Months ago, we did a story that reported that the NBA was giving serious consideration behind the scenes of expanding to two cities: Seattle and Louisville. This was based, in part, on comments to the 'Bring the NBA to Louisville' Facebook page by J. Bruce Miller, who is the point man in the effort to land a team in Kentucky.
With the recent report that the Atlanta Hawks are now 100% for sale, one might wonder if the Louisville group will make an attempt to purchase the franchise for relocation. According to Mr. Miller's latest letter to the same Faebook page, the answer is no.
"With regard to the Atlanta Hawks, it's my understanding that the 3 groups that own the Hawks have reached an internal agreement to sell 100% of the franchise to a buyer. There are several prospective purchasing groups. Most are led by former NBA players (Mutumbo, for one - in particular and another is their historic greatest player, Dominique Wilkens).
There is no, repeat, no possibility of a transfer for the Hawks to another city. The Mayor of Atlanta cannot let the Hawks leave town and the Phillips Arena, because they've already lost the NHL team to Winnepeg. Therefore, there is no interest in this transaction (from my standpoint) other than what the purchase price will be -- because the purchase price may serve as a key to an expansion fee price.
As far as my efforts are concerned -- negotiating conversation and money discussions continue with several potential majority ownership groups and will take place again this weekend. I've repeatedly said, and will repeat -- once we have the money lined up and are satisfied with the arrangements we will make application to the NBA for an expansion franchise. There will be no public announcement until the application is made and the announcement is allowed to be made by the "franchisor" -- which is the NBA.
Rest assured, fans, the work is continuing and is advancing every day."
So the man who has been trying to bring the NBA to Louisville since the day the Kentucky Colonels ceased to exist is so convinced that the Hawks are unmovable that he won't even make an attempt to acquire the team. I suspect that he is right.
Also note that he is still going full steam ahead with the expansion process.Take what you will from that.