It was not a surprise — all the groundwork had already been done, previous approvals given at other levels of government — but still it has to feel good for those that want to see the NBA back in Seattle.
Tuesday night the Seattle City Council voted 6-2 to approve developers Chris Hansen’s plan for a $490 million arena in the South Downtown area of Seattle.
It was a clean, clear vote — no replacement officials needed to hand Seattle this one.
Hansen had to personally guarantee debt payments, put up $7 million for Key Arena upgrades and agree to let the city buy the arena back after a 30-year lease to get the deal done. This is in addition to $40 million in traffic improvement money for the area where the arena would go, not far from where both the Seahawks and Mariners play.
This is great news — but we are still a long way from seeing NBA basketball in Seattle.
There needs to be detailed arena designs and environmental reports. There a couple years of construction after that. And as with all major developments now, you can probably expect a lawsuit or two from opponents.
Oh, and there is the little matter of Hansen getting a team he can move to Seattle. You can bet he contacted Glen Taylor about the Timberwolves but Taylor will not sell to anyone who will move the team. The Maloofs continue to look for a sucker to build them an arena but let them retain control of the Kings and reap the profits from the new arena.
Hansen is looking for a team he can move, but he may have more luck getting an NHL team first… well, once they start playing again.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.