Former Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl could have stopped after selling his former team, declining the overtures of several suitors and turning down hundreds of millions of dollars in order to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee, selling to Wes Edens and Marc Lasry. He could have stopped after contributing $100 million of the then-record $550 million he made when he sold the team to attempts to formulate a new arena that would stay in the city of Milwaukee, rather than scampering off to the outlying suburbs.
He then could have stopped after it was reported that Kohl was anonymously sending out $500 checks to various Bucks employees.
He didn’t stop there. From Gary Woelfel at the Racine Journal-Times:
What you haven’t read, though, is that Kohl’s generosity extended much further. He also bestowed significant financial gifts to others in the organization, from secretaries to sales personnel to basketball operations officials. The amount Kohl gave those employees varied and was based on different criterion, not the least of which was longevity with the organization.
Some Bucks employees received $40,000 while others received nearly $100,000. And there were even some individuals who were given checks that one person close to the situation described as “life changing.”
Yes, for quite a few people even a relatively slim percentage of the numbers being floated around as gifts from the former Wisconsin senator would be regarded as “life changing.”
Remember, this team isn’t leaving Milwaukee, because Kohl determined that any such talk from a potential buyer would be a non-starter. Unlike former Seattle SuperSonics owner Howard Schultz, who basically colluded with current Oklahoma City Thunder owners Clay Bennett and Aubrey McClendon to move the team from Seattle to OKC (Schultz, who made his billions in the city of Seattle, could have chosen to sell to local owners), costing dozens if not hundreds of SuperSonics employees and tangential Seattle-area NBA workers their jobs.
Without any reports of sending some anonymous checks back to their ex-employees along the way.
Kohl’s former co-workers actually still have jobs, as a rebuilding Bucks team will line up in its first season under Lasry and Edens this fall. Even on top of that batch of good news, Kohl still saw fit to anonymously brighten a few days as he moves into another stage of his life.
One gets the feeling that reports of his generosity won’t stop bubbling up any time soon.
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