Longtime Seattle hoops fan but I have kept relatively quiet about the pending H/B/N purchase. I was pretty confident that the NBA would jump on Hansen's arena deal because it is so spectacularly awesome. When the relocation committee voted no my first reaction was mild shock but the more I think about it the more it makes sense.
The NBA got historic bling in this bidding war (of course DJS won’t call it that) over one of the leagues most wretched franchises. Watch DeMarcus Cousins try to guard a pick-and-roll for Pete’s sake. A franchise with a “storied history” of few championship contenders (and zero championships). And here they stay, having extorted a huge amount of public financing to match an obscenely high valuation.
This is what it is all about. Seattle said no to David Stern in 2006-08. David Stern decided to make a clear example of us. Unless you open up the public coffers for DJS you risk losing your team. The Renton arena deal was crazy but KJ would have said yes, yes, yes to it. If you are a small market team, you may have to make commitments for the NBA that are not in the best interest of your municipality. Especially if your mayor was an NBA point guard.
Of course DJS and the NBA BoG prefer to force a Sactown sale. The message this deal sends to any small market owner is: “Your franchise is worth over $500 million dollars and you don’t have to sell your city down the river like Howard Schultz to get it.” It’s not really true. Especially once the Seattle market either A) gets filled or B) loses interest. This is why DJS likes having the Seattle market empty. It's part grudge and part leverage over every other franchise in the league.
I’ll tell you this Kings fans. Assuming we can't litigate your team away from you (and I hope we can't - too ugly for me), you better pack Sleep Train for years. I have a feeling the second honeymoon will be very short. You better hope your front office gets it together. Wally Walker did as much to run the Sonics out of town as anyone. A lousy product usually means empty seats. And the Kings are lousy. Get those CWebb and White Chocolate jerseys to the dry cleaners.