Archive for the ‘ Seattle SuperSonics Blog ’ Category

A new arena in Seattle that could bring the NBA back to the Puget Sound appears a step closer to reality.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has issued a statement late Monday night saying he welcomes the news that the Seattle City Council has decided to support bringing basketball back to Seattle.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Chris Hansen should never have to buy a beer again in his hometown.

It wouldn’t just be a gesture of appreciation for the investor with a heart of Sonics green and gold. It could be a necessity. Considering the dough he’s about to put down to build a new Seattle arena and lure an NBA team, he might have to reduce his going-out money.

Then again, looking at all the concessions he made to consummate a deal in Sodo, he probably is now part-owner of all the local suds, anyway.

Whatever the case, will every Sonics-missing fan raise a glass?

The hardest part of this comeback quest is all but over now. The Seattle City Council has reached an agreement with Hansen on his $490 million arena plan. And for once, the city’s annoying affinity for process, debate and universal pacification appears to have resulted in a digestible situation for Hansen, the Port of Seattle and all businesses concerned with how even more Sodo congestion will affect their bottom line.

– Reported by Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times

Eight of nine Seattle City Councilmembers have sent a letter to the investor seeking public help to build a new sports arena in the city, saying changes must be made to a proposal before they can support it.

The Council wants to alter a memorandum of understanding between Chris Hansen and the city to ensure that a portion of tax revenues generated by a new arena would help pay for local transportation improvements. Currently, the proposal calls for those taxes to be used to pay off the $200 million in city and county bonds that would be issued to help pay for the $490 million arena.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed free agent guard Ray Allen and free agent forward Rashard Lewis. We’ll post contract details here later today.

heat sign ray allen

Allen, a 16-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 1,148 regular season games (1,140 starts) averaging 20.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.16 steals and 36.9 minutes while shooting 45.2 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 89.4 percent from the foul line. Among all-time NBA leaders, he ranks first in three-point field goals made (2,718), first in three-point field goals attempts (6,788), fifth in free throw percentage, 18th in minutes played (42,373), 22nd in field goal attempts (17,761), 24th in points (22,941) and 32nd in field goals made (8,035). Last season, Allen appeared in 46 games (42 starts) with Boston and averaged 14.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.07 steals and 34.0 minutes while shooting 45.8 percent from the field, 45.3 percent from three-point range and 91.5 percent from the foul line while helping the Celtics capture the Atlantic Division title.

A 10-time NBA All-Star, Allen has appeared in 128 postseason games (120 starts) averaging 18.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.08 steals and 38.8 minutes while shooting 44.7 percent from the field, 40.2 percent from three-point range and 88.2 percent from the foul line. During the 2012 NBA Playoffs, he helped lead Boston to the Eastern Conference Finals while appearing in 18 games (10 starts) and averaged 10.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 34.2 minutes while shooting 39.5 percent from the field, 30.4 percent from three-point range and 71.1 percent from the foul line.

In addition to his many contributions on the court, the former 2008 NBA Champion was honored with the NBA Community Award in February of 2011 and was named The Sporting News “Good Guy” in 2000, 2001 and 2005. He initiated the “Ray of Hope” Foundation that currently assists charities in several communities and served as NBA Spokesperson for the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA youth basketball support program.

Allen was originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round (5th overall) of the 1996 NBA Draft.

heat sign rashard lewis

Lewis, a 14-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 934 regular season games (827 starts) averaging 16.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.11 steals and 34.0 minutes while shooting 45.4 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from three-point range and 80.8 percent from the foul line. Among Seattle/Oklahoma City all-time franchise leaders, he ranks first in three-point field goals made (973), second in three-point field goals attempted (2,519), fourth in points (10,251), fourth in defensive rebounds (2,576), fourth in minutes played (20,921), fifth in field goals made (3,762), fifth in field goals attempted (8,162), sixth in games played (617), seventh in total rebounds (3,595), seventh in offensive rebounds (1,019), eighth in steals (708), eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.387), ninth in blocks (362) and 10th in free throws made (1,754). Last season, Lewis appeared in 28 games (15 starts) with Washington and averaged 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 26.0 minutes while shooting 38.5 percent from the field and 83.8 percent from the foul line.

Lewis, a two-time NBA All-Star, has appeared in 64 postseason games (63 starts) averaging 16.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 38.5 minutes while shooting 43.9 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from three-point range and 82.1 percent from the foul line. During the 2009 NBA Playoffs, he helped Orlando advance to the NBA Finals and scored a playoff career-high 34 points in Game Two on June 7 at the Los Angeles Lakers while also dishing out a postseason career-best seven assists. Additionally, earlier in that postseason he hit a game-winning three-point basket with only 14.7 seconds remaining in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals at Cleveland on May 20 to help Orlando capture the 107-106 victory.

Lewis was originally drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in the second round (32nd overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft.

Chris Hansen walked on stage and was greeted with the kind of reception normally reserved for the musicians and athletes who were waiting backstage.

Hedge-fund managers don’t normally get rock star ovations.

“I was about to tear up actually. It was inspiring,” Hansen said.

While former SuperSonics stars Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp got the loudest ovations, it was Hansen left accepting the most praise at a rally in downtown Seattle on Thursday afternoon to support the push for a new arena that could eventually bring back the NBA.

The late-day rally crammed green and gold clad fans into Occidental Park just a few blocks north of Seattle’s stadium district where CenturyLink and Safeco fields currently sit. Hansen’s proposal before the King County and Seattle city councils calls for a $490 million facility just south of the Mariners’ Safeco Field with nearly $300 million in private investment.

Hansen said he was overwhelmed by the turnout, with estimates of about 4,000 in attendance at the peak of the event. The rally ended with chants of “Thank you Chris!” and included appearances by Payton, Kemp and fellow former Sonics player Detlef Schrempf.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The push to build a new arena in Seattle with the hopes of seeing the NBA return now has another name to go along with that of hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer will be part of the investment group for both the arena and the acquisition of an NBA franchise, according to a letter sent Wednesday by Hansen to King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

That Ballmer is part of the investment group is not a surprise. Ballmer is a longtime basketball fan who regularly sat courtside at SuperSonics games before their departure to Oklahoma City in 2008 and was part of a group that made a last-ditch effort to try to keep the team in Seattle.

At that time, Ballmer teamed with a handful of other Seattle businessmen to offer a renovation of KeyArena. Now Ballmer is throwing his support, and dollars, behind Hansen’s proposal for a $490 million arena that would house an NBA franchise and possibly bring the NHL to Seattle.

– Reported by Tim Booth of the Associated Press

Seattle mayor meets with David Stern

Mayor Mike McGinn met with NBA Commissioner David Stern in New York City on Monday to tell him Seattle wants to bring back professional basketball.

“We met so the mayor could show his commitment to bringing an NBA team back to Seattle,” wrote McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus in an email.

The visit came as a surprise to local representatives of Chris Hansen, the San Francisco hedge-fund manager who is proposing to spend up to $800 million to partially finance a new arena and buy an NBA team.

Rollin Fatland, a spokesman for Hansen, said he didn’t know anything about the meeting.

“What the hell is that about?” Fatland said, adding that the mayor may have contacted others about the meeting. “I’m not aware that anyone asked him to do it.”

– Reported by the Seattle Times

New Seattle NBA arena plan moves ahead

Attempts to build a nearly $500 million arena that could bring the NBA back to Seattle took another step forward on Wednesday.

And if an NHL team turns out to not be part of the equation, the public investment will be less than originally believed.

The city, King County and private investor Chris Hansen announced a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday laying out the financial responsibilities for the proposed venue.

The proposal included two significant changes, the result of three months of negotiations between Hansen and the local municipalities, from the original unveiled in February. The agreement indicates that construction on the facility could begin with only an NBA franchise on board. Previously, it was believed that both an NBA and an NHL franchise would need to be committed tenants to make the plan work.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Seattle Mariners President Chuck Armstrong insists the team’s objections to a proposed new NBA/NHL arena in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood are strictly about traffic concerns and not about possibly seeing dollars spent elsewhere.

The Mariners were on the defensive Wednesday after the franchise sent a letter to city of Seattle and King County leaders voicing their concerns over the proposed new arena that would be adjacent to the Mariners’ Safeco Field parking garage.

– Reported by Tim Booth of the Associated Press

Guard Terrence Ross has decided to enter his name into the 2012 NBA Draft and will forgo his final two years of eligibility at the University of Washington.

“I discussed the pros and the cons with my family and I just think this is a great step for me and it’s time for me to take my game to the next level,” Ross said about his decision.

“Being at Washington and playing for Coach (Lorenzo) Romar has been a blessing,” Ross continued. “On the court, off the court, with school and in life…it’s just been a real blessing to consider myself a Husky and get to where I am right now.”

Ross (Portland, Ore./Jefferson HS) helped the Huskies to a 24-11 record, NIT semifinal appearance and Pac-12 regular season championship in 2012. As a freshman in 2011, he was part of a Husky team that went 24-11, won the Pac-10 Tournament championship and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament.

In 2012, Ross established himself as not only one of the Pac-12’s most complete players, but one of the nation’s top athletes. He ranked among conference leaders in eight categories: points (16.4, 4th), rebounds (6.4, 6th), offensive rebounds (5.1, 3rd), free throw percentage (.766, 11th), steals (1.3, 12th), 3-PT FG makes (2.1, 8th), 3-PT% (.371, 14th) and blocks (0.9, 13th).

He earned first team All-Pac-12 honors in 2012 and led Washington in scoring, tallying 574 total points - tied for 9th most in UW single-season history.

He also was second on the team in minutes, rebounds, steals, 3-point makes, 3-point field goal percentage and blocks.

Ross was the only Husky to reach 30 points this season, doing so twice. He was second with 9 games of 20-plus points.

Ross flourished in Washington’s run to the NIT semifinals in New York. He averaged 25.0 points in four games. He was a perfect 15-of-15 from the free throw line and led UW shooters from three point range, making 15-of-37 attempts (.405).

“We wish Terrence the best,” Husky Coach Lorenzo Romar said from New Orleans, where he is taking part in Final Four festivities. “He was refreshing to coach because of his humility and team-first attitude. We wish him well and anticipate that he will have an excellent NBA career.”

A source tells KING 5 News a press conference is scheduled at Seattle City Hall Thursday to announce a deal on a new sports arena complex.

Chris Hansen, a former Seattleite, and current San Francisco hedge fund manager who has approached Seattle about his interest, is reportedly in Seattle.

Hansen recently purchased property south of Safeco Field on Occidental Avenue South, south of Massachusetts Street.

Mayor Mike McGinn confirmed last week that negotiations are underway with Hansen to build a new arena in SODO.

– Reported by KING 5 News

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The city of Seattle has been working behind the scenes the past eight months with a hedge-fund manager to bring an NBA team back to town— possibly as early as next fall if the Sacramento Kings fail to get a satisfactory deal for a new arena, newly released documents show.

The city turned over the documents to The Seattle Times on Friday under a public records request ( ). The documents included the agenda for a meeting between the parties on Dec. 13, with topics including “Review of Basic Deal Structure,” “City Debt Capacity” and “Financing Issues.”

A Seattle native who now lives in San Francisco, 44-year-old hedge-fund manager Christopher Hansen, approached the city about his desire to buy an NBA team and build an arena south of Safeco Field, the documents show. Hansen told city officials an arena could be built with minimal impact on taxpayers.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin
Dunking space robot

“I’ve talked to a couple of guys who’ve said, ‘Was Shawn as powerful?’” said Denver Nuggets Coach George Karl, who coached Kemp in Seattle, before Thursday’s game. “I think that’s the guy who’s closest.”

Legend had it that Kemp once dunked so hard that sparks flew off the rim. He later admitted it to be true, adding that the basket had a metal-chain net, which helped the sparks fly.

Karl said seeing Griffin’s dunks reminded Karl of his own dunks — in a way.

“This kid, he gets so high above the rim. It reminds me of when I was an athlete and I could jump and we got the 8-foot hoops,” Karl said. “He does things that we used to do on 8, maybe 7-foot [hoops]. You know, throwing it down from three feet away.”

– Reported by Baxter Holmes of the Los Angeles Times

Seattle Seahawks want LeBron James

Miami Heat superstar LeBron James and Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll have been tossing playful messages back and forth on Twitter. LeBron digs football and wouldn’t mind being an NFL star in another life.

But as the NBA lockout continues, perhaps that life could be this one?

No. Of course not. But it’s fun to think about.

Here’s the jersey the Seahawks made for LeBron:

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kevin durant

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is making good on his promise to put on a charity exhibition game featuring his fellow NBA superstars. Details of the event are expected to be announced at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

According to numerous sources with knowledge of the event, the game will pit two star-studded squads against each other, with one side being Durant’s team and the other being former Oklahoma star Blake Griffin’s team. Miami Heat star LeBron James is one of several players who have been confirmed for the event. New Orleans guard Chris Paul and Heat guard Dwyane Wade also are expected to show.

The game is tentatively scheduled to be played Thursday, Oct. 27, inside the Cox Convention Center, which holds just shy of 14,000 for basketball. Other potential stars that could make an appearance include L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and New York forward Carmelo Anthony, as well as Thunder guards Russell Westbrook and James Harden…

“Playing against NBA players around this time is really going to help,” Durant told The Oklahoman last month. “So it’s just a matter of me just going out there and hooping and enjoying it. I just do it for the love of the game, really.”

– Reported by Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman

The Dakota Wizards have hired Vitaly (vee-TAH-lee) Potapenko (poe-TAH-pen-koe) as the team’s assistant coach, the team announced today. Potapenko will serve under newly hired Head Coach Nate Bjorkgren for the 2011-12 season.

Potapenko brings two years of coaching experience to the Wizards, having most recently served as an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers this past season. In Indiana, under Head Coach Jim O’Brien and Interim Head Coach Frank Vogel, Potapenko helped lead the Pacers to a 37-45 record and a trip to the 2011 NBA Playoffs.

Prior to joining the Pacers, Potapenko served as an assistant coach for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League under Head Coach Joey Meyer during the 2009-10 season.

Potapenko was selected 12th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1996 NBA Draft. Nicknamed “The Ukraine Train”, he averaged 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds over 11 seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics and the Sacramento Kings. His most productive season came in 1998-99 after being traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics on March 11, 1999. He averaged 10.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 33 games (32 starts) for the Celtics.

Prior to joining the NBA, Potapenko played for Budivelnyk (Ukraine) from 1992-1994 and finished his career playing for MMT Estudiantes in the Spanish ACB during the 2007-2008 season.

Potapenko, 36, was born in Kiev, USSR.

The NBA announced today that player training camps for the 2011-12 season have been postponed indefinitely because a new collective bargaining agreement has not been reached with the National Basketball Players Association. Training camps were scheduled to open on October 3.

In addition, the league canceled all preseason games scheduled from October 9 through October 15.

“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver.  “We will make further decisions as warranted.”

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Houston lands 2013 NBA All-Star Game

Mark Berman of My Fox Houston reports:

NBA sources told FOX 26 Sports the Houston Rockets and the City of Houston landed the NBA All-Star Game in 2013. The game will be played at Toyota Center on Feb. 17, 2013. NBA All-Star week will be Feb. 15-17. The Rockets and Toyota Center also hosted the game in 2006.

Click2Houston reports:

The entire NBA All-Star Weekend will be in the Bayou City from February 15-17, 2013. Hilton Americas Marketing Director Janice O’Neill-Cox spoke with Local 2 Sports Wednesday afternoon, saying, “We played a key role in working with the league to make sure availability was in place. It’s a big boost for our city to land the game, and we’re excited about it.” editor says: I don’t get why Houston is getting the game again. They just had it in 2006. Meanwhile, other teams haven’t hosted it in a long time. Also, Madison Square Garden renovations will be mostly complete in time. And the new Brooklyn Nets arena will exist by mid 2012. Unusual call to send the big weekend back to Houston so soon.

Nate Robinson

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times reports:

Nate Robinson was at Seahawks practice Saturday morning.

Considering Robinson’s athletic pedigree, that statement requires a further clarification: Robinson was not in the Seahawks’ practice.

The Rainier Beach alum was in sweatpants and a gray top, watching the workouts. There are no plans for Robinson to have a tryout with the Seahawks, but this is the latest in a continuing flirtation with the sport.

Robinson, 27, initially went to Washington on a football scholarship and was a freshman cornerback under Rick Neuheisel in 2002.

NBA Rookie Transition Program postponed

The NBA Rookie Transition Program, scheduled for August 9-11, has been postponed.  The program, which provides first-year players with the skills and information necessary for a successful transition to the NBA, is run jointly by the NBA and the Players Association.

“Without a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union, we will be unable to hold RTP as originally scheduled,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said.  “This is an important educational program for our incoming players, and it will be rescheduled once the parties agree on a CBA.”

Brandon Roy still working his way back

Many people have given up on Brandon Roy ever returning to his former glory as a star guard in the NBA. No one is happy about it. Brandon is a likeable guy and a player to root for. Hopefully those doubters are proven wrong, and B-Roy is able to ball out like he did before his knees became a real issue.

As for the latest on Roy, here’s Jason Quick of The Oregonian:

Brandon Roy

Brandon Roy said he had mixed results recently after resuming basketball drills. The bad news? He says he doesn’t have the same lift on his jumps as he did during his run of three All-Star appearances. The good news is that he has surprised himself with his mobility, and he has been free of pain and swelling. Plus, his knees feel stronger than they did during the season — in part because of the nearly three months since the season ended and in part because the January surgeries are even further in the past.

So where does all this leave him and his expectations for next season, when he will make $15 million?

Again, no headlines. No expectations.

“Wait and see,” Roy said. “I’m not going to put a limit on anything. People ask, ‘Are you going to come off the bench?’ Got to wait and see. When training camp comes, I’m going to work, and that way I will put myself in a position to give myself a chance. But I don’t want to put myself in a position where I’m saying, ‘I’m going to come off the bench.’ Or, ‘I’m going to start.’

“I just want to go out there and play, and that way, Coach can say, ‘Wow, he looks this way.’ Or ,’Wow, maybe not’ … Then we will go from there.”

Until there’s reason to believe otherwise, I’m thinking Roy is best used as a Blazers sixth man, for solid contributions off the bench, with occasional flashes of brilliance here and there.

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