NBA

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP Photo

The $2 billion sale of the L.A. Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is in limbo. Embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling is moving forward with his lawsuit against the NBA, saying he was forced unfairly to sell the team after his racist comments were made public.

Sterling this week called the NBA "a band of hypocrites and bullies" and "despicable monsters." And the Associated Press reports he's now hired several private investigators to dig up dirt on NBA commissioners and his fellow owners.

Does the NBA have anything to hide? KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says there's a crack in the NBA's case.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reportedly reached a deal to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. Sources told ESPN and other media that the agreement was signed Thursday night by the family trust of embattled owner Donald Sterling and has been sent to the NBA for final approval.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it’s not good news for Seattle.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

Hall of Fame center Bill Russell was arrested this week at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after Transportation Security Administration officials found a loaded gun in his luggage.

Russell was arrested Wednesday night as he attempted to go through security. Airport spokesman Perry Cooper confirmed Friday night that Russell was cited for having a weapon in a prohibited area. Russell's gun was confiscated and he was released.

Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press

NBA veteran center Jason Collins has become the first active male professional athlete in the major four American sports leagues to come out as gay.

Collins wrote a first-person account posted Monday on Sports Illustrated's website. The 34-year-old Collins has played for six NBA teams in 12 seasons. He finished this past season with the Washington Wizards and is now a free agent. He says he wants to continue playing.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

The battle between Seattle and Sacramento investors over the Kings basketball team has taken a few more turns. The most interesting one is the revelation that NBA commissioner David Stern appears to want to keep the team in Sactown.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains why.


HeelSports

As the NBA weighs whether to allow the Kings basketball team to move to Seattle from Sacramento, the league has to consider the possibility of an antitrust lawsuit.

Why should the Sacramento Kings be worth more than $500 million when they’re nowhere near the top of the league? Sports economist Roger Noll of Stanford University says it’s simple: a scarce supply of teams. That's by design, he says, because NBA owners want to keep their franchises valuable. And that exposes the league to a possible lawsuit. 

The Associated Press

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he has received approval from NBA Commissioner David Stern to present a counteroffer to the league from investors who would keep the Kings in California's capital city.

Speaking at the annual State of Downtown Breakfast on Tuesday, Johnson says the city is in a "six-week sprint" to put together a proposal for the NBA's Board of Governors to consider. The league's deadline for teams to apply for relocation is March 1.

IsoSports

Now that the Seattle City Council has given the green light for a $490 million NBA arena, investor Chris Hansen has to find a team to play there.  We know Seattle's not getting the Lakers or the Heat. So which teams are likely prospects to move here?

Kurt Badenhausen, who covers the business of sports for Forbes, recently analyzed the NBA field to come up with a list of possibilities. Top among them is the Sacramento Kings.

Mike Kelley

A new professional basketball and hockey arena in Seattle could steal tax dollars from neighboring communities. That’s according to the analysis of University of Washington geography professor Bill Beyers, who has spent a lot of time studying the economic impact of professional sports.

Beyers has done previous analyses about the Mariners and Seahawks, as well as KeyArena.  As part of an expert panel, Beyers presented his initial thoughts on the proposed NBA and NHL arena to the King County Council.

David J. Phillip / AP Images

If the backers of a plan to build a new sports arena in Seattle's SoDo area are successful, they'll be looking to attract both a professional hockey club and a professional basketball team as marquis tenants.

Seattle and King County lawmakers are poring over the proposal's details. In the coming weeks they'll cast votes on the arena plan, its call for up to $200 million in public bonds (to be paired with $300 million in private funds), a plan championed by investor Chris Hansen.

camknows

Battle lines are being drawn between people who want a new basketball and hockey arena in Seattle and people who don’t. A town hall meeting at North Seattle Community College at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, July 10th, will give people a chance to speak out on the proposal. 

One issue likely to come up is whether the city is even big enough to support six professional sports teams.  The plan would add an NBA team and possibly an NHL team to the city's pro sports landscape of Seahawks, Mariners, Storm and Sounders. 

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has delivered a personal message to NBA Commissioner David Stern, saying the city is interested in having the league come back.

McGinn's spokesman Aaron Pickus said McGinn met with Stern in New York on Monday. A new ownership group took the Seattle Sonics to Oklahoma City in 2008. Now playing as the Thunder, Oklahoma City faces the Miami Heat when the NBA finals begin Tuesday.

KPLU

A study has found that Seattle's SoDo neighborhood can handle the traffic that may come from building a third sports arena in the area.

The study was released Wednesday by the City of Seattle and paid for by Chris Hansen, the developer who wants to build an 18,000-seat facility that could house an NBA and an NHL franchise near where the Mariners and Seahawks play.

For 45 minutes at City Hall Wednesday night, would-be arena mogul Chris Hansen calmly answered questions from politicians, bureaucrats and agency heads who reflected Seattle’s pain from repeatedly getting kicked in the bicuspids by pro sports owners, starting with the loss of the Seattle Pilots in 1970.

In the sometimes lame give-and-take, he made a point lightly understood but significant for grasping why his idea is different than those of his sporting predecessors more practiced in the art of shoe-leather dentistry.

“Our equity in this project is larger than the city (and county combined),” he said. “Are we going to risk a $600 million investment over a $2 million annual shortfall?”

Monica Spain / KPLU

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced at a press conference this afternoon that the city has received a proposal to bring NBA and NHL back to Seattle. He said the new facility would be 'self-funded' but would include public money upfront.

McGinn said $200 million from city and county would be invested, but the funds would be paid back through rent and tax revenue generated at the new facility. He said guarantees for paying back the money would be in the agreement.

"The $200 million investment from the county and city would be repaid (from) revenue that would not otherwise exist," McGinn said.

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