Dan Issel Joins Louisville Investment Group Vying For NBA Team
The Louisville Basketball Investment & Support Group -- some of the city’s "deepest pockets in pursuit of a professional basketball team" -- on Wednesday announced Basketball HOFer Dan Issel had joined the group and been named its president, according to a front-page piece by Tim Sullivan of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. The investment group that includes Brown-Forman Chair George Garvin Brown IV and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. Matthew Barzun has "announced the commitment of $750,000 in seed money" to pursue an NBA team. Issel has "already engaged NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on the 'NBA 2 Louisville' initiative." Issel said, “[Silver] said right now there is no timetable for expansion. That will be their stance until they start accepting applications. ... What we want is to be ready to go. If and when they accept applications, we want to be on the top of the pile." Issel also said that the group has "yet to identify a prospective majority owner" and has yet to approach the Univ. of Louisville about "sharing the KFC Yum Center, and both of those steps figure to involve significant hurdles" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 2/16). Sullivan in a separate piece writes with the creation of the investment group, Louisville's pro basketball interests have "taken some of their most encouraging steps on the NBA front" since lawyer J. Bruce Miller’s "thwarted pursuit" of the Hornets in '01. Though numerous factors "conspire against getting a deal done," the involvement of Issel and the "visibility of potential investors make the erstwhile pipe dream more plausible" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 2/16).