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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sonics' Gary Payton Leads HOF Nominees

Sonics point guard Gary Payton, "The Glove," heads the list of finalists named for selection to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The electees will be announced during the weekend of the NCAA Final Four.

"The Glove" is widely considered one of the best defensive players in NBA history and led the Sonics to The Finals in 1996, losing to Michael Jordan's Bulls. AFter being down 3-0 the Sonics, led by Payton, clsoed the gap to 3-2 before finally losing game 6, and the series.

The Glove is the only point guard tio ever win the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award, grabbing that honor in 1996, en route to their title title run that season. Payton was a nine-time all-star in his 17-year career. For his career, Payton averaged 16.3 ppg and 6.7 assists. He also led the league in trash talking, a record that may stand for a long time. At least he backed it up on the court.

one of the most popular players to ever wear a Sonics uniform, Payton was unceremoniously traded to Milwaukee when he clashed with owner Howard Schultz. The move was widely panned in Seattle. Schultz went on to sell the team to Clay Bennett who blew uop the team, alienated the Seattle fanbase, and ultimately moved it to Oklahoma City. Thanks, Schultz.

Look for Payton's jersey yo be retired in Seattle in the first season of the Sonics return.

Payton will be wearing the green and gold in the Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Maloofs Detail Kings Sale to Bankruptcy Group

In yet another delay that will not affect the sale, but just drag it out, the Maloofs have handed over documentation of the King's sale to the bankruptcy trustee who is tasked with maximizing the 7% stake in the team.

Here's the deal; The Maloofs agreed to sell their 65% stake to the Hansen/Ballmer group, leaving 35% in the hands of several minority owners. By minority owners, I don't mean ethnic minority. Got it? The 7% in question belongs to Bob Cook. Bob declared bankruptcy, cause that's what rich folks do. The trustee charged with liquidating this asset, David Flemmer, is trying to make a claim that the minority owners of the team have a 'right to match' any offer for the team. Naturally, this is where the lawyer, Don Fitzgerald gets involved, drags this out for as long as possible and, voila, has a ton of billable hours to show his boss. Isn't America fun?

The claim is that this would potentially position the minority owners to match Hansen/Ballmer's offer for the team, somehow they'll be able to come up with the $340 million and save the team for the SacTown fans. It's cute, and makes nice press for the SacBee, but is not the reality of the situation. They've had a chance to buy out the Maloofs for years and yet none have stepped forward. Suggesting now they're gonna, and go up against the wealthiest potential ownership group in sports, is laughable. Ballmer and Hansen have over $20 billion in resources. That's billion with a b.

This is a hollow attempt by Flemmer and Fitzgerald to artificially inflate the value of the 7% by potentially creating a bidding war and, realistically, an attempt to coerce the Hansen/Ballmer group to overpay for that 7%. They may just do it, but they don't have to. They already have a deal for the majority stake of the team and this won't change anything.

What's tragic about this move is the hope it stirs for Kings fans. The SacBee and it's ilk will ride this story into the ground in an attempt to drive readers to their site and exploit the ad-sales potential while Flemmer/Fitzgerald exploit the press coverage to monetize thier situation. It's smoke and mirrors. The Kings have been sold, Stern will approve with a smile, the BOG will follow in step, Clay Bennett (who thugged the Sonics, is the most hated man in Seattle and is now, brazenly, chairman of the relocation committee) will rubber stamp his approval and the Sonics will be filling Key Arena next season. Enough with the silly stalling tactics by the lawyers and Kevin Johnson.

Now, what to do about DeMarcus Cousins...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hansen Group Files For Relocation - Kings Closer to Going to Seattle


One step closer to the return of the Supersonics in Seattle. As much as Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson likes to have press conferences claiming to have 'buyers' lined up for the Kings, it just keeps getting clearer that it's a smoke and mirrors routine. The Hansen/Ballmer group have taken the next step in the process and there is nothing KJ can do about it. It's too little, too late, and yes, it's a shame for Kings fans. Welcome to the NBA; now say good bye.

According to the AP, NBA Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday night that the group that has reached agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings has formally filed to relocate the franchise to Seattle.

Stern spoke in Minneapolis before the Timberwolves hosted San Antonio. He called the Seattle group, led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, "very strong," and said the appropriate committees have been convened to look over the proposed sale of the Kings and the prospective move to Seattle.

"We have had submitted a signed agreement to have the team sold to a very strong group from Seattle," Stern said.

The deadline for teams to file for relocation is March 1. It's been expected that the Hansen/Ballmer group would file to move the team, but Stern's comments were the first time that decision has been verified. The filing for relocation is ultimately a procedural step, but a big one in the efforts to bring professional basketball back to Seattle.

Hansen's group reached agreement with the Maloof family last month to buy 65 percent of the franchise, which is valued at $525 million, and move the team to Seattle and restore the SuperSonics name. The deal will cost the Hansen group a little more than $340 million.

The Kings' sale price of $525 million would surpass the NBA record $450 million the Golden State Warriors sold for in 2010.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has been making efforts to find investors with the financial means and could attempt to match the sale price, keep the Kings in Sacramento and help on the construction of a new arena in California's capital city.

Johnson said on Tuesday that he planned to attend the NBA All-Star Game in Houston and lobby anyone he could on the merits of keeping the Kings in Sacramento, but he has yet to reveal any of the large equity investors he's attempting to pull together. Johnson said Tuesday he hoped to be able to announce them next week.

Stern said Wednesday he didn't feel the situation between Seattle and Sacramento would turn into battle to see who can make the most lucrative bid.

"I don't think it's a bidding war," Stern continued. "There's a series of issues that are defined by our constitution that have to be considered. One of the things that our board is mandated to consider is the support for the team in the prior city. So there are real issues for the board to consider, about the buildings, about the likelihood they will be built, about the support from the cities."

Two committees would typically vet both the proposed sale and the move of the franchise to Seattle, but Stern said he has combined the committees into one. The committee will report to the Board of Governors, which is expected to vote on both the sale and the proposed move at its meeting in mid-April.

The sale of the franchise requires just a majority approval of the Board of Governors. The relocation of the franchise would require a three-fourths majority.

"So I did the sensible thing, I combined the committees and said, `You guys figure it out.' We'll see how that works," Stern said.