As regular readers of this site know, sports owners seldom level outright threats to move their teams if their subsidy demands aren’t met, since it’s tough to lead a season-ticket drive when you’re being hung in effigy. So this, from Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl yesterday, is about as close as we’re going to get:
“We’re gonna get a facility. I’m confident we’re going to get a facility because it’s an important thing, not only for basketball but for our community. And in order to keep the Bucks, we have to have a facility. And in order to get a facility, we have to keep the Bucks. So it’s like a two-fer: We’re either going to get both in the years ahead or we’re going to have neither.”
The Kings managed to beat back the vultures, but the reality is that Seattle now stands as the NBA’s leverage piece against any city with facilities that don’t maximize profit. Does Milwaukee care enough about the Bucks to keep them in town? Their answer will have to be with their taxes, or we’re going to have a repeat of what went on in Sacramento, regardless of Kohl’s intentions.
With sportswriters like these, who needs to make your own coherent threats?