Tag Archives: chris

Time To Go Nuclear


Ok – so the relocation committee is going to recommend against the Hansen/Ballmer/Nordstrom (HBN) group moving the Kings upon them purchasing the team?

It’s now time for the good guy to become the bad guy.  If he wants to play the NBA way, I am going to lay out the steps below and possible outcomes from the chain of events.

  • Immediately raise purchase price of controlling interest of the Kings another $120 million dollars.
    • There are theories floating out there that while the HBN offer was more than Sacramento’s in terms of straight up dollars for dollars (then accounting for debts held by the Maloofs that needed to be paid back to the city or something to that effect brought the two offers to basically dead even), it’s now time for Steve Ballmer to open the checkbook again and make the offer basically too good for the Maloofs to refuse.  This would immediately make the offers not even in the same territory.  Other owners will see this and basically can’t refuse someone who wants to pay that much for a franchise. (Not even 100% of a franchise, I might add)
  • Drop the relocation bid, but keep purchase in play.
    • This sounds counter-intuitive, but it is time for some dirty poker.  Keep the land use permit application going, but change it to a large outdoor mall in the footprint of the purchased land.  Draw up the sketches and put them in the press.  It is going to take time to knock down these buildings anyways to clear room, so “work” can technically start.
  • Immediately draw up plans for a $600+ million dollar publicly funded arena in the Railyards location in Sacramento.
    • This is an immediate flash-bang (COD style) right in the middle of Sacramento.  The city is debating the location of the arena in their plan (still) and there are supporters for the downtown Sac site, as well as the railyards which has come up a few times.
    • The dollar amount immediately launches this into the “can’t or won’t” get done territory.  It doesn’t matter, HBN is going through the motions anyways and can recant all of the Sonics arena talk that they have had going so far.  The leaked OKC emails didn’t stop this from happening  so a flagrant website and movement for 2+ years can be easily forgotten in the eyes on the owners.
    • 100% publicly funded – that’s what the owners like, right?
  • Appeal to the state of California for this arena funding, and try to get a state tax to pay for the Sacramento arena.
    • This is such an insane non-starter, but it takes a page out of the Bennett playbook, who went to Olympia with Stern and wonder why they got shot down.  Plus, I am sure LA voters and SF voters would love paying for a stadium for an opposing team.  But hey, they are trying, right?
  • This plays into the first, but since larger investments were made in team acquisition, no private funds from HBN can be used.
    • HBN is already tied up in several real estate deals in the Pacific Northwest, and with the large purchase price of the team, this is the only way that they can stay competitive in the market is to get a publicly funded stadium only.
  • Immediately not honor any progress made by the former competing ownership group with regards to the Sacramento Downtown Arena
    • HBN wants to enter their own agreements, and “explore” other taxable revenue streams that they think are more sustainable than a parking tax.
      • This isn’t true, but it again puts the public at odds with regards to financing and tax revenues to be used.
  • Wait

I think the above is tenable for probably a year.  The Kings will be playing a known lame-duck season in Sactown (at least in the eyes of the fans, but HBN is “trying”) in which attendance drops, team support withers which makes all of the above that much harder to get anything done.  Soon, HBN won’t be able to run their franchise the way they would like and relocation will have to be done to save the franchise.

If you haven’t noticed, this blueprint was used in Seattle in 2008.  Is it fair?  No.  Does Sacramento take it in the ass? Yeah.  Does Seattle/HBN do what they said they wouldn’t?  Yes.

Pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?

Stern, if your meddling is going to block this move, approve expansion.  Now.  Your legacy means so much to you, this is how you save it.

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#22 No Fair Weather Fans Podcast – NCAA Tourney, Mariners and More

fgcu meme

All these upsets are making this tournament fun! Relax, everyone’s brackets are wrecked. Dunk U. (FGCU) has won everyone’s heart, not Hart. Mike Hart and the Zags are out, much to the pleasure of Ben. The Mariners made a few moves and we are torn on whether they are good or not. Watch out of all the innuendos!

Other topics touched on:

- Hansen swoops another 7% on the Kings.

- Heat streak is stopped at 27.

- USA soccer win in the snow and “win” a point in Mexico.


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Sonics Fans Can Start to Dream


All signs are pointing to the return of the Supersonics to Seattle. Chris Hansen worked to get one of the best public/private arena deals done with the City of Seattle and King County. It just comes down to the two councils not changing their mind before voting yes at the formal vote within the next two weeks. This tentative agreement is a huge step toward bringing back the Sonics.

The deal that was already better than almost any other public/private arena deal in America was negotiated to being an even better deal for the city and county. This just shows how great of an owner Hansen has the potential to be. He has shown he is dedicated to Seattle and is willing to do whatever needs to be done to get this arena built and have a successful franchise. Council members have said that Hansen was fair in the negotiations and a pleasure to work with. This is a guy that has the passion of Mark Cuban, but without the drama that comes along with Cuban. No knock on Cuban, he is the best owner in basketball a fan can have. However, we are getting a better version of Mark Cuban. You couldn’t ask for more as a fan.

Now, let’s start the dreaming. Which team do we want? A recent Forbes article gives a breakdown of the possible teams that could be purchased and brought to Seattle. Don’t let your dreams stop at these teams. Let your dreams take you farther. Imagine a team like the Miami Heat or L.A. Lakers as your team. A team that has stars like LeBron, Derrick Rose or even Kevin Durant coming back to his rightful city.

Hansen is a fan running a basketball team. The things you dream, he dreams. The future is such a big fan, he is throwing a celebration down at F.X. McRory’s from 5-7 pm. A celebration where he will be buying everyone’s first beer! Have you ever heard of an owner doing something like that? That is a dream come true in itself.

NBA Championships, MVP’s, running the Lakers into the ground, Kevin Calabro making you laugh and go wild at the same time are all dreams we have. The pieces are falling into place for these dreams to come to come true.

So, Sonics fans start dreaming, because all your dreams are about to start coming true.

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Looking Forward to the Sonics Coach

After weeks of announcements, town hall meetings, the Seattle Times having a clear bias when a newspaper should be completely objective, the King County Council voting yes and the Seattle City Council getting its negotiating on with Chris Hansen about the new Seattle Arena that will feature the NBA and NHL, I have decided to start thinking ahead. I am confident that the Seattle City Council won’t blow this. Chris Hansen has been very fair and he will do what it takes to help out with the council’s hangups. This can be chalked up to a win for Sonics fans.

With this confidence, I have decided to start thinking about who would be the perfect coach for whichever team we end up bring to Seattle. I will let it be known, I am rooting for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Who would be the best fit for any team as a coach? The answer is simple, Stan Van Gundy.

Van Gundy is a straight shooter with upper management written all over him (this is an analysis that comes from the Bob’s, who are consultants in the movie Office Space). Find any interview that Stan “The Man” has done and you will see exactly what I am talking about. He answers questions with truth and a forwardness that you don’t get from a lot of other coaches. I am personally sick of the cliché answers that most coaches give. You know what I am talking about. In a typical coach interview, the back and forth goes something like this:

Interviewer: Coach, what happened in that third quarter?

Coach: We need to play better defense and offense.

Interviewer: What are you going to do to get (insert start player here) going?

Coach: Set more screens and get him the ball in the open floor.

These type of in-game, post-game or pre-game interviews are the biggest waste of time for any viewer. Even if you are just a casual sports fan, you know that these are the most bland and cliché answers ever. Some of this is on the interviewer. Enough with the softball questions, but that is a topic for another day. Everyone wants a coach to tell it how it really is. Let us know that Player A is sucking it up out there and that Player B is playing lazy.

Van Gundy is the kind of coach a passionate group of fans, like Supersonic fans, need. After being lied to by countless people in the last organization’s management group, we need someone to keep it real. Stan Van Gundy only knows how to keep it real. Go back and look at how the Dwight Howard situation went. Howard lied and put on a show, Van Gundy told it how it was. I have included an awesome interview that shows how awesome Van Gundy was and how Dwight was lame and childish.

Here are a few videos of Stan “The Man” Van Gundy.

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Town Hall Meeting for Seattle Arena

There is a town hall meeting about the proposed SoDo arena coming up on Tuesday, July 10th. I know Brad and I will be attending. If you are seeking information and want to get filled in with the details of the proposal, please come as well. Here is the email that we received.

Dear Neighbor:

You are invited to an upcoming town hall meeting about the proposal to build an NBA & NHL arena in the SODO neighborhood of Seattle.

Tuesday, July 10, 7-8 p.m. at North Seattle Community College

The proposed new arena is an important issue. Under the proposed memorandum of understanding negotiated between County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, and private investor Christopher Hansen, up to $200 million for the arena would be financed through public bonds that would be paid back from rents and tax revenues generated by the facility.

I am hosting this meeting with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien to provide an opportunity for community members to ask questions, express their thoughts, and have their voices heard.

More details about the town hall meeting are available here and below. I hope you can join us!


Bob Ferguson King County Councilmember, District 1

Ferguson and O’Brien to hold joint town hall meeting on arena proposal

Opportunity for public to meet with County and City representatives and ask questions about proposed arena

King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson and Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien will hold a joint town hall meeting on the arena proposal:

Tuesday, July 10 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. North Seattle Community College Cafeteria, College Center Building 9600 College Way North Seattle, WA

“The proposed arena is an important issue currently before the county and city councils. This meeting will give community members the opportunity to ask questions, express their thoughts, and know their voices are being heard,” said Ferguson. “As an elected official, I believe it is important to meet with and hear directly from the public and the people I represent.”

“As both City and County Councils are digging into the details of the arena proposal and beginning to understand the potential benefits and risks to the region, it is critical we are also hearing from the public,” said O’Brien. “We are receiving thousands of emails on the topic, but there is nothing like getting out in the neighborhood and engaging directly with the people we represent.”

The King County Council and Seattle City Council are currently reviewing a proposal for development of an approximately $500 million multi-purpose arena. Under the proposed memorandum of understanding negotiated between County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor McGinn, and private investor Christopher Hansen, up to $200 million for the arena would be financed through public bonds that would be paid back from rents and tax revenues generated by the facility.

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Responses to Our Letters to the Councils

Last week Brad and I sent email letters to the Seattle City Council and the King County Council. We each got two emails back. Both of us received one from from Joe McDermott, King County Councilmember, District 8. Brad also received a response from Larry Phillips, Councilmember Metropolitain King County Council, District 4. The second response that I received was from James Bush, Communication Specialist for King County Executive Dow Constantine. The letter from Joe McDermott was a template response, the same letter was sent to Brad and I. Here is all three letters. There is a lot of good information in the letters.

Here is the Joe McDermott letter:

Thank you very much for your email.

As you know, in May, Chris Hansen reached a memorandum of understanding with County Executive Constantine and Seattle Mayor McGinn to construct a facility in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood with the ability to host NBA and NHL teams.

I agree that this is an exciting proposition and potentially a great opportunity for the region; and I know that for many fans this proposal is a reason to have great hope that the Sonics will play in Seattle again.

As exciting as this proposal is, many questions remain to be answered. That is why, as Chair of the County’s Budget & Fiscal Management Committee, I have brought together a panel of outside experts that will provide councilmembers with independent analysis of the plan.  The panel is comprised of experts in economics, public finance, public-private partnerships, labor, urban development and transportation who have generously volunteered their time and expertise to help the Council better understand the benefits and risks of the proposal.

On June 5th the Budget Committee had its first briefing on the ordinance. Tuesday the committee met again for a presentation and discussion with Hansen and to give all members their first chance to hear from our panel of experts. Some have suggested putting this proposal up for a public vote; however, we are elected to make just this sort of decision and I believe it is our responsibility as elected representatives to resolve this at the Council level. The Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, and the entire King County Council, are dedicated to fully vetting the all aspects of the proposal andI’m looking forward to a robust discussion and to continuing to work with all the stake holders.

An important part of that discuss is hearing from you directly. To that end, the King County Council and Seattle City Council will be holding a joint public meeting on Thursday, July 19th to hear from the public.  The meeting begins at 5:30pm at Seattle City Hall and all are invited to attend and give in-person testimony. Both Councils will accept written public comments at any time as well. Please find details for that meeting below:

Public hearing on proposed SODO arena legislation

Thursday, July 19th

5:30 p.m. Sign-up begins at 5:00 p.m.

Bertha Knight Landes Room, Seattle City Hall

600 Fourth Ave, First Floor

Again, thank you for your thoughtful input on this subject. I look forward to an ongoing dialogue with you and other members of the community as this process continues to unfold.

Please keep in touch,


Here is the letter from James Bush that speaks on behalf of Dow Constantine:

Dear Mr. Kelley:

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the proposal from investor Chris Hansen to construct a basketball/hockey arena in the SODO neighborhood and to bring NBA basketball and NHL hockey franchises to Seattle.

On May 16, Executive Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn released proposed agreements between the City, the County, and ArenaCo (Mr. Hanson’s company) to govern the financing of a new multi-purpose arena.

This proposal represents a unique opportunity for our region. Under the agreement, Mr. Hansen and his co-investors would invest more than $800 million in private capital in the purchase of teams and arena construction, with the City and County issuing public debt totaling $200 million. This proposal represents the largest contribution of private capital ever to a public stadium or arena project. It is important to note that all of the public issued debt will be repaid by the taxes generated from the site and rent paid for by the team owners. No new taxes are proposed as part of this project.

At the start of this process, Executive Constantine and Mayor McGinn established several principles for any agreement reached between the City, County and the private investor. These principles are:

·        A new arena must be self-funding, and not rely on new taxes;

·        Existing City and County funds and services will not be adversely impacted;

·        Private investors would bear risk against revenue shortfalls;

·        Any project cost overruns will be the responsibility of the private investors;

·        Private funding should be provided for a study of ways that Key Arena can be modified to keep it a financially successful part of Seattle Center.

No bonds will be issued for arena construction until Mr. Hansen and his group land an NBA franchise, and the bonds will be repaid by the revenues generated by this facility. Under his proposal, Mr. Hansen and his group will pay for any cost overruns and any shortfall in revenue.

A panel of community leaders and finance experts examined the preliminary proposal and, on April 4, endorsed moving forward, while identifying issues for further study, including the impacts of a new arena on traffic and transportation. The King County Council is now evaluating this proposal.

King County is working with various parties to address any transportation impacts caused by the new proposed arena, as well as the broader transportation needs of the South Downtown (“SoDo”) area of Seattle. Mr. Hanson also recently commissioned a transportation study that shows how arena generated traffic could be accommodated, particularly on days where events might overlap with other stadium traffic.

And, while there are challenges in the SoDo neighborhood, including freight mobility issues, we must remember that it is the largest transportation hub in our region—with service from Link light rail, a Sounder commuter train line, three bus rapid transit lines, 21 Metro bus lines, nine Sound Transit express bus lines, four ferry routes, two interstate freeways, and a future deep bore tunnel. There is no other site in the region so well served by major transportation assets.

King County Council and the Seattle City Council are now in the process of review the arena proposal. Executive Constantine looks forward to working with these legislative bodies as their members consider this unique opportunity.

James Bush

Communications Specialist

for King County Executive Dow Constantine

Here is the letter from Larry Phillips:

Dear Mr. Dobbs,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the proposal to build a new professional sports arena in SoDo. This is an important issue with high stakes for our community, so I especially appreciate hearing your thoughts on the matter.

My family and I have been long time fans of our local sports teams, and especially the Seattle Supersonics. I appreciate the economic and cultural benefits of having professional sports teams—including basketball and hockey — play here and represent tour region to the nation at–large, and have closely followed proposals in recent years from private, local investors to bring a basketball team and accompanying stadium improvements back to Seattle.

Most importantly, as an elected official responsible for fiscal stewardship of county taxpayer resources, I am keenly aware of the need to safeguard our public funds from financial risk. These funds must pay for basic public services including public health and safety, roads and transit, and our justice system as local government’s top priorities. This is the lens through which I am viewing the new arena proposal.

As you may know, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Christopher Hansen, a private investor who proposes to bring NBA basketball and NHL hockey franchises to Seattle, have reached agreement on a financing proposal for the new arena. This agreement will now be reviewed by the Seattle City Council and King County Council, respectively, for possible approval in upcoming months. Because this issue is now under active consideration by the King County Council, I appreciate knowing your views on this matter.

Knowing the potential for future King County Council involvement, earlier this year I submitted a several rounds of rigorous questions to the Arena Review Panel and Mayor McGinn, respectively, for review and response. I continue to have concerns about existing obligations for other stadium debt, overall existing debt load for City and County government, the viability of this arena proposal given other established stadiums and professional sports teams in our region, the financial soundness of the facility proposal and its private investors, neighborhood transportation infrastructure, and public involvement in this decision. I will continue to ask tough questions about this proposal as this process moves forward, with a focus on protecting our taxpayers and limited taxpayer funds.

Thank you again for contacting me with your input on this exciting proposal for our community. I will have your input in mind as we move forward.


Larry Phillips, Councilmember

Metropolitan King County Council, District Four

King County Courthouse

516 Third Avenue, Room 1200

Seattle, WA 98104-3272


[email protected]

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NBA Finals: Who to Hate More? Be Positive.

If you are from Seattle, like I am, then you may be torn on who you want to win the NBA Finals. Let me say it the way most of you are probably thinking about it. Which team do you want to lose more? A lot of people in the Northwest do not want the Oklahoma City Thunder, formally known as the Seattle Supersonics, to win a championship that should be theirs. On the other side, a lot of people can’t stand LeBron James and the way the Miami Heat were put together and want them to never get a championship.

I am here to give you some, as Pete Carroll would say, “stuff” to help you view the Finals with more of a positive perspective.

The NBA playoff have a way of making your emotions swing from complete jubilation to being completely dejected. The emotional swings can go from game to game, quarter to quarter and even minute to minute. Which is what makes sports the greatest entertainment on the planet.  Look at both conference finals. The Spurs won the first two games to extend their winning streak to 20 games. No one gave OKC a chance to win that series. Turns out, everyone and their mom were wrong. The Heat jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Boston, as well. Everyone had chalked up the series to being over. The old men in Boston had something to say about that. Winning the next three games, including a win on Miami’s home floor. Miami jumped on LeBron James’ back and rode him to a matchup against a much younger and almost as talented Thunder team.

I will be the first to tell you, I was rooting hard for the Spurs, which is the first time that has ever happened in my life. Staying on the positive, the Thunder’s youth and athleticism proved to be too much. The Thunder’s core of players are children, all four are 23 or younger. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are two of the most electrifying stars in basketball. The best beard in the league, James Harden, comes off the bench and contributes more than the starters. Even being from Seattle, its hard to not like this team. If they weren’t the Sonics previously and they came from another city, I would be all about them. Durant was the league’s leading scorer and is a class act. I think Sonics fans hate not being in the position to win a title, you can’t hate these guys on a personal level.

As for the Miami Heat, they have the best player since Michael Jordan with LeBron James. Some would even say he is better than Jordan (That might just be me). The Heat also have Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. These three have combined for one of the most talented teams of all time. It is rare to see this amount of skill on a basketball floor, playing together, at one time. Back to LeBron, he complete basketball game is incredible. He will guard the Heat’s opponent’s best player for a majority of the game, no  matter what their position is. Against the Celtics, he shut down Paul Pierce. Last year, it was Derrick Rose getting shut down. LeBron is the most versatile player in today’s NBA.

This series will feature five players that are some of the biggest stars in the NBA. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwayne Wade, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Bosh will all bring great performances on the court and will also bring fashion to another level in the post game interviews and pregame tunnel walks. There is no telling who will win this series and that is what makes a great series. You can expect close games with the stars of the teams battling it out down the stretch. Overtime is definitely a possibility and outside of the NHL overtime, there might not be anything more exciting in sports. This series won’t be short, which brings on the chances of a Game 7. Game 7′s bring the most pressure and bring the most determination and skill to the forefront.

Even if you have completely tuned the NBA out, this is a series you must watch. Put your hatred for either of these teams aside and enjoy the best of what the NBA has to offer.

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