The Seattle Storm have been sold to a local ownership group. Terms of the sale were finalized in the last couple of days for around $10 million dollars. It's still pending league approval, but that's really a formality, as all four majority owners seem to have deep enough pockets to fund the WNBA franchise. Plus, one (Anne Levinson, former Seattle Deputy Mayor) has experience in owning a women's team, in the Seattle Reign of the now-defunct ABL.
And really, there was no reason for Clay Bennett to keep the Storm. Oklahoma may or may not be a city worthy of an NBA team (I have my doubts, but then again, Salt Lake City does well enough), but why would Donna Orender let a team with a passionate fan-base just slip away? Why would Bennett keep a team that was little more than an albatross around his neck?
Will this have any affect on the Sonics? Probably not. There's WAY too much money to be had. Even if the Sonics tank in Oklahoma, there's still the honeymoon period, and at the end of that time frame (around 4-5 years), Bennett can sell out, make an obscene amount of money, and then ride his deathmobile back down to Hell. Now that Professor Heartbreak has sold off the one piece of baggage that would have dragged his purchase down, the only thing keeping him in Seattle is the Key's lease... which he's trying to get around.
So, rest easy, Storm fans. Your precious franchise is safe... for now. There's no telling what the new CBA deal will do to the WNBA, or whether or not players will continue to play in the US for less money than in Europe, or a million of different things. But for now, raise thy mugs of mead and giveth thanks to the Gods of War.
How does this affect the New York Liberty, you might ask? It's a decent question, as this IS a Lib blog. Beside being about the WNBA, it also has to deal with the health of the league in general. Look, four women aren't going to pony up 10 million (with the potential to lose over six figures a year) just to say that they own a basketball team. There is room for growth here, and that should send a good feeling gut-punch to every WNBA fan out there.
All right. That's all I got. I just wanted to let you guys know.
See ya, Space Cowboy...
I completely missed it. Loree Moore has signed with Vologda-Chevakata, a Russian club that is heading to the 2008 EuroCup. Her first playoff game with the team is tonight against Hemofarm Vrsac. Did I spell either of those teams' names right? It sounds like I need to cough up some phlegm whenever I pronounce some of those Russian team names.
Oh yeah, and Pat Coyle has a post up on Hoopla. I give her a hard time, but she's a decent coach and has some interesting stuff to say.
For real this time, peace...