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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Blunder Can't Take the Heat while Seattle Preps For Possible NBA Return?

Dwyane Wade had 38 points and Udonis Haslem (15 points/14 rebounds) and Shawn Marion (15/12) enjoyed double-doubles as the Heat burned the Blunder Saturday Night, 105-99. Future ex-Blunder Kevin Durant had 18 points on a rough night shooting going only 6-17 from the field. Inconsistant Chris Wilcox had 2 points, going 0-4 from the field in 23 minutes and added 4 fouls to lead the Blunder lowlights. Miami won their third in a row while OKC lost their third straight and kept their tight grip on last place.

Here's a fun-filled factoid; the Blunder are one of only nine NBA teams that has yet to have a three-game win streak this season. Of course, when your owner purges all the talent on the team in Seattle to enable a move to the 45th market, and you only two wins all season, three-game win-streak may be tough to come by.

Blunder: 2-19 (league worst)
Next loss: Monday vs Golden State

Is the groundwork for an NBA return to Seattle underway? The following is an excerpt from the Seattle PI blog:

Seattle deputy mayor Tim Ceis was back at it on Monday, as the City of Seattle again pursues $75 million in state authorized, King County taxes to help pay for a remodel of KeyArena.

Ceis presented his proposal to a seven-member task force assigned by state lawmakers to figure out how to deal with the pool of King County taxes available, with several other groups, including the University of Washington and the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, interesting in using funds for major projects.

Ceis presented the city's proposal as an improvement to the overall plan to revamp the Seattle Center, a 20-year face lift that includes a remodel of Memorial Stadium and other facility upgrades.

Ceis also said the city has negotiated a new contract for the naming rights of KeyArena that will last through 2010. At that time, if funding is approved for a new facility, the city will negotiate a new contract for naming rights once the new building opens.

Ceis said the private investment group led by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer remains interested in bringing back the NBA to Seattle. Ballmer's group has committed $150 million to the project, along with purchasing an available team and bringing it back to Seattle. The city would contribute $75 million of its own funds, leaving a $75 million void the city hopes to fill with money from the city-only, hotel/motel tax source.

Ceis also says he does not regret how the city handled the court situation with the team. And based on how the team is performing in Oklahoma City, Ceis said he would do it all the same way if he had to do it again.

"Given the current economic situation and how the team is playing, I don't think I would do anything different," Ceis said. "The city financially is much better off right now, rather than sustaining two more years of financial losses with the team here and then holding onto $25 million in debt.

"I don't have those two years of losses. In fact I more than made up for them and I got rid of the debt. We did lose a team, which you can never compensate for. We understand that. But it was pretty clear that this ownership was moving this team out of Seattle, whether we let them go then or two years from now. So I think we're going to be better off with a new ownership group and a franchise that we'll be able to call the Sonics because we held onto the name, we held onto the history and the Sonics will return."


I take great satisfaction in Ceis' prideful "in-your-face" attitude against Bennett's Blunder. Perhaps cooler and smarter heads prevailed. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had shown interest in buying a team. He even offered up $75 to remodel the Coliseum. Financially he can actually do it. This all certainly bodes well for Seattle's plausable chances in a Sonics team being in Seattle in the near future.

Speculation has centered on the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Hornets as potential relocation franchises. Memphis is alledgedly on the market while Hornet's owner George Shinn continues to be noncommittal on the teams for-sale status or his committment to New Orleans. he has been a good owner and N.O. has really supported the Hornets to the best of their ability. It would be truly tragic if they left New Orleans. But such is the landscape of David Stern's NBA.

4 comments:

JAWA said...

As always, great post auroraave! And it appears your earlier post (http://okcblunder.blogspot.com/2008/10/did-seattle-get-it-right-this-time.html) has come to fruition, much like your prediction of the Blunder having a "blunderful" first season in OKC!

Yesterday's game was close, but no cigar for the Blunder as usual. Just one loss away from becoming the first NBA team this year to join the "20-Loss Club".

auroraave said...

Thanks, Jawa. It's really a shame for the fans in OKC. They knew it would be tough going, but not this bad. Clay really dug this team into a hole. Can they climb out? Now, the bar has been set so low, 25 wins is a cause for celebration.

Rhymenocerous said...

I'm all for taking the Grizz. They never should have left the Northwest in the first place. The Hornets need to stay in NOLA.

JAWA said...

Agreed, auroraave. Sometimes we get so caught up with the Blunder losing that we forget who's suffering the most, and that's the fans in OKC. But, I only feel sorry for those who are decent and understanding of what happened here in Seattle. The select few who have agitated the Seattle fans I have no sympathy for, and they're getting exactly what they deserve. But in the end, it's the fans that loses, and definitely shame on Bennett for creating quite possibly one of the worst teams the NBA has ever seen and then forcing them on fans in both Seattle and OKC. Bennett has no doubt dug this team into a hole, and as long as he continues to be the owner, they'll never be winners.