Steve Ballmer's Not Bringing the NBA Back to Seattle Anytime Soon

Reputable local news outlets have been ablaze with speculation that Steve Ballmer's recent big-dough Microsoft stock cash-out means he's freeing up loot to buy the NBA's Sacramento Kings and relocate them to Seattle. Granted, Ballmer was part of a group of wealthy businessmen who made an 11th-hour effort to buy the Sonics before they fled to Oklahoma City, the Kings are in trouble due to lackluster public response to their desire for a new arena (sound familiar, Seattle?), and it was ultimately determined that the rumor was a dud. But one could argue, based on remarks NBA Commissioner David Stern made a little more than two weeks ago, that it shouldn't have gotten any traction in the first place.

On October 22, Stern reportedly said that if the likes of the Kings or Memphis Grizzlies are deemed unfit to carry on competing, odds are the league, purportedly facing dire financial circumstances, would likely consider contraction before relocation or expansion. Now, consider the source when taking these claims with a snowball's worth of salt, but it certainly doesn't seem like optimal terrain for the NBA to replant its flag in the Emerald City anytime soon.

But, hey, as long as the Sonicsgate guys keep traveling to Portland whenever the Thunder visit (that) town, the dream is alive, albeit on life support.

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