year.
Earlier Sunday, the Bucks announced they had released general manager Ernie
Grunfeld from the final year of his contract so he could pursue other positions
in the NBA. He was earning $1.5 million a year.
Grunfeld has been rumored as a candidate for president of basketball
operations with the Washington Wizards. Wizards spokeswoman Nicole Hawkins
declined comment Sunday. The team scheduled a news conference for Monday.
Kohl said in his statement that Jordan would make a good NBA owner and that
he has encouraged him to continue searching for another ownership opportunity
in the league.
``I was also impressed with the quality of the professionals that he was
prepared to engage had we gone forward, as well as his willingness to make
every effort to keep the team in Wisconsin,'' Kohl said.