Seattle SuperSonics v Denver Nuggets

Man behind Seattle arena plan buys up all the land he needs


We are a long way from seeing an arena and NBA team in Seattle. Yet if I were a Sacramento Kings fan worried about losing my team I’d be far more worried about what is happening in Seattle than the long-shot possibility in Virginia Beach.

PBT reported yesterday that the Maloofs already turned down an offer to buy the Kings from Chris Hansen, the guy behind the Seattle project.

To that end, the Seattle project took a big step forward because Hansen has bought all the land he needs to build the stadium, reports the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

According to public records, Hansen’s real-estate group, WSA Properties LLC, closed Tuesday on the parcel of land at 1700 First Ave. S., where the Showbox Sodo currently stands. The purchase price was $8 million; the property was last appraised at a value of $3.36 million earlier this year, according to tax records.

The property is one of the last puzzle pieces in Hansen’s plan to build a new arena on that block. His group has purchased most of the land between South Massachusetts and South Holgate Streets between First Avenue South and the train tracks. With another property in escrow, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Hansen now controls all the property he has said he needs for the arena project.

There is still some issue about how the Seattle arena gets financed, and there are the design and environmental issues to deal with. Plus the Mariners do not like another arena that could clog traffic in their area.

But these are the kind of challenges every arena getting built faces. Seattle is just a lot farther along in the process than the Virginia Beach. And frankly, Kansas City is ahead of both of them with an already open Sprint Center ready for a team.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: No, Lakers are not playoff bound

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When you ask Lakers fans for bold predictions, you get the delusional to come out of the woodwork.

Most Lakers fans I know — remember, I’m a former Laker blogger living in So Cal, even my optometrist wants to talk Lakers during my eye exam — are realistic about where the team is in the rebuild process. Like me, they want to see a healthy season of Kobe Bryant where he can choose whether or not to continue his career on his terms, not Father Time’s.

But Lakers exceptionalism is a thing, and there are Lakers fans living in a fantasy land.

That’s what Jenna Corrado and I get to in the latest PBT Extra: There are Lakers fans that think they are playoff bound. And there are people who expect even more than that from this team this year — like Kobe Bryant to return to MVP form. Those people need to stop taking so much glaucoma medication.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.