Durant rockin’ Supersonics hat (PHOTO)
Tuesday , May , 14 , 2013 Matt Formica

Durant rockin’ Supersonics hat (PHOTO)

Despite the team no longer in existence, Kevin Durant is still a fan of the Seattle Supersonics.

Hoopsvibe's quick call:  It's funny how Durant wearing a hat turns into "news."

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Breaking News!  Maloofs to sell Kings to Seattle
Wednesday , Jan , 09 , 2013 Matt Formica

Breaking News! Maloofs to sell Kings to Seattle

Word on the street is that the Sacramento Kings are headed to Seattle.

Hoopsvibe quick call:  Seattle fans are passionate about their sports teams, and they should have the Supersonics to route for.

This past September, I published an article about Seattle's plans to get a basketball and hockey team in town by 2014.  At the time, we didn't know which teams; but thanks to Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo! Sports, we now have a pretty good idea that it will be the Kings who will be taking their talents to the Pacific Northwest.  (Still no word on which hockey team the city is looking to acquire). 
Wojnarowski broke the news over an hour ago when he reported that the Maloof family, current owners of the Sacramento Kings, are very close to finalizing a deal that would move the team to Seattle.
"The Maloofs are finalizing an agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to the Hansen-Ballmer led Seattle group, sources tell Yahoo! Sports." Wojnarowski tweeted earlier this afternoon.
The Hansen-Ballmer Seattle group is led by wealthy hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer.  If the deal goes through as reported, the Hansen/Ballmer led group will purchase the Kings from the Maloof family for roughly $500 million and will move the team immediately, so that they will be in Seattle by the 2013-14 NBA season.  The goal has always been to have the team renamed the Supersonics, and to have the franchise playing in Seattle's Key Arena for the next two seasons before they move the team into a brand new Seattle arena, for which they have already secured the financing. 
The Hansen-Ballmer group, which reportedly includes a few members of the Nordstrom department store family as well, has already committed to providing a $290 million private investment for the new arena and has developed plans for the remaining $200 million in public financing to come from rent money and admissions taxes.  Hansen's group has also agreed to contribute funds for transportation improvements in the downtown area surrounding the arenas and to pony up more money if the public financing isn't enough.
With the financial plan approved, all that was left was finding a team.  Well now that they've found a team in the Kings, the last hurdle to get over is reaching an agreement with the Maloof family, who have a history of trying to sell the team and subsequently backing out at the last minute.  However, according to sources close to the matter, the deal is close to being done.
According to reports, the Maloof's will maintain a very small ownership percentage of the team, but won't have any say in team management or decision making.
The city of Seattle and it's fans have been desperate to get the Supersonics back since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder in 2008.  There has always been a bitterness from Seattle faithful toward OKC, who are now one of the best teams in the league.  Imagine how electrifying the atmosphere would be when the Thunder came to Sea-town to play the Supersonics??!!
That would be as crazy of a sports environment as you could get.
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Monday , Apr , 02 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Michael Jordan to sell Bobcats if they don’t improve?

Nearing the end of another lost season as Bobcats owner, Jordan recently told his GM, Rich Cho, to start planning for a rebuilding campaign. He also dropped a bombshell, telling Cho and other deputies that if this one doesn’t produce a winner and he continues to lose millions over the next “three to four years,” then he intends to sell the team.

“I told Rich to make us better,” Jordan told one associate recently. “If that doesn’t work and I can’t make a profit in the next three to four years, then I’m selling.”

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Listen closely and you’ll hear the clock ticking on the NBA’s second go-around in Charlotte.

After all, Michael Jordan is threatening to sell the Bobcats if things don’t improve. This won’t inspire the causual fan to get behind the team.

In fact, it will do the opposite.

Remember, the people of Charlotte have dealt with George Shinn destroying their Hornets and moving the club to New Orleans.

Then there was Bob Johnson, the first owner of the expansion Bobcats. The former 106 & Park Tsar had such alligator arms he made Suns’ owner Robert Sarver look generous and extravagant.

Johnson ran the team into the ground before Jordan, a minority owner and executive, bought him out a couple of years ago.

Initially, Jordan had success adding veterans. Now ‘His Airness’ is in full make-over mode, selling established assets for picks, cap space, and young talent.

Starting over was probably the right move; however, Charlotte fans have been through a lot and may not have the patience for a project.

Threatening to sell the team won’t help, either. A local owner will be hard to find, especially with Kansas City, Orange County, and Seattle hungry for an NBA team.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Aug , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Commissioner Stern: Players, Owners open to contraction

"The players actually have been heard to suggest that as well, which was interesting because that means they are suggesting that we eliminate 30 jobs, or the potential for 30 jobs. So we've said to the players, you know, 'Give us the right to contract, let's agree upon what the basis will be. Let's make this deal and then let's continue to look at that subject.'"


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Interesting times.

In recent interviews, Commissioner David Stern has mentioned that owners and players have discussed the forbidden topic of contraction.

A lockout was always on the horizon, however, the fact that owners and players aren’t opposed to eliminating franchises is surprising.

Let’s be real: the league should axe a couple of the weaker franchises. Even with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, certain markets can’t support the NBA.

However, contraction would be costly. The owners would have to pool their money, buy the team(s), and then give the franchise(s) the axe.

Each team would cost a minimum of $250 million. Plus, there’d be complications like lease deals. As Stern mentioned, the toughest part would be identifying the  franchises to cut.

The players would lose 12-15 jobs per each team. And two teams would mean a loss of 24-30 high-paying jobs.

It’s far more likely franchises are moved. Seattle, if they get a new arena, is a hoops-hotbed. Kansas City already has a shiny, state-of-the-art facility. All they need is a team.

It’s a sign of how far the once-mighty NBA has fallen that players, owners, and even Commissioner Stern are talking contraction.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.