HoopsHype Seattle SuperSonics rumors
Kevin Durant may end up claiming the No. 1 spot, but for now it belongs to Gary Payton.
Microsoft’s loss may be Seattle basketball fans’ gain. Steve Ballmer’s going to need to do something in his retirement besides mow the lawn at his Hunts Point mansion. He’s also clearly been bitten by the pro sports bug, after nearly winning an NBA franchise for Seattle over the last year. Hedge fund manager Chris Hansen was the face of the Seattle basketball campaign but Ballmer was clearly the lead investor and sure to be the most passionate member of the ownership group Hansen assembled. Seattle Times
Hansen’s “local boy who loved the Sonics” image has been tainted by revelations of his political skulduggery, to undermine Sacramento’s effort to hold onto its NBA team. That opens the door for Ballmer to take a more prominent role in the campaign to bring a team to Seattle. Perhaps Ballmer will buy out Hansen’s stake and take over the effort after the transition is sorted out in Redmond. Seattle Times
Chris Hansen, the Seattle investor who tried to buy the Sacramento Kings earlier this year, was unmasked today as the mystery donor behind the petition campaign seeking to derail the Kings' proposed new downtown arena. Hansen's involvement in donating $80,000 to a group gathering signatures in Sacramento was revealed by a source this afternoon. The revelation came one day after the state's political watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission, sued the Los Angeles law firm that wired $80,000 to the signature-gathering campaign. The lawsuit demanded to know the identity of the donor. A court hearing had been scheduled for Monday. Sacramento Bee
Aaron Bruski: Involved league source tells PBT that Hansen allegations, if true, would not be viewed favorably by the NBA. Twitter @aaronbruski
And yet, despite the failed attempt, Kemp hasn’t given up hope. We spoke with the six-time All-Star, who averaged 14.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game over the course of his 14-season career, for a feature in the upcoming issue of KICKS—which we’ll be able to tell you all about shortly—and he made clear he believes the city will be given a franchise soon enough. “I’m not going anywhere,” Kemp said. “We got a little bit of a delay with the votes that came back from the NBA, and we understood why. We understood Mr. Stern is going out of the office and he didn’t want to take the chance with anything negative happening with another NBA team, but we’re pretty confident here in Seattle that within the next two to three years we’re gonna have some basketball back this way.” SLAM
Former Portland Pilots big man Luke Sikma is on your summer league team for the second straight year. What do you like about him? "Luke's a solid basketball player. He knows how to play; he has a great feel for the game. Obviously watching his dad (former Seattle SuperSonics great Jack Sikma) play I'm sure he's picked up many things in how you play this game. He's just smart, always in the right spot, can make the mid-rang shot, can pass. He's kind of a glue guy on the team." Oregonian
Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, the principal investors in the prospective Seattle basketball ownership group, have reportedly started “productive” talks with the NBA for securing an expansion team. Expansion seems to be the preferred option for Hansen’s group, which lost its bid last month to acquire the Sacramento Kings and relocate them to Seattle. There appears to be a “working plan” to bring the NBA back to Seattle, according to Tim Montemayor of KGO Radio in San Francisco. “Several NBA sources in the know tell me there have been productive talks on expansion in Seattle,” Montemayor wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “As the league preps for a new TV deal they have discussed a timetable but have not settled the issue. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Steve Kyler: Sources close to the process in Dallas yesterday said that David Stern was an active participant in Seattle/Sac vote. Twitter @stevekylerNBA
Shawn Kemp said he thought the NBA used the weight of the Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer to rally investors in Sacramento. "It seems like we were used a little bit as leverage here in Seattle," Kemp said, "and it feels that way, too." Seattle Times
Kemp said, as a player, he never had a problem with Stern but that statement raised his eyebrows. "I felt like David kind of stuck it to us today," he said. "I thought that was disrespectful for the city of Seattle to see, and for a commissioner that runs the NBA that was very disrespectful. In my eyes, it just told me what we're dealing with." Seattle Times
In 2008, the NBA's Seattle Supersonics left the Emerald City to become the Oklahoma City Thunder. They've since gone on to become one of the league's hottest young teams, powered by superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Seattle sports fans, meanwhile, have been left team-less, and many of them are still bitter over the move. You can count hit-making rapper Macklemore among the angry. Macklemore, a Seattle native, took to Twitter this week to express some beef over the Thunder using one of his songs as an in-arena pump-up jam. Mashable
Sean Cunningham: STERN: General talk to consider expansion in the future after TV deal is negotiated. #NBAKings #NBASeattle Twitter @News10Sean
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