As if former Senator Herb Kohl doesn’t deserve endless plaudits for not only potentially taking less money in selling his Milwaukee Bucks to keep the team in Milwaukee, the longtime Bucks owner also pledged $100 million of his own money for renovations to help the team he doesn’t even own anymore continue to play in the cherished Bradley Center, a downtown Milwaukee fixture that helps keep jobs in the city.
The downtown recipients of those jobs received a nice bon mot from the outgoing owner recently in their mailboxes. According to usher Izeal Atkins and other Bradley Center employees, a nice note and $500 check was sent out from Kohl recently to those who have worked and will continue to work Bucks games.
"Today, I want to express my gratitude and appreciation," Atkins read from the letter.
It was from Kohl to BMO Harris Bradley Center employees, thanking them for their good work.
"That's why I am pleased to provide you with a gesture of my appreciation," Kohl's letter said.
"Then I go, and I open it up, and I see $500," Atkins said. "I am not quick to shed tears. I sat there and shed tears for maybe five to 10 minutes because nobody just walks up gives you $500."
"Five hundred dollars, so I was very surprised. I was very surprised. You don't hear about the people doing that," security guard Markeish Stringer said.
You can say what you want about Kohl’s stewardship of the team – he instructed his various general managers to eschew the rebuilding route, and as a result the team has been mired in mediocrity (or worse, and rarely better) for the majority of his 29 years in owning the Bucks. Recent grassroots outfits have begged Kohl to at the very least consider a new GM (in opposition to current personnel boss John Hammond), or sell the team to someone who doesn’t mind starting over.
The man should be considered a local saint of sorts for his other charitable work, his move to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee (Kohl likely could have sold for far more, giving the team to prospective owners with intent to move, as former Seattle owner Howard Schultz did in selling the former SuperSonics to Clay Bennett and Aubrey McClendon), his move to keep the Bucks playing in the Milwaukee suburbs, and now this tidy little gift – pitched at a time of the year when hourly wages working Bucks or Marquette games aren’t going to pop up again until the fall.
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