“Let Burien Chevrolet make you a great deal!” - Elise Woodward
We thought that by today we could be celebrating the return of NBA basketball to Seattle. I circled this date on my calendar months ago. Today was supposed to be a magical day for the city of Seattle.
Instead, we wait some more.
Now, it looks like it won’t be until May 6th, or even later that we know whether or not all of the work that Chris Hansen, Steve Ballmer, and the Nordstrom’s have put in, will pay off.
And the comments from NBA Commissioner David Stern today did nothing to abate the reports that he is working on behalf of Sacramento to keep the Kings there, although he denied he cared one way or the other.
Throughout his tenure as the man in charge of the NBA, David Stern has yielded his power to get whatever he has wanted. Very few have challenged Stern, and those that have, were rebuked. Frank Chopp ring a bell?
And it was made clear today, that he is working on behalf of Sacramento. The question is why?
Traditionally, David Stern has cared about money more than anything else. He has made decisions based upon the business of the league, and what makes the owners the most coin. I thought money would be the difference in keeping the Sonics in Seattle in 2008. The Sonics had a bigger market than OKC, had more corporate dollars, and a bigger fan base to draw upon.
It didn’t matter, because OKC had a better arena.
Fast forward to 2013, and once again, Seattle has a bigger market, with more corporate dollars. You know what else they have? An arena plan that is much further along, with land already purchased, and financing already secured.
Yet David Stern is now fighting for Sacramento.
Is it because he loves Kevin Johnson?
Or is it because he hates the Maloofs?
Both reasons are probably true.
We know that Sacramento’s bid is not as good as Chris Hansen’s. It is not binding. Their arena deal has multiple holes. But Stern keeps holding Sacramento’s hand through the process.
Chris Hansen has already spent $80 million on land. He gave the Maloofs $30 million to close the PSA. He is ready to be a big time spender, and winner in the NBA.
And I hope at some point, David Stern goes back to caring about what has ruled his league for his entire tenure: The almighty dollar. The money is in Seattle, David. Let Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer start spending.