Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sonics reach out to pet the dog, and the dog bits off 4.1 fingers

SEATTLE - ESPN 710's Kevin Calabro had the "Highly Anticipated" interview with NBA Commish David Stern on Friday, June 5th.

(Show link and audio ishere!)

There was nothing new in the interview. There was nothing new in the reaction of the callers to the radio station afterward, either.

I think a few thoughts before listening to any interview with David Stern, I think he:
Does not own an NBA team, so he can not make promises involving something he does not own.

When talking to the press about a particular franchise he is paid to always take the position of the owner of a given franchise, that is why it looks like he is talking out of both sides of his mouth, they are not his words.

When talking to a particular owner he is speaking on behalf of the other 29 other owners.

He has the right as the Commish to rule on arenas and the revenue the league requires. So, he has said KeyArena needs a remodel paid for by mostly public money (Howard Schultz), then a new arena paid for by public money (Clayton Bennett), then a remodel of KeyArena would be fine and only half public money paid on the common public portions (Steve Ballmer).

A privately funded building would be fine if it were fine with some owner.
KeyArena would be fine as-is if some owner were willing to pay the league the balance of the revenue they require (10's of millions of dollars every year).

When talking to anybody about Seattle he has said the same thing for 7 years, his personal opinion is that he would rather have a team here.
I think that when he does give just his opinion that he really does want that to happen.
The problem is, I think, that he is rarely, ever, giving his opinion.

His "power" comes from the owners supporting what he says and does, voting on what they want him to say and do, and hiring him to say and do it through 2010.

The situation reminds me of a joke:
David Stern is standing next to a dog.

Sonics fans walk up to Mr. Stern and say, "does your dog bite?".

Stern says, "No."

Sonics reach out to pet the dog, and the dog bits off 4.1 fingers.

Sonics fans yell at Stern, WHAT the heck is wrong with you, you said your dog does not bite!!!!

Stern replies, "That's not my dog."

Have a great day,
Mike Baker


Peter said...

i get what you're trying to say. stern speaks for whoever owns a particular team, hence going to bat for schultz and bennett. he wouldn't broker a sale to ballmer of the original sonics because he was speaking for bennett at the time. that said, whatever we get done in the next 5 to 10 years, whether it be a renovation of keyarena or a new arena, as long as it is acceptable by whatever local ownership steps forward will be acceptable by the league.

Mr Baker said...

You got it.

Stern does have a giant ego, but to focus on that would miss the point, and the fact that his replacement may be a nicer person, but still do the same things.

Calabro might as well have asked Sternif we had an arena yet. Stern does not have any more control over that than he does over any particular owner.

Peter said...

kohl-welles just wrote this to me:

"Peter, I apologize for not having replied earlier. We learned just last week that the legislative fall committee assembly will be held October 2 and 3 which would likely be when a special session would take place if there is one as there'd be no extra cost to the taxpayers."

Anonymous said...

And now for some semi-related rambling. I was dreaming my eternal dream of a renovated Key Arena or a substantial indoor sports/entertainment venue in the Seattle area, when I came across this inspriring story regarding the immenent renovation of Pauley Pavilion and some of the challenges they face with a small footprint and reconfiguration of the seating bowl, as well as using an architecture firm based out of Seattle (NBBJ)instead of HOK, now Populus. It's intriguing to see something actually get done, even if its in another state, at the collegiate level, in this economy, done primarily with private funds etc, etc... We should be so lucky.

and this:,0,309420.story

Good times. Enjoy the Summer.

Peter said...

i'm just wondering, did calabro bring up this so called "chinese investor" idea in the interview? somebody on SC said that he did, i think.

Peter said...

in the same message i posted earlier, kohl-welles also said that she would "definitly" push for key arena if there is a special session. i also asked if she seen more support now that husky stadium was out of the bill, but she just replied "definitly". (with a !)

Peter said...

is it still the same in regards to a renovated key or new arena both being ok?

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. B., on a semi-related subject regarding the Century 20 SC renovation: Will this proposal ever get off the ground in your opinion? Out shear boredom and frustration I contacted the city and the school district regarding the maintenance and overall disrepair of Memorial Stadium forgetting that it is part of the overall renovation master plan, but nothing seems to be moving as far as another city council intiated tax increase or bond issue to support it. I recommended that the district sell it to the city, or to a city approved private developer (IE Vulcan) which would generate some revenue for the district. It's seems like a win-win situation.

Mr Baker said...

I'll start looking into it. I'll review the last few Seattle Center sub-committee meetings to see if the mentioned anything, then I will start climbing the Seattle Center org chart to get an answer. But, funding the plan should be a question for candidates wanting to be elected, or re-elected.

Past two weeks have been really busy for me, finals, graduation, etc.

State budget came out today, it dropped 482 million, they might be forced into special session in October anyway.

Mr Baker said...

now that my phone will copy and paste my life will get that much better.

Peter said...

regarding century 21 master plan: i actually think it is kind of stupid to make that much of an investment in seattle center without a major tenant in keyarena. seattle center will be a ghost town until there is a major tenant at keyarena. that said, do you think when the economy clears up and gets better, the city will try to get a major tenant back at keyarena again, or was this just a one shot thing? they are going to lose out to a private arena eventually unless they do something to the key.

Mr Baker said...

Getting people that were so sure about KeyArena being viable without the Sonics should have to answer the question about how the master plan should be funded and why it is, or is not, a smart investment since KeyArena does not have an anckor tenant.

Yes, a stupid investment. Yes, stupid letting the anchor tenant leave.

Anonymous said...

My take on the situation is this: It had been discussed in hushed tones (when we still had a team), in the past that the Memorial Stadium site would be a better place to build an arena rather than renovating the Key. The east side of the Seattle Center campus is more accessable for one, there's more commericial development on that side as well, and the bowl is already dug out. With all that being said the likelyhood of the school district, the city, and a potential buyer/leasee aquiring that land to develop it to build either a brand new arena to replace the key, renovating it as a soccer only venue (selling it to Vulcan)or actually making the Century 21 plan work seem to astronomically remote due to the economy, malaise, apathy and general incompetance. It would be nice to see some forward thinking on this subject from the Seattle leadership on it though.

MarkS said...

San Jose's Lacrosse team will be relocating to Everett and play at the Everett Events Center. Looks like they'll have two anchor tenents as compared to the Key Arena's one.

Anonymous said...

Everett, Kent and OKC (sigh) got Seattle's mojo. How could these "edge" cities one-up a world-class city like ours? Bellevue will be next to enter the arena game if this legislation doesn't pass by Decemeber 31st.