Yes, Steve Ballmer might be leaving us for Los Angeles if the NBA accepts his $2 billion bid to buy the Clippers.
But the voice of the SuperSonics, Kevin Calabro, told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” that Seattle shouldn’t worry, even though Ballmer was a major player in Chris Hansen’s group that was trying to bring the NBA back to town.
“That’s like taking (lead guitarist Mike) McCready out of Pearl Jam. Are there other guys out there that can put a lick on that thing? Sure, you bet,” Calabro said. “All due respect to McCready, but you can find another lead guitar out there.”
With Ballmer at the helm, Calabro said the NBA is now a hot ticket for other billionaires looking to get into a sports franchise.
So where was that $2 billion last year when Ballmer and Hansen were trying to nab the Sacramento Kings?
Calabro doesn’t know. And where was it in 2006 when Clay Bennett snatched up the Sonics?
“How was Bennett able to sachet into town for $350 million and take this team from out beneath the city without somebody with deep pockets in Seattle stepping up to buy from Howard Schultz? To me that’s the big question.”
In the end, Calabro said Sonics fans need to remember the assets and forget the losses.
“The assets are: great market, we know that, legacy of basketball, we’ve proven that, you’ve got one of the top TV markets in the country, and a population base of better than 3 million in a two county area,” Calabro said.
It also helps to have a new commissioner who has come out publicly and said the NBA would love to get back into the Seattle market. Plus, there’s Hansen’s team, a Memo of Understanding with local government, and interest from the NHL.
“You just have to be patient,” Calabro said.