NBA returning to Seattle?

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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 11:35 am
  • At this point, I don't know what excites me more - the thought of getting the Sonics back, or the thought of watching H/B/N unleash a lawsuit that could fundamentally alter and/or cripple the NBA as a whole.

    As plenty of others have mentioned, the NBA was in my doghouse even before the Sonics were stolen. All pro sports leagues operate as cartels/monopolies, do plenty of underhanded shit, and serve as tax $$ funnels to help build private real estate empires for certain owners .... but the NBA has definitely been the most brazen, corrupt & ruthless of the Big 4.

    If Seattle could be the city that smacks the NBA down in court - airs the dirty laundry, stains Stern's reputation forever, and costs the other Owners millions ... that's a victory I would personally relish as much as any on-field win or Championship.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 12:06 pm
  • [quote="vedthree"]At this point, I don't know what excites me more - the thought of getting the Sonics back, or the thought of watching H/B/N unleash a lawsuit that could fundamentally alter and/or cripple the NBA as a whole.

    If Seattle could be the city that smacks the NBA down in court - airs the dirty laundry, stains Stern's reputation forever, and costs the other Owners millions ... that's a victory I would personally relish as much as any on-field win or Championship.[/quote]

    Yup. All of this. I'm curious to the thought process of when they realized H/B/N weren't going to back down.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 12:11 pm
  • JOz56 wrote:
    vedthree wrote:At this point, I don't know what excites me more - the thought of getting the Sonics back, or the thought of watching H/B/N unleash a lawsuit that could fundamentally alter and/or cripple the NBA as a whole.

    If Seattle could be the city that smacks the NBA down in court - airs the dirty laundry, stains Stern's reputation forever, and costs the other Owners millions ... that's a victory I would personally relish as much as any on-field win or Championship.[/quote]

    Yup. All of this. I'm curious to the thought process of when they realized H/B/N weren't going to back down.


    Was your sig from after the 42-13 beatdown? Because, that might have been what gave him the headache - not the noise :lol:
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 1:11 pm
  • Had an interesting chat with an attorney buddy this afternoon, all about anti trust law in sports. He mentioned some very interesting facts that I haven't heard in the media to this point, and he strongly believes the NBA has exposed itself to some major liability. In fact, he believes that I'd Hansen chooses to fight, we might very well be seeing the end of the NBA as we know it.

    I'm typing on my phone so I'm going to try to summarize quickly.

    Historically, leeway is given to"natural"monopolies as long as they don't engage in anti competitive practices and/or market fixing.

    The majority of anti trust cases in America since the Sherman Act was written have primarily focused on employment issues and the feds have been clear that they don't want to intervene there and strongly prefer CBAs. Arbitration has been the primary resolution with the courts choosing to avoid ruling against cbas. Very few awards or punitive actions have been taken here, with the general result being that both sides are strongly "encouraged" to establish a CBA, often under the stern glare of the feds.

    However, the courts have taken the opposite approach when there is evidence of market manipulation or price fixing. That is the main focus of the Sherman Act and the federal courts have shown an intensely negative response when there is evidence of this. No CBA or any contract or franchise agreements have succeeded in protecting businesses in this case and the federal courts have handed down their most severe punitive awards and even broken up businesses like Ma Bell when shown persuasive evidence that price fixing had occurred. Price fixing and market manipulation are defined within the Sherman Act and one of the main definitions is when a franchise colludes among its operators to manipulate the cost of a member franchise or inhibit the free market sale or operation of a franchise. The Sherman Act specifically points out that artificially handicapping the cost/valuation of a franchise to benefit one party or harm another is especially harmful to the idea of free enterprise and is forbidden in any instance, no matter the reason.
    Last edited by HansGruber on Tue May 07, 2013 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 1:31 pm
  • HansGruber wrote:My buddy also tells me there is word in the legal community that Ballmer is on a warpath and has retained multiple firms who specialize in anti trust. He said an "army" is being put together with the full intention of going nuclear on the NBA. *Edited because my friend asked me not to share some specific data* Apparently, it ain't so hush hush, busy tells me there are multiple firms and attorneys trying to get in on the action as it could be landmark and nobody in the community believes the NBA stand a chance.

    All rumor, take out for what it's worth. I found the anti trust stuff interesting.


    It may be rumor, but I definitely WANT TO BELIEVE! :twisted:

    I simply can't imagine what's going through Stern's head. I haven't dealt with Anti-Trust since a basic class that I barely passed in law school almost 10 years ago ... that's why it simply blows my mind what the NBA is doing. I mean, if it's enough to set off alarm bells in MY head, then WTF is someone like Stern (who's supposedly an expert in the subject) doing playing with fire like this? And the second thought that immediately crossed my mind is why is he doing this to someone like Steve Ballmer, who 1) has a notorious temper, and 2) deals in the world's biggest anti-trust cases on a daily basis?
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 1:36 pm
  • Removed by request
    Last edited by HansGruber on Tue May 07, 2013 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 1:40 pm
  • I can't help but feel that we are missing something with this. The NBA has always excelled at covering their own ass, such a blatant violation of antitrust laws seems to be an astounding act of hubris. Stern was a lawyer before he was the commish, how could he do this without knowing he could exploit some kind of loophole? He's an arrogant, egotistical ass, but he's also, without a doubt, the most sly commissioner in professional sports.

    With that said, the spectre of Ballmer eviscerating the NBA is an extremely exciting one and I hope all the rumours of him gathering arms are true.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 1:47 pm
  • vedthree wrote:
    HansGruber wrote:My buddy also tells me there is word in the legal community that Ballmer is on a warpath and has retained multiple firms who specialize in anti trust. He said an "army" is being put together with the full intention of going nuclear on the NBA. *Edited because my friend asked me not to share some specific data* Apparently, it ain't so hush hush, busy tells me there are multiple firms and attorneys trying to get in on the action as it could be landmark and nobody in the community believes the NBA stand a chance.

    All rumor, take out for what it's worth. I found the anti trust stuff interesting.


    It may be rumor, but I definitely WANT TO BELIEVE! :twisted:

    I simply can't imagine what's going through Stern's head. I haven't dealt with Anti-Trust since a basic class that I barely passed in law school almost 10 years ago ... that's why it simply blows my mind what the NBA is doing. I mean, if it's enough to set off alarm bells in MY head, then WTF is someone like Stern (who's supposedly an expert in the subject) doing playing with fire like this? And the second thought that immediately crossed my mind is why is he doing this to someone like Steve Ballmer, who 1) has a notorious temper, and 2) deals in the world's biggest anti-trust cases on a daily basis?


    Very simple Ved, Stern and the NBA beleive they are untouchable, they bully and bait, play people off against each other to simply maximise their profits. Most times the people involved are held hostage with the if you sue us you will never get a team threat. Well most Cities have not dealt with what we have, a freind of the commisioner wanted a team and Seattle was the perfect environment to get him one. When Balmer thru his hat in the ring to buy at the last part of the situation Stern rebuffed him saying to late and used the Slade Gordon emal in court to derail us being able to fight.

    This as you stated is the one city that has prviously fought the NBA and won with the Spencer Heywood situation, I still think that it leaves a foul taste in the mouth of the NBA.

    Now you have Hansen and Balmer with an obviuos better bid, better arena deal and all the I's dotted and T's crossed being held hostage and being told that it isn't good enough that you pay for everything less the loan your taking for the Arena and will pay back as well as give the Arena to the City in a planned transfer plus renovate the existing Arena.

    Fool me once shame on me, fool me twice and mock us in public we will own the NBA also. KJ I hope you have a second job, when those protected emails come out I'm sure your hands are going to be dirty up to your armpits with Stern and some politicains in that Honey Bucket your bobbing for apples in.

    Balmer and Hansen have the means and the experience to take on the NBA, Microsoft takles on continents and whole countries in class action and patent infringement cases, Anti Trust against a entity that has shown a track record of skewing things for their own gain and I'm sure there is a laot of case history and settlements that were made of things we are not aware of that legal eagles will be able to get their hands on.

    The fact that the competition committee is headed by the guy who took the team out of Seattle to begin with could be questioned in so much that he doesn't have a impartial opinion and is too close to the situation.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 2:39 pm
  • seahawk2k wrote:I can't help but feel that we are missing something with this. The NBA has always excelled at covering their own ass, such a blatant violation of antitrust laws seems to be an astounding act of hubris. Stern was a lawyer before he was the commish, how could he do this without knowing he could exploit some kind of loophole? He's an arrogant, egotistical ass, but he's also, without a doubt, the most sly commissioner in professional sports.

    With that said, the spectre of Ballmer eviscerating the NBA is an extremely exciting one and I hope all the rumours of him gathering arms are true.


    I think he honestly believe he can placate Hansen and Ballmer with the promise of expansion.

    I also think he knows where it gets legally sticky is at the BOG meeting. The NBA hasn't done anything illegal yet. That doesn't happen until they reject the sale. At that point though,I honestly don't know what he's thinking. I'm no attorney but I've read the Sherman Act and rejecting the Hansen bid would be a clear violation and a pretty obvious birdy flip at the feds. That's why i don't think the sale will be rejected. I think the owners realize what they're dealing with and nobody wants to kill the golden goose.

    I don't believe anything is close to settled. Things are about to get ugly. It's a bad situation for the NBA. The only real hope for the NBA is that they can somehow make the Maloofs happy while screwing Hansen. But the NBA is acting as if they don't really care. We have to remember though that we only see the public stuff. There is a lot of talk about meetings behind the scenes and that something is going down in New York right now.
    Last edited by HansGruber on Tue May 07, 2013 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 3:18 pm
  • Everything I've heard from any and every credible news outlet tells me we have nothing. Stern is a lawyer and an extremelt sluck one at that. I dislike the man with an extreme passion. That said he's not an idiot. His I's are crossed and his T's are dotted.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 3:25 pm
  • As has been mentioned, the fact that the finance committee did not vote was very interesting. I'd imagine that the NBA was chewing on the legal implications of even so much as a finance committee vote.

    The idea of Ballmer and Hansen retaining top flight anti-trust attorneys / firms makes me happy in the pants.

    "I'm sorry Mr. Stern, I cannot advise you as our New York office has been retained by the opposing party. If you like, I can refer you to a more affordable attorney in Sacramento."
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 3:48 pm
  • CALIHAWK1 wrote:Everything I've heard from any and every credible news outlet tells me we have nothing. Stern is a lawyer and an extremelt sluck one at that. I dislike the man with an extreme passion. That said he's not an idiot. His I's are crossed and his T's are dotted.

    You're giving Stern too much credit! He is a lawyer but not a good one. He lost the Spencer Haywood case! If he was a good lawyer he would know his nuts are in a vice and he would grant Seattle either the Kings or immediate expansion team to make the pain stop! Stern's ego and arrogance are blinding him and will be his and the NBA's downfall! Stern has never faced the economic monster the likes of Hansen/Balmer!
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 3:52 pm
  • Credible news outlet? When was the last time they called one single thing in this whole process? So far, they've been wrong at literally every step.
    Last edited by HansGruber on Tue May 07, 2013 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 4:31 pm
  • Stern may have been a lawyer, but as it was shown in the Oklahoma deal they made a bunch of mistakes out of arrogance and self entitlement. The only derailment was the fact that Slade Gordon had a email that showed there were some second set of negotiations outside the loop they had not disclosed. If that had not happened or if it had been less incriminating we would still have the Sonics because everything else showed Bennett was less then truthful about his intentions and Stern was backing him 100 percent and was just as dishonest.

    Cuban and Paul Allen I think both would support the Hansen group, NBA has messed with both of them several times. Allen because he is more wealthy then all the other owners combined, Cuban because he isn't status Quo. Both do what they pretty much want.

    You don't think that Balmer and Allen have had discussions as "FREINDS"? Pretty sure they the NBA isn't looking forward to the political firepower that this Egyptian group of men along with basically inexhaustable money to put towards anything they want, let alone with any motivation to correct what they think could be a wrong.

    I will also add, I think KJ and Stern have been milking this for what they could get as far as consessions, I'll bet the emails they are not disclosing shows some sort of insider information on what they are trying to do.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 4:47 pm
  • I've been asked to stop sharing specifics but I just heard some news that should make Sonics fans thrilled.

    Just know this:
    The Ballmer Hansen team is for real, they have Stern in a corner right now, there is no legal way to deny the Hansen sale, and as we speak, plans are being put into effect.

    The irony of all this is that I hate the NBA, have never really cared about the Sonics, yet for the first time in my life, I got to hear some breaking news that few are privy to. Always wished I could get a secret Seahawks scoop but never got one. I'm a nobody. But sitting here right now bouncing in my seat, excited for you Sonics fans, and wish I could share. Keep the faith. Shit is about to get real.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 5:19 pm
  • :3:
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 5:21 pm
  • Asked to STOP sharing specifics? Was there a post where you did do so?
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 5:48 pm
  • HansGruber wrote:I've been asked to stop sharing specifics but I just heard some news that should make Sonics fans thrilled.

    Just know this:
    The Ballmer Hansen team is for real, they have Stern in a corner right now, there is no legal way to deny the Hansen sale, and as we speak, plans are being put into effect.

    The irony of all this is that I hate the NBA, have never really cared about the Sonics, yet for the first time in my life, I got to hear some breaking news that few are privy to. Always wished I could get a secret Seahawks scoop but never got one. I'm a nobody. But sitting here right now bouncing in my seat, excited for you Sonics fans, and wish I could share. Keep the faith. Shit is about to get real.

    Your holding back. Friends don't do this. Spill your guts. :pukeface:
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:07 pm
  • Mitch from KJR tweeted something that KJR was going to talk about but I had to go watch my nephews baseball game instead of waiting thru their 20 minute gauntlet of commercials. ...And I don't twitter........Anyone hear what it was? He seems to have an "in" with the H/B/N group.
    Last edited by Sports Hernia on Tue May 07, 2013 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:08 pm
  • You can just go on SonicsRising. I posted Hans' most recent post that he deemed fit for consumption just as an inspirational rumor about Ballmer's resolve, but those guys dug up everything he posted and plastered it on the thread there.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:10 pm
  • Sports Hernia wrote:Mitch from KJR tweeted something that KJR was going to talk about but I had to go watch my nephews baseball game instead of waiting thru their 20 minute gauntlet of commercials. Anyone hear what it was? He seems to have an "in" with the H/B/N group.

    Somebody Mitch knows, who he brought to the Sonics ownership group as a potential investor (he was turned down as they were trying to limit the number of investors) was approached by the Sacramento group, who have apparently hired an outside firm to seek out more investors for their bid. The guy, who apparently is friends with Mitch and, as Mitch described him, is someone who is well known to be potentially interested in investing in an NBA team. Apparently they asked him if he'd like to invest X amount, he said no, they came back and asked him if he'd like to invest Y amount instead, he said no, then they asked him 'what about Z?' he said no. Apparently the guy was laughing at the end of the last call over how absurd the whole thing was.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:12 pm
  • pinksheets wrote:You can just go on SonicsRising. I posted Hans' most recent post that he deemed fit for consumption just as an inspirational rumor about Ballmer's resolve, but those guys dug up everything he posted and plastered it on the thread there.

    I do go there, and didn't see anything, I love the info at that place but the format is not my fav!
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:24 pm
  • pinksheets wrote:You can just go on SonicsRising. I posted Hans' most recent post that he deemed fit for consumption just as an inspirational rumor about Ballmer's resolve, but those guys dug up everything he posted and plastered it on the thread there.


    I'm not to saavy with that site, but, I couldn't find it? Any guidance?
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:25 pm
  • Add me to the list Pinksheets. I went looking at the front page of SonicsRising and the fan posts but saw nothing. Maybe there is a discussion forum I should have gone to.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:27 pm
  • The thread is "Waiting In The Wings: Adam Silver".

    It's 420+ comments deep already, but to find my post which started the whole thread of discussion, do a ctrl+F find and search for "6:22 PM", sans the quotes obviously. That's the time of my post and should help you find it quickly.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:28 pm

Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:34 pm
  • Actually, I can make it easier than my initial idea and easier than Throwdown's better idea.

    http://www.sonicsrising.com/2013/5/7/42 ... #161554071

    Links right to my initial post on the subject, other commenters filled out the rest of the information.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:40 pm
  • We're gonna just one up each other huh?

    See if I buy you a McDouble, sir.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:42 pm
  • Thanks you guys!
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:43 pm
  • pehawk wrote:Thanks you guys!


    Best Blitzer impression EVER!
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:44 pm
  • Thanks Throw and Pink. I was trying to find the post Hans Gruber removed. I gather there is a way to get this pm'd to me from reading that thread, if anyone happened to have the removed material?
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:50 pm
  • Hey, I'm GENUINELY thankful like a schoolgirl dancing with her crush. I so appreciate this.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 6:51 pm
  • drdiags wrote:Thanks Throw and Pink. I was trying to find the post Hans Gruber removed. I gather there is a way to get this pm'd to me from reading that thread, if anyone happened to have the removed material?

    What I had PM'd to me is posted on there, along with more from what I can tell.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 7:35 pm
  • Hans I hope you're not pulling our legs, my friend. First time since the recommendation came out that i'm actually feeling a shred of optimism. :179422:
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 7:38 pm
  • I haven't posted anything on FB and I don't think I have on here since the relocation committee denied the move. I've been withholding my thoughts until/if Hansen and Co. throw in the towel. I know these guys are working some magic behind the scenes. It's been too quiet on their front and KJ sounds like a man that's really worried.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 7:47 pm
  • Throwdown wrote:
    pehawk wrote:Thanks you guys!


    Best Blitzer impression EVER!


    Huh? :229031_shrug:
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 8:25 pm
  • Blitzer88 wrote:
    Throwdown wrote:
    pehawk wrote:Thanks you guys!


    Best Blitzer impression EVER!


    Huh? :229031_shrug:

    To quote Kenneth Starr from the 90's "Your boy (Stern) is about to get rolled!"

    Enjoy the show Blitzer! :th2thumbs:
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Tue May 07, 2013 9:58 pm
  • Well Hans I hope we didn't prematurely derail anything, but thanks. If the Sac group is still searching for money they obviously have over reached as well. I hope this news breaks soon. we all want to see KJ and company eating that big dish of crow with Stern having to carve up the carcass.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 5:19 am
  • Hans is Traumahawk.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 7:44 am
  • Two pages w/out Sacramento posters... Are they pulling a Blitzer? Come in off of the ledge, boys.

    Seriously though, kills me that we won't know anything until the 15th regardless of this news reported by Hans. The fact that Hansen's been so quiet in all of this doesn't give me the impression that he's desperate by any means (contrary to consensus among Sac fans).
    RockHawk wrote:This has turned into nothing but a personal attack, which goes against our forum rules...... I'll allow it.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 8:25 am
  • Seattle SuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuperSonics!

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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 10:14 am
  • E.C. Laloosh wrote:Two pages w/out Sacramento posters... Are they pulling a Blitzer? Come in off of the ledge, boys.


    Don't you have some salmon to smoke or something, hide the salmon, or whatever you do with salmon up there. I've been busy and tired of comments like "come in off the ledge" when Sacramento is clearly in the drivers seat right now.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 10:24 am
  • salamander wrote:
    E.C. Laloosh wrote:Two pages w/out Sacramento posters... Are they pulling a Blitzer? Come in off of the ledge, boys.


    Don't you have some salmon to smoke or something, hide the salmon, or whatever you do with salmon up there. I've been busy and tired of comments like "come in off the ledge" when Sacramento is clearly in the drivers seat right now.


    Salmon's delicious. I love chowing down on a piece of smoked salmon while drinking a cup of joe and listening to old school grunge music.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 10:27 am
  • salamander wrote:
    E.C. Laloosh wrote:Two pages w/out Sacramento posters... Are they pulling a Blitzer? Come in off of the ledge, boys.


    Don't you have some salmon to smoke or something, hide the salmon, or whatever you do with salmon up there. I've been busy and tired of comments like "come in off the ledge" when Sacramento is clearly in the drivers seat right now.


    Zing....

    Stop taking things so personally.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 10:28 am
  • A guy who thinks running down salmon is proper smack is a man/boy who hasn't had well prepared seafood before. And for that, he has my pity.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 10:28 am
  • To be in the driver's seat, I'd think your city would have to have an ownership group with a higher offer and a signed PSA, but I guess that's just logic talking.

    In Happy Funtime Fairy Land, I am sure Sacramento is in the driver's seat. In the real world, not so much.
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 10:52 am
  • Yeah, for reals on the salmon - we know what to do with a salmon up here. ;)
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 11:12 am
  • Still here (waves at Throw)
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 11:15 am
  • This just in the Sacramento group just ask the NBA if they take EBT and if not can they make payments under the table!
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Re: NBA returning to Seattle?
Wed May 08, 2013 11:38 am
  • salamander wrote:
    E.C. Laloosh wrote:Two pages w/out Sacramento posters... Are they pulling a Blitzer? Come in off of the ledge, boys.


    Don't you have some salmon to smoke or something, hide the salmon, or whatever you do with salmon up there. I've been busy and tired of comments like "come in off the ledge" when Sacramento is clearly in the drivers seat right now.


    Sacramento is in the driver's seat? How do you figure?

    At this point, all the NBA can do is loudly proclaim that they will refuse to allow the team to be relocated.

    What the NBA can not legally do:
    1) Force the Maloofs to sell to anyone, much less the Sacramento group
    2) Refuse to allow the Maloofs to sell (barring a clear conflict of interest)
    3) Set any artificial barriers on any sales agreement or artifically manipulate the valuation of a member franchise

    What you Sacramento folks don't seem to get is that a sales agreement between the Maloofs and the Hansen group has already been signed, sealed and delivered. Funds have already been deposited to escrow. To both the seller (Maloofs) and the purchaser (Hansen/Ballmer group), an agreement has already been reached reflecting the true market value of the franchise.

    After this sale was negotiated and the deal closed, the NBA interfered on behalf of a secondary group of buyers (whom I will refer to as the Sacramento Group). The NBA negotiated the terms of an agreement outside of the existing transaction and without the consent or knowledge of the Maloofs (seller). The value of this deal is actually lower than the existing negotiated sale.

    At this point, the NBA is blindly hoping that the Hansen/Ballmer group will walk away from their existing purchase agreement, surrendering the deposit and releasing any interest in the Kings. That is the reason the NBA voted first to prohibit the relocation of the Kings franchise. That is their ace and they have played it. The NBA hopes that if the Ballmer group realizes they won't be able to move the Kings, then they will just drop the sale.

    However, the NBA can not legally interfere with the actual sale without clearly violating the Sherman Act. The problem for the NBA is that their negotation with a third potential buyer (Sacramento Group) is just smoke and mirrors. It has no legal teeth and means nothing other than, "Hey, if we refuse to let you sell to Hansen, then there's this other deal over here waiting for you."

    Unless the NBA can prove in court that the existing Hansen/Ballmer offer represents a natural conflict of interest for the NBA, they have no legal justification to reject the sale. Doing so would artificially manipulate the market for the member franchise, to the detriment of both the seller and purchaser as agreed on the "fair market", and would be in violation of the Sherman Act. There is specific language in the Sherman Act that prevents the price fixing of franchises. If the NBA steps in and interferes with the sale, forcing the seller to accept a lower offer, this would be a textbook case of market manipulation as prohibited by the Sherman Act. And there are currently a cadre of very successful, very intelligent attorneys preparing for this argument right now. It should upset you Sacramento fans to learn that the Maloofs are rumored to be on this side of the fight.

    All the Sacramento Group can hope for at this point is that the Maloofs will tire of the fight and sign a deal that is unfavorable to them. The moment they accept that deal, then the Hansen/Ballmer group would have a much tougher fight in court. At that point, the Maloofs could argue that the deal they accepted was set by the market and whatever terms were included made it an equal offer.

    However, that has not happened, and many sources close to the fight (including the Maloofs) are publicly saying that it won't happen.

    If the NBA can't sweet-talk the Maloofs into selling to the Sacramento Group, then the Hansen/Ballmer group will continue their purchase of the Kings and the fight will continue. Again, the NBA is fully aware they can not stop the purchase because they can not prove any actual conflict of interest. Again, many sources close to the deal (including Hansen himself) are stating that the Hansen group has gone quiet because he fully intends to purchase the Kings and move forward. That is hardly a win for Sacramento.

    Once Hansen purchases the Kings, anything can happen. But if you're foolish enough to believe that Sacramento is in the driver seat, then you must not be paying attention. The Maloofs have already stated that they will not accept the Sacramento offer, and that in fact, no offer from Sacramento will ever be possible.

    But please, do keep entertaining me with your hope. It's almost cute in a sad kind of way.
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