It's not about Seattle, it's about Sacramento.
If this is truly the case, then why does everyone not living in the Pacific Northwest seem to be worried about Seattle and what we are doing? Why also are so many people disparaging Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer at every possible turn? Far too many people not connected to the situation have swallowed the talking point that "Seattle is bullies and have gone rogue" hook, line and sinker. I don't buy it. I'm going to refuse to bite.
If Seattle is the bully and has gone rogue, if we aren't working with the league and have no shot at getting a team on Wednesday, what difference does it make then? Why, with no skin in the game, do you care to propagate this myth? Why say this if we are not a threat and are instead doing everything in our power up here to make sure that the NBA never sets foot in Seattle again?
Bully, rampage, scorched earth. Hell, it was even said that Sonics Rising was a propaganda blog run by Supreme Overlord Robinson.
We were advised to avoid taking our pound of flesh with the NBA and Clay Bennett in the court system in 2008. We were told to play nice and we could have a team in the very near future when one became available.
When a team without a lease came available, the league put the two parties in contact with one another. It was the league who orchestrated a meeting with Hansen/Ballmer and the Maloofs. The parties found terms agreeable to both sides and a deal was made with blessing from the league.
It was at this point that Kevin Johnson supposedly woke up, saying he had no idea the Maloofs were selling (hard to imagine the very same league that has been holding his hand through this whole process didn't give him a heads up along the way). He went out to put an arena deal together without public approval. For ownership he put together a group of investors that resembles a revolving door in how frequently the players in the group have changed.
Looking in on all of this, it seems readily apparent that there is a rift between the owners and the league office. Each time the league office leaks negative information about Hansen/Ballmer not working with the league, it seems to be that within 12 hours a counter report comes out that Hansen/Ballmer are in fact dealing directly with other NBA owners. Keep in mind that the league staff work for the owners.
Why deal with David Stern when he by all accounts seems to have used Hansen/Ballmer to get a deal done in Sacramento - the very city that benefitted from his first relocation as commissioner? I wonder why a city that is broke is still offering huge public subsidies despite what City Treasurer Russell Fehr is saying, "Our general fund in terms of our debt capacity is tapped out. We won't have any borrowing capacity in the general fund until some debt is paid off in 2022."
To me that doesn't like a city that can get an arena built using public money without having to go to a public vote.
In Seattle, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that our arena deal is shovel ready unless the EIS report throws us a Mr. Snappy which isn't expected and we should be finding out preliminary results on that report in about a month.
This all reminds me of a story of a hopeful, young karate enthusiast whose dreams and moxie take him all the way to the All Valley Karate Championship. Sadly he loses in the final round, but learns a valuable lesson about accepting defeat.
I'm not saying we are going to lose, I don't know if we are or not. If someone tells you that they know how this ends with certainty, let them know that I have a lightly used suspension bridge in Tacoma that I'd like to sell them.
We reject the narrative that Aaron Bruski, Ken Berger and other have tried to lay down upon us. When in fact we have done everything the NBA has asked and then some. We are playing by the rules, bullies are the ones that change the rules as they go to give them a better chance at winning the game.