HoopsHype Seattle SuperSonics rumors

 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN SUPERSONICS HISTORY

Kevin Durant may end up claiming the No. 1 spot, but for now it belongs to Gary Payton.

   
December 10, 2014 Updates

That a major station could ignore a third of the professional sports sphere entirely is preposterous from an outsider’s perspective. But it is a testament to the severity of the pain that the move to Oklahoma City caused the city of Seattle. “There’s no doubt there’s a huge hole here. There’s a huge gap here, especially in the wintertime. Once the NFL season ends in January, that’s when the traditional rhythms of thinking about basketball used to start and now it’s gone.” “People say, ‘Oh it’s not that bad’, but really it is like there was a death in the family. When they left, it left a huge hole in the city’s sports heart that might never be fixed,” add Gastineau. The Sports Quotient

Seattle in the early 90’s was a three-sport city, but after the Sonics fired head coach KC Jones halfway through the 91’-92’ season, the team hired a coach who would become an icon a decade later. George Karl came from Spain to replace Jones and the Sonics soon became the main event in town once again. Before the coaching change, Seattle’s enigmatic young stars, Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, were under fire and fans squawked for the pair to be traded. But where fans saw trouble, Karl saw potential for greatness. “Karl lit a box of dynamite under this city,” says Gastineau. The Sports Quotient

The Gasman spotlights the Golden State series’ pivotal moment with lucid detail. He points to a monstrous alley-oop dunk from Payton to Kemp to crack a 124-124 tie in the third game of the series and crack the sound barrier inside the Coliseum. Gastineau reminisces about one of the iconic moments in Seattle sports history. “It was a big lob from Payton to Kemp for just an unbelievable dunk. And it was a remarkable call from [Sonics Radio/TV broadcaster, Kevin] Calabro, and the next two days you couldn’t turn our station on without hearing it.” Calabro’s call reciprocated the energy in the Coliseum that night with a passionate crescendo as Kemp buried the ball through the hoop. “Up to Gary Payton, a lead pass to Kemp and he’ll slam it down! What a lob! Wow! Gary Payton with a lob ahead to Kemp! He went airborne and defied gravity! What a play! The Reignman has struck!” The Sports Quotient

November 12, 2014 Updates
November 10, 2014 Updates

Aldridge responds: If you are asking if the Hawks would move to Seattle some day, David, I think not. I'm not naïve enough to think there's no chance the Hawks could leave Atlanta, but I think the current chances fall somewhere between microscopic and impossible. The league has no desire to leave Atlanta and there's corporate money flowing throughout the city and state, more than enough to put a local group together with a chief rainmaker who would keep the team in town. As for Bruce Levenson's motivations, well, we've discussed those at length over the past couple of months. NBA.com

October 31, 2014 Updates
October 23, 2014 Updates

But I make no excuses. I posted my best personal numbers last season, and we still didn’t make the playoffs. Some of the backlash was pretty hard to take — I learned that there is apparently such a thing as an “empty stat” (I’ll try to remember the importance of that the next time I am boxing out for a rebound against Tim Duncan). In the end, I was given the opportunity to move on, and I took it. My decision was about wanting to win. When I think back to being a kid shooting on an eight-foot hoop in my Shawn Kemp jersey, I never dreamed about putting up a triple-double or signing a max contract. I dreamed about holding up a championship trophy. In order to get to that place, I knew that I needed to move on. The Players' Tribune

September 28, 2014 Updates

Now twenty-five years later, Furman says he is still working on getting the NBA to the Bluegrass State but with a group of organizers in Louisville instead. The group hopes to bring a team there which has the NBA-ready KFC Yum! Center that seats over 22,000. “The NBA TV contract runs out 2015-16, and it looks like the NBA is going to expand to two more teams. They're talking about Seattle and one other team and I figure that other team may be Louisville,” Furman said. River City News

September 25, 2014 Updates

So now Daniels must wait like everyone else, hoping for word from the front lines. When I first contacted him and Robinson about meeting up for this article, both were excited to hear from me. Maybe I knew something they didn’t. Maybe there was something afoot. It was tough to break the news that there was no news. In reality, it was worse than that. According to a source in the league office, “There are no plans to expand right now and it doesn’t appear any teams are going to move anywhere.” Sports Illustrated

August 18, 2014 Updates
August 5, 2014 Updates

Ballmer spoke to reporters Monday before teeing off in a “Snoqualmie Showdown” charity round of celebrity golf with Fred Couples, Rick Neuheisel and Sports Radio KJR morning radio host Mitch Levy ahead of the Boeing Classic later this month at Snoqualmie Ridge. He expressed regret at leaving the group fronted by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen that is trying to bring the NBA back to Seattle, but said the opportunity to buy the Los Angeles Clippers was too big to pass up. “It was my dream to have a team in Seattle,” said Ballmer, speaking locally for the first time since his $2 billion offer in May to buy the Clippers, which is held up in a court battle between the league and outgoing owner Donald Sterling. “I spent some time on that and worked on it and I wish that had worked. I don’t know when that will happen. With luck, maybe it happens in the next few years, but if it takes a few more than that, I decided that this was probably the best path for me to take.” Seattle Times

Ballmer reiterated, as he has several times since making the bid, there’s no chance he’ll eventually move the Clippers to Seattle. He said the NBA would never allow it and he paid the price he did because the Clippers are a Los Angeles-based team. “Probably most people will tell you I paid an L.A. beachfront price, not a Seattle beachfront price for the team,” he said. “I’m not crazy.” Seattle Times

July 24, 2014 Updates

His name is J. Bruce Miller. He is said to be a longtime personal friend of David Stern's and has been trying for years to bring a revival of the ABA's Kentucky Colonels to the City of Louisville. (...) Miller: "As I've repeatedly said, ONCE the League gets control of the Sterling situation either by Sterling losing and the sale carrying forth OR by Sterling winning and the League (itself) moving forward as per Silver "...with our own proceedings." --- then the time will come to focus on the television rights negotiation which will also involve the potential expansion to Seattle and another city (most likely to be Louisville)." Sonics Rising

A league source who asked to remain anonymous has told Sonics Rising that "there's a good chance, not definitively so, but good that Seattle and another expansion city will be added to the next TV contract. The Seattle market is bigger than most think. Lot of untapped revenue we are losing out on there" (emphasis ours). Sonics Rising also reached out to officials in Louisville but were told they had no comment at this time. Sonics Rising

If the gentleman from Kentucky and this league insider are correct, the NBA not only wants to return to a lucrative market, whose absence is costing it significant money, but is seriously considering expansion as an alternative to do so. Three things need to happen before this can come to fruition: Seattle must get the proposed SoDo arena to a shovel-ready condition, the situation with the Clippers must be resolved, and the new TV deal must be inked with sufficient extra revenue to warrant expansion. Sonics Rising

July 21, 2014 Updates

It’s no surprise, but the Oklahoma City Thunder is making a firm stand in establishing an independent identity. Christopher Arena — the NBA’s vice president of outfitting, identity and equipment — told The Oklahoman in a phone interview Monday the Thunder will not honor the Seattle SuperSonics’ 1979 NBA title with the league’s new championship tags. Beginning in 2014-15, the NBA and Adidas will add small gold mark on the back jersey collar of teams that have won an NBA championship. The mark features a depiction of the Larry O’Brien Trophy along with a notation indicating how many times the franchise has won the NBA Finals. Last week, a leaked PDF of an Adidas catalog showed Thunder jerseys appearing without the tag, but the organization has yet to confirm or deny the decision. “As of right now, they are not wearing it,” Arena said. “They actually would have had to have told us that some time ago, and that was their choice. We have several teams who have a lineage that exists prior to the city that they’re in ...Some teams embrace that past, some teams don’t. Whether it’s because of ownership changes or perhaps the lineage is too great of a distance or the team nickname changed or whatever it may be, that’s their decision.” Oklahoman

July 19, 2014 Updates

However, a Thunder spokesman has not confirmed whether the Thunder will or won’t wear the tab. The Thunder does have rights to Seattle’s history and records, though the organization doesn’t typically take advantage of it as part of branding a new identity. The Atlanta Hawks franchise won a title in 1957-58 as the St Louis Hawks, and the Sacramento Kings won in 1950-51 as the Rochester Royals. Both team’s jerseys do feature the tab in catalog photos. Oklahoman

June 13, 2014 Updates

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