ESPN’s Bill Simmons, managing editor of Grantland, has returned from a suspension and is working on video previews for each of the 30 teams in the NBA. During his preview of the Milwaukee Bucks, Simmons spouted off a conspiracy theory regarding the future of the Bucks in Milwaukee.
Simmons conspiracy theory centers around the new ownership group, and the struggle to get a new arena for the franchise. The conspiracy starts at 10:05 in the video below.
His theory centers around the fact that there is no location in, or around, the City of Milwaukee; and the fact that it would be better for the NBA owners if the team was to be sold and moved to Seattle.
Simmons’ conspiracy hinges on the idea that the NBA is pressuring Edens and Lasry (the new Bucks owners) to not really push for an arena. The league can then buy the team back from them, then sell the franchise to Chris Hansen and the Seattle group for close to $1.6 billion…a $1.025 billion profit from the league’s purchase price of the Bucks, right around $39 million per owner before the relocation fee.
When the franchise was purchased by Edens and Lasry for $550 million back in May, there was a buy-back clause in the contract that would allow the NBA to buy the franchise for $575 million if there was no new arena opening by October 1st, 2017. The Bucks’ deal was struck before the Sterling fiasco happened and the Clippers sold for $2 billion.
While none of his speculation is factually in accurate, it is unlikely that the NBA is willing to go through another SonicsGate type fiasco; and make no mistake, that’s exactly what this would be if the team left Milwaukee.