HoopsHype Seattle SuperSonics rumors

 

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May 30, 2014 Updates
May 16, 2014 Updates
April 11, 2014 Updates

Don’t worry, you won’t have to cheer for the Seattle Bucks. As I tweeted last weekend, the Seattle guys (Steve Ballmer and Chris Hansen) aren’t getting the team — even though they were willing to go higher than anyone else, they dropped out because Herb Kohl (the longtime Bucks owner and a fearless champion of mediocre basketball) wouldn’t sell them the franchise unless they agreed to keep it in Milwaukee. The guys who thought they had it as recently as two days ago? Hedge-fund billionaires Marc Lasry and Wes Edens, who slid under the radar this entire time and thought they landed the Bucks with an offer in the $550 million range (slightly more than Vivek Ranadivé paid for the equally unappealing Kings). As recently as Wednesday, Lasry and Edens were expecting the NBA to vote on their bid at next week’s Board of Governors meeting. Grantland

So … what happened? Apparently there’s been a late flurry of offers from at least two other parties — not the Seattle guys — and now, incredibly, the price might be climbing and/or Kohl might be wavering to see if he should play this out longer. I thought I had this story nailed two days ago; now, I’m not sure. Will Lasry and Edens land the Bucks? Will someone else swoop in? What promises will be made to Adam Silver, who has demanded a new arena in Milwaukee by 2017 at the latest … or else? And can the Bucks and Kings really go for a combined $1.1 billion or more???? Good Lord! My money is still on Lasry and Edens, but I can’t believe this process is still dragging along. You know, kind of like the Bucks. Grantland

April 3, 2014 Updates

The investor who attempted to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle says his investment group is solely focused on pursuing the NBA and is not interested in owning an NHL franchise. Chris Hansen told The Associated Press on Wednesday that no one in his ownership group has interest in being the majority owner of a hockey franchise even as rumors continue to circulate about the NHL having interest in Seattle as a possible market in the future. Oregonian

(Are you by nature a patient person?) “Very patient.” (So then what’s your message to Sonics fans who may not be as patient as you are?) “Does anybody really think that Seattle is not going to have a NBA team at some point in the future? I think everybody can get really impatient when things don’t happen on their own agenda whether it’s something like this or accumulating wealth at a certain point in our life or accomplishing some professional goal of yours. It’s real easy to get impatient and ahead of yourself. It’s inevitable Seattle will have a basketball team. It’s just a question of when. Our job is to get the arena through the EIS process and done and evaluate opportunities as they come up. The next time an opportunity comes our way, we’re going to be in a lot better position. We’re not going to have to prove to the NBA that we’re likely to get an arena built. We’ll have a fully-baked, signed off on deal. There’s not a lot of other cities in this country that can say that. Seattle Times

Hansen: You may not talk about some of the difficulties that we’ve gone though in the last year, but the entire nation got to see how passionate Seattle sports fans are. The best marketing for the case of the NBA in Seattle, I had nothing to do with. And they come out for the NFL and soccer too. The entire world has had a chance to see what a great city this is and how much things have changed since the last time the Sonics were here. How vibrant our city is and how much it’s grown. I don’t want to talk badly about other cities, but I don’t think there’s anyone that is even close to what we have to offer. Seattle Times

(It doesn’t sound as if expansion is likely.) “I’m not saying that. I wouldn’t say that at all. I wouldn’t say expansion isn’t the way to go. I would think that post the NBA getting its television contract figured out, my personal point of view is that they may be more open to talking about expansion at that point. But I don’t think even the commissioner speaks on behalf of all of the owners. This is a collective decision that needs to be made on what’s best for all of them. I think they’ll be a lot more open to it once the majority of their teams that may be struggling from a financial viability standpoint have turned the corner, they have new TV deal in place and they keep seeing how persistent and passionate our fans our. I think they’ll be a lot more open to it.” Seattle Times

April 2, 2014 Updates

The investment group trying to bring men’s professional basketball back to Seattle is remaining focused on the NBA, even if landing a hockey franchise could happen sooner. “No one in our ownership group is interested in being a majority owner in an NHL franchise. That’s been the case since the start,” said Chris Hansen, who led the unsuccessful effort last year to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle. “I’ve certainly queried our ownership group about this. I think if someone really wanted to it would be easier than bringing in an outside party. “But the most important thing is the passion is just not there for the NHL among our ownership group that is there for basketball. Getting involved in hockey solely because basketball hasn’t worked out right now, when it’s not something your heart is in, would be a disservice to the fans here.” The Reporter

Chris Hansen told The Associated Press on Wednesday that no one in his ownership group has interest in being the majority owner of a hockey franchise even as rumors continue to circulate about the NHL having interest in Seattle as a possible market in the future. Hansen says the focus of his group is getting all environmental reviews finished on their proposed arena so that if an NBA franchise becomes available via sale or expansion, Seattle can be at the front of the line ready to go. Hansen says his investment group remains the same, including former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. ESPN.com

March 18, 2014 Updates

Everybody knows your dad was a Laker fan, but you were in Seattle. How did that work? Were you a Laker fan? Isaiah Thomas: I was a little brainwashed. My dad's from LA, so growing up in his house, I was a Laker fan. But I loved the Sonics, I loved Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp. The Glove and the Reign Man, those were my two favorite players. But growing up, like I said, I was in a Laker household and got brainwashed. My favorite player is Kobe Bryant. I like the Lakers. It sucks. I mean, it doesn't suck I got drafted by the Kings, but that's their biggest rival, so you gotta watch what you say about the Lakers around Sacramento. SB Nation

March 10, 2014 Updates
March 5, 2014 Updates

Allen Iverson had a memorable career for many things on the court, but perhaps nothing defined his career off the court more than his rant about practice in 2002. 12 years later, he brought it back for a perfect performance in a Reebok commercial that premiered earlier this week. In the spot, Shaq and Shawn Kemp are in a barber shop talking about pants of the past and present when Iverson spins around in a chair. “Pants?” he asks, with the same incredulousness that he said “Practice?” in his original rant. “We talking about pants? Not the game but pants? How silly is that. Old man, take this cape off, I’m out of here. We talking about pants?” For The Win

March 2, 2014 Updates

Q: Were you as surprised as the rest of us when the Seattle thing didn't go through? Phil Jackson: No. Q: How come? Phil Jackson: I have inside information. Q: But was there a point when you thought it was leaning that way? Phil Jackson: Yes, when Chris was able to purchase the Maloofs' interests. I was (convinced it would happen) until I was told there was that opening in the buyout where somebody else could come in and purchase it from a local group. And being a guy who likes (Sacramento Mayor and former NBA All-Star) Kevin Johnson — even though we had a lot of run-ups against Kevin when he was playing — I highly respect what he tried to do and how he was able to save that for the community. Whether that's a good deal or not is still to be determined. USA Today Sports

March 1, 2014 Updates
February 15, 2014 Updates

The fans in Seattle have been known to be very boisterous, and was really at the top of their game this past season when the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl earlier this month. "I wouldn't mind going back (to Seattle), but I'm not on any board to push to say yes or no,'' James said. "I played in (Seattle's) Key Arena a couple of times early in my career. "Obviously you see the Seahawks and you see what type of fan support they have. I've heard they've got great fans.'' Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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