Thursday, October 16, 2014

In Milwaukie...the Bucks stops In Seattle!

Back from exile, Bill Simmons during the NBA season previews reminded viewers of the NBA imposed deadline of November 17, 2017 for Milwaukee. This of course concerns new Bucks owners of their promise of a new NBA-ready arena for the Bucks or else the NBA can reclaim the team.

 Once again, Seattle was mentioned as a possible destination. The Bucks who's game attendance frequently ranks towards the bottom of fan attendance, faced the spectre of Seattle prior to it's recent sale. Will the Bucks stay....or do the Bucks stop in Seattle? Stay Tuned!

In the meantime....

Friday, July 18, 2014

GM Jackson...A Gold Star for OKC....

....not a Gold mark! So here is my shout out to the NBA, Commissioner Silver, the Thunder and designer. While the sting of losing the SuperSonics never ends, kudos to the powers that be to not include the championship gold tag on the Thunder uniforms. The gold mark is placed on NBA team jerseys that own an NBA title. This of course sparked conversation amongst Seattle and OKC. Does OKC claim Seattle's 1979 championship? Can OKC and the league office handle hordes of angry Zombie Sonics if it does? Fortunately, the right move was made. Thanks!!!

Remember the Phil Jackson GM rumors in Seattle? In Phil Jackson's new autobiography he confirms he was indeed tapped to lead the new era of the green and gold. Oh, what could've been.

Friday, May 30, 2014

As the Ballmer Bounces Part Deux

If at first you don't succeed...try, try again. Such is the mantra of Ballmer's pursuit of NBA ownership; a man courted by former commissioner David Stern, but denied twice as it pertained to saving our team from "him who should not be named" (rhymes with Jay Mennett) and attempted relocation of Sacramento to Seattle. With Clippers ownership all but assured Ballmer; appears to have achieved his dream.

For Chris Hansen, the Nordstrom's, Wally Walker and the City of Seattle, it appears Ballmer has left the proverbial building. Reactions from a region with 41 years flushed by a Venti-Sized D-Bag (rhymes with Soward Hultz) are understandably negative. Gone is our greatest bargaining chip. Ballmer was not just "our whale", but THE WHALE pursued by the NBA for years to "join the club". During negotiations for the relocation of the Kings as good as Hansen was, the NBA BOG and Stern showed a greater interest in Ballmer and one has to wonder why Ballmer would bolt unless Seattle's NBA odds of return were not that good.

Taking a long view; in a city filled with Ballmers one has to believe another will rise to take his place. On an NBA BOG; our city gained another ally. In the short view we took an enormous hit and can only wait for the consoling words of Chris Hansen that "he has a plan" and in the wise words of holographic Princess Leigh, we plead; "help us Chris're are only hope."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

As the Ballmer Bounces...

Ballmer...the NBA Owner
While this news is a little dated; it was reported last week Ballmer's not given up his pursuit of NBA ownership. With no team in sight for Seattle, the image of Commissioner Silver and Ballmer court side at the Clippers game fueled speculation Ballmer could be in line for Clips. However, the team would stay in Los Angeles clouding the Supersonics ownership situation.While some were quick to panic; a Ballmer ownership could be more of a win for Seattle's expansion chances.

Consider nothing done before, during or after the Kings the saga was not done without thought or strategy. Adding Ballmer to the NBA Board of Governor's gives creates another voice in favor of Seattle. This could be another end game for the Hansen/Ballmer/Nordstrom/Walker team and with the vast wealth of Seattle, there could be another person waiting to step into Ballmer shoes to complete the vision.

Ballmer and the Hat Man!
This is a little more from the world of the weird as Ballmer's been named in a lawsuit over the failed relocation of the Kings.According to former Sonics and Blazers employee Steve Gordon; Ballmer offered financial assistance to Mr. Gordon as part of deal including Gordon receive treatment for depression. The suit appears frivolous and Ballmer has 20 days to respond.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Seattle Clippers?

The Kings are...well....the Kings of Sacramento. Kohl backed up his words and proved the Buck(s) indeed stop in Milwaukee! The latest rumor has NBA expulsion of owner Donald Sterling and a Clippers relocation to the Emerald City.

In case you missed it, Donald Sterling was (allegedly) caught on tape with some not so lovely things to say:
Commissioner Silver asked Sterling to not attend today's (Sunday) game and promised an investigation into the matter. Sterling's no stranger to racism as he was involved in a lawsuit not wanting to rent to minorities back in 2006.

The NBA cannot force an owner to sell their team. They can make it uncomfortable for Sterling (ala the Maloofs) in hopes of forcing a sale. That does not mean Sterling would approach Hansen/Balmer/Nordstrom/Walker for said sale. However, relocation of L.A.'s second NBA team to a market with 41 years of history supporting the Supersonics does make sense on certain levels:
  1. The NBA rids itself another troubled owner
  2. The NBA solves the Seattle-Expansion-Relocation issue and finally brings Balmer into the fold.
  3. The L.A. Lakers and Bus family enjoy sole ownership of the LA market.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


We've been down this road before.

1st and goal from the 1.  Then KJ, Sacramento, India stuffs us at the goal line.

Plan B for the Phoenix Coyotes.  Then a 6-3 vote by the Glendale City Council saves the Coyotes.  For now.

And here we are again.  This time the NHL is calling again.

I've held my opinions for the most part.  Call it gun shy, call it scared, a fear of being burned again.  But here we go again.

I worked hockey for 7 years in the Tacoma Dome.  The Tacoma Rockets and the Tacoma Sabercats.  I love the game.  It's one of those sports that is not a TV game.  It's an in person game.  And people that go to a game fall in love with it immediately.  In high school I once took a Scottish exchange student to a game in Tacoma.  It was the Tacoma Rockets vs the Regina Pats.  And this normally reserved boy stood up (we were seated behind the net) and was upset with a call by one of the officials. (his last name was "Dick" as his name was on the back of his referee jersey)  And my friend, clearly frustrated at a call against the Rockets stands up and yells at the top of his voice "Dick prefers Regina!!!!"  Yep.  It changes people.  This friend is on my Facebook.  I'm wondering if he will read this and remember this...

So here is Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.  With a series of articles.  And it's bothered me how it has had a sense of "It's a very good chance but not a slam dunk.".  There was a weird sense of confidence to it.  And it didn't quite make sense.  The city of Seattle sending a group of 30 to Vancouver for a meeting with the Vancouver Canucks, to watch a game, to meet with the city, It has momentum, but I haven't wanted to get on the bandwagon yet.

Until this morning, things changed.

Geoff Baker says the name "Steve Ballmer" on a Canadian radio show as being the "Third ownership group" that the NHL is speaking with.

The NHL would bend over backwards to get Steve Ballmer in their club.  And frankly would be bending over backwards to get him if they crammed out an expansion team to begin play in 2015.  But they want Ballmer.  The NHL wants Seattle.

And it may be a master maneuver for Steve Ballmer and Chris Hanson in their pursuit of the NBA.

The hangup?  Where would they play?  They would play in Key Arena for a season, maybe two.  Worst case scenario in Tacoma.  But doesn't the MOU require an NBA team first?  Yes.  The MOU is about legal rules, who is responsible for what, financials, etc.  But the thing is, it can be the right scenario.  If "Joe Blow from Toronto" wants to put an expansion team in Seattle for the NHL and goes to the city to change the MOU?  They have to run his financials. Do his background checks, vet him completely, to avoid potential conflict and risk.  Steve Ballmer has already done this.  If Steve walks in and says "I have a team, we need to change things." he is going to get cooperation.  And most likely positive cooperation.

So the Environmental Impact Study is due out in March.  What about that?  Well frankly, I think people have talked, and they know how it is going to go.  There is a bonfire around the corner puffing out smoke.  And you know what the saying is...where there is smoke there is fire.  And if there was going to be a problem with this EIS?  The park ranger woulda come over a long time ago to put this fire out before we reached this point now.

And you have a have an arena...and you have the NBA realizing it's time to get their butts in gear and join the city in returning to Seattle.  Or at least that's the hope.

But until then?  The NHL will do just fine.  Mr. Ballmer is sitting at the chess board.  He has made his move.  And it was a solid one.  Will he win?  I like to say I believe so.

Article by Jeromy Felts originally posted at: 

Jeromy Felts is a professional broadcaster, sports commentator and writer. Give him a follow on Twitter: @Tipfelts to keep up on all the latest local and national sports information.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Welcome to Leverage Town Part 3...Our Silver Lining has turned to Rust

Only two weeks ago; David Stern abdicated his NBA throne to Adam Silver. The Lombardi trophy was hoisted by our mighty Seahawks. The national media (unprompted by Seattlites) discussed possibilities of a Sonics return. We were on top of the world! Today (for basketball fans at least); Adam Silver knocked us down a bit; stating there are no (Seattle) expansion plans at this moment.

Seattle once again serves as leverage (the NBA boogey-man, if you will). After great success extorting Sacramento; Silver seems content employing the same scheme all over again; this time to our friends in Milwaukee. Unlike last time though; Seattle is aware of this trick. Barring a change of heart (or some legally binding guarantee) H/B/N/W will not be party to it. To the folks of Wisconsin; the city of Seattle does not want your team! Do not believe Silver, the BOG, or some rogue journalist. Seattle only wants what was taken. We want the Sonics! No, OKC; we don't want "your" team! We want a brand new, history/baggage-free expansion franchise. We only ask our old presoiled/Clay Bennetted history be restored. Is that too much to ask?

The time is now. The MOU window closes in the next 2 years. Politicians change and with that so does the political climate. With failing franchises and pipe dreams of foreign markets; doesn't it make sense to return the NBA to a successful market with 41 years of a proven, profitable track record?