Another Face Of The Franchise Falls Flat
If Herb Kohl hadn't help destroy health care in this country by voting for Obamacare, I'd almost feel sorry for him. If he hadn't used almost every available opportunity to raise my taxes, I might be sympathetic.
The fact is though that he did - and you have to wonder whether this is the way the universe has of evening things out? Karma and all that ...
I'm talking of course about the decision to pay Bucks forward Larry Sanders $44 million over the next four years to be the latest "face of the Milwaukee Bucks franchise".
Sanders promptly rewarded Kohl's investment by playing horribly in the first couple of games and then getting himself involved in a late-night bar fight at a downtown club. The cherry-on-the-cake of the incident is that Sanders tore a ligament in his right thumb during the fight and is now sidelined for six weeks!
Did I mention that while Sanders was swinging a champagne bottle, his wife was within 48 hours of delivering his child? Oh to be in the NBA where the conventions that apply to mere mortals don't apply!
The Milwaukee District Attorney's Office has decided to issue no charges in connection with this case. I would suggest however that those who are not highly paid athletes shouldn't read too much into this decision. My guess is that most people not named Larry Sanders who go upside someone's head with a beer bottle in a bar brawl will probably find themselves wearing a jump suit at the Milwaukee County Jail.
Don't get me started on double standards.
Ever since Kohl allowed George Karl to trade away Ray Allen ( a true "face of the franchise" ) for over-the-hill malcontent Gary Payton, the Bucks franchise has seemed to have been cursed. Even after blowing up last year's roster and trying to bring in some higher character players, the Bucks can't catch a break.
Now Carlos Delfino says he'll miss the entire season with a foot injury. There goes another $3 million.
Some people who follow the Bucks tell me that while Sanders is immature, it's not fair to lump him in with some of the more notorious bad actors who have populated the NBA in recent years. For the sake of the franchise, I hope this proves to be correct.
Note to Larry though: Remember Wagner's Rule of Life Number 4 - "Nothing good happens outside a strip joint at 2:30 a.m."
Or in Apartment 720 at 1 a.m..
On a larger point, I don't know if there's any real way to generate public support for a new taxpayer funded downtown arena. I do know however that it would be an easier sell if the Bucks weren't seemingly jinxed and the face of the franchise wasn't engaging in conduct that would have ordinary mortals posing for mug shots.
You know, on second thought, I do feel bad for Herb Kohl - even if he did screw up health care.