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Browns owner Jimmy Haslam completes big purchase of stake in NBA team

Jimmy Haslam on the field

Nov 3, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam before the game against the Denver Broncos iat Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Haslam is officially a (part) NBA owner.

Shams Charania and Eric Nehm of The Athletic reported on Friday that the Cleveland Browns owner Haslam has completed his purchase of a stake in the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. Haslam and Haslam Sports Group are buying out the stake of Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry for a $3.5 billion valuation, the report adds.

Lasry, along with business partner Wes Edens, purchased the Bucks from businessman and politician Herb Kohl in 2014. They paid a total of $550 million for the franchise, which was an NBA record at the time. But since then, the Bucks have made seven playoff appearances, earned five division crowns, and won an NBA championship (in 2021). They also employ one of the best players on the planet in Giannis Antetokounmpo, all factors that have led to the Bucks’ valuation going through the roof.

The last two teams to be sold in the NBA were the Utah Jazz (sold in 2020 for $1.66 billion) and the Phoenix Suns (sold earlier this year for a record $4 billion). The Bucks’ valuation here is between those two numbers (and much closer to the valuation of the Suns at that).

Meanwhile, Haslam, 69, has owned the Browns since 2012 and also owns the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer (MLS). He has not always been a popular figure, especially with the Browns’ struggles over the last decade. But now Haslam gets a fresh start in Milwaukee, working with Edens on a team that is once again one of the favorites to win the NBA title this year.

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