Friday, May 10, 2013

NBA: This Was Never About Seattle...

  Seattle's Chris Hansen fighting a battle that is essentially a no win situation. The battle over the Sacramento Kings is coming to an end the week of May 13th 2013 and the hill to climb is getting steep. The NBA Relocation Committee chaired by Seattle nemesis Clay Bennett owner of Oklahoma City Thunder unanimously turned down a recommendation (0-7) for the Kings to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. Hansen's group continues to fight and recently raised the purchase price by an additional $75 Million bringing the total to $625 Million.

          Hansen's group has already negotiated a handshake deal with Sacramento Kings Owner(s) the Maloof's. Yet, the NBA seems poised to keep professional basketball in Sacramento. What needs to be explained to fans in Seattle is the fact NBA owners are not evaluating rather Hansen's group has the ability to financially purchase the Kings. Instead NBA owners are evaluating the City of Sacramento and deciding if the city is capable of producing a positive and financially valuable environment for an NBA franchise. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (former NBA player) has shown the ability to put together a purchasing group and arena deal in order to keep the Kings in Sacramento. It is not in the NBA's best interest to rip a team from a city if the local government is capable of meeting NBA standards and financially providing support to keep a team in an already established NBA city.

         Micky Arison owner of the Miami Heat is also one of the seven owners who voted against the Kings relocating to Seattle and he had a little something to say regarding the situation.Excerpts are extracted via SB Nation from Sports Radio KJR 950 AM & 102.9 FM Seattle WA and a Direct Message Arison had with a Seattle supporter @Dah_knee on Twitter.
          You don't get it. We are voting to leave Sac or not. I love Seattle and will support a team there but honestly you are making it harder to support you. ... The question before the committee is "Has Sac done all it should to keep the team?" The answer is yes. It's not a vote about Seattle. ... If Seattle -- especially local politicians -- had done what Sac's done a move to OKC would never have been approved. ... [Seattle guy says the city did step up with Ballmer's KeyArena renovation plan] ... Sorry, but you're wrong. Ballmer never stepped up in 2008 and the issue was the turning down of the arena project to Schultz and Bennett over many years. ... Another market move is more likely but expansion will be considered after the next TV negotiations. ... [The Ballmer 2008 plan] was unacceptable to the league and they knew it.

As you can see the NBA is making the case that the sell of the Kings to the Hansen group has nothing to do with Hansen but the City of Sacramento. Which raises the question of how do you deny a city a team after slapping them in the face with the Sonics leaving town in 2008. Then beat them down when a financially fit and business savvy individual elects to purchase a franchise with willing owner's,  the Maloofs ready to sale? If the NBA commits another foul in the Seattle NBA saga without offering a favorable solution its possible the door slams in Seattle forever. Best answer to this catastrophe is a deal where the Hansen group receives the rights to an expansion team. With an expansion franchise Seattle carry the legacy of the SuperSonics without destroying the history of Chris Webber, Kenny Smith, Mitch Richmond, and Reggie Theus. Hopefully this move would allow the OKC Thunder to claim its rightful history in Oklahoma which started in 2008. Leaving the Seattle SuperSonics with the rights to truly retire Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and Nate Mc Millan's jerseys the way it should be done. Maybe, just maybe Chris Hansen already knows this and is leveraging the NBA by showing proof that Seattle is financially ready for an NBA expansion team. 
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