In the nearly two weeks since Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens were officially approved as the new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, the pair haven't been exceedingly visible beyond the most high-profile events. Last week's NBA Draft Lottery was the first real look we got at the new faces of ownership in action, and even then they were more actively represented by their children. Mallory Edens represented the Bucks (and the wonderful Partners In Health organization) on stage and drew a curious amount of coverage herself, while Alexander Lasry chilled backstage and shared his excitement after the event. There have been a few interviews and quotes here and there, but the Dynamic Duo (Patent Pending) have mostly worked behind the scenes so far.
Well, they're stepping out from behind the curtain in a big way tomorrow. Wes and Marc are inviting all Bucks fans to join them at McGillycuddy's Bar and Grill in downtown Milwaukee on Thursday night to watch the San Antonio Spurs take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Not only should this be a great game (I mean, have you been watching this series?), but Marc and Wes will be interacting with fans all night. They want to share their vision for the future of the Milwaukee Bucks, and this meet-and-greet offers fans a chance to hear from the team's new top dogs face-to-face.
PROTIP: If Marc and Wes ask for fan input on how the franchise should conduct itself moving forward, simply point at the nearest TV screen and yell "LIKE THAT!"
Fan discussions are sure to center around the upcoming NBA Draft and possible shake-ups in the organization between now and then. Wes and Marc sent a letter to Bucks stake holders after the lottery, sharing their enthusiasm for the future:
Last night marked a key moment in Bucks history.
As many of you know, we received the 2nd pick in the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery. This is our first milestone as owners, and a huge step forward in bringing a championship to Milwaukee.
We believe that the 2014 Draft class has the potential to be one of the best classes in the past decade. We could not be more excited to have one of the most talented players in the world, whoever he may be, join our team and call Milwaukee home. We are building a young core of players who will be the foundation of our future. We anticipate the skills and basketball acumen of this newly drafted player together with our current roster of talented young men will assist us in rebuilding the Bucks to become a team that does not earn a Draft Lottery position in coming years.
As we have said before, our mission in Milwaukee is plain and simple:
- Become an NBA Championship caliber team
- Reengage fans by reinvesting in the game-day experience
- Further integrate the Bucks and the greater Milwaukee community
We hope to have your support as we make this a reality and we can’t wait to see you at games come the fall!
It’s Time for a Bucks Comeback! Fear the Deer!
Wes & Marc
Meanwhile, back in the shadows, a few subtle personnel moves are starting to pop up, though not the kind you're likely to see on the NBA newswire. According to Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sarah Watterson has replaced Ron Walter on Milwaukee's Cultural and Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force. Watterson handles investor relations for the Edens-led Fortress Investment Group LLC. She has been in charge of media inquiries with Edens and Lasry in the time since the duo was announced as the Bucks' buyers.
Walter, the Bucks' Executive Vice President for Business Administration and long considered Herb Kohl's right-hand man, said that the new owners "wanted to have a representative on the task force." Watterson is expected to be the point person for dealings related to a new multipurpose arena in Milwaukee and will act as a public face for Bucks' ownership. Walter says he is focused on the ownership transition as opposed to his future role with the team, though his replacement on the task force could hint at broader changes taking hold behind the scenes.