Nothing changed yesterday. Did anyone really expect the NBA to sit in a press conference IN OKLAHOMA and say
"Yeah, we took a look and it doesn't seem like it will work out. We're going to tell Clay to just find another option"
If anything the comments by Stern and NJ Nets owner Lewis Katz are very interesting and in my opinion encouraging. It's a back-off from the "no future, never" line of before. Its not where we want them to be, but it is progress and when people move closer to the direction you want them to go you can't slam them for not being all the way there. Thanks to the person who posted them in a previous thread.
â€œI think Seattle is actually a terrific market. It just doesnâ€™t have an NBA-ready arena of the future thatâ€™s been agreed to by all parties for many years,â€ Stern said. â€œItâ€™s a very strong market that has in fact supported NBA basketball well over the years.â€
Excerpt from Lewis Katzâ€™s comments (Nets owner):
â€œMy hope is that weâ€™ll find a settlement with Seattle that will give them the opportunity to have a replacement team. Seattle should have an NBA team, and I think David expressed that in the meetings. We all feel that way. My guess is you havenâ€™t heard the end of the Seattle story.â€
The league is extremely concerned about the pending litigation. That is becoming more and more obvious by the minute. The fact that they are right now, today talking about settlements that keep us as an NBA city is a HUGE move from where they were. Just put in perspective that a month ago there was no owner to reference, no building option, and the league was saying "Seattle will never get another team."
Today you have Balmer, the Key, and "Seattle deserves a team" and "I don't think you've heard the end of the Seattle story yet."
Take it. Don't ride the roller coaster. I have never believed that it was the financial toll of 2 more years that Clay and the league cannot withstand, it is the collective emotional, professional and spiritual drain that this process will take out of their entire business operation and inflict personally on them. We don't think Clay has thick enough skin. Sadly, if we're going to step up to the table and dare them to do it we have to be collectively prepared to handle the drain ourselves. It will be a brutal situation for EVERYONE involved and the toughest will outlast the competition. These comments indicate to me that the NBA is becoming more aware of this reality.
The mayor is not accepting a buyout that does not ensure us NBA basketball. I really believe that. He's too far down the road in standing his ground. I wish I could guarantee that it would be Kevin Durant and honestly I think that is both the goal and the most likely scenario. However I think right now he'd probably look at options that keep us any team. Strategically I agree with him on this issue.