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Perspective means everything with NBA, Seattle speculation

Feb 6, 2012, 6:00 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2012, 11:35 am

By Pete Treperinas
Special to

With all the talk of the NBA coming back to Seattle, perspective means everything.

Steve Miletich of The Seattle Times and Tony Bizjak of The Sacramento Bee both joined “The Kevin Calabro Show” Monday and, not surprisingly, had different views on where the Sacramento Kings will be playing in the future.

Miletich co-wrote a piece for The Times over the weekend that detailed the recent work of Seattle native Christopher Hansen, who hopes to have an arena built to attract both the NBA and NHL. Miletich also reported on emails and documents between Seattle mayor Mike McGinn and Hansen that suggest they’ve been discussing a new arena plan in detail.

“Given what’s happening in Sacramento, what these documents show, I think you add all that up and these appear to be some very serious minded folks who’ve done their research,” Miletich said. “When you mention the NHL component, I think everyone agrees probably, that would have to be combined with NBA to make this work along with concerts and entertainment events so that venue is generating constant revenue.

“Given all those things, I’d say there’s a strong likelihood this could happen.”

In the Sonics’ final years in Seattle, some fans remained optimistic that owner Clay Bennett was genuine in his effort to keep the team in the Northwest. Citing KeyArena as unviable, Bennett eventually moved the team to Oklahoma City.

While the Kings seem to have more support from the NBA than the Sonics had, they still need around $200 million in private funding for a new building.

Bizjak maintains some optimism that an arena deal will get finalized before the NBA-implemented March 1 deadline.

“Our sense is that David Stern does like Sacramento, does recall the days when we packed the arena for [a] decade-plus every night and would like to see a deal in Sacramento,” he said. “At the moment I would say that the NBA is quite focused on seeing if they can make a deal work in Sacramento for a new arena.”

Both Bizjak and Miletich pointed out how Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof have consistently said they don’t intend to sell the team. But as Sonics fans learned with Bennett’s group, talk is cheap.

“Given that there’s this March 1 deadline for Sacramento to come up with an arena deal — a satisfactory arena deal to the NBA — things can change very quickly, so you know, people say those things,” Miletich said of the Maloofs.

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Perspective means everything with NBA, Seattle speculation