NBA Seattle: Prospect of the NBA Returning to Seattle Looks Extremely Promising

It has been eight long year since the Seattle SuperSonics left the Pacific Northwest.

Now, it seems Seattle is closer to getting the Sonics and the NBA back in Seattle.

Back in mid-October, the fine people at SB Nation’s Sonics Rising reported that expansion was “on the table” for the NBA with a new CBA widely reported to be in the works. After seeing the Kings rescued and new arenas being built in other cities, this has been Seattle’s best shot to reenter the league.

Within the week, news came out about Chris Hansen (the driving force behind bringing back the Sonics) buying even more land in SoDo.

So things were obviously looking positive for Seattle’s efforts to restore professional men’s basketball to the Emerald City.

There was also this nugget from a David Aldridge article about the subject of basketball in the Pacific Northwest’s largest city. The writer quoted “a very high ranking executive of one of the league’s 29 teams.” Said executive was quoted as saying “Seattle is a far better market than at least 10 NBA cities.”

So hey, we’ve got that going for us.

While there was obvious caution seeing as we’ve swung and miss with the league before, things were looking up.

Then this wonderful (at least for those who want to see the National Basketball Association back in the Pacific Northwest) news broke. King 5’s Chris Daniels reported that Hansen and company are offering to privately fund the new SoDo arena, as well as helping to fund the Lander Street overpass.

Additionally, Daniels’ reports also states that the offer is “conditioned on the city agreeing to vacate a one-block stretch of Occidental Avenue and the addition of several tax credits.”

The website behind Hansen’s efforts to build a new arena also announced the news.

What’s more, according to a tweet from Daniels, Seattle Council president Bruce Harrell calls the offer to privately fund the arena a “game changer.” You can see the entire tweet below.

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It is extremely positive news for hoop fans in Seattle. While it by no means ensures that a team will come, it is a massive step forward in the grand scheme of things if Hansen is able to privately fund the arena and the overpass.

For more on Seattle and the NBA, click here.

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. 

Seattle NBA and NHL: Latest Updates

Here’s the latest on the NBA and NHL fronts in Seattle.

The Seattle Times looks at the arena focus shifting from the NBA to the NHL.

Per Chris Daniels of King 5, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has said that the Arena environmental review is expected to be finished by May 7th.

Richard Sherman wants the NBA to bring back the Sonics.

Finally, RealGM looks at what Seattle must do next in pursuit of an NBA team.

What American Sports Can Learn From European Football

I’m not going to be the stereotypical American and say, “We are the best!” because that would be… well, stereotypical American thinking.

The American Sports leagues can probably learn a thing or two from Europe’s top Football leagues. I’m not saying that this idea should be implemented, I’m just throwing it out there: regulation.

Regulation — where the bottom three teams from the top league are moved down to the second league in exchange for the top three teams in the second-tier league. This happens yearly in top leagues such as Serie A of Italy, the German Bundesliga and the Barclay’s Premier League in England. Basically almost every top European league.

Obviously baseball would run into problems seeing as the second “rung” of professional baseball in the States is AAA whose teams are owned and operated by the Major League teams. But say that AAA clubs weren’t owned by MLB. This would create and promote a sense of competition and urgency.

It’s every team’s goal to win the World Series. That’s a reality for about 10 teams, an outside shot for maybe four or five more and a pipe dream for the rest. The teams at the bottom have to step it up in order to be competitive to avoid the humiliation of being demoted in favor of Scranton-Wilkes or Salt Lake City. Take the Pirates, for example. The Pirates would have been in AAA ages ago had American sports run the same way. They’d have torn up the high Minors and would have been back in the Majors with a sense of confidence, one that was probably lost after their countless losing seasons in a row.

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Thanks David Stern (sarcasm, sarcasm, a little passive aggressiveness and, wait for it … sarcasm)

Have you been watching the NBA playoffs? Have you seen the Oklahoma City Raiders, as the politically correct people call them? Have you seen how good Kevin Durant is? Have you seen Russell Westbrook go bananas? Have you seen James Harden’s beard? And have you seen Seattle?

I cringe at the fact that the Raiders are so good. Actually, take that back, I do think they are a decent NBA team, it’s just the constant feeling that they could have been in Seattle. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. They could be the talk of Seattle now, instead the talk of Seattle probably includes the word Robbed.

Take that word and flip it into whatever synonym you see fit, because we were robbed.

It continually kills me to see the Raiders succeed. Yes, that’s right; I’m to the point of not mentioning their name.

It’s not as if this is a city like New York, or Dallas where all of the sports teams generally succeed. The Yankees seemingly always make the playoffs. The Giants won the whole thing last year, and the Jets aren’t too bad either. And in Dallas, the Mavericks went from perennial playoff squad to title winners last year. The Rangers have won the last two AL pennants.

The point with that last blip is that the pill is easier to swallow if a team leaves, and if the other professional teams in and around the area are playing at a high level.

Which brings us to our next point. Where have the big playoff moments been in Seattle? The Storm won a title in the WNBA and the Sounders are a really good side, but our last big-nationally-talked-about-you’ll-remember-where-you-where-when-it-happened-moment was when Marshawn Lynch unleashed the beast and went on a smash-and-dash 67 yard run to clinch the win over the defending champion Saints in the playoffs. And that’s coming up on two years ago. Before that it was a Seahawks Super Bowl should-have-been-win that was botched by officiating, and before that we have to go back to “the Double” by Edgar Martinez. And that’s going back a ways.

But to get back on topic, Stern and his joined-at-the-hip buddy Clay Bennett have robbed us of a successful, Big 4 (that’s MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL) team. One that would have taken the city to a whole new level of sports pandemonium. Instead we are forced to sit and watch the Raiders succeed.

Stern and Bennett not only took away our team, they took away a team that is pretty darn good. And one that might be that good for a while.

One of my favorite moments in Sonicgate is when they flash to a kid showing a sign that reads: “Clay Bennett Ruined My Childhood.”

What we should remember here is that it isn’t just Bennett’s fault. The blame falls on others shoulders as well, people like Greg Nickles and Howard Schultz. But the main culprit not named Bennett is Stern.

Isn’t it funny that when we had the Sonics situation on our hands, David Stern barely lifted a finger? And then when we see Sacramento’s arena deal and team security thrown into uncertainty, Stern does almost everything godly possible to keep the team in Sacramento. He practically got them another year in Sacramento. And that’s the problem. He is in love with small markets.

I know everyone and their dog are rooting for the Raiders in the playoffs in and around the Oklahoma area, and the revenue off that is great and all, but wouldn’t you look a lot better if that were in say, Seattle?

Anyways, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Bennett ruined my childhood. You see, my childhood has been great to this point. But I was in middle school when the Sonics left. I even wrote an essay on it for English class, saying why the Sonics should stay and all that. But that one year in middle school was also the year I really got into basketball. I mean I played it at every waking hour at school when I didn’t have classes. I was, and still am, obsessed with it. And that’s the sad thing. I never got to go to see the Sonics in person and barely saw them on TV. I’ve gone the last Andre-the-Giant-sized handful of years without an NBA team. Because the Sonics left I shifted my attention to the college ranks to get my winter basketball fill. Washington wasn’t amazing at the time so I watched a lot of Gonzaga and Washington State, seeing them both make the NCAA tourney.

And that’s just the thing today. For folks to get their local basketball fix their options are UW, WSU, Gonzaga and Seattle U. That’s it in the state. Seattle U is making the transition back to D1, and WSU and Gonzaga are on the other side of the Cascade Mountains. Not too many people are going to make that trek 2-3 times a week from the Puget Sound area to see basketball. Which leaves us with the Huskies. This is the first team in NCAA history not to make the tourney after winning the regular season championship in a power conference. They lost to South Dakota State by 19…

Let me say that again. They lost to South Dakota State by nineteen whole points!

I tend to get caught up in baseball over the summer, so that makes it a bit hard to follow the Storm intensely.

So, thanks to Stern and his little buddy Bennett (and some others) the biggest basketball draw in the Pacific Northwest over the winter and spring is a team that lost to South Dakota State by 19 points. Did I mention it was at home? Maybe if the Raiders win a ring and the NBA doesn’t come back to Seattle soon you very well may have ruined my childhood, Bennett and Stern.