Is an NBA Expansion Team on the horizon for Seattle?

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  • Is an NBA Expansion Team on the horizon for Seattle?

    What happened? How could Seattle lose the Kings to a Sacramento Group whose offer was clearly far and away inferior to that of Chris Hansen’s group? How did that happen … and what about the future of basketball in Seattle? Is another team for Seattle in play? Is an expansion team an option? It certainly sounds like expansion could happen for Seattle in the very near future.

    I don't know how many of you caught this on Wednesday, but for those who missed it, I found this extremely fascinating and encouraging actually. Brock Huard and Danny O’Neil over on 710 ESPN had a very interesting chat with Tim Montemayor Wednesday morning [5/15] (so prior to the announced vote) of KNBR in San Francisco. Montemayor is a guy who is pretty plugged in to some high level NBA sources. He talked extensively about what apparently happened in the Kings to Seattle deal … and also about the possible return of the NBA to Seattle (which sounds like could happen sooner than later). Here is the full interview ...

    If you’re interested in listening to the podcast, just click on the link below while you follow along with the transcript …

    710 ESPN Brock and Danny Interview with KNBR's Tim Montemayor -- 5/15/13

    Huard: “…because you were all over it last night, and the words I have heard for the last week, week and a half have been ‘disappointment’ and ‘clear path’ I think you took that to a whole another level on Twitter last night. Give me a latest and greatest.”

    Montemayor: “Well, I think that the ‘clear path’ is the phrase that keeps coming through and what I heard started Sunday night and really kind of carried over was, Chris Hansen’s looking for space and to create space between his group and the Maloofs. And I think it’s about time because that relationship is damaging Seattle’s opportunity to return to the NBA. And I think it’s been a disappointment to the league and to owners on these committees that the Hansen group has continued to marry itself to the Maloofs. And they’ve been told repeatedly that was poor strategy and it would hurt their opportunities. And so what happened was, um, from what I was told was Chris reached out to some people he trusted in the league because he felt like this was coming to a rapid end for him – and he finally said, ‘OK, I’m going to pause.’ And he told the Maloofs, ‘I’m going to need a couple of days, a day or two to reconsider our position.” And when he did that, things changed for him and the tone of conversations between the league and the Hansen group changed from one of a combative nature coming from Chris to one of, ‘OK, how are we going to fix this and create a clear path forward to bring the game back to Seattle?’”

    O’Neil: “Tim, when you hear kind of the conversations that are going on between Chris Hansen and the league, how much of this is a concession on Chris Hansen’s part of, ‘OK, we’re not going to get this team’ and how much of this is an acceptable outcome all along if they get a ‘clear path’?”

    Montemayor: “Well, I think that concession certainly happened some time Monday between mid-day and Monday evening. Uh, it became very clear that – and frankly the league (and Brock I told you this last time we talked) – the league has known that the Kings are not moving to Seattle for (I would guess) 6 to 8 weeks now. And certainly when the last presentations were made in New York, uh, that deal was over – that the team was not going to leave Sacramento. Um, I think Chris and his group didn’t want to accept that and I think everybody understands that – that that’s a competitive guy, who’s seen nothing but success in any business endeavor that he’s tried. And this was tough for him to take. But I think he got the message and finally changed that tone that you were talking about Danny on Monday – at some point late Monday. And now, uh, I think that things are going to be much more productive for Seattle. That’s the feeling that I get from the sources that I’m talking to.”

    Huard: “OK Tim, I’ve got 3 things here. Number one, don’t these owners know (you talked about these owners being kind of sensi-poo or whatever to this process) – these are all smart men -- don’t they know that this was really the only strategy (it may have been a poor strategy), but if every one of them were in that position desperately trying to get a franchise back – tell me an alternative strategy that Ballmer and Hansen could have taken.”

    Montemayor: “At some point though (and I don’t disagree with what you said), but at some point you have to be smart enough to say, ‘This is going to kill any opportunity that we have.’ And when you have every owner on committee and not on committee telling you, ‘If you continue to do business with the Maloofs, the chances of the NBA returning Seattle, not only with you but perhaps in the future at all, are going to die.’ And when they are continually telling you that, and you don’t listen, that’s where the problems begin. I don’t disagree that Hansen and his group were holding on to every chance that they thought they had. But at some point you have to listen – and until Monday, Hansen and his group weren’t listening. And I think that was the problem. Um, I don’t disagree with you Brock; I want to make that clear that I agree that they were fighting for what they thought was the right thing to do – only it wasn’t the right thing and it damaged their effort.”

    Huard: “Tim Montemayor from KNBR Radio down in the Bay Area been valuable in this process to add a little context and understanding. I’ve asked you this question before, but we’ve got to ask it again and I think all your Twitter and all this conversation leads to it – just how bad are the Maloofs?”

    Montemayor: “Awful. They’re the worst owners in professional sports. Um, and I covered that team for several seasons and what they do is – one, they’re not honest; two, they don’t care about protocol or what is good for the game. They care about what’s good for their pocketbook. And if you’re an owner in professional sports, you’re not – you certainly shouldn’t be owning a team for profit. Owning a professional sports team, especially in the NBA, is not a profitable business in most cases. They’re so desperate in finances (the Maloofs) that they have begged, borrowed, and stole every cent they could from that franchise. They’ve have opportunities to build arenas. They’ve lied. They have misled now two markets because the common consensus in the NBA is that they misled, uh, the Hansen/Balmer group and they pulled them down a road that would make their family (the Maloof family) the most money. And that, to me, is what’s so wrong with this situation – because the Hansen/Ballmer group, I think, is one of the strongest groups. Were they to own an NBA team they would be one of the strongest owners in all of professional sports. And they allowed this family to mislead them – and it’s almost tragic, guys. That’s the word that keeps on coming to mind for me. It’s tragic what has happened to Seattle and the NBA, both with the Oklahoma City situation and even more now because these leeches in the Maloofs took a lot of life and energy out of the efforts to bring the game back to Seattle.”

    O’Neil: “It’s very shocking that a family that has one of the characters on the Real House Wives of Orange County would be anything short of forthright. But, uh, Tim, I think that one of the things that – the biggest question now facing Seattle is, ‘What does clear path mean?’ Does that mean -- when will Seattle have a franchise, if they do in fact get a clear path to a team?”

    Montemayor: “I think that the best case scenario is a year from now you will be 99% through an expansion process. And I’ve said this for two months – that the Hansen/Ballmer group is in position to become an owner of a franchise through expansion. And that has been talked about and bandied about in NBA circles for several months. And I think the clearest indication that that information’s correct is the news that the NBA is going to re-negotiate their TV Contract early – and they have an out after every year in which they can re-negotiate that. But they need that negotiation to happen in order to leverage it for the most money and expansion. I think ‘clear path’ for Seattle means that they’re going to re-negotiate that TV Deal, which would include a new franchise. And once this decision comes down – and they other thing here on ‘clear path’ is – I don’t know what’s going to happen today in Dallas. The vote may not even take place. There may be no vote today. Uh, but you will have some clarity over the next two days as to what the forward direction will be. And I think the change in tenor and tone of these conversations with Mr. Hansen and his group has made that possible.”

    [End of Interview]

    Source:
    710 ESPN Brock and Danny Interview with KNBR's Tim Montemayor -- 5/15/13

    In the press conference on Wednesday, both NBA commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver made comments that lend some credence to what Montemayor is contending. I’ve spliced together a few of the more pertinent comments from the press conference …

    COMMISSIONER STERN: “We look forward to continuing the dialogue of some type with the citizens and potential owners in Seattle, but we don’t have anything concrete to support with respect to an NBA franchise in Seattle at this time.”

    Q. So was there any talk of expansion at all in this meeting today as a way to satisfy?

    COMMISSIONER STERN: I think there was a generalized talk that it would be good in the future just to consider that issue, but awaiting the next television renegotiation which is virtually upon us. Especially in terms of the year or so, or what have you, that it was best to await that event.

    Q. Are there any promises at all to the Seattle group as we sit here tonight?

    COMMISSIONER STERN: Just that our promise of fair dealing and ultimate consideration down the road.

    Q. What does Seattle have to do now to attract an NBA team?

    COMMISSIONER STERN: Well, I guess that’s an ongoing conversation that I think would best be had by Commissioner elect Silver, and then Commissioner Silver and the powers that be in Seattle and interested purchasers. There have been, from time to time, several interested purchasers. Adam?

    ADAM SILVER: The only thing I’d add is we’ve never wavered in our desire to return to the Seattle market at some point, as Chris Hansen made clear in his presentation to the Board of Governors today. The league continues to enjoy strong support in the Seattle market. We have strong support for our telecast, our national telecast in Seattle, and expansion was discussed at least as a possibility down the road. We want to wait and see what happens in our next national television negotiation, but we’re very appreciative of the fans in Seattle, and we’ve regretted having to leave the market the last time and we fully expect we’ll return there one day.

    Source:
    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/nbainseattle/2013/05/15/transcript-of-nba-press-conference-denying-relocation-of-sacramento-kings-to-seattle/?syndication=rss

    And yesterday (Thursday) on Softy’s show over on KJR-950 am, he played some very interesting comments of Stern’s that he made during the Thunder-Grizzly game …

    COMMISSIONER STERN: “Well, it was a very strong offer with a very strong group and a lot of work. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner. But I think there’s a dialogue that we would like to continue to have with the city of Seattle with the goal eventually of returning a team to Seattle.”

    Source:
    http://www.sportsradiokjr.com/player/?s ... d=23226546


    Based upon yesterday’s events (the Maloofs and the Sacramento Group reaching an agreement), it looks like Tim Montemayor’s information is correct. That is, that despite how it might appear to the public that Chris Hansen and his group actually backed away from the Maloofs, as that relationship was seriously damaging their chances of getting the NBA back to Seattle. Now that that’s happened, it sounds like the dialogue has opened up. Stern admitted in the press conference that there were a lot of owners talking very favorably about the return of basketball to Seattle … and if what Montemayor is saying is correct, that could happen much quicker than most of us think. Consistently, the NBA’s TV Deal has been cited as being a big impediment to the idea of expansion (and Stern reiterated that point in the press conference on Wednesday). If what Montemayor is saying is correct in that the NBA is in fact renegotiating its TV Deal early (after this season), and they are able to reach a max deal, that speed bump would appear to be gone. One thing’s for sure – Stern, Silver, and the league certainly want to be in Seattle. These guys may be the devil incarnate, but they’re not stupid. The Seattle-Tacoma area is the 12th largest TV market in the country (and the Sonics market would obviously be much bigger than that once you factor in the rest of the Pacific Northwest). Think they wouldn’t like to increase the NBA’s stake in that market? They also know they have an absolute godsend in the Hansen/Ballmer/Nordstrom group and that political forces are such that if lose this group and they leave Seattle high and dry with nothing, it is highly unlikely the Sonics would ever return. The fact that Chris Hansen didn’t more aggressively pursue joint ownership with the Maloofs says to me that he and his group have been promised something. One year from now, Seattle could very well be 99% of the way through the process of getting an expansion team … and to hearing “Boom goes the dynamite!” once again.
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  • Pretty much what I've been saying the last 2 days.

    Thank you for putting all this out here though so people can read it, instead of looking at me like i'm some insane optimistic person.
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  • I think the only way we get an expansion team is via lawsuit. Playing nice with the NBA will get you nowhere!
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  • The issue with expansion is I would imagine they would want two teams. With markets like Charolotte and Milwaukee I don't see the possibilty of two teams.
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  • Expand to Seattle now....then contract Charlotte in a few years....all's good!
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  • Throwdown wrote:Pretty much what I've been saying the last 2 days.

    Thank you for putting all this out here though so people can read it, instead of looking at me like i'm some insane optimistic person.

    Ay I'm with you Throwdown. On the way home from work as I was listening to Sterns PC and I couldn't help but smile towards the middle and end of it. I know there's some kind of expansion talks going on right now. Based off of everything Stern, Silver and now Montemayor have been saying. And even Hansen's message had some indications that something was going to happen sooner than later.

    Stay positive, SuperSonics fans!
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  • -The Glove- wrote:
    Throwdown wrote:Pretty much what I've been saying the last 2 days.

    Thank you for putting all this out here though so people can read it, instead of looking at me like i'm some insane optimistic person.

    Ay I'm with you Throwdown. On the way home from work as I was listening to Sterns PC and I couldn't help but smile towards the middle and end of it. I know there's some kind of expansion talks going on right now. Based off of everything Stern, Silver and now Montemayor have been saying. And even Hansen's message had some indications that something was going to happen sooner than later.

    Stay positive, SuperSonics fans!


    I found something in how many times they mentioned that they have had talked about expansion.

    Silver is also believed to be a guy who favors major markets, this is NOT Stern 2.0.
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  • Throwdown wrote:
    -The Glove- wrote:
    Throwdown wrote:Pretty much what I've been saying the last 2 days.

    Thank you for putting all this out here though so people can read it, instead of looking at me like i'm some insane optimistic person.

    Ay I'm with you Throwdown. On the way home from work as I was listening to Sterns PC and I couldn't help but smile towards the middle and end of it. I know there's some kind of expansion talks going on right now. Based off of everything Stern, Silver and now Montemayor have been saying. And even Hansen's message had some indications that something was going to happen sooner than later.

    Stay positive, SuperSonics fans!


    I found something in how many times they mentioned that they have had talked about expansion.

    Silver is also believed to be a guy who favors major markets, this is NOT Stern 2.0.

    Silver sounds like a much more level-headed guy. I'd rather hear nails on a chalkboard than Stern talk.
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  • CALIHAWK1 wrote:The issue with expansion is I would imagine they would want two teams. With markets like Charolotte and Milwaukee I don't see the possibilty of two teams.


    I could easily imagine the league expanding to, for example, Missouri. St. Louis and Kansas City both are larger markets than Milwaukee, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Memphis, and it doesn't take much stretching of the imagination to see a Missouri-tagged team based in KC (St. Louis gets NFL, MLB, and NHL while KC gets NFL, MLB, and NBA... fair balance).
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  • Hansen traded all of his leverage for something.

    If he traded it for a promise of "consideration" and with the fear that the NBA might block him from ever owning a team if he didn't fold, I'd be very disappointed and I'm done with the NBA. I refuse to contribute to portraying Seattle as the boogeyman to leverage arena deals out of Milwaukee, Charlotte, Minnesota, etc. I'll get my basketball fix from college hoops. Sorry, NBA, I won't be your b****.

    If Hansen traded his leverage to expedite the expansion timeline, I'm all on board. I'd rather have an expansion team than the Kings. That's what I've been expecting since the relocation committee vote, anyways.

    I don't know which scenario is more likely. I want to say the 2nd scenario, but we saw Seattle cave and take the 1st scenario a few years ago... we didn't have the leverage that Hansen had, though, so maybe he was able to get more from the NBA this time around. We'll know more once the finals are over and negotiations begin. I don't follow Seattle politics much, but I heard McGinn got thumped last night and Steinbruek (sp) is still alive, so if we can't break ground on the arena before the elections we could end up having to re-fight the Arena battle.
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  • volsunghawk wrote:
    CALIHAWK1 wrote:The issue with expansion is I would imagine they would want two teams. With markets like Charolotte and Milwaukee I don't see the possibilty of two teams.


    I could easily imagine the league expanding to, for example, Missouri. St. Louis and Kansas City both are larger markets than Milwaukee, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Memphis, and it doesn't take much stretching of the imagination to see a Missouri-tagged team based in KC (St. Louis gets NFL, MLB, and NHL while KC gets NFL, MLB, and NBA... fair balance).



    Is there enough talent to go around. A couple years ago there were whispers of retraction.
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  • Sports Hernia wrote:I think the only way we get an expansion team is via lawsuit. Playing nice with the NBA will get you nowhere!


    I would tend to agree ... so let's talk about that some actually. Now David Stern (interestingly enough) actually dropped a few names of cities there during the press conference ...

    Q. I assume that you and the league have been aware for quite some time of the interest and the possibility of Hansen and Steve Ballmer bringing the NBA back and their dealings with the Maloofs ‑‑

    COMMISSIONER STERN: And by the way, we knew about the interest in Seattle, in Vancouver, in Virginia Beach, in Las Vegas, in Anaheim, and in multiple cities. You’re absolutely right.

    Source:
    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/nbainseattle/2013/05/15/transcript-of-nba-press-conference-denying-relocation-of-sacramento-kings-to-seattle/?syndication=rss

    Now as I think we've established, the main sticking point in terms of Expansion is the current TV Deal (which it sounds like they will look to renegotiate after this year) -- ergo, an Expansion team could be coming to Seattle fairly quickly. To me, that makes perfect sense in light of how Hansen seems to have shifted from a stance of being highly aggressive ... to one of now seemingly working WITH the NBA. I contend he's doing that because he knows something and probably has been promised an expansion franchise.

    And as we've discussed already, it makes sense why the NBA wants back in Seattle. The Seattle-Tacoma region is the 12th largest TV market in the country (and we're not even talking about the rest of Washington and the greater Pacific Northwest). It's ALL about the TV market and the dollars those markets can generate IMO. According to Nielsen, Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto market is the 20th largest media market in the country -- the NBA didn't want to lose that one either (makes sense).

    So, let's go out on a bit of a limb here in taking a look at some of the size of the TV markets in the cities that Stern mentioned there ... in order to determine the most likely markets the NBA might want to target ...

    Anaheim -- the Los Angeles market is the 2nd Largest TV market in the country. With the Lakers and Clippers already there, I just don't know if I see this one personally.

    Vancouver, B.C. -- the Vancouver-Victoria market is Canada’s 3rd Largest TV market with 3,413,000 people. Vancouver itself is dominant in the television and film industry, as it has the largest production facility outside of Los Angeles, with 13 sound stages spread over 30 acres. British Columbia is absolutely [url="http://vancouverrealestateblog.ca/2008/04/british-columbia-is-a-haven-for-multi-millionaires/"]flush with millionaires[/url]. Still, the NBA tried that one already ... and they never really had all that much support. When the Grizzlies left, there wasn't a whole lot of fight there from those bears. Maybe ... but I'm thinking this one's not really a realistic possibility.

    Virginia Beach, VA -- the Roanoke-Lynchburg Market (which I believe is where Virginia Beach falls within) has 445,470 homes in its market (that ranks as the 68th Largest TV Market). Virginia Beach itself has a population of around 700,000 and is close enough to Charlotte (the 25th Largest TV Market) where I believe that could make a difference. Again, maybe ... but I don't know that I see this one either.

    Las Vegas -- the greater Las Vegas region has a population of around 2 million people. We all know about the cash that flows in and out of there with the casinos and all that brings in. In terms of TV Market size ... the Las Vegas TV Market is the 40th Largest TV Market with 718,990 homes. They're far enough away from Phoenix and LA to carve out their own niche. I'm thinking the NBA would love to get in there. If we're just going by Stern's list of cities that he mentioned, in my book this one is the most likely for an expansion team.

    Source:
    http://www.tvb.org/media/file/TVB_Market_Profiles_Nielsen_Household_DMA_Ranks2.pdf

    So, just looking at Stern's list of cities he mentioned, I'm thinking that Las Vegas would be most likely to join Seattle in getting an expansion team. There obviously could be other suitors between now and then, but Las Vegas is the number I'd be laying my chips on the NBA roulette wheel at the moment.
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  • CALIHAWK1 wrote:
    volsunghawk wrote:
    CALIHAWK1 wrote:The issue with expansion is I would imagine they would want two teams. With markets like Charolotte and Milwaukee I don't see the possibilty of two teams.


    I could easily imagine the league expanding to, for example, Missouri. St. Louis and Kansas City both are larger markets than Milwaukee, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Memphis, and it doesn't take much stretching of the imagination to see a Missouri-tagged team based in KC (St. Louis gets NFL, MLB, and NHL while KC gets NFL, MLB, and NBA... fair balance).



    Is there enough talent to go around. A couple years ago there were whispers of retraction.


    With the growing influx of European players, I don't see why there has to be a dearth of talent. Especially with the smaller rosters found in basketball, I don't see how adding 2 teams is going to be that much of a drain on talent. It's not like we're talking NHL-level expansion, where you apparently add 10-12 teams in less than a decade - TWICE.

    Also, I think 32 teams is an ideal number for a sports league, if the fanbases and talent make that feasible.
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  • Expansion would be bad for the league but if it's truly the only way for us to get a team, whatever I'm for it then.
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  • Hawkscanner wrote: Vancouver, B.C. -- the Vancouver-Victoria market is Canada’s 3rd Largest TV market with 3,413,000 people. Vancouver itself is dominant in the television and film industry, as it has the largest production facility outside of Los Angeles, with 13 sound stages spread over 30 acres. British Columbia is absolutely flush with millionaires. Still, the NBA tried that one already ... and they never really had all that much support. When the Grizzlies left, there wasn't a whole lot of fight there from those bears. Maybe ... but I'm thinking this one's not really a realistic possibility.


    Well, I wouldn't outright disagree with you that Vancouver isn't a super realistic option, but there is still support here. I think the reason you didn't see a lot of fight to keep the Grizz when they left town was, honestly, we were pretty naive;

    We thought the team isn't even 10 years old, our state of the art arena still has new car smell - litterally, it was GM Place and there were new GM cars parked all over the place inside - and this new owner seems pretty genuine to keep the team here; Heisley bought the team immediately after an offer from Wal Mart heiress Bill Laurie - who made no bones about wating to move the team to St. Louis - was shot down by our hero David Stern, so we thought we were pretty safe. The Grizz litterally moved in the middle of the night Baltimore Colts style. They left tens of thousands of dollars worth of Grizzlies gear in dumpsters behind the practice facility in Richmond (I had friends who more or less "looted" the place). I think of myself as being pretty plugged into these things, but I didn't realize the Grizz were leaving until after they were loading the trucks...

    Now all the kids that became B-Ball fans while watching the Grizz in the 90's are grown up, have money and are ready to support the NBA again. I think there is definitely a desire here to see the NBA again and I think a team would totally be supported, but nobody has stepped up with an ownership group. Canucks owners the Aqualini family has hummed and hawed about it in the past, but haven't really made any moves in that direction. Honestly though it would be plug and play. Rogers arena (formerly GM place) may be 15 years old now but it was purpose built to house hockey AND basketball and it's still state of the art; scoreboards, facilities and everything else were fully upgraded for the 2010 Olympics. it's just a matter of somebody deciding they want to take it on. A group containing Steve Nash maybe..?

    This time around, I think it would do way better. Think of what things looked like when the Grizz left; Stu Jackson (who was personally referred to us by David Stern BTW) had proved himself to be the most idiotic and incompetent GM in the history of all sports who was incapable of building a good team; Vancouver was 101-359 after 6 years and not only did he draft Bryant Reeves, he signed his useless ass to a $70m extension. Also, the Canadian Dollar was only worth about $0.60 US. Revenues were collected in CAD but player salaries were paid in USD; so if a player made $1m/yr, they actually were paying $1.4m. It was freaking brutal. We just couldn't compete (and FA's didn't really want to come here in the first place). NOW thanks to the Olympics, "Hollywood North" and that stupid Carly Rae Jepson song, people know where Vancouver is and what it's all about. The Canadian dollar lives either at par or better with the US dollar and that shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. It will be a level playing field this time.

    If a group here decides they're interested, Vancouver has the money, the facility the infrastructure and most importatly corporate support (Rogers arena has a shit load of corporate boxes) to make a very serious run at it... unfortunately I don't think any of our many millionaires are interested in the NBA, so you're probablly safe from the "Vancouver Boogyman".



    .....god I forgot just how much I hate Stu Jackson and Bryant Reeves! :thfight7:
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  • The line there is there enough talent is just a league developed idea. There is plenty of talent. The teams share revenue and don't want to pay more $$ players and dilute the pool they get.

    I am ambivalent about the NBA at this point. They let the Maloofs buy a team. It is on them no one else. They seem to be implying that the Hansen group has to play ball their way to get a team. They seem to want to leverage the Seattle and Vancouver markets to get more $$ when the broadcast contract is up.

    The whole thing stinks of back room deals and shady business practices. They wanted Sacramento to stay period. This is with the worst owners in sports. Yet , the same standard to Seattle did not apply when they wanted to move the team.

    If I remember correctly , Ballmer was willing to buy the team and keep it is Seattle.

    Bottom line with the NBA is show me , I won't believe it until I see it
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  • I think the best places to expand would be either Kansas City or Vancouver, both as the other expansion team with Seattle's. Both already have state of the art facilities

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  • There's no legit reason the league couldn't expand to 31 teams. Yes, it's an odd number, and it can make things a hassle but I don't think something like that will stop the NBA from expanding to a strong basketball hungry, top 10 national market.
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  • Maybe we should dump the name Sonics and name the team Seattle Screw David Stern? At least a large image of him with a big red X covering his face?
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  • Throwdown wrote:I think the best places to expand would be either Kansas City or Vancouver, both as the other expansion team with Seattle's. Both already have state of the art facilities

    Vancouvers Rogers Arena is DOPE inside
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    Kansas City's Sprint Center
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    Damn, Sprint center looks cool. Looks like a big glass salad bowl or something. Seems like way too cool of a building to only house Arena Football (too bad they're SOL to get a real sport in there).

    And yeah, the first one is hella cool too. ;)
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  • Sorry Seattle fans but I really don't want the NBA to expand. There's already not enough talent to go around and too many crappy teams. If it were up to me they'd shut down 3 or 4 teams.

    Go steal Milwaukie or Atlanta or something.
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  • From 1983 (adding the Mavs) to 2004 (adding the Bobcats) the NBA operated with an odd number of teams. So that argument against is weak.

    The "have to wait for the new TV deal" argument is also weak. Right now, the existing deal pays $900M a year. When the existing 30 Owners each get their cut, that works out to $30M per team. Expand to 31 and that drops to $29M per team. Chris Hansen has already shown that he'll drop $30 like it's pocket change. The increased valuation of teams & amount of $ HBN would pay in for an expansion fee would more than offset any $$ the owners would lose under the existing TV deal and the future deal. Plus, adding the Seattle market in advance to renegotiation of the TV deal is in the NBA's best interests, since it increases the asking price.

    (BTW - The report that Hansen has supposedly told the NBA they could keep the $30M deposit he made as part of the Kings offer and that $30M happens to be the same amount of TV revenue in question is the one little thing that makes me hope Expansion talks are serious right now ... but maybe I'm just reading too much into things)

    The "talent dilution" argument is weak. There are currently 450 roster spots in the NBA. Adding a team increases that to 465. Do you seriously believe there's a big difference between the 450th player vs. the 465th? .. "But there's not enough Star players to go around!!" How many "Stars" are in the NBA at any given time? 15? 20? By that logic, there's been too many teams since the ABA merger. Bottom line - teams with good GM's and good coaches will be able to assemble winning teams. Team with good markets & good products will be successful, teams that suck or are in bad markets will loose money. Doesn't make any difference if there are 28, 29, 30, 31, or 32 teams in the League, that will be true regardless.
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  • If your team plays one on one all season yes, they may suffer since as Ved says elite level players are rare and there are few. If your team plays team Basketball and defense with a group of above but not elite players you have a better chance for long term success. Markets with deep pockets and that are willing to pay the luxery tax will flourish. Bold GM's that will go after a key player to build around also will. Lakers have been doing that almost their whole existence with Chamberlin, Jabbar, Shaq, Divac etc and then making trades to get high picks for the wing or back court. They will go without a good draft for a few years since they have built a young and dominant team for the court for years in many instances.
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  • m0ng0 wrote:Not sure the talent pool can support 2 more teams but best of luck !

    The talent pool is there, but there's only a limited number of GREAT players. And you got to have two of those bastards to win a championship. How otherwise you going through Miami? So in two years, we'll get Durant, and who else?
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  • CALIHAWK1 wrote:The issue with expansion is I would imagine they would want two teams. With markets like Charolotte and Milwaukee I don't see the possibilty of two teams.

    The NBA can run with one expansion team. They'd prefer two, but it could fly for a while until the next market emerges.
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  • -The Glove- wrote:
    Throwdown wrote:Pretty much what I've been saying the last 2 days.

    Thank you for putting all this out here though so people can read it, instead of looking at me like i'm some insane optimistic person.

    Ay I'm with you Throwdown. On the way home from work as I was listening to Sterns PC and I couldn't help but smile towards the middle and end of it. I know there's some kind of expansion talks going on right now. Based off of everything Stern, Silver and now Montemayor have been saying. And even Hansen's message had some indications that something was going to happen sooner than later.

    Stay positive, SuperSonics fans!

    Haven't you figured out everything coming out of Stern's mouth is rancid baby diarhea? Silver's comments were, however, encouraging.
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  • Milwaukee has supported the Bucks for generations, yes getting a Arena is difficult, we in Seattle should know better then anyone, but they managed to support getting the Packers stadium built, I would think somehow they get something done there as well. I just don't see the NBA unless all else and efforts are completly abandoned moving the Bucks. It would be just about like the Sonics 2.0 all over again, we seen in Sacramento how adament they are about relocation presently. Charlotte I'm not as sure about since I don't know about the lease and Arena condition there. They don't have a history as long as the Bucks, they really have never been that much of a contender, not sure about how well they are supported.
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  • Ya know, it strikes me that announcing an NBA expansion team in Las Vegas shortly after strong-arming the Maloofs out of the NBA would be a typical dick move for Stern.
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  • Well looking at the fall out of Wednesday.

    1 Stern speaks of possible Expansion in the future after TV deal done

    2 Silver speaks of wanting to come back to Seattle

    3 Agreement with Maloofs to sell Kings and no Hansen involvement whatsoever

    4 Hansen doesn't take offer to get 30 million back from NBA

    5 No Lawsuit by Hansen group pending, we know their is plenty of cause to push it but it's not happening.

    6 Hansen's optimistic post about still working and how sweet it will be when it happens

    7 Early TV agreement negotiations, also NBA has option to end present contract from what I read opening door for new deal to be done immediatly

    8 Hansen group in continued talks and negotiations with NBA

    9 No negative comments or news of opinion from anyone in the Hansen camp about the decision, playing nice and no returning shots even with Sterns OKC lead in during team staying in Sacramento announcement when just about everyone else was miffed.

    All this leads me to beleive we have something going on that can't or won't be announced to leverage either a TV deal, another locations Arena deal or expansion request all the while having done a Bennett Brokerage deal with the NBA for the Sonics returning here.
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  • I'm buying what you're selling scanner. The way the sale went right through from the Maloofs to the new Sac ownership group with no opposition from HBN points, in a logical world, to some kind of promise down the road of a team here. I think when all is said and done, we'll all be happier with the eventual solution than we would have been had we actually gotten the lame-ass Kings. It will be OUR team only, and not referred to as "The Former Kings"... which would have irked me a bit. I'm well aware of the term "Blessing in disguise" from my personal life, and I think we'll be happier when this thing is all over and done with. Then we can build from scratch, and it will be interesting as hell to watch! Oh, and another thing I heard on the radio today.... "Seattle is the only city in the top twenty TV markets to NOT have an NBA team". So, I'm pretty sure we're good. Just some more patience required... Hard, I know, but I'm extremely optimistic over our NBA, and NHL future...
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  • chris98251 wrote:Well looking at the fall out of Wednesday.

    1 Stern speaks of possible Expansion in the future after TV deal done

    2 Silver speaks of wanting to come back to Seattle

    3 Agreement with Maloofs to sell Kings and no Hansen involvement whatsoever

    4 Hansen doesn't take offer to get 30 million back from NBA

    5 No Lawsuit by Hansen group pending, we know their is plenty of cause to push it but it's not happening.

    6 Hansen's optimistic post about still working and how sweet it will be when it happens

    7 Early TV agreement negotiations, also NBA has option to end present contract from what I read opening door for new deal to be done immediatly

    8 Hansen group in continued talks and negotiations with NBA

    9 No negative comments or news of opinion from anyone in the Hansen camp about the decision, playing nice and no returning shots even with Sterns OKC lead in during team staying in Sacramento announcement when just about everyone else was miffed.

    All this leads me to beleive we have something going on that can't or won't be announced to leverage either a TV deal, another locations Arena deal or expansion request all the while having done a Bennett Brokerage deal with the NBA for the Sonics returning here.


    Yeah, now that I'm done being pissed and have calmed down, this is stuff that I started thinking about today. And, quite frankly an expansion team was all I wanted. Maybe it doesn't happen, but there are some things that point to it. So, here's hoping.
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  • SeatownJay wrote:Ya know, it strikes me that announcing an NBA expansion team in Las Vegas shortly after strong-arming the Maloofs out of the NBA would be a typical dick move for Stern.


    As much as this entire fiasco has frustrated me, that would honestly make me laugh.
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  • SeatownJay wrote:Ya know, it strikes me that announcing an NBA expansion team in Las Vegas shortly after strong-arming the Maloofs out of the NBA would be a typical dick move for Stern.


    Considering they would look to expand two teams to keep the conferences even numbered, Las Vegas/Seattle would be cool with me.
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  • Las Vegas will never get a team (as cool as that would be) unless all of the sports books pull all NBA action off their boards, and that ain't happenin'!
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  • vedthree wrote:From 1983 (adding the Mavs) to 2004 (adding the Bobcats) the NBA operated with an odd number of teams. So that argument against is weak.

    The "have to wait for the new TV deal" argument is also weak. Right now, the existing deal pays $900M a year. When the existing 30 Owners each get their cut, that works out to $30M per team. Expand to 31 and that drops to $29M per team. Chris Hansen has already shown that he'll drop $30 like it's pocket change. The increased valuation of teams & amount of $ HBN would pay in for an expansion fee would more than offset any $$ the owners would lose under the existing TV deal and the future deal. Plus, adding the Seattle market in advance to renegotiation of the TV deal is in the NBA's best interests, since it increases the asking price.

    (BTW - The report that Hansen has supposedly told the NBA they could keep the $30M deposit he made as part of the Kings offer and that $30M happens to be the same amount of TV revenue in question is the one little thing that makes me hope Expansion talks are serious right now ... but maybe I'm just reading too much into things)

    The "talent dilution" argument is weak. There are currently 450 roster spots in the NBA. Adding a team increases that to 465. Do you seriously believe there's a big difference between the 450th player vs. the 465th? .. "But there's not enough Star players to go around!!" How many "Stars" are in the NBA at any given time? 15? 20? By that logic, there's been too many teams since the ABA merger. Bottom line - teams with good GM's and good coaches will be able to assemble winning teams. Team with good markets & good products will be successful, teams that suck or are in bad markets will loose money. Doesn't make any difference if there are 28, 29, 30, 31, or 32 teams in the League, that will be true regardless.


    Fantastic points all there Ved. I basically agree with everything you said. I hadn't realized the part about the NBA having had an odd number of teams for that 20 year span ... but you are absolutely correct. So, expansion COULD mean just Seattle in theory.

    Regarding the NBA's TV contract being an impediment to expansion at the moment, I know it's basically a bogus argument ... and you know know it's a bogus argument ... but that is exactly the point that Stern and the NBA are contending (Stern reiterated that in the press conference). Steve Kyler (who threw out that Tweet about Stern having influenced the owners' vote) said yesterday in an interview on KJR-950am that the NBA was concerned about setting a precedent in this case. That is, they didn't like the idea of having a team ripped out of its existing city (even if there is a superior offer) if that city has done everything that the board has asked that city to do. If that happened, then what about Milwaukee, what about Charlotte, and so on? If that's the case (and I honestly am starting to believe that it is) then I can respect that -- the idea of looking at the whole picture and what's good for the NBA as a whole (not just for 1 team or 1 city).

    As crazy as it sounds (and I can't believe I'm saying this because I'm certainly no David Stern fan), I believe that there is a piece of David Stern that actually feels bad about what happened with Seattle in 2008. Erik Erikson (a disciple of Freud's) developed his own theories about personality and really talked a lot about people making critical decisions about life at key stages in life. In Stern's case, Erikson would say that he's at the "Ego Integrity vs. Despair" part of his life. This is the stage of life where people (say 65 or older, but that's a real rough timeline) start to look back on their life and really start to ask questions like, "What's my legacy going to be? How have I impacted the world? What am I leaving behind? How are people going to remember me?" People either look back on their life with a sense of real satisfaction or with a real sense of regret over some of their missteps, their missed opportunities, etc. It's that idea of legacy that I believe could have impacted things in terms of this decision with the Kings. I think it's quite possible that Stern looks at what happened with Seattle as a real failure -- a black mark on his resume as commissioner ... and maybe even regrets some things he did that helped make that failure to keep the Sonics in Seattle possible (there's sure a lot of blame to go around). Anyway, I think it's possible he looked at this situation and said to himself he didn't want the same exact thing to happen in Sacramento. Besides looking at what he perceived as being in the best overall interests of the NBA as a whole ... I think it's possible this could also have gone in to his thinking. And this is part of why (I believe) expansion could honestly be on the table in this case -- a way to make right a wrong that was done to the city of Seattle. Am I going to be remembered as a commissioner who allowed a team with a 41 year history to be torn out of its city ... or as the white knight who helped make its return possible?

    For all those reasons and more, I'm honestly buying what Tim Montemayor is selling in saying that expansion for Seattle is on the horizon. As Chris98251 outlined in his points, it sure makes a lot of sense.
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  • The Seattle Times put out an interesting article regarding expansion yesterday. Here are a few choice nuggets from it ...

    First of all, Bob Condotta confirmed Tim Montemayor's earlier report about the league looking to renegotiate its TV Deal early with a possible eye on adding Seattle as an expansion team ...

    “I think there was a generalized talk that it would be good in the future just to consider that issue, but awaiting the next television renegotiation, which is virtually upon us,” Stern said. “Especially in terms of the year or so, or what have you, that it was best to await that event.”

    The TV contracts to which Stern referred are the national deals the league has with ESPN/ABC and TNT. Those expire at the end of the 2015-16 season.

    However, it was reported recently the NBA has begun informal negotiations on its next contracts.

    The hope in Seattle would be that as the NBA has those discussions, it will ask the networks to consider what the impact would be of adding a team, potentially paving the way for the league to consider expansion before the new contracts take effect.


    And this little goodie ...

    “My sense is Seattle made such an impressive showing that the NBA — which has resisted expansion for years — will view expansion more favorably,” said Michael McCann, a sports-law expert and an on-air legal analyst for NBA-TV. “I believe the league will study expansion over the next year.”


    McCann goes on to note that the reason he believes the NBA didn't outright award Seattle an expansion franchise is that the NBA and Stern tend to value process and to stick to precedent. That is, when expansion has happened in the past, it has been open to any city to make its case why they should receive an NBA team. So, if expansion had happened, other cities like Kansas City, Vancouver, B.C., St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Las Vegas would have been right there in the mix. Hansen and his group (in essence) would have had to make their pitch all over again. Seattle would be the clear front runner however, based upon the strength of the Hansen/Ballmer/Nordstrom group, the fact that Seattle and Hansen already have an agreement for an NBA arena already in place, the environmental impact studies are already well under way, etc.

    Source: Seattle’s NBA hopes still high as league warms to expansion - Seattle Times -- 5/18/13

    Encouraging news for sure.
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