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Commentary: The NHL, Seattle are star-crossed lovers, yet the NBA shouldn’t be the villain anymore

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Valentine’s Day Weekend is the perfect time to revisit the story of star-crossed lovers, whose marriage continues to be thwarted by external forces.

Not Romeo and Juliet; but instead, this region – and the NHL.

There’s no question that the love affair continues to gain momentum, thanks to recent comments from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who acknowledged the intriguing possibility of a Seattle franchise and who also met with Mayor Ed Murray. Reports of alternate locations in Tukwila and Bellevue have been floated in the last week, given the delays with the Environmental Impact Survey for a SODO Arena – and the fleeting feasibility of amending the current Memorandum of Understanding to make SODO an NHL-first complex.

Thanks to the villain in this case – which continues to be the NBA, now led by commissioner Adam Silver – this process is painstakingly longer and more complex than it ever should have been.

How simple could it have been? The NBA gets a new television contract with more revenue, it then awards Seattle a team it deserves, the arena is built – and the NHL follows.

Instead, Silver remains committed to continuing the David Stern tradition of turning his back on this city, even going so far as to say to Eldridge Recasner this weekend that he’s surprised Seattle hadn’t built a new arena yet. Really? Build an arena without the guarantee of a new team? Hey Adam – that’s like investing your life savings in a bottle of Rogaine and hoping your hair follicles come to life. Give me a break. You should know better than that.

That being said, all that hope we once gave a Silver-led NBA has fallen by the wayside, and it’s time to officially cut ties.

Until the NBA begins respecting us again, there’s no place for us to pander and beg. It’s pathetic. It’s like being dumped, and then pleading for a reconciliation by offering your retirement fund.

For now, we go forward by focusing on the girl who wants to go with us to the dance – the NHL - and our efforts to make it happen. If a SODO arena isn’t viable with NHL first, then we look elsewhere. We commend private investment groups reportedly looking at alternate sites to try to make it happen.

The evil villain of the NBA no longer has to factor in. Let the love affair between the NHL and this region continue and culminate with an arena and an expansion team.

And when that happens – and the NBA one day comes around and wants a piece of the pie – let THEM beg US to take them back instead.

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7 comments

  • William scott

    Way to go Adam, that was by far the best sports commentary I’ve seen since I moved to this great city 8 years ago. This is the best city in the country, if they don’t want to be here we don’t need them..we certainly don’t need a league whose All-star weekend had more recognizable names judging the slam dunk contest than actually played in the game.. Or a league where “tanking” is a viable strategy! it’s a weak product, more fluff than substance, it’s not worthy of Seattle.

  • Ron

    I hope Seattle embraces that same thinking because the NHL is 5 times what the NBA is in terms of pure sport, emotion, history and passion.

    College BB and the NBA are different, one’s a sport while the other is…well.. a 5 team league that allows star treatment regarding rules, includes 65 billion time outs at the end of every game and chest pounding after slamming home the ball when the score is 141 to 63….

    I love that you did not show the NBA all-star game highlights,…….awesome!

  • Tom

    I’d go one step further. Completely ignore the NBA, no regular season scores, no playoff scores, no NBA finals or draft coverage. This would make a huge statement

  • Bridsy

    YES! YES! YES! How has this not been recognized already that NHL first will inevitably just mean both sooner?? Is it not already clear how well the NHL would do here?? Look at the Sounders, once they became an MLS franchise and got some professional exposure out there, they absolutely erupted! I can’t wait to see the impact NHL hockey will have here! It’s a no brainer. The hockey community that exists here as it is is very alive and well, but off radar without the game being exposed by a professional team. This town deserves an NHL team! I have met a handful of people who are against the idea, none of which really knew much about hockey either. On the contrary, most people I’ve spoken to about it seem very enthusiastic about it and love the idea. Every existing hockey fan in this city (PLENTY of them here!) wants to see it happen, and I haven’t met one who doesn’t. Seattle already is a hockey town, it just doesn’t know it yet.

  • Damien Mizdow

    We have the Seahawks, Sounders, Mariners, Storm, a possible NHL team. The fan will support it. NBA made a big mistake leaving Seattle for OKC. Here is where the great teams play