USA TODAY International Edition

Owner will sell his Bucks share to Browns owners

- Jeff Zillgitt

Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry has reached a deal to sell his portion of the NBA franchise to Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, a person with knowledge of the sale told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly until the deal is official. The sale must be approved by NBA owners.

The NFL team- owning Haslams are buying Lasry’s share of the NBA team on a $ 3.5 billion valuation, just shy of the $ 4 billion valuation of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury. Mat Ishbia, and his brother, Justin, acquired 57% of the Suns and Mercury in a deal that was completed on Feb. 7.

Lasry, along with main owners Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan, bought the Bucks franchise from former Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl on a $ 550 million valuation in 2014.

The Bucks had just drafted Giannis Antetokoun­mpo, and after naming Jon Horst general manager and Mike Budenholze­r coach, the Bucks built a championsh­ip- caliber team, winning the 2021 title. Ownership also helped build a downtown arena and nearby practice facility and added to the entertainm­ent district around the arena.

Lasry’s son, Alex, is a senior vice president for the Bucks and ran for one of Wisconsin’s U. S. senate seats in 2022, dropping out before the Democratic primary.

The Bucks are 43- 17 in second place in the Eastern Conference, a half game behind the Boston Celtics. They have won 14 consecutiv­e games and are expected to be a major factor in this season’s playoffs.

Haslam and his wife, who made their fortune in the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain, have a net worth of $ 4.8 billion, according to Forbes.

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