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Former Kitsap Sun sports editor Chuck Stark shares insight, laughter, news, views and analysis of Kitsap sports and beyond.
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Archive for the ‘Seattle SuperSonics’ Category

Hansen: Odds of landing Kings aren’t ‘impossible’

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

If Chris Hansen is going to lose his battle to bring the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, he’s going to go down fighting.

Despite an unfavorable 7-0 vote from the NBA’s relocation committee on Monday, Hansen wrote the following on his sonicsarena.com site:

“While we are disappointed with the relocation committee’s recommendation, we just wanted to let you all know that we remain fully committed to seeing this transaction through.

“As you are all well aware, we have a binding transaction to purchase the Kings for what would be a record price for an NBA franchise, have one of the best ownership groups ever assembled to purchase a professional sports team in the U.S., have clearly demonstrated that we have a much more solid arena plan, have offered a much higher price than the yet to be finalized Sacramento group, and have placed all of the funds to close the transaction into escrow.

“As such, we plan to unequivocally state our case for both relocation and our plan to move forward with the transaction to the league and owners at the upcoming Board of Governors meeting in mid-May.”

The odds don’t look good, but Sacramento still has some hoops to jump through, and Hansen still has a binding agreement with the Maloof family to buy the Kings. And the Board of Governors, comprised of league owners, could vote in Hansen’s favor.

Hansen said the odds aren’t impossible of turning the Kings into the Seattle SuperSonics. He wrote on his site:

“When we started this process everyone thought it was impossible. While this represents yet another obstacle to achieving our goal, I just wanted to reassure all of you that we have numerous options at our disposal and have absolutely no plans to give up. Impossible is nothing but a state of mind.”

All along, I’ve felt the NBA should keep the Kings in Sacramento and award Seattle an expansion team. There’s been no talk of expansion and it likely won’t happen until David Stern, the commissioner, steps down 2014 in Feb ruary of 2014. I’m still holding out hope that it will happen. If you have two wealthy ownership groups — and both are willing to build new arenas — it seems like it would be a win-win situation for every owner in the league. It will only drive up the value of existing franchises. Hansen and his ownership group, which includes Steve Ballmer, have ponied up a league-record $550,000 million to purchase the Kings’ franchise. Money, as they say, talks, doesn’t it?


Ex-UW/WSU/PLU coach Marv Harshman passes at age 95

Friday, April 12th, 2013

One of our state’s treasures, Marv Harshman, died today at age 95.

He was one of the classiest gentlemen I ever interviewed, and one of the greatest athletes and coaches in state history. He played and coached at Pacific Lutheran, before becoming the head basketball coach at Washington State and Washington. He twice turned down offers to coach the Seattle SuperSonics. He was considered a master when it came to teaching basketball. He was known for his ability to work with big men, and for coaching a matchup zone defense that gave opponents fits.

Former Sun colleague Terry Mosher wrote “Harsh” — a book about the Lake Stevens legend. It published in 1994 and offers a lot of insight into the Hall of Fame basketball coach who never got the national acclaim he deserved, mostly because of a coach (John Wooden) and team (UCLA) that dominated college basketball during Harshman’s era.

Here’s a column I wrote after interviewing Harshman at a book signing in 1994.

 


State has no shortage of NBA guards

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Here’s a trivia question for any NBA fans out there. And, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the possible move of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. That seemed like a slam-dunk six weeks ago. Now, not so much. One gets the feeling David Stern is working some creepy behind-the-scenes magic to keep the team in Sac-town. And I’m OK with that, as long as the league delivers Seattle an expansion team that will being play no later than the 2015-16 season, which is when Chris Hansen’s new arena in SoDo is expected to be completed and ready to open.

Anyway, back to the trivia question? How many guards on NBA rosters played their high school or college basketball in the state of Washington? Hint, it’s probably more than you think. (Answer below).

Before I get to the answer, there are four e four NBA forwards from the state: Martell Webster (Seattle Prep), Washington Wizards; Marvin Williams (Bremerton), Utah Jazz; Aron Baynes (Washington State), San Antonio Spurs; Quincy Pondexter (Washington), Memphis Grizzlies.  Of that foursome, Webster’s the top player, averaging 11.9 points and 3.9 rebounds. Williams’ play has really tailed off this season. The former B-town star is averaging a career low 7.4 ppg and 3.6 rpg for the Jazz, but has been nagged by a series of ailments. The latest is a tendinitis in his right heel.

And there’s three centers: Spencer Hawes (Seattle Prep/Washington), Philadelphia 76ers; Robert Sacre (Gonzaga), LA Lakers; Ronny Turiaf (Gonzaga), LA Clippers. Hawes averages 11 ppg, 7.3 rpg. He averaged 14 points in March while playing the best basketball of his career.

That brings us back to the trivia question. How many guards?

Did you say 14? By my count, that’s how many were in the league last week. But Dallas didn’t sign Justin Dentmon (Washington) to a second 10-day contract, so there’s only 13. That’s still a pretty high number, don’t ya think? (Update: There are 14; Justin Holiday is now in the league after signing with Philadelphia in early April).

They are, in no special order:

Nate Robinson (Rainier Beach/Washington), Chicago Bulls. Nate the Great came off the bench to score 35 points in 33 minutes on Thursday in an overtime win over the Knicks. The season-long injury to Derrick Rose gave Robinson an opportunity in Chicago and he’s averaging 14.4 ppg in his seventh NBA season.

Jason Terry (Franklin/Arizona), Boston Celtics. The veteran averages 10.2 points, coming off the bench for the Celtics.

Avery Bradley  (Bellarmine Prep/Texas), Boston Celtics. Former backcourt partner with UW’s Abdul Gaddy, who was the higher-rated player out of high school, averages 9.1 points. Injuries have limited this quick, defensive-oriented player to 47 games, but he had stretches early where he really played well.

Terrance Williams (Rainier Beach/Louisville), Boston Celtics. Yep, three state players on the C’s roster. Williams was in Spain earlier this season and is getting limited minutes. Technically I suppose, you’d list T-Williams as a G-F.

Rodney Stuckey (Kentwood/Eastern Washington), Detroit Pistons. I still remember him coming off a screen and hitting a deep jumper in front of press row in the 2004 Class 4A state finals victory against South Kitsap. “That was an NBA jump shot,” I remember saying to the guy next to me. Stuckey’s coming off the bench now, but he’s still an above-average NBA guard, averaging 11.7 points.

Terrance Ross (Washington), Toronto Raptors. Averages 6.2 points per game in rookie season.

Luke Ridnour (Blaine/Oregon), Minnesota Timberwolves. Ridnour’s probably a better player now than he was in Seattle years ago. Averages 11.6 points. 3.8 assists in his 9th season. He was the 14th overall pick in the 2003 draft by the Sonics.

Brandon Roy (Garfield/Washington), Minnesota Timberwolves. Perhaps the greatest guard to come out of our state, Roy came back for one more season, but appeared in just five games before his knee gave out on him again.

Tony Wroten (Garfield/Washington), Memphis Grizzlies. A classic case of a player who needed more time in college to refine his game, but you can’t blame him for turning pro, not with the money they’re throwing at guys these days. He’s getting 8.5 minutes a game, all of it garbage time, with the Griz.

Aaron Brooks (Franklin/Oregon)m, Houston Rockets. Fourth-year player’s once-promising career seems to be headed in another direction. He was let go by Sacramento and picked up by the Rockets, but isn’t getting much court time.

Isaiah Thomas (Curtis/Washington), Sacramento Kings. The second-year guard has matured into a really good player in just his second season. Thomas averages 14 points, 3.9 assists and would become an huge fan favorite if the Kings move to Seattle.

Klay Thompson (Washington State), Golden State Warriors. Second-year pro seems destined for stardom. Averages 16.4 points while shooting at a 40 percent clip. His genes are pretty good. His dad Mychal Thompson was the top overall pick in the 1978 NBA draft. He won two rings with the Lakers. His mom played volleyball at the University of San Francisco. Older brother Mychel Thompson played basketball at Pepperdine. Younger brother Trayce Thompson is an outfielder and the top prospect in the White Sox’s minor league organization.

Jamal Crawford (Rainier Beach/Michigan), LA Clippers. Crawford could always score, and he’s not slowing down at age 33. The 8th overall pick out of Michigan in 2000, the 12-year pro is averaging 16.9 points off the bench and could be this year’s Sixth Man of the Year award winner.

Justin Holiday (Washington), Philadelphia 76ers. Holiday was signed to a 10-day contract at the start of the month. He’s a strong defender who was playing in the NBA D League. He joins his brother, Jrue Holiday, in Philadelphia. Jrue is Philly’s leading scorer.

 


Sonicsgate producers speaking at KAR meeting at McClouds on Feb. 27

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Seattle’s Jason Reid and Adam Brown, producers of the award-winning documentary Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team will be the guest speakers at the Wednesday, Feb. 27 Kitsap Athletic Roundtable meeting at McClouds Grill House (2901 Perry Avenue, east Bremerton).

Sonicsgate, which won a 2010 Webby Award for Best Sports Film, chronicles the Seattle SuperSonics’ history and tells the story about the franchise’s controversial exit from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008. The two-hour film, which is available on the Internet, was updated and re-cut for television last year.

Reid and Brown spent a considerable amount of their own time, energy and money in keeping the Seattle region interested in getting another NBA team.

When news broke last month that Seattle native Chris Hansen had purchased a controlling interest of the Sacramento Kings, Reid said in an interview on KIRO-FM radio that it gave him “goose bumps.”

Reid was on a panel that discussed Hansen’s SoDo Arena plan on a weekly public affairs channel in Seattle. He also appeared recently on ESPN’s Between The Lines.

The goal with the Sonicsgate movement was to motivate a guy like Hansen to put money up and get an NBA team back in the Seattle market, said Reid.

“We wanted to put pressure on the NBA and let the rest of the nation know the team didn’t leave because of a lack of fan support,” Reid said.

Reid and Brown will also share their thoughts on the possibility of NBA basketball returning to KeyArena next season. The duo recently wrote a letter to Sacramento Kings fans that was posted at Grantland.com. It included this message:

We know the gamut of emotions losing your hometown team can inspire. To that point, our film ends with this poignant realization by author and Sonics fan Sherman Alexie:

“If we get a team, it’s going to be somebody else’s team … To get a team, I’m going to have to break the hearts of people just like me.”

The meeting starts with a 5:30 p.m. social hour with the dinner program to follow. Cost is $25 ($20 for members). Invite a friend. This should be a fun night. The KAR will raffle off some prizes and McClouds features some of the best food around.

 


Sonicsgate producers speaking at KAR meeting at McClouds on Feb. 27

Friday, February 15th, 2013
Seattle’s Jason Reid and Adam Brown, producers of the award-winning documentary Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team will be the guest speakers at the Feb. 27 Kitsap Athletic Roundtable meeting at McClouds Grill House (2901 Perry Avenue, east Bremerton).

Sonicsgate, which won a 2010 Webby Award for Best Sports Film, chronicles the Seattle SuperSonics’ history and tells the story about the franchise’s controversial exit from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008. The two-hour film, which is available on the Internet, was updated and re-cut for television last year.

Reid and Brown spent a considerable amount of their own time, energy and money in keeping the Seattle region interested in getting another NBA team. When news broke last month that Seattle native Chris Hansen had purchased a controlling interest of the Sacramento Kings, Reid said in an interview on KIRO-FM radio that it gave him “goose bumps.”

The goal with the Sonicsgate movement was to motivate a guy like Hansen to put money up and get an NBA team back in the Seattle market, said Reid.

“We wanted to put pressure on the NBA and let the rest of the nation know the team didn’t leave because of a lack of fan support,” Reid said.

Reid and Brown will also share their thoughts on the possibility of NBA basketball returning to KeyArena next season. The duo recently wrote a letter to Sacramento Kings fans that was posted at Grantland.com. It included this message:

We know the gamut of emotions losing your hometown team can inspire. To that point, our film ends with this poignant realization by author and Sonics fan Sherman Alexie:

“If we get a team, it’s going to be somebody else’s team … To get a team, I’m going to have to break the hearts of people just like me.”

The meeting starts with a 5:30 p.m. social hour with the dinner program to follow. Cost is $25 ($20 for members). Invite a friend. This should be a fun night. The KAR will raffle off some prizes and McClouds features some of the best food around. There’s a chance an ex-Sonic might make an appearance, but that has not been confirmed.

While we’re it, the Seattle Times recently introduced a new Sonics’ blog — Seattle in the NBA. You can follow the latest news about the possible sale of the Kings to Seattle saga.

 

 


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