Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:10 pm
Milwaukee Bucks majority owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens, Jamie Dinan and Michael Fascitelli today were all smiles as they discussed the upcoming NBA season during Media Day at Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee.
The team’s training camp tips-off tomorrow, a couple weeks ahead of its first preseason home game on Oct. 3 against the Chicago Bulls, and with a new $524 million world-class arena, which opened almost one month ago, franchise owners are optimistic about a season better than the last– at least that’s the goal.
“When we made the investment in the team four and a half years ago we said we wanted to create an environment that was world-class in every regard– world class in the training staff, world class in the front office, business operations, coaching staff and, of course, the players,” Edens said. “All that though needs a home and a set of physical facilities that matches it, and between (the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center) and (Fiserv Forum), we think we have without question the best home in the NBA.”
The new arena and practice facility provides “momentum” for the franchise to continue building its “winning culture,” and for its athletes, like superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, to improve and develop as players, Fascitelli. Antetokounmpo was mentioned numerous times during the press conference, as he proves to be the team’s best asset year after year.
“If you have a great team, it’s going to help the arena,” Fascitelli said. “If you have a great arena, it’s going to help the team. I think they all build on each other… hopefully that makes the players more excited, makes the fans more excited.”
The Bucks also hope to make Fiserv Forum the center of Milwaukee’s entertainment scene with a lineup of world-renown performers. So far the arena has hosted The Killers, Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake and Jim Gaffigan, but concert operations and logistics are still being worked out, Fascitelli said.
“We’re learning everything from parking and traffic, to food and beverage, to the noise levels,” he said. “The number of people demands different tweaking.”
The arena isn’t the only thing that’s new to the team this season. The Bucks in May named Mike Budenholzer as its new head coach after firing former head coach Jason Kidd in January.
Dinan said the entire Bucks roster will look to Budenholzer and his coaching staff for ways to improve their game.
“Coach Bud does a good of a job as any coach in the NBA at making the most at what he has– he makes each of his players better,” he said.
Budenholzer’s appointment came less than a year after the organization hired Jon Horst as its new general manager. Edens said the owners are pleased with the outcomes of the hires, “the right people” for both the coaching staff and front office.