HoopsHype Seattle SuperSonics rumors

 

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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
June 2, 2014 Updates

Hansen told The Associated Press on Monday that he is confident he'll be able to find investors to take Ballmer's place in his group. He said it will likely take more than one person to replace Ballmer's investment, and he will not put a limit on the number of investors at this time. Seattle's hopes seemed to take a blow last week when Ballmer agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. Hansen said that six or nine months from now, he'll still be trying to get his proposed arena built and acquire a franchise for Seattle. USA Today Sports

June 1, 2014 Updates

Investor Chris Hansen says he remains committed to getting the NBA back to Seattle even though he just lost one of his biggest partners in the process. Hansen released a statement Friday congratulating former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on his agreement to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. Hansen says Ballmer's commitment will make him a ''great owner and strong asset for the league.'' Yahoo! Sports

May 31, 2014 Updates

Seattle Arena investor Chris Hansen reiterated his commitment to the city Friday, after one of his biggest financial partners has apparently moved on. Steve Ballmer acknowledged earlier in the day that he has entered into an agreement to purchase the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. "First, I would like to congratulate Steve Ballmer on his apparent successful bid for the Los Angeles Clippers. Steve's passion for basketball and commitment to the NBA will make him a great owner and strong asset for the league," said Hansen in a statement. "I would also like to assure Seattle fans that my remaining partners and I remain committed to bringing the NBA back to Seattle. The environmental review process for the Seattle Arena is nearing completion and we will soon be in a strong position to attract a franchise back to the Emerald City." king5.com

Ballmer offered reassurances that he had no intention of moving the Clippers to Seattle. He suggested he is embracing Los Angeles as a second home and can make the business work best in the second-largest media market in the country. "The only way any of this makes sense — my desire to spend time in Los Angeles, this team, its aspirations, this community, this purchase price, any of that — is to really kind of live out the dream and make this kind of America's team, the Los Angeles Clippers." Los Angeles Times

May 30, 2014 Updates

Franchise valuations are escalating at a nutty pace; the Bucks’ sale for $550 million broke the Warriors’ previous record, and Ballmer and partners were ready to go well over that to relocate the sad sack Kings to Seattle. Sales figures from 2010 and 2011 look like ancient relics now, like Don Draper paying some absurd price to go the movies on Mad Men. Michael Jordan’s crew got the Bobcats (now Hornets) almost for free, on the condition they assume all the debt the franchise had piled up. A bunch of private equity dudes bought the Sixers, a huge-market team, for $280 million in 2011. Three years later, two other finance wizards paid nearly double for the freaking Bucks, and they even agreed not to move the team to a more profitable market. Grantland

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

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