Wednesday, August 26

Collison: Hometown Hero

We're probably the last ones on the internets to write about this, but a couple of weeks ago, former Seattle Supersonic Nick Collison did something amazing: he spoke the truth.

Unlike most professional athletes, who are trained at an early age to tow the company line, Collison , revealed seemed to imply in a recent interview that he (shudder) actually wishes he were still here in Seattle! After the interview, I'm sure a lot of Oklahomans felt the same way.

Don't worry, Nick. After sticking up for Seattle, you'll always be welcome back in the Emerald City. Heck, you might even consider a write-in campaign for mayor!

Wednesday, August 19

Nickels, Sonics To Meet Similar Fates?

Results are still not complete, but it appears as though Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will soon be facing a fate similar to the one he created for the Seattle Sonics last summer:


With half the votes counted, The Seattle Times reports that Nickels trails two other candidates, Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan, in the mayoral primary, meaning the two-time incumbent would be on the outside looking in for the final race this fall.

It's hard to say just how much impact Nickels' shameful handling of the Sonics' debacle played in his candidacy, but consider this - the current tabulation of voting percentages stands at:

McGinn 26.6
Mallahan 25.77
Nickels 25.06

That's an extremely close race, with fewer than 1,000 votes keeping Nickels out of the election this fall. Obviously, with a race this tight and ballots not completely counted, things could change in the days to come, but it certainly begs the question:

Is it possible that when Greg Nickels sealed the fate of the Seattle SuperSonics last July, he simultaneously sealed his own fate as well?

Tuesday, August 11

Thursday, August 6

Rashard Lewis: Busted

I've got to be honest - of all the possible candidates in the NBA to be caught with excess testosterone in their blood, Rashard Lewis might have ranked at the bottom.

Right next to Luke Ridnour or Darius Miles.

I mean, come on, the guy's thinner than the premise of a Rick Reilly column, for crying out loud!

But, there you go, according to ESPN, Lewis will be suspended for 10 games at the start of the 09-10 season after DHEA was detected in his bloodstream.

I'm sure thousands of words will be uttered in the NBA universe about how this is "the tip of the iceberg" in regards to steroids and the league. We'll hear the requisite "it was a matter of time" stuff, the "does this taint the Magic's title run" stories, and the "who's next" speculation.

For now, though, we're left with this question to ponder: How bad a rebounder would Rashard be if he didn't take the drugs?

Huh, I Would've Thought Sir Mix-A-Lot Would've Gotten There First ...

Tacoma rappers Bound By Honor are just about to head on a national tour, and Tacoma Weekly caught up with the fellas just in time to find out that two of Supersonicsoul's favorite people were the subject of one of their songs.

Mic Dailey is the sports fan of the two. One of the songs on the new album has him spitting some venom at Clay Bennett, who purchased the Seattle SuperSonics and moved them to Oklahoma City, and Howard Schultz, the head of Starbucks who sold the team to Bennett.

“We really pulled some wild $#!% on this album,” Big John said. “Me and Mic reached deep on this.”

(as reported by John Larson in Tacoma Weekly)

Tuesday, August 4

Jersey Logos: Thank You, But No

Have you ever had a friend who saw the value of his home skyrocket, so much so that if he sold his place, he could move to Cannes, settle in, and never have to work again for the rest of his life?

I’m sure we all know that guy … got average grades in school, not particularly bright, but bought a house at the right time and the right place, and now he’s got it made.

Now imagine if that friend, let’s call him Joe, came to your house for dinner, and spent the entire evening whining about how he has to put a new roof in on his $7 million shack, the new tennis court he put in has a bump on one of the sidelines, and his spa’s been acting up. You’d want to smack him in the head, right?

Now imagine further that the reason that Joe’s house appreciated so much was because of the new park the city put in down the street from his home, with a swimming pool, pitch and putt golf course, and dog park.

And, befitting his lack of hubris, Joe decides the best way to raise funds for his refurbishments is to place a huge billboard on top of his house, so that all the folks at the park will see it. Sure, he’s nominally rich, but that’s in book money only, not in cold, hard cash.

I’ve just explained to you how much it burns me up when other folks bring up the idea of placing advertising on NBA jerseys.

I shouldn’t pick on Henry Abbott, and to be completely fair, he’s not the only who believes that a jersey logo is an express train headed directly for our station. Let’s set aside for a moment the validity of his argument that advertising revenues will subsidize lower ticket prices (okay, one quibble: think of how many ways in which the NBA has introduced advertising in our lifetimes: rotating half-court signs, signs around the center of the arena, signs on backboard stands, signs on concourses, ads on team websites … has anyone else noticed a decrease in ticket prices after all these advertising revenues were introduced? I didn’t think so.)

Instead let’s focus on just how much value a team receives every year simply by being in existence. Shown below is a chart detailing the return per year for each team in the league, based upon the price paid for the franchise, the year bought, and the total estimated value of the team based on figures created by Forbes magazine in 2008 (and, yes, I am aware that there are those who dispute Forbes’ figures; they are, however, a reasonably close approximation).

NBA team valuations

As you will notice, the average NBA team returns a value to its owner of $15,589,404 every year. This isn’t direct revenue from ticket sales, or popcorn, or luxury suites, any more than Joe receives a check in the mail because his house is now worth 7 million bucks. It is entirely possible that many of those teams lost money last year, or the year before, just as it is entirely possible that Joe spent too much on jetskis last year and his VISA bill is through the roof.

But put yourself in the position of being the friend of the newly-minted millionaire at that barbecue. When Joe complains to you about his sad lot in life, about how his $17 million house is killing him, about how he needs to put up that ridiculous billboard regardless of how offensive it is to everyone around him, what is your response?

If you’re anything like me, it’s something along the lines of, “Um, Joe, if it’s such a crappy deal, why don’t you just sell the damned thing already?”