Inside Opinion

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Tag: nba

April
30th

New game plan needed to return Sonics to Seattle

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Seattle’s slam dunk turned into an airball Monday.

A group of buyers headed by billionaires Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appeared to have a done deal to buy the Sacramento Kings and move the team to a site south of Safeco Field in Seattle. They thought so. So did Northwest fans. The team’s owners certainly did. Even a lot of people in Sacramento assumed the Kings were out the door after an earlier arena deal there fell through.

So what happened? Why did a panel of team owners recommend against allowing the sale of the Kings to buyers that would be one of the NBA’s best-financed ownership groups in a more desirable market?

Conspiracy theories abound: Read more »

Jan.
10th

Amid excitement for an NBA team, empathy for another city

Investor Chris Hansen heads a team hoping to bring Sacramento’s NBA team to Seattle. (The Associated Press)
Investor Chris Hansen heads a team hoping to bring Sacramento’s NBA team to Seattle. (The Associated Press)

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Even some of the Northwest basketball fans most excited about the prospect of once again having an NBA team in Seattle may feel a little guilty about what fans in Sacramento, Calif., are going through.

After losing the Seattle Sonics five years ago, they can empathize with those who stand to lose a team they’ve followed since 1985.

When Oklahoma City was on the verge of taking the Seattle franchise, we here in the Northwest had a lot of choice comments about the fans there who were so eager for a team they didn’t care how they got it. Now we’re in much the same position, and it feels a little strange to steal another city’s team.

But that’s what pro sports are like these days, right? Well, yes, but they’ve always been like that. The Sacramento Kings started out as the Rochester (N.Y.) Royals in 1946. In 1957 the team became the Cincinnati (Ohio) Royals, then became the Kings when it moved in 1972 to the Kansas City (Mo.) and Omaha (Neb.) market before leaving for Sacramento in 1985. If a local investment group is successful in buying the team, Seattle would just be the latest stop of many.
Read more »

June
17th

Hoop dreams get a boost from big-name investors

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

These are the times that try Northwest basketball fans’ souls. Four years after Seattle’s NBA team was moved to Oklahoma City, it’s playing for the championship.

Besides rooting for the Miami Heat, what are Sonics fans to do?

Well, they could always root for the guys hoping to bring another NBA team to town – which thousands of fans did last week at a big downtown rally.

The likeliest candidate is the Sacramento Kings, a franchise that is in the same kind of situation the Sonics were in before they moved: a dispute over a new downtown arena. (And yes, there’s no little irony that Seattle would be doing to another city what was done to it.)
Read more »

Feb.
20th

What’s not to like about Seattle arena proposal?

An arena to host an NBA franchise has been proposed for the area at the bottom right of the photo, just south of the Safeco Field parking garage in Seattle’s Sodo district. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Dean Rutz)

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Basketball fans have every right to be excited about a new proposal for bringing an NBA team back to Seattle, which lost the Sonics to Oklahoma City in 2008.

An arena site has been purchased. A rich Seattle native and other investors are willing to put up $290 million of their own money toward building an 18,000-seat facility, and they’re offering to pay for any cost overruns or revenue shortfalls. The remainder of the $500 million cost would be paid by team rent and taxes generated by the arena. The investment team would buy an NBA team and recruit an NHL team.

Taxpayers wouldn’t be asked to come up with a dime for any of it. And the NBA team would pay to play in KeyArena for the two years it would take to build the new facility just south of the Safeco Field parking garage.

What’s not to like?
Read more »

Sep.
22nd

NBA at the Dome? Look at humbler options, too

The Lakes High School Lancers won a 3A Boys semi-final game in the Tacoma Dome March 4. A proposed study would explore whether the Dome could also host NBA action. (Staff file photo)

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Let’s not throw cold water on a bold plan to bring pro basketball or hockey to Tacoma. But let’s also make sure any public money spent on the plan pays dividends to the public.

Some of Pierce County’s most distinguished business leaders – the likes of Economic Development Board CEO Bruce Kendall, Columbia Bank CEO Melanie Dressel and uber-investor Herb Simon – are pushing for a $100,000 study of the feasibility of bringing an NBA or NHL franchise to the Tacoma Dome.

The Tacoma City Council has tentatively decided to invest $50,000 in the study, and the Pierce County Council is facing the same decision. The research could be justified if it also covered less far-fetched scenarios for the Dome’s future.
Read more »