Marc Lasry, the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, has reportedly reached an agreement to sell his share of the franchise to Jimmy Haslam, the owner of the Cleveland Browns. The valuation of the sale is $3.5 billion, which is the second-highest valuation ever for an NBA franchise.
According to the report from The Athletic, “Haslam will join the ownership group with current co-owner Wes Edens following a months-long process that included several meetings among the parties.”
Given the history that Haslam has with the Cleveland Browns, Bucks fans and the NBA world at large were less than thrilled to hear the news.
Please keep Jimmy Haslem as far away from Giannis as possible.
— Damon Amendolara (@DAonCBS) February 27, 2023
The Haslem outrage but nothing with how Wes Edens made his money
(All billionares are bad folks) pic.twitter.com/XYG3YSJjgY
— Nihilist Bucks (@nihilist_bucks) February 27, 2023
In addition to the Cleveland Browns, Haslam — who has a reported net worth of close to $5 billion — owns the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.
Jimmy Haslem buying a portion of the bucks and the browns can’t win 😂😂😂😂
— Dee ( PARLAYMMay) (@lllMMaybachll) February 27, 2023
The Bucks are doomed if they allow Haslem to be a sold owner. Having a co-ownership structure will keep their franchise in at least mostly good shape. https://t.co/RDAYg86pK3
— Steven von Indy (@Reidellruns) February 27, 2023
Currently, the Bucks are just half a game behind the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference with a record of 43-17 and are one of the favorites to win this year’s NBA title.
me, a lifetime browns fan, fielding calls about Jimmy Haslam from all my friends in the Bucks community today pic.twitter.com/HOQ2zUDAWy
— ND (with the "upmost" respect) 🏁 (@nathand_12) February 27, 2023
I appreciate what Marc Lasry did for the #Bucks. Helped bring a championship to the city and a team I've rooted for since I was 5…
but really? Jimmy Haslam…
This sucks. https://t.co/LUW00HM1yE
— ScottyWegs9 (@ScottyWegs9) February 27, 2023
What makes the Bucks such an interesting purchase, of course, is how it impacts the future of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who led the team to their second-ever NBA title back in 2021 and is on course to become one of the greatest players in the history of the league.
Still just 28 years old, Giannis will likely be in line for the biggest contract in the history of the sport when his current deal — set to expire following the 2024-25 season (unless he chooses to commit to his $51M player’s option, which would keep him with the team for another year).
Haslam buying part of the Bucks is the first step on the road to making Giannis a Cavalier
— Landon 🌎☄️💕®️ (@Armentro1Landon) February 27, 2023
Jimmy Haslam becoming the majority owner of the Bucks is good news for the Celtics
— Stephen St🏀ne (@StephenRStone) February 27, 2023
During his decade-plus as the owner of the Cleveland Browns, Haslam has seen the oft-mocked franchise compile a 55-113-1 record and win just one playoff game. The team also recently disrupted the NFL quarterback contract market by handing a fully guaranteed, $230 million deal to controversial signal-caller Deshaun Watson.
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