HoopsHype Seattle rumors

June 19, 2012 Updates

Chris Hansen sees the groundswell of support that seems to be developing in the community for his push for a new arena that could bring the NBA back to Seattle. The leading investor in the project hopes those supporters don't become disillusioned if it ends up taking five to seven years for pro basketball to return if Hansen's current arena proposal is approved by local lawmakers. ESPN.com

Hansen declined to talk about specific franchises or details about discussions with the NBA. "With the different opportunities that are out there, our job is to stand up and make the best case for Seattle," Hansen said. "It's not to be predatory and go out there and wrestle a franchise loose from some town where the ownership group wants to keep it there. It's when the decision is made that they would like to relocate, we would like to be the option for that relocation." ESPN.com

June 14, 2012 Updates
June 13, 2012 Updates

The push to build a new arena in Seattle with the hopes of seeing the NBA return now has another name to go along with that of hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Ballmer will be part of the investment group for both the arena and the acquisition of an NBA franchise, according to a letter sent Wednesday by Hansen to King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press. That Ballmer is part of the investment group is not a surprise. Ballmer is a longtime basketball fan who regularly sat courtside at SuperSonics games before their departure to Oklahoma City in 2008 and was part of a group that made a last-ditch effort to try to keep the team in Seattle. cbc.ca

Ballmer will be part of the investment group for both the arena and the acquisition of an NBA franchise, according to a letter sent Wednesday by Hansen to King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press. Oregonian

The project calls for about $290 million in private investment from Hansen’s group, along with $200 million from the city and county through 30-year bonds. Any franchise that comes to Seattle and uses the arena would be required to sign a non-relocation agreement that would span the life of those bonds. Oregonian

June 11, 2012 Updates

Gary Payton says on radio not rooting for Heat in Finals even though he won title with them in '06 & OKC left Seattle, where he starred. "The Miami Heat I played for, guys got to understand I did not make my name for this Miami Heat,’’ Payton said on 95.7 The Game in Bay Area. “I made my name for the Seattle SuperSonics. I played for the Heat one year, won a championship. That’s great. But I didn’t make all accomplishments from that team.'' So if it was a Seattle SuperSonic team I’m all for it' Sulia

May 29, 2012 Updates
November 23, 2011 Updates

Kevin Durant is returning to Seattle. The former Sonics star is one of several players highlighting an NBA charity game organized by Jamal Crawford that will be played Dec. 15 at Edmundson Pavilion. "Kevin and I played in three different all-star games together and after the first one, he was like 'I want to come home, I want to come back to Seattle,' " Crawford said. "He wants to come a week earlier to work out with me and Brandon (Roy) and the guys. He's excited about coming back. "I don't think he's been back ever since they left. And honestly, he's mentioned playing this game in Seattle about 4-5 times. So it was important that we get him." Seattle Times

August 18, 2011 Updates
July 24, 2011 Updates

A day to celebrate what Seattle has produced on the basketball court also became a green and gold reminder of what the area lost with no solid idea of when the NBA might return. Saturday's H206 Charity Basketball Classic brought NBA players back to KeyArena for the first league-sanctioned event since the messy departure of the SuperSonics for Oklahoma City following the 2008 season. ESPN.com

Earlier Saturday the discussion centered on when and if an NBA team would ever return. Former Sonics star Jack Sikma perhaps summed up the desire to get a team back to Seattle saying, "It's hard to put it all together. That puzzle is tough. I think there is a will, but the way is not clear yet." The final score was of little interest, even though team "Seattle" beat the "League" team 140-122. Hawes led the Seattle team with 27 points and started a chant of "Come home Sonics!" in the moments after the final buzzer. Terrence Williams was the MVP after scoring 25 points. ESPN.com

Roy didn't play, citing the risk of injury and a curious case of phone tag between him and team doctor Don Roberts, leaving Jamal Crawford, Martell Webster and Michael Beasley to provide the oohs and aahs to a crowd of about 5,000 at KeyArena, which hasn't seen NBA basketball since the SuperSonics left to become the Oklahoma City Thunder three years ago. But from Roy himself, there was absolutely no false advertising. Roy said he will make no declarations that he should be a starter when the Blazers return for training camp after the NBA's labor strike is settled. No proclamations that he is back to his old self after his latest knee surgeries -- arthroscopic procedures on both knees in January. And no concessions that he is now a bench player who needs to adapt his game to compensate for what was left on the operating table. Oregonian

In fact, Roy wants to make it clear there will be no self-advertising whatsoever when it comes to his game. "I just don't even want to put anything out there," said Roy, who celebrated his 27th birthday Saturday. "I don't want to get hopes up one way or the other. I'm just trying to work to get better. And if I surprise a million people, that's better. Hopefully, I can surprise some people." Oregonian

It's unclear whether Roy will be able to fully return to form, but he said on Saturday that his offseason workout routine has progressed without a setback. "I'm doing good, I'm doing great," Roy said. "Working out, keeping my weight down. And starting to play a little basketball this week. Enjoying the summer, really trying to take my time and keep improving. "I'm healthy. I'm in a position where I'm not battling any soreness or anything, so I feel like I can start improving, getting better with my game. I'm excited." CBSSports.com

Roy said he is lifting weights, getting shots up and playing in some light games, with plans to increase that workload like usual as the summer progresses. "I'll start turning it up more, playing more competitively, as we get into August," Roy said. "Really no room for it now. Really just trying to fine-tune some things and just get better. I'm excited that I'm not in any pain and I can just play and not have any pressure in having to deal with the knees, just go out there and hoop." He noted that his workouts are taking place in Seattle rather than Portland because of the ongoing NBA lockout, which bans players from team facilities."I'm spending my time here," Roy said. "I have gyms here that I go to. In Portland, I go into the facility, but we can't do that now, so I'm spending most of my time up here right now." CBSSports.com

What exactly that role will be once the Blazers and the NBA reconvene remains to be seen. Roy said he had mixed results recently after resuming basketball drills. The bad news? He says he doesn't have the same lift on his jumps as he did during his run of three All-Star appearances. The good news is that he has surprised himself with his mobility, and he has been free of pain and swelling. Plus, his knees feel stronger than they did during the season -- in part because of the nearly three months since the season ended and in part because the January surgeries are even further in the past. Oregonian

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