This sight will be seen again — just not right now.
The city of Seattle didn’t lose today — the city of Sacramento won.
There’s nothing that the fantastic ownership group of Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer could have done differently in their quest to bring the NBA back to the Emerald City today.
The goal of getting the Sonics back in town was defeated a month ago when the Sacramento group lead by billionaire Vivek Ranadive did what the NBA asked of them — match the Seattle offer.
But there still seemed to a be a glimmer of hope in Sonics fan’s eyes, especially when Lord Hansen raised the offer to buy the team from the Maloof family for far more than Ranadive will last week. Even then though, we all knew how the vote would end today.
In fact, I was surprised to hear that eight owners voted for the relocation — my money was on a near-unanimous decision, not a 22-8 split.
But now the focus is how to move on. Commissioner David Stern made it clear that any talk of expansion won’t happen until the end of the current television deal in 2015-16, and even then a new team in Seattle is far from guaranteed.
Another option is finding another team that is in a poor market and is just cash strapped enough to want to sell — because the one thing the fans of the Sonics must know is that the Hansen/Ballmer group will not quit until a team is back in Seattle.
And finally there’s still the hope that the Maloof’s keep their word and don’t sell the team to the Ranadive group, sell 20 percent of the team to Hansen (after an NBA approval), sit and wait for Sacramento to bail on building an arena (which will happen) and finally reapply for relocation — because when Sacramento doesn’t get this arena deal done, everyone who voted against the move today will realize that there is a team in a city that isn’t supportive of one.
“While we are obviously extremely disappointed with today’s relocation vote and truly believe we put forth both a significantly better offer and Arena plan, we do thank the league and the owners for their time and consideration and look forward to hearing back on our agreement to join the Maloofs as Limited Partners in the Kings,” Hansen said on his website.
The talk of Stern and the NBA “hating Seattle” is honestly bitter sounding and pouting.
With that said, Stern is a complete asshole, especially with comments like this, which he started the press conference with,
“This is going to be short; I have a game to get to in Oklahoma City.”
Five years ago the Sonics were sold with the intention to move them, but had an arena deal been reached, the NBA would have done the same thing they did today — vote to keep the team in their market. We must look ourselves in the mirror on days like today and realize that there will be NBA in Seattle again, it just won’t be the Kings right now.
And that’s not because anyone hates us or because we pitched the move poorly — it’s because a city stepped forward with a plan and they won their team back.
There’s little doubt, especially after seeing what Hansen pitched these last six months, that our Sonics are coming back — the question unfortunately though remains when that will happen.
Also, did we really want a team with DeMarcus Cousins? That guy is an asshole.