Saturday, November 6

Ballmer makes his move

"The 'Ballmer' is in MY court, now! Get it? BALLmer?"

So, Steve Ballmer just sold off about two billion in stocks this week. Let me repeat that: the man who tried to buy the Seattle Supersonics a couple of years ago and has supposedly been looking to buy an NBA team to bring back to the Northwest suddenly has TWO BILLION DOLLARS in cash on hand. I wonder what he's going to buy with all that money?


GU said...

Over the years as we've discussed this whole situation many camps have sprung up. I fall into the camp that really hopes we do not "Bennett" another franchise from another city. I love basketball more than every other sport put together and loved (love?) the Sonics more than every other sport franchise put together, but I gave up on the NBA cold turkey and the thought of our city being so hypocritical just because David Stern is going to let us thieve another team and continue this poor arena roulette makes me almost as angry as Schultz selling off to Bennett and co. I'd love to have the NBA back in my life, but the only three ways that will happen is a) OKC comes back here (even that is bordering on not okay), b) expansion here, or c) when I have children, I will expose them to the highest level of the sport I love.

I appreciate Ballmer and his efforts, I'm just horrified at the trend that our great city/state could become an integral part of if this happens the way it looks like it could. Sacramento has some pretty hardcore fans; how can we put them through what we've been through? How can we be okay with somebody like Mr. Ballmer becoming another city's Clay Bennett?

nuss said...

I don't think it would be so bad, except that all of us (yours truly definitely included) whined so much after the Sonics left about how it was unfair.

Anyone closely involved with this crappy situation who says they're in favor of getting the Kings is a complete hypocrite from where I stand.

Paul said...

I agree that it would be a pretty shitty move to steal another team and play musical chairs with the NBA. As much as I love the Sonics and basketball, I don't know if I'd ever go back to the NBA. Another factor to consider: As much I like the idea of somebody using their own money to buy a team and build a stadium without using tax dollars, I'm also appalled at someone throwing down 2 BILLION dollars for what's essentially a hobby when so many people are out of work and can't pay the bills. (there's no proof that Ballmer is doing this--I'm just talking about the idea)

nuss said...

I have less of a problem with Ballmer spending $2 billion of his own money than I do with the city and/or state spending $150 mil. or what have you of taxpayers' money on a new arena.

After all, if you're going to start accusing people of wasting money while others are starving/out of work, then how about the amount we spend on cable TV, video games, etc., that are clearly not necessities? But, hey, that's our money and if we want to squander it, then that's our right. I'm much more bugged when the government spends money it steals from us and turns around and wastes it on these ponzi-scheme arenas.

Paul said...

Well, like I said, I have real mixed feeling about this. Obviously, I'd rather have someone spend their own money on an arena than use tax money, and a small, selfish part of me would want to erect a statue of that crazy bald bastard if he were to do this (which I really doubt he will). What I'm saying is TWO BILLION DOLLARS could make a real difference in society, certainly a lot more than the meager dollars I waste on entertainment every month (which isn't very much because I'm poor).

In the end, though, I fully support the all-American right to blow our money on whatever stupid shit we want to.

GU said...

God bless America. God bless the ~5% chance that this website becomes two billion times more relevant to the average schmoe.

I'm still pretty disgusted if this thing comes full circle in Seattle, but I have to admit that I'll eventually jump back in.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you guys forgetting the amount of money having a team generates for the restaurants? Hey, it's all about reinvigorating those businesses around the Key, right? We CARE about them!

Wait, the new arena's going to be on the Eastside? Then fuck those losers by the Key, it's all about the Eastside businesses, THOSE are the ones we care about!!

God, I love how the Save Our Sonic people change their slogans quicker than a GP fastbreak alley-oop.

-STEVEN, in Spokane

Paul said...

@Steven - I think you hit the nail on the head, there.

Anonymous said...

i just want to bring this up to everyone who says "oh god no we cant steal a team form another state" they have more then one team. golden state is only a little more then one hour away. its not like here where we have to drive more then twice that amount to see a blazer game. so im really happy this might happen

Anonymous said...

knowing tha the kings have already been moved from a city and califonia has plenty of teams, i wouldnt fret too bad about taking them to seattle.
fans of the sonics didnt point there fingers at okc , if the big boys want ridicule from one side and appraisal from the other.... let nature take its course..

thomas said...


It's 90 miles from Sacto to Oakland. Say you're heading to a Thursday night game between the Warriors and Lakers (or Seattle SonicKings!). If you think you can leave at 6 pm to make a 7 pm game you're flipping insane. That's a minimum 2-hour drive with traffic, unless it's either Sat. or Sun. night, and even then it's still at least 1 1/2 hours to get there. (Trust me, I lived in that area in the late 90s, and there's always traffic).

Look at it this way - if you want to see NBA basketball and you live in Sacto if/when the Kings leave, you're looking at 4 hours in your car. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that pretty much what it takes to drive to Portland and back from Seattle?

If you want to have the NBA back in Seattle, that's fine, go ahead and take the Kings. Just don't lie about how it's not a big deal to people in Sacramento. It's going to suck for them just as bad as it sucks for us.

Hiawatha said...

I understand why people would be hesitant to move a team from another city to Seattle, which is why if there was a team to "steal" let it be the Grizzlies. They've moved once before and are always on the brink of moving. The only way Seattle would get a team is through relocation. With the NBA's financial problems an expansion team is out of the question.

Not sure why people would criticize Ballmer for using his cash for a Sonics team and saying that it could be used for greater good. You have to look at his investment as a stimulus to the local economy. And it's not likely he'll spend 1.3 billion on a team alone (that's ridiculous), only a fraction of that would go towards the Sonics. That's not including partnerships from other local buyers. He should talk to Paul Allen to see how he worked the Seahawks' deal with Qwest.