BY Art Thiel 07:30AM 08/19/2013

Thiel: Hansen did what Bennett would have done

Sonics fans have offered some false equivalencies to rationalize Hansen’s secret Sacramento donation. But there’s no getting around the notion that it’s the way Clay Bennett would have operated.

Chris Hansen interview video screen shot

Chris Hansen has more ‘splainin to do. / KING5 photo

Imagine in 2008 if Steve Ballmer, Jim Sinegal and partners offering $150 million in private money, were successful in getting the state to authorize public funds to help redo KeyArena for $300 million to keep the Sonics in Seattle. Next, imagine a public outcry, led by anti-subsidy activist Chris Van Dyk, over using tax dollars without a vote.

Then imagine Oklahoma businessman Clay Bennett secretly funneling $100,000 to help Van Dyk’s initiative campaign succeed in creating a city ballot measure. Finally, imagine disclosure of the law violation, and the subsequent civic red-ass that would ensue for the lowdown country varmint who dared to interfere deceitfully with Seattle’s cherished process of political transparency and accountability.

In light of events, it’s not that hard to imagine, is it? That is what is so disreputable about Hansen’s foolish attempt to influence a vote in Sacramento: It’s what Bennett would have done.

Hansen’s stealthy, presumably illegal, attempt to influence a political issue in Sacramento is behavior of a kind so artfully exposed in “Sonicsgate, the award-winning documentary film about the Sonics’ relocation to Oklahoma City and the manipulations, prevarications and chicanery among Bennett, Howard Schultz and the NBA monopolists to achieve their desired outcome.

If a “Sonicsgate” viewer felt moral outrage at being lied to and manipulated, the same feeling should attend what Hansen attempted to do to another marketplace. Sure, there is a question of degree, but not of kind.

So please, Sonics fans, stop already with the bogus moral equivalencies. Enough with excusing Hansen’s deed by saying it’s politics as usual, or high finance as usual, or the NBA was dirtier with Seattle’s bid than Hansen was with Sacramento.

Apparently AFTER the rejection by NBA owners of his bid to buy the Kings in mid-May, Hansen had a Los Angeles law firm — one used by the dubious Maloof family that owned the team — wire his money to a Sacramento anti-arena group that was gathering signatures to have the public contribution subject to a citywide vote in June 2014.

None among Hansen, the law firm or the anti-arena group disclosed the source of the June 21 donation by the July 31 deadline. At least Hansen is not hiding behind some excuse of clerical error. In his written explainer issued Friday, Hansen said he did it — a mistake he regretted.

Yet, even in owning up, he fell short. I consider a mistake the adding two and two and getting five. This was calculated deception that came to light through basic document-checking. And regretting an action after the fact is not the same as apologizing for it, which he did not do.

It’s the kind of oily response I would expect from Bennett, NBA commissioner David Stern many other sports executives who get caught. For many Sonics fans, that is the worst part of this development — the disclosure that he is one of those guys.

Apart from the legal issue and the ethical problems, what Hansen has done is force his supporters to engage in all sorts of oral gymnastics to justify Hansen’s tactics because, well, um, he’s our guy, and he wants what we want, and he has the means and method to  create an arena and buy a team.

During a visit to Seattle May 27, he did interviews with KING5 TV and KJR-AM radio in which he discussed his post-vote feelings and the future. Even he admitted to some degree of repulsion at the turn of events.

“I’m not going to wrestle (another) team away . . . be a predator,” he told KJR. “The Seattle-Sacramento fight made us all uncomfortable. It made me sick to my stomach . . .  ‘How did I get myself in this position?’”

Yet he wasn’t made so ill that he couldn’t continue to seek to undermine Sacramento’s arena project to enhance his own in Seattle. Nor was he doing what he asked his supporters to do.

“I think people need to get the bad taste out of their mouths and move on,” he said. “Being resentful doesn’t get you anywhere in life. If (the opportunity to buy the Kings) never came up, the mentality would be a little better now.

“If you want the Sonics back, it’s a good time to get over the anger and frustration and show what a great city we are . . . If there’s constant anti-NBA, anti-commissioner (talk), it will hurt us. The NBA is smart — they know we wouldn’t take this well. They know Sacramento wouldn’t have taken it well if they lost. Grieving, anger and frustration is to be expected.”

Apparently, Hansen was unable to walk his talk.

There is a context here that Hansen should have appreciated. As a kid growing up in Seattle, he knew of the deceits and betrayals of pro sports owners George Argyros, Jeff Smulyan and Ken Behring, well before Bennett. He knows today about the unaccountability of the current Mariners ownership that has rendered the franchise virtually inert. He has also seen successes by the Paul Allen regime that have made the Seahawks and Sounders national stories.

Based on Hansen’s words and deeds over the past 18 months since he became a public figure, I don’t put him in the Bennett/Argyros/Smulyan/Behring class of owner with ruthless disregard for anything except money. But Hansen also demonstrated a naivete about politics that is standard for his class of wealth. Without exception, every rich guy I know who has dabbled in sports has expressed annoyance and even contempt for the headaches of dealing with government.

Fine. The solution is simple: Do the project yourself.

Hansen’s request for a $200 million loan from the city that can borrow more cheaply than he can has made him a partner in a process that requires transparency and public accountability. Typically, those characteristics are anathema to business buccaneers who work the shadows until it’s time for the IPO.

But presuming Hansen wants to maintain the deal as is, he has heavy lifting to do to rebuild his cred. I think the arena project and the return of the NBA brings value to the city. But so much of the project rode on Hansen’s relationships with politicians and fellow investors (who may require some bridge-building too, if Hansen is being honest with his claim about not informing them of his foolish donation).

For people who care about these things, there is a shadow on Hansen that threatens those relationships: Is he dumb, dishonest, naive, all or none of the above?

He needs to answer that question to the satisfaction of the electeds who burned political capital on his behalf, to partners with whom he was not candid, and to NBA owners who see what he did as an attempt to sabotage a new lodge brother, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive. Some of Hansen’s less discerning fans will always back him, but even they need help explaining why the man couldn’t follow his own instructions to them.

He needs to explain himself a lot better than he did Friday. He needs to apologize. And he needs to do something that may be impossible for him: He needs to solve the problem without throwing money at it.

At every turn, Hansen has used money to move himself and his project forward. Whether it was paying for the city’s run-up costs, improving the arena MOU requirements, increasing the purchase price of the Kings or buying a round of beers for his fans, he has spent freely and often, including a $30 million deposit for the team purchase that was supposedly nonrefundable.

In this episode, money no longer works.

He needs to pretend that, for once, there is is something of value that can’t be bought. That idea may shock his partner, Ballmer, too. Credibility has no price, but losing it has a great cost.


YourThoughts

  • Ian Mac

    The timing of the donation is hard to make sense of. Did he give that money to the lawfirm before the final BOG vote in May? If not, it seems to have been done just out of spite. But that just doesn’t jibe with everything else we’ve come to know about Hansen. Unfortunately, I think it means he got far less assurance about expansion from the NBA than we all hoped and that he still thinks the Kings are the best option. Anyway you look at it, the implications are depressing.

    • Nacho

      Hansen gave the money three weeks after he was rejected by the BOG, so his attempt to call it a ‘heat of the moment’ mistake is a weak excuse at best. I think this is the same Hansen we’ve seen since the beginning. He arranged a deal with the Maloofs without bringing in the NBA office to begin with so that was the first sign he was operating outside the normal conventions. After the NBA indicated it would not allow a bidding war, Hansen voluntarily raised his bid for the Kings making an attempt to strong arm the league. Then after losing, he is trying to sabotage the Sacramento efforts. He’s been consistent in his disregard for the way the NBA does business (not saying their way is good, just saying Hansen has disregarded protocol).

      • art thiel

        Hansen completely misread the NBA’s value under Stern of relationships (Stern with Bennett and KJ, for example). Hansen and presumably Ballmer believe the dollar trumps all. Most times, they are right. This time, they whiffed.

      • RadioGuy

        Bravo. You’re the first person I’ve seen who recognized that Hansen’s upping his own offer to buy the Kings might have been a turn-off to Stern, who (whatever anyone thinks of the guy) does not let the inmates tell him how to run his asylum…let alone someone outside the walls trying to get in.

    • art thiel

      Your confusion is exactly why Hansen owes a much better explanation to Seattle. The act was so reckless and foolish that it’s hard to believe it’s the same guy. He’s blowing his cred.

  • jbradway

    He can also help his recover his reputation if he calls upon the anti-arena effort in Sacramento to discard the signatures he paid for. Is he truly sorry for what he did or only sorry for getting caught?

    • Nacho

      I think it’s too little too late. He got caught and unless he wants to drop $5M in the Sacramento city coffers as a sign of good will, I don’t think any NBA owner is going to forget this when he wants to get a team in the future. I still think Seattle gets a team in the next 3-4 years, I just don’t think Hansen is going to be a part of it. If he was smart he’d immediately say he’s ending his bid to be a team owner and he’s going to focus on building and operating the arena.

      • art thiel

        I can’t forecast what the NBA landscape, ownership and commissionership will look like in 2-3 years, and what will be important then to them. These owners are hardly paragons of virtue; they may all be snickering at Hansen’s carelessness in laundering the money, but they may admire his chutzpah.

        Anyone who says they know what will happen with the NBA is kidding himself or her herself.

    • art thiel

      Not sure of the tactic, but your point is well taken. That’s why an expression of regret is not the same as an apology.

  • Leon Russell

    There is no reason to believe that Bennett would have done anything that stupid. How could Hansen have been stupid enough to believe that he could make a campaign contribution like that without getting caught? That was just stupid beyond belief.
    Hansen is really an idiot, in addition to being a slimeball. Read some of Hansen’s letters to his investors he sent out after his hedge funds started losing money hand-over-fist. They sound like something a high school sophomore would write.
    Hansen has no clue what he is doing. He also has no clue how to build or operate an arena, or how to operate an NBA team.
    Hansen lucked into a lot of money, and that made him think he is smart. Hansen is not smart — he is stupid. And he continues to prove his stupidity over and over, again and again.

    • art thiel

      The foolishness of Hansen’s stunt is beyond dispute. If indeed his partners were not informed, that is an error in judgment as well. The legal issue of lawbreaking is, from a Seattle perspective, secondary to the more troubling questions about his judgment.

      He needs to do a lot better job of explaining himself than the weak effort Friday.

  • Leon Russell

    “Hansen’s request for a $200 million loan from the city…”
    The city would not be loaning Hansen any money. The city would be BORROWING money by selling bonds. The city would then be SPENDING that money on an arena — not loaning it to Hansen. Hansen is not going to be paying the city back any of that money, as he would be if it were actually a “loan.” The city would be paying off the bonds with tax revenues — which is the city’s money, not Hansen’s money.
    Do you actually believe that sales tax, property tax and admission tax revenue belongs to Chris Hansen? Or, does that tax money which would be used to pay off the arena bonds belong to the City of Seattle? Does Chris Hansen levy and collect taxes? Or, does the City of Seattle levy and collect taxes?

    • art thiel

      The specific term is lease-purchase, which originally meant that the city would own the building at the end of the 30-year term. But the council balked, and Hansen agreed to what amounts to a city option to have him buy it back. I don’t know the terms.

      The annual arena debt, including the city bond debt, will be retired from arena revenues. Any revenue shortfall in the first five years, the time of highest risk, Hansen has agreed to cover from his personal wealth. That part of the transaction is highly unusual. Owners rarely put up personal guarantees, and there is speculation that the deal set a high (and therefore bad) precedent for owners in future arena deals.

      • RadioGuy

        That’s IF arena revenues actually go to retire the bond debt. If I understand correctly, the Kingdome generated more than enough revenues to pay off its debt ahead of schedule, but King County diverted much of that money to other projects while only paying the minimum required on the bond (which amounted to mostly interest while leaving the principle largely untouched). It’s sort of like paying the $25 minimum on your monthly credit card bill without actually paying down your debt to Visa or MasterCard.

        • art thiel

          If you remember that, Radio, I guarantee you somebody at the city and county remembers it, and is highly unlikely to allow that to happen again.

  • RadioGuy

    I find it less than ironic that so many people who’ve been bashing Bennett for five years are being circumspect now that their boy has been exposed as being cut from the same cloth. Even so, this will have less effect on the chances an NBA team comes to Seattle than the lawsuits that’ll come out of the EIS from the Port and Longshoremen designed to kill the new arena. Out of 400+ pages, their lawyers will find something.

    So, Art, how’s the rehab coming along?

    • art thiel

      If anyone forecasts how this issue will play with NBA owners if/when the time for expansion comes in two or three years, they’re almost as foolish as Hansen was in this act. No one can know the outcome. Who the hell could have predicted all the developments in the saga, starting with Hansen’s land purchase, to this episode?

      Unprecedented in the history of American pro sports, and unbelievable at every turn.

      If I had to guess, Hansen’s subterfuge will end up being secondary to everyone making money. But primary for now is Hansen to explain himself better than he did Friday, so that people begin to believe in his judgment.

  • Mark

    Normally I like what Art Thiel writes but I find the article on Chris Hansen to be disgusting. I don’t agree with him and I think it’s a vicious attack on someone who has put so much effort and money to try and bring the Sonics back to Seattle. I am withdrawing my monthly payment to Sports Northwest

  • Mark

    Don’t even try and pass yourself off as someone who wants the best for Seattle. This is an article that was written for your personal gain and did not need to be written.

    • art thiel

      How is it that making an illegal campaign contribution that he knew to be wrong — why hide it from his partners? — is in the best interests of Seattle? What I prefer is honesty in journalism and honesty in public dealings. Is that asking too much from any of us?

      Nowhere did I say that the arena project is doomed nor did I say that Hansen should withdraw, as others have done. But Hansen has to do better than his Friday statement if he is to begin regaining the trust he lost among electeds, his partners and a lot of people who joined him in the pursuit.

      Sonics fans: Use your heads for thinking, not your hearts. Even if you care nothing about law, honor or politics, respect the fact that others do.

      • John

        Honesty in journalism is what many of us desire as well. So let’s begin with this: Please provide proof that it was an illegal contribution. Or, at a minimum, an explanation for why you think it was illegal, as opposed to unethical or contrary to your personal moral code. To wit: What law was broken? What action by Hansen violates that law? True “journalists” would provide proof for their claims, not throw out a straw man and hope nobody notices.

        • Skeezix

          Well speaking for meself here,I understand the illegalilty of it all as Hansen NOT REPORTING the contribution by July 31st, as was required by CA state law re: Political Campaign contributions….So,there’s the law he broke (and why he’s likely to be fined close to a hundred grand) and the action By Hansen was the non-reporting…..What I cannot figure out is why Hansen thought he’d not be “Outed” on this?…..Did he think by running it through the Law Firm and the Political Action Committee that the other side wouldn’t notice such a large,anonymous contribution?….and did he somehow not Know the state law that requires both reporting by the due date and telling who you are that made the donation?…. Does this Billionaire not have a passel of attorneys and staff that would have advised him against such a reckless move?,,,Or did he do this by himself in a fit of pique,which seems unlikely in that his being a hedge fund manager makes one think he analyzes and mulls over everything 99 different times and ways….,,This stuff jest don’t add up to a poor little country boy such as me ya’ll!….sumbuddy out there pleeze splain,”What did he know,and when did he know it!”….

        • Effzee

          That it was an illegal contribution is factual, not Art’s opinion. It is your job, not his, to make sure that you know what you are talking about.

        • art thiel

          The head of the state agency in charge said that no documents were filed by the July 31 deadline for disclosure of contributors names. An investigation is underway that will disclose all the details, but the evidence was so plain that neither Hansen nor the Sacramento anti-arena group are contesting the facts.

          What else do you need?

          • Repeating History

            THE TRUTH?

            don’t matter no more 2 U huh.

            meh, extant.

      • Skeezix

        Go Art!…The one thing that has kind of creeped me out about Hansen since he came on the seen has been this cult of Sonics fans that call him “Chris” and who say “In Chris we trust” , and who act as if this Billionaire Money Man is not attempting to buy an NBA Franchise to make boatload$ of Moolah for himself…I mean,I do believe he loves him some NBA, but he wouldn’t be venturing into all of this if it wasn’t a guaranteed BIG Money Maker, which sports franchise owning is…. (Look at how much the Golden State franchise has gone up in the last 7 months)…I think Hansen is obviously a real smart business guy ,which makes him by definition almost,greedy and unethical ,because that’s what most business and ALL BIG CORPORATE Bizniss is about,bar none IMHO……I see him as a guy who wants to be the cool guy who doesn’t like to wear suits and ties and who wants be hip hop rich white guy from S.Seattle or something,sitting at courtside of his Partially Public Subsidized Sonics Arena with Macklemore…It’s okay to be a Capitalist and it’s not illegal to be Hedge Fund Tycoon, but what has bothered me about this dude with the 5 o’clock shadow is his deliberate attempt at acting like he came across all his money in some honorable fashion or he was trying to buy the “Sonics” as a civic donation based on his altruistic nature or some such thing…and the local sports radio hosts have all seemed to be on board with all of this fantasy,although they have all HAD to have known better,and certainly NOW they must after this fiasco.disaster of last Friday…….It’s okay to wanna be cool and hip…and it’s okay to be wealthy,although this dude is SUPER,DUPER wealthy….What I don’t think is okay is for scores of people to glom on to a figure such as Hansen in a cult of personality like fashion because they want the NBA back, and by any means necesarry…but that’s just me

  • jafabian

    Do NBA bylaws specifically state that a buying owner cannot contribute to a cause that benefits them in the purchase of a franchise? I can see bylaws being gray in that area and would not surprise me if what Hansen has done has been done by others, he just got caught.

    Was it underhanded? Yes. But so was what the NBA did to him and his group. However his credibility has taken a huge hit. I never believed his “It made me sick to my stomach . . . ‘How did I get myself in this position?’”statement. Really, he knew very well how he got there and knew what he was doing. Sterno was simply in a better position to do something about it and in many respects was a step ahead of him. Make no mistake, people who achieve the kind of financial success that professional sport owners are as determined as Michael Jordan driving to the hoop. And they don’t care who’s in the way. I don’t think all this really hurts Hansen in the eyes of the City of Seattle but it sure does in the eyes of the NBA even though many of these owners have skeletons of their own in their closets. What I don’t like is how Clay-Clay is surely leaning back in his office chair and smiling when he heard about all this.

    • RadioGuy

      I’m not sure Hansen’s contribution violated the letter any bylaws, but I cant imagine any NBA owner would be happy to have some guy who’s been trying to join their club also surreptitiously trying to help scuttle the new arena their franchise is counting on getting. That doesn’t exactly engender any feelings of trust…not that many NBA owners are trustworthy.

      By the way, for all the talk about Hansen’s “altruism” in bringing an NBA team to Seattle (and I do think there is some of that involved), there’s another term that’s more fitting: “Investment growth.” I’ve put together a list of how the value of all 17 NBA expansion franchises since 1966 have increased based on their original purchase prices and what Forbes prices them at now and the numbers are nothing short of amazing. The original Sonics cost Sam Schulman $1.75 million in 1967…that same franchise in OKC is now worth $475 million, according to Forbes. Try getting that kind of return on a CD or T-Bill. No wonder Hansen wants in.

    • art thiel

      False equivalencies, j. Like the column said. The bylaws have nothing to do with this. He broke California state campaign laws, as he would have if he had done same in Washington.

  • Repeating History

    Anyone else who lived thru the horrors of Tricky Dick (& John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s Domestic Policy Advisor was from Hunt’s Point and his kids attended Bellevue High then) and Watergate in the early 70s see a creepy wolf-man-type 5 o’clock chin & hands shadow-look of the Hansen photo above….to……Richard ‘The Subverter of our Constituition’ Milhouse Nixon? Oh, the humanity !! Do Hansen now that we have a better peek behind his smoke ‘n mirrors curtain of carefully crafted PR spin machine….and Tricky Dick share the same Black Heart as far as morals and integrity go? SURE IS STARTING TO LOOK LIKE IT – ISN’T IT, SPORTS FANz?!! Peace out.

    • Repeating History

      And I worked for 5 years up at the Evil Empire with Steve ‘Faux Psycho’ Ballmer at the CEO helm. Ran into him – almost literally – on a few occasions in B33/Conference Ctr., as he was working himself into another of his patented faux Weekend at Bernie’s Get the Troops All Hot & Lathered Up about the Next Useless MS Hardware GeeGaw or Whatnot Evangelist Speech in the large auditorium there…..he is almost certifiably insane, without scruples, always self-serving, and intensely disliked by everyone up on campus….including his own inner santum staffers who have had the cajones to tell me soto voce that he is indeed an……A$$master of the First Realm.

      And The Once and Past Prince Chrissy Hansen working with Ballmer on this dubious on many levels SoDo Arena and Bring back the Ruthless NBA to our Fair City Project from Hades and Points Even Further South than That??…..welll…as the old tried and true bromide is wont to opine: YOU LIE DOWN WITH DOGS….YOU WILL BE COVERED WITH FLEAS. Just axin’ as a more than casual and sophisticated observer here: just WHICH ONE of these two CON ARTISTES in our local Hen House……is the BIGGER DOG?? WOOF.

      PS. Peace…and Skoll, bra.

    • Skeezix

      Repeating History is spot on here kids! — Where’s Senator Sam Ervin,Sen.Howard Baker,Legal Counsel Sam Dash and Sen.Lowell Weiker when we need them,dammit?…This is the 40th anniv. of the Watergate Hearings of ’73…We already have used “Sonicsgate”,so maybe we call this whole adventure…”Arena-Gate”?!!?…..”Hansen-Gate”?…We Need a John Dean to come out and spill the beans on all of this…I cannot believe his partners knew nothing of what he was doing….and if he DID do this wacked out stuff as a type of Lone Ranger,then he has got to go as the Titular Head of The Sonics 2.0—

      • Repeating History

        Thanks, Skeezix, and good ideas from you! Seems like everybody at the national political level anymore is flawed to the Circus Maximus, in the Extremis – if you know what I mean (and sometimes I don’t, sadly). This includes the ‘modern’ pol like that SD Deufus Mayor Felner and A. Weiner-mobile who just dig in their heels, w/ no shame nor remorse…and just keep on keepin’ on (fleecin’ the Rest of Us….and it ain’t even Festivus yet!). But I digress…as Papa Hemingway Strawberry-Rhu Art Garfunkel PLU Thiel is always wont to gripe and pi$$ and moan (in bed?) about my loooong missives on his terrif site here.

        And you know about the only 2 national pols still fairly active on the national scene who had attorney-staffer positions on those various Watergate Congressional Committees that quite literally…..SAVED OUT IMPERFECT UNION? Hillary R. Clinton and…..the Lazy One….Big Fred Thompson, former US Sen. from the (non-)great State of TN…..and of ‘Law and Order’ infamy. Heaven help us all…..and I voted twice for the morally-bankrupt BIG DOG SWEET WILLIE JEFFERSON C. of Hope, AR…..AND for the present-day Entertainer-in-Chief and main Al Green Kareoke winner…….Pres. Barry O’ from HI…..and Kenya Mou Mou tribe #13, Rev. A. Again….oh the humanity!!

        And we wonder why the morals of our country are now largely in the crapper and the veritable dustbin of History since the ABOVE tools & twits..and their modern-day ethically-challenged frauds like Wolf Man Hansen and Blustery Loser from Proctor & Gamble Steveo Ballmer?!! I’m not! Pogo had it right…..WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY, AND IT IS US, SONICS AND NBA FANS AND SHEEPLES!! I know, Art….that’s one more baaaaaaaaad joke ! sorry, Mr. Jim Murray-lite! Peace. :)

    • art thiel

      Wow. Hope you can pull up quickly, RH. Ground is coming up quickly.

      • Repeating History

        Wow. Art, is there EVER a time when you’re not in a foul and crusty and judgmental mood? Why? Like Kramer said to Jerry re: the latter’s so boring stand-up act: ‘It’s sooooo played!’. YOU D##NED KIDS GIT (sic sick) OFF MY BROWN & DESSICATED 6’7″ x 6’7″ LAWN!! Not enough tail and straw-rhu pie (sic) for you while laboring in anonymity down at PEW-U-PLU? Jim Moore got your goat (and maybe other barnyard animals, if you get my drift) lately since he’s now stumbled into a really well-paying gig on the radio, and you……um…..ain’t? Even if ESPN-710AM is largely run by frauds and buffoons, imho. Try to have a better day…..some day, heya? No need to continually be spreadin’ the internal demons and bile….is there? Don’t they have a 12- or 13- or whatever-Step-group for that kinda thing for burned out ink-stained wretches going down for the count in a dying industry? See you at the next Greek (Games)., pal. And you think I’M the guy about to crash? Got a mirror around your Forks Vampire Lair? probly’ not……much easier to throw ur serial jejune bon mots at the Beer Nutz set that frequents this ‘vital’ blog. Whistlin’ past the PLU graveyard……and boneyard. Sic transit gloria, mi faux caliente jefe’. meh.

  • Dre1Caku

    don’t give up fight for anti-arena Chris

  • Dre1Caku

    Suckramento and whole LA can steal NBA teams + OKC but not Seattle wow

  • Mark

    There’s a lot of concern in this post, perhaps more than the situation warrants. Sports is war. Indeed, the absence of that instinct around here may factor into why so few championships grace our sports franchises. We care and focus on the wrong things. I don’t mind what Hansen did. After the escapades of the NBA and Sacramento I would have done the same thing in his shoes, EXCEPT I would have disclosed it. I also would have been happy to say that for a deal so out of whack financially, why is Sacramento afraid to let their citizens vote on it? ;) Hansen was dishonest and a bit dumb not to do that. He’s also not innocent, even if he has played that role. If you’re familiar with his profession you’d know better than to ever think so. But except for the fervent few (nearly all of which don’t want a NBA to return anyway) this just doesn’t matter much. It’s not going to change the Seattle mayor race or the Council. All concern trolling aside, the NBA is not going to give/withhold an expansion franchise based on this. He can apologize some more and let things blow over. And that’ll be that. Except in several years they can erect a statue to him in Sacramento as the man that tried to save that city from financial ruin. And he won’t have to give a cent to pay for it. ;)

    • art thiel

      Mark, whatever you may think about this issue, you lost me at “sports is war.” No, it is not. Please never make that analogy again, and do your part by slapping the crap out of anyone who does, including media members and the insufferable NFL that dares to call its draft-day conference rooms “war rooms.” We are still in a war, and soldiers and civilians and dying. Some respect, please.

  • Skeezix

    Chris Hansen May really love basketball,and the idea of bringing back the Sonics as well,but…I think THIS bit of info from 4 days back is even more compelling to him….

    “Source: Warriors worth $800 million

    Updated: August 16, 2013, 7:26 PM ET

    By
    Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

    If industry insiders laughed at the $450 million Joe Lacob and Peter Guber paid for the Golden State Warriors in November 2010, one has to wonder what they would think now.

    Less than three years after the two agreed to pay the highest
    price ever for an NBA franchise, the team is now valued at $800 million,
    according to a source with knowledge of the terms.

    The new valuation comes from the price Silicon Valley venture
    capitalist Mark Stevens agreed to pay for a share of the team that was
    made available when former partner Vivek Ranadive had to sell it to buy
    the Sacramento Kings in May.

    In a way, Ranadive’s agreement to pay about $550 million for 72
    percent of the Kings and their existing arena helped his old partners
    sell their stake for even more. The $800 million number is still
    surprising, given that Forbes magazine valued the Warriors in January at
    $555 million. Warriors spokesman Raymond Ridder declined to comment on
    the new valuation or the percentage that Stevens bought.

    Stevens, the managing partner of S-Cubed Capital in Menlo Park,
    Calif., was presumably not only paying for the present, but also for the
    future. Last year, the team announced its intention to build a
    privately funded arena in San Francisco, which is still going through
    the necessary approvals. If all goes well, the ownership group hopes to
    have it open in time for the 2017-18 season.” THATZ EIGHT HUNDRED MILLION FOLKS!!…and this after Forbes valued the team at 555 Million just last JAN, only seven months back!

  • Gary

    Reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield in Caddy Shack, every time there was a problem he would reach in his pocket and throw $100 bills around the room. I still don’t know why anyone wants this circus of thieves back in town.

    • art thiel

      Seattle has been in the unique position of seeing for seven years running the slimy underbelly of a pro sports league. It has been a genuine turnoff for some (now former) fans, but I suspect that the majority of Sonics fans won’t let thinking override feelings. As some responders to this thread attest.

      • Gary

        Sad but true enough