Why We Love Seattle: Mariners Fans Chant “Brady Cheated” During Mariners/Red Sox Game

Seattle #Sounders Highlights vs New York City FC

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Seattle #Sounders Highlights: Build Up Play on Obafemi Martins’ Second Goal

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Three Reasons Why the Tukwila Arena is a Good Idea

  1. Location, Location, Location

While an arena in SoDo would be amazing and add to an already sporting atmosphere with Safeco Field and CenturyLink field, it can be tricky getting to the stadiums. It shouldn’t be, but coming from the south, it can be a bit of a hassle to get to Safeco from the highway. In other words, it shouldn’t take long, but it does. It also makes games more accessible geographically for fans south of Seattle.

  1. Privately Funded

The arena project, spearheaded by the “Russell Group” will be privately funded. This means the public won’t be paying. This has been an issue in the past, not just in Seattle, but in other locals.

  1. Hockey First?

Seattle is no doubt interested in the NHL making the Pacific Northwest a permanent home, but the NBA is likely a bigger draw given the city’s history with and yearning for professional basketball.

The hockey first would also solve the city’s Catch-22 situation with the NBA were the city (specifically the Seattle Arena project) needs a team to break ground on an arena, but the league wants an arena in place before it can send a team our way.

Having an NHL team first would also give the area time to get behind hockey in the same way the team threw their lot in with the Sounders.

Tukwila Arena Updates

With news breaking recently that a potential NBA/NHL arena to be built in Tukwila is in the works, their has been plenty of news on the subject of late. The arena group includes former Sonic legend Fred Brown as well as all-time NBA great Bill Russell among others.

Here’s the latest. 

  • According to King 5 News, the arena has been “in works for months”.

Here are some shots of the land in Tukwila and what an arena might look like-

Here’s more specifics from Chris Daniels

Not to be outdone, the Seattle Arena is on track to make progress as well.

To read why I think the Tukwila Arena is a good idea, click here. 

NBA Playoff Teams with Local Connections

With the NBA playoffs underway, here’s a look at the NBA players with local connections playing on teams that made it to the postseason. Without an NBA team in Seattle, we tend to cheer on local players or players with connections to the state of Washington. It should also be pointed out that the team from Oklahoma missed the playoffs (insert synonym for the word “happy” here).

Eastern Conference

Atlanta Hawks: Austin Daye

Austin Daye isn’t from Washington, but spent his college years at Gonzaga where he was a prolific shot blocker and led the Zags to NCAA tournament berths in each of his seasons in Spokane. Daye was the 15th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons and now suits up for the Atlanta Hawks. He’s also played for the Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs. He won a ring with the Spurs in 2014.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Joe Harris

Joe Harris was born in Chelan, Washington and attended the University of Virginia where he played for four years under former Washington State head coach Tony Bennett. The former All-ACC performer has per-game averages of 2.7 points, .8 rebounds and .5 assists in his first season in Cleveland and in the league.

Chicago Bulls: Aaron Brooks

One of the NBA’s best “instant-offense” guards (which tends to be a common trend among Seattle-area guards), Brooks has had a fairly successful NBA career with the likes of the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns. He currently plays for the Chicago Bulls where he has averaged 11.6 points a game off the bench this season in a similar role to the one fellow Washingtonian Nate Robinson played for the Bulls.

Toronto Raptors: Terrence Ross

Oregonian Terrence Ross played two years at the University of Washington before going pro and being selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. He’s started at least 61 games per season over the past two years for a successful Toronto club. He’s averaged 9.8 points and 2.8 rebounds a game this season and is a prolific dunker.

Washington Wizards: Martell Webster

After being drafted sixth overall by the Portland Trailblazers in the 2005 NBA draft, Webster has carved out a role as a bench scorer. After scoring 9.7 points a game for the Wizards last season, he’s down to 3.3 points a contest this year.

Boston Celtics: Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk

Starting with Tacoma natives Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley, Boston has some strong ties to the Pacific Northwest. Thomas has joined another Washingtonian, Jamal Crawford, among the best offensive options off the bench. At 26-years-old, he looks to be part of the Celtics core for the long haul and is already off to a promising start as his level of play propelled the Celtics from a lottery-bound team to the Eastern Conference’s seventh seed.

Joining him in the Boston backcourt is Bradley who is a lock-down defender and solid offensive threat. The former McDonald’s All American averaged 13.9 points a game to go along with 3.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals per contest.

Rounding out Boston’s group of players connected to the Pacific Northwest is Thomas’ partner in crime on Boston’s second unit, Kelly Olynyk. The former Gonzaga big man continues to improve in the NBA after averaging 8.7 points a game in his rookie season, he’s up to 10.3 points a contest this season. The center can step out to the three-point line and has a solid, low-post game.

Western Conference

(RELATED: Twitter’s Reaction to the team from Oklahoma missing the playoffs)

Golden State Warriors: Justin Holiday

The brother of Jrue Holiday, Justin played his collegiate ball at the University of Washington and has played for pro teams everywhere from Belgium to Hungary to Idaho. The wing has stuck on the Warriors’ roster where he’s scored 4.3 points a game and 1.2 rebounds per contest.

Houston Rockets: Jason Terry

The longtime Dallas Maverick is now suiting up for another Dallas team where he’s averaged 7.0 points a game to go along with 1.9 assists and 1.6 rebounds. The Jet has had a ridiculously productive NBA career with long stops in Atlanta and Dallas preceding shorter stars in Boston and Brooklyn. He won a ring with Dallas in 2010/2011.

Los Angeles Clippers: Jamal Crawford, Spencer Hawes, C.J. Wilcox

It’s probably fitting that the Steve Ballmer-owned Clippers have a large contingent of players with connections to the state of Washington.

Similar to Terry, Crawford has had a long and extremely productive career. He’s averaged 15.6 points a game throughout his career, which isn’t far from his 15.8 points a contest this season. He dropped 18.6 points a game last season and is widely regarded as one of, if not of if not the best sixth men in the league.

Another Seattle product, Spencer Hawes is a versatile big man who has found success as both a scorer and rebounder. He’s had a down season this year with a stat line that includes 5.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, but is still a productive and talented player. The former Husky has range on his jumper and is a solid source of offense from the center position.

Another former UW player suiting up for the Clippers is C.J. Wilcox, the developing wing player only got into 21 games on a stacked Clippers team, averaging 2.0 points a game.

Memphis Grizzlies: Jeff Green

One of the last former Sonics in the league, Jeff Green played his rookie season in Seattle, averaging 10.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

San Antonio Spurs: Aron Baynes

Former Washington State Cougar Aron Baynes played in numerous countries before landing with the Spurs. He made stops in Lithuania, Germany, Greece and Slovenia before joining Gregg Popovich’s team. The center had his best season to date this year with 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest.

New Orleans Pelicans: Quincy Pondexter

Former Washington Husky Quincy Pondexter started his career with the New Orleans Hornets in 2010/2011 before spending four seasons in Memphis with the Grizzlies. He’s back in New Orleans with the Pelicans and averaged a career-high 7.2 points per game this season.

For more NBA pieces, click here. For pieces relating to Seattle and the NBA, click this here link.

All stats courtesy of http://www.basketball-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

 

#NBAPlayoffs Teams with Local Connections: Western Conference

After looking at players in the NBA playoffs with local connections from the Eastern Conference (which you can view here), it’s now time to check in on the Western Conference teams.

(RELATED: Twitter’s Reaction to the team from Oklahoma missing the playoffs)

Golden State Warriors: Justin Holiday

The brother of Jrue Holiday, Justin played his collegiate ball at the University of Washington and has played for pro teams everywhere from Belgium to Hungary to Idaho. The wing has stuck on the Warriors’ roster where he’s scored 4.3 points a game and 1.2 rebounds per contest.

Houston Rockets: Jason Terry

The longtime Dallas Maverick is now suiting up for another Dallas team where he’s averaged 7.0 points a game to go along with 1.9 assists and 1.6 rebounds. The Jet has had a ridiculously productive NBA career with long stops in Atlanta and Dallas preceding shorter stars in Boston and Brooklyn. He won a ring with Dallas in 2010/2011.

Los Angeles Clippers: Jamal Crawford, Spencer Hawes, C.J. Wilcox

It’s probably fitting that the Steve Ballmer-owned Clippers have a large contingent of players with connections to the state of Washington.

Similar to Terry, Crawford has had a long and extremely productive career. He’s averaged 15.6 points a game throughout his career, which isn’t far from his 15.8 points a contest this season. He dropped 18.6 points a game last season and is widely regarded as one of, if not of if not the best sixth men in the league.

Another Seattle product, Spencer Hawes is a versatile big man who has found success as both a scorer and rebounder. He’s had a down season this year with a stat line that includes 5.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, but is still a productive and talented player. The former Husky has range on his jumper and is a solid source of offense from the center position.

Another former UW player suiting up for the Clippers is C.J. Wilcox, the developing wing player only got into 21 games on a stacked Clippers team, averaging 2.0 points a game.

Memphis Grizzlies: Jeff Green

One of the last former Sonics in the league, Jeff Green played his rookie season in Seattle, averaging 10.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

San Antonio Spurs: Aron Baynes

Former Washington State Cougar Aron Baynes played in numerous countries before landing with the Spurs. He made stops in Lithuania, Germany, Greece and Slovenia before joining Gregg Popovich’s team. The center had his best season to date this year with 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest.

New Orleans Pelicans: Quincy Pondexter

Former Washington Husky Quincy Pondexter started his career with the New Orleans Hornets in 2010/2011 before spending four seasons in Memphis with the Grizzlies. He’s back in New Orleans with the Pelicans and averaged a career-high 7.2 points per game this season.

For more NBA pieces, click here. For pieces relating to Seattle and the NBA, click this here link.

All stats courtesy of http://www.basketball-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

Vine Video of the Day: Pete Carroll Videobombs John Clayton on Live TV

Seattle Links: NBA, Michael Bennett, Seahawks, Mariners, Gonzaga

March Madness: Why You Should Trust Gonzaga in Your Bracket

There is a decent amount of skepticism surrounding Gonzaga going into the NCAA tournament. Even in the Zags’ home state of Washington there is skepticism. If you’re not a “Gonzaga hater” (which there are a lot of) you’ve heard the gauntlet of stories. There’s the upset losses to Nevada in 2004, the 2002 loss to Wyoming (yes, over a decade later and people are still giving the Zags flack). There’s also the loss to Wichita State as a #1 seed in 2013 as well as a lack of recent Sweet 16 appearances.

Firstly, those first two losses were 11 and 13 years ago. Gonzaga skeptics will also point to that Wichita State loss when GU was the number one team in the country. Wichita State would go on to make the Final Four that year, and they made a whopping 14 three-pointers. I don’t care what name is on the front of your jersey or what seed you have, when another team makes 14 threes, it’s going to be tough to beat them.

The most ridiculous thing about this Gonzaga criticism is that this is a different year with a completely different team. None of those previous teams featured All-American candidate Kyle Wiltjer or Byron Wesley or future lottery-pick Domantas Sabonis.

Gonzaga has been given the #2 seed in the South Region. Here’s why you should trust them to make a deep run in your bracket.

  • Close to Home

Gonzaga is playing across the state in Seattle, Washington for the first two rounds of the tourney (assuming they beat North Dakota State). Potential opponents in Seattle beyond NDSU include Davidson and Iowa, the winner of the game will likely take on the Bulldogs. Additionally, the Zags have a large fan base in Western Washington and play an annual game in Seattle every season as part of the non-conference schedule every year since 2003. Those games are played in Key Arena, the site of GU’s first two games of the tournament.

  • Familiarity

Of the other 16 teams in the South Region, GU has played and beaten three of them. The Zags shellacked #6 seed SMU 72-56 while they also earned wins over #8 seed Saint John’s and #11 seed UCLA. The Zags will certainly feel confident if they face any of those three in later rounds.

  • Balance

Gonzaga boasts the most efficient offense in the country. The team shoots an absurd 52.4% from the field. They rank sixth in assists per game. The Zags also are tenth in the country in points per game with an average of 79.1 points scored per contest—they hold opponents to 60.9 points per game.

  • Depth

The Bulldogs feature six players who average at least 8.2 points per contest. Kyle Wiltjer leads the team with 16.7 points per game and recently dropped 45 (yes, that’s right 45 against Pacific). Byron Wesley (10.8 points per game) and Gary Bell Jr. (8.2) are two the low-scoring starters, but each could easily average 15 points a contest on a team with less offensive firepower and weapons. Reserve guards Kyle Dranginis, Silas Melson and Eric McClellan are all capable of hitting double figures in a hurry.

  • Size

Gonzaga is one of the few teams that can legitimately challenge Kentucky. Not only can the Zags’ guards play with anyone, their size and skillset would cause Kentucky problems in a potential matchup. Sabonis and Wiltjer both stand at 6’10” while Przemek Karnowski is a massive human being at 7’1”.  All three offer varying skill sets that will cause any team fits.