What Are the Real Issues?

Scott Halleran

What issues do you think the respective sides will be discussing in NYC?

A showdown is looming in New York tomorrow and both sides of the Sacramento/Seattle conflict are preparing for the most critical presentations of this process. Sources close to the action on both sides report high levels of confidence and reports across a variety of media sources are already awarding victory to one side or the other. These conflicting perspectives cannot both be accurate.

History would tell us that we should not expect either fan base to concede defeat based on reports or commentary in the next few days. Unless there is a clear and unequivocal statement of outcome from the NBA there is a far greater likelihood that one side will declare some type of limited victory while the other will emphatically deny defeat. Nobody expects either side to back down until an expected final vote from the NBA on April 18th or 19th.

Today there was news regarding Bob Cook’s 7% team share that is held in bankruptcy court. Like many issues the speculated importance of this 7% has varied tremendously depending on where the speculation occurs and what the news of the moment.

When word of right of first refusal clause was first announced fans in Sacramento declared it a defining issue while Sonics fans, confident in Chris Hansen’s attorneys dismissed it as irrelevant. Last week, after it was announced that Chris Hansen had purchased the 7% share the roles reversed. Sacramento declared the matter a non-issue and many in Seattle pointed to it as a key indicator of Hansen’s impending success.

The side’s respective ticket pledge lists provides another prime example of our ever shifting sense of importance. Was HereWeBuy.org's very impressive benchmark of 10,000 season ticket pledges yesterday a significant accomplishment and if so should that make Hansen’s SonicsArena.com impending release of numbers an even more meaningful event. Regardless of the whether the two lists appear on the surface to be equally unscientific and nonbinding the market with the larger number will likely declare it an incredibly meaningful show of support even as the "losing" side points to the fact that the list is really irrelevant.

Assuming that the NBA does not issue a decisive statement this conversation is going to continue. Use this thread to talk about what issues are meaningful in the coming 17 days. During that period announcements ranging from KeyArena renovations to additional whales may dominate the headlines. The 7% is likely to bounce from side to side and ultimately be settled to one party or the other and perhaps we will see the NBA Relocation committee make their recommendation to the other owners.

With so much rumor and speculation it is difficult to determine what events have real significance. Very few people really know whether a given issue will matter in the NBA’s decision process.

What issues do you think the respective sides will be discussing in NYC?

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