Tag Archives: Sacramento Kings

The Long Haul: What’s Next for the Future of the Sonics

adam_silver_nbaI know how you feel, Sonics fans. I feel the exact same way. We’re frustrated, exhausted, angry, disappointed, all of the above. Why should we care about the NBA anymore? Why should we give a damn about David Stern and his godforsaken league? All valid questions. All valid reasons to walk away from this situation that won’t seem to find its happy ending.

Frankly, it would be easier to quit at this point then continue investing our energy in a dream that may never become a reality. It would be easier to throw our hands up, turn our backs on the Association, and be done with pro basketball altogether.

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Thank You, Chris

chrishansenWith all due respect to Steve Ballmer, the Nordstrom family, minority stakeholders, ex-players, political figures, activists, media members, and anyone else who has helped lead the charge to bring the Sonics back to Seattle, I have to dedicate the following letter of thanks to one man, Chris Hansen. Without Chris, none of this “Bring Back the Sonics” mania even exists. Without Chris, we aren’t sitting here trying to wrap our collective heads around the real possibility that we may get our beloved green-and-gold-clad squad back. And without Chris, we lack the most important thing we need to keep the memory of our team and the prospect of its return alive: hope.

I still remember the day that Chris Hansen came riding into town on a proverbial white horse, seemingly out of nowhere, determined to bring the Sonics back to our fair city. It’s been more than a year. The first time I wrote about the guy was February 9th, 2012. I didn’t even know him, but I wanted to hug him. He got me believing in something that had been comatose, on life support. Who knew if the Sonics would ever come back? It had been three-and-a-half years since they’d left and the political climate from both ends of the spectrum — in Seattle, and with the NBA — was far from favorable.

But then this dude, this hedge fund manager, this guy no one knew — Who? Chris Hansen? The Dateline guy? The predator catcher? — changed all that.

I can’t be more clear about this. I don’t care what Chris Hansen does from this moment forward. I don’t care how he’s gone about trying to get our team back. I. Don’t. Care. The fact is, he’s made one hell of an effort. He’s put this entire town, this entire citizenry of basketball fans, upon his shoulders and carried us to this point. He’s done what no one before him could do. He’s made those who wanted to say “No,” say “Yes.” He’s forced non-believers to believe and believers to believe more. He’s been, if nothing else, inspirational.

It doesn’t all come down to today. Today, the NBA owners decide whether or not the Sacramento Kings can be relocated to Seattle. A vote in favor of relocation would pave the way for Hansen and Co. to buy the team, unencumbered, from the Maloof family. A vote against relocation would essentially allow for a Sacramento-based group led by Vivek Ranadive (and, let’s face it, mayor Kevin Johnson) to seize the team from the Maloofs, assuming the Maloofs would be willing to relinquish their asset to said group. A vote for the latter is what’s expected, the latter that likewise favors the opposition. Regardless of what decision is voted upon, however, there will be backlash. So no, this won’t be over on Wednesday. Not at all.

But let’s say the vote, as anticipated, were to favor Sacramento, not Seattle. And let’s say that the NBA, as anticipated, tried their hardest to get the Maloofs to sell the Kings to Ranadive’s group. Let’s say expansion failed to appear as a viable near-term option. And let’s say that, by Thursday, the situation looked bleak, at best. If Chris Hansen were to give up at that very moment, I wouldn’t blame him. I’d be a little surprised, but I wouldn’t blame him for walking away. And when I looked back upon Hansen’s legacy, I’d be happy for what he gave us over the course of a year-and-a-half. Because he’s given us a ton.

I don’t think Chris will give up, though. I don’t think he’ll quit. Not until the Sonics are more than just a memory. Not until there’s an NBA team inhabiting our city once again. What Chris Hansen and his cohorts have done is beyond amazing. They’ve given us hope, yes. But they’ve also given us clout with a league that turned its back on us just a few short years ago. They’ve given us a voice, they’ve made the world take notice. We’ve scratched and clawed our way back to relevance when it comes to professional basketball, and that’s thanks in large part to one individual who was brought to action by his own bubbling source of civic pride.

Maybe that’s why it will be damn near impossible to ever speak one ill word of Chris Hansen. Because unlike so many other guys who have propped themselves upon pedestals high above us average Seattleites, Hansen is one of us. He cares about this cause as much as we do. He loves Seattle as much as we do. He’s as average as they come, as average as the rest of us, and yet above-average in so many ways. As far as I’m concerned, this guy can do whatever the hell he wants. He’s a saint in my book. He deserves a holiday in his honor. Preferably something in August, because August needs a goddamn holiday. Who wants a day off in August? I know I do. Saint Hansen Day sounds like a good way to spend a summer afternoon.

No matter what happens today, tomorrow, next week, next year, next decade, I have two words for you, Chris: Thank you. You’ve made all of this possible. You’ve brought a legion of fans together. You’ve united a city. You’ve given us passion, you’ve given us fuel, you’ve given us reason to believe. We owe you a gigantic debt of gratitude and I can’t tell you how much all of this means to us. We are the Sonics, all of us. You, me, every fan emblazoned with the Seattle skyline in a green-and-gold semi-circle. Until our ballclub returns, this team is thousands upon thousands deep.

As they say in one of my favorite movies, Remember the Titans, “attitude reflects leadership.” You have led us remarkably. And we are one badass group of basketball fans.

Thanks, Chris. Go Sonics.

Politically Correct with Kevin Johnson

arenaplanHas anyone seen Kevin Johnson’s Sacramento arena plan? Does anyone know if it actually exists? Has anything been written down? Drawn up? Are there blueprints? Has a location been settled upon? What the hell is the deal here?!

As the mayor of his hometown, Johnson has held press conferences on consecutive days to let the world know two important things:

1) He has a plan, which allegedly involves a lot of money and a new arena, to save the Kings.

2) That plan involves at least 21 investors, some of whom are whales.

Unfortunately, neither of those nuggets of information add up to much substance. Which leads everyone to believe that Johnson may just be talking out of his ass to save face in the wake of an inevitable defeat.

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A Visual Chronology of the Sonics Rumors That Damn Near Broke Twitter Last Night

Damn you, Daina Falk. Keeping people up all night, getting their hopes sky high, making us think the Sonics might be coming back to Seattle. And she may be correct after all. We don’t know yet.

Regardless, the daughter of NBA agent David Falk got everyone all riled up on Tuesday night with a tweet announcing the sale of the Sacramento Kings to the Seattle-based group led by Chris Hansen.

The tweet issued by Falk had been deleted as of this morning (only furthering the conspiracy theories), but read as follows:

“So I hear that the Seattle Kings is officially a done deal! The Maloofs finally sold the ailing Sacramento team. #NBA”

This, naturally, created chaos. The following is a timeline of the tweets and events that ensued, attempting to logically examine, well, chaos.

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The Lovingly Incensed Fan Base of the Seattle Supersonics

The NBA likes to pretend we don’t exist. That we don’t care about them and as a result they, in turn, don’t have to care about us. Seattle? Where’s Seattle? Is that a village or something? What is that?

We had our basketball team stolen from us and relocated a thousand miles away in the middle of God-knows-where. That was bad enough, certainly. But it was made worse by the fact that we were repeatedly slandered after the pillaging. That the thieves made off with our prized possession, then tried to convince the masses that we didn’t care about being hijacked. Seattle fans are apathetic, they said. Seattle fans don’t deserve our product. Seattle fans haven’t been showing up to games, or cheering for their team, or even giving a damn about what happens on the court with their Sonics. Seattle fans weren’t good enough, they claimed.

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Reality Bites: How Pro Sports Leagues Are Dicking Fans With Facilities

Rumors are circulating that the Sacramento Kings may be leaving the California state capitol as early as this year. Their most likely relocation destination? Anaheim, where they would play in the NBA-ready Honda Center, formerly (and more familiarly) known as Arrowhead Pond. The Honda Center is currently home to the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks have played their games at the Honda Center since the team’s inception in 1993.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Anaheim is damn near Los Angeles. And Los Angeles, as you may have heard, already plays host to two teams in the National Basketball Association, the Clippers and the Lakers. If this migration were to go down then, the Greater Los Angeles area would have three — yes, three — NBA franchises at its disposal. The Greater Seattle area, meanwhile, would still have zero. I mean, L.A. is a great city and all, don’t get me wrong. But do they really need ten-percent of the league’s teams? All while Seattle puts up a goose egg on that pie chart? Seems a little f**ked up to me.

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