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.
With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.
There were a couple of good ones, however.
Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.
One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.
The NBA, at the Pacers’ request, is investigating whether the Lakers tampered by making impressible contact with Paul George.
Bob Kravitz of WTHR
In fact, there’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”
Small-market teams whine too much about the disadvantages they face, but tampering isn’t really a market-size issue. Remember, under Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers were known as the only team that didn’t tamper.
The Lakers have advantages because George is from the area, and Los Angeles offers immense marketability. That’d be true whether or not they contacted George or his agent before he officially became a free agent.
I understand the desire to take down the big, bad Lakers – especially now that they appear poised to become truly big and bad again. But it’s hard to find a team that can cast a stone at them from anywhere other than a glass house.
The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.
Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:
Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.
Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).
But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.
Could those issues derail his career?
Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”
On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.
But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.