Stern gets his way


Usually I spend my time writing about the Seattle Seahawks.  Every once in a while something happens in sports that I just cannot resist commenting on.  What happened in Dallas at the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting today is one of those events.

I’d like to start off by thanking Chris Hansen for all the hard work he has put in while attempting to bring the NBA back to Seattle, not to mention the money.  If he ever has to buy a beer in this city again it is a shame.  I’m sure that right now he is wondering if there was anything more he could have done, but there isn’t.

If I could tell him one thing it would be that he did more than we could have ever dreamed of.

Chris fought for the Seattle sports community.  He took on the Port of Seattle, and won.  He took on the Seattle Mariners, and won.  He took on the tree huggers, and was going to win that as well.

Unfortunately there was no way to beat Howard Stern’s ugly old troll brother David.

David Stern has had it in for the City of Seattle ever since the city wouldn’t play ball with him.  He wanted a new stadium for a franchise that was part of a failing business model, in a city that was still trying to pay off the new renovations to the recently remodeled Key Arena.  Seattle wasn’t having it.

There has been a lot of animosity towards Howard Shultz for selling the Sonics to Clay Bennett.  While I agree that it was pretty clear that Clay wanted to move the team, Steve Ballmer and Chris Hansen weren’t looking to buy the Sonics from Schultz, in fact no local ownership group was.

Personally, I think Schultz would have rather sold to a local group who wanted nothing more than to keep the team in Seattle, but you can’t sell anything to people who aren’t there.  Clay Bennett and his investment group were there, and they were there with $350 million to allow Shultz to walk away from a business model that was broken and a poor investment that crushed the love that he had once had for the game.

It is not the popular opinion, however I do not blame him for selling the team, I would have done the same thing.

I’d like to hand it to Sacramento, they got a lot done in a short amount of time with the help of David Stern.  Somehow he was able to piece together a smoke and mirror show that convinced 22 NBA owner groups to vote to keep a team in a small market.  A small market that has nothing concrete in place for a new arena deal nor do they have a big pocket owner.  Smart business men chose to keep the team in that situation rather than agree to move the team to a much larger market.  A city that had an MOU in place to build a new stadium in downtown of an area.  A city in a region that is home to 8 Fortune 500 companies and many other potential corporate sponsorship giants such as Alaska Airlines and Boeing.  To reject selling the team to a group of owners contained not 1, but 2 billionaires, one of which (Steve Balmer) would have been the richest owner in the NBA.

David Stern is a wizard more powerful than OZ.  Congratulations to David, the City of Sacramento, and the Seattle Mariners, you got what you wanted all along.  I feel ashamed that I let myself believe that the Sonics were coming back.  It will not happen again, I won’t let it.


Go Seahawks!