For Seattle, the only realistic choice is expansion. The reasons for not expanding now are varied, and logical. There’s no reason for owners to split an exploding financial pie further. The NBA is in a boom period, with market size not nearly as important as it used to be. The league does not need to have a team in Seattle, the country’s 14th largest TV market. (The success of the Thunder in Oklahoma City, ironically — and, sadly for Seattle — only magnifies the point.)
Seattle was a strong NBA market for many years, going crazy for the Sonics of Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, which reached The Finals in 1996. From 1995-99, the Sonics basically sold out Key Arena, and they never averaged less than 14,300 fans from 1991-2007, their next-to-last season in town. The city and surrounding area has a rich tradition of producing NBA talent, including current players Isaiah Thomas, Jamal Crawford, Jason Terry, Marvin Williams, Spencer Hawes, Rodney Stuckey and Aaron Brooks. “Seattle is a far better market than at least 10 NBA cities,” said a very high ranking executive of one of the league’s 29 teams last week.
October 24, 2016 | 10:55 am EDT Update
Marc Stein: The Pelicans just announced that they’ve waived Alonzo Gee and kept Lance Stephenson, even though Gee is owed a full $1.2 million.
“I’m just fitting in,” Durant says. “I try to adjust to them, you know? I’m the new guy, so I’m trying to adjust. It’s been going well. This offense is not predicated on just doing one thing. It’s a bunch of guys who can shoot, pass, dribble, make plays, and I’m one of those types of guys. It’s not as difficult as you might think. You’re just out there playing a game. “You never know who (will hurt you). That’s what makes it so dangerous. From Steph to Klay to me, to S-Dot (Shaun Livingston) to Draymond to Andre, all of us can go and take over the game. It’s not just about scoring; it’s about just having an impact. And I think that’s what everybody brings.”
“He blends in pretty well with what we already do,” Kerr says. “As I said, we haven’t put in a lot of our offense, but he dominates play when he’s on the floor. He’s a dominant offensive player, which is a great thing. He’s a great playmaker. I think that’s what’s really intriguing about putting him with these guys, with Steph and Klay and Draymond, is you’ve got Andre, Shaun, you’ve got multiple playmakers. “And if you move the ball, we should be able to cut down on turnovers as long as we don’t make it about the show and we make it about execution. We should be able to cut back on our turnovers this year, should be able to get better shots, to compete at a high level, but to execute at a high level too, which you have to do — in June especially.”
Me: Where did this entrepreneurial passion come from? UH: When I was hurt in the playoffs (2010), the year we played Chicago, I spent all year out. I came back for that Chicago series. I just had a lot of time to think. The injury I had was so specific, which was the Lisfranc injury. I had never heard of it. I had never seen it. And I started to research it. It wasn’t good. I didn’t know if I’d be back. And so I just had to start thinking. Me: I’m sure you talked with Caron Butler about this? UH: Yeah. Definitely. I had extensive conversations with Caron about it. I played with Caron one year and I had a chance to sit down and talk to him this summer.