SBD/April 7, 2014/Franchises

Magic, Bucks Owners Forced To Dispute Reports Of Teams Changing Hands

Magic execs say a recent restructuring was for estate planning purposes
Magic Chair Dan DeVos yesterday said that he has "no plans or desire to sell the franchise," according to Josh Robbins of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. DeVos in an e-mail wrote, "As a family, the topic of selling the team has not come up. In fact, we are enjoying the team more than ever. Especially my father. We are very excited about our focus on winning a NBA championship. ... The Magic are not for sale." Robbins notes rumors have "abounded that the franchise might be for sale" over the last year. Those rumors were "referenced in a Comcast SportsNet New England article over the weekend." In that piece, a source said the Magic were one of two teams "that might be made available in the near future." But Robbins notes last year, a "percentage of the franchise was redistributed evenly" to team Owner Rich DeVos' four children. The restructuring "was approved" by the NBA BOG. Dan DeVos last year said that the restructuring was "done as an estate planning move." He added that the restructuring was a "sign that his family has no plans to sell the franchise" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 4/7).

BUCK STOPS HERE: Allen & Co. Managing Dir Steve Greenberg, whose firm was retained by Bucks Owner Herb Kohl to bring in new team investors, on Saturday said that the "process is ongoing" and that reports of a possible sale "were premature." Kohl said, "There is a lot of speculation out there. ... But we are not going to comment on speculation." In Milwaukee, Walker & Gardner noted ESPN's Bill Simmons earlier on Saturday tweeted that the Bucks "were close to being sold, pending league approval." Simmons wrote, "Hearing the Milwaukee Bucks are very VERY close to being sold pending league approval. Might be done already. PS: Not to the Seattle guys." But Kohl later in the day said the pace of talks to find additional investors is "constructive." He said of the team staying in Milwaukee, "I feel great. I'm confident the Bucks are going to be in Milwaukee for a long time. I'm confident we're going to get to a new facility. Life is about tomorrow. We remember yesterday, but we look forward to tomorrow" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/6).
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