Daily Gossip, Wednesday 29/4/15

Remember when rumours regarding a Seattle-based NBA franchise were swirling around? Well it’s back again.

A NEW MULTIPURPOSE ARENA IN IN SEATTLE

The Mayor of a Seattle suburb, Tukwila has written letters to the Commissioners of the NHL and the NBA about a new arena being planned in their area.

Apparently, it can facilitate an ice hockey and basketball team.

The Sacramento Kings nearly moved to Seattle in 2013 before the proposed bid came apart.

Via AP:

Mayor Jim Haggerton sent letters to Bettman and Silver in November expressing support for the proposal from The Russell Group, which includes prospective NHL owner Ray Bartoszek. Haggerton wrote the city has created a “special opportunity district” around a commuter rail station in the area where the arena would be built “to facilitate greater intensities and uses.”

The documents included rough sketches of where the arena would sit, next to Interstate 405, with potential parking structures and a hotel on the property.

At a meeting of the Associated Press Sports Editors last week in New York, Bettman said he knows there is interest in the Seattle area getting an NHL team but added that the lack of an arena remains the hurdle.

“We believe there are substantial people interested in owning a franchise there, and I’m not surprised because I think it would be a great market for NHL hockey,” Bettman said. “But there’s a threshold issue which relates to the arena. … Somebody’s got to be in a position to execute. And as of this point, Seattle isn’t there yet. Obviously, if it gets to that point, and the interest from potential ownership continues, it will catch our attention.”

The release of the documents comes about a week before Seattle is expected to release its final environmental impact statement on a proposed arena just south of downtown. A memorandum of understanding is in place with investor Chris Hansen, the city and King County for arena funding but only if Hansen is able to secure an NBA franchise. The MOU has a five-year window that expires in late 2017.

BARGNANI CAN’T WAIT TO PLAY FOR ITALY

The New York Knicks big man also maintains his loyalty to the NBA and is determined to make it work.

Via La Gazzetta dello Sport:

Bargnani will be unrestricted free agent from July and he intends to remain in the NBA.

“I am happy with the Knicks. I love the city and the organization. There is an important project here” Bargnani told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I will consider all the offers I receive from July. I want to remain in the NBA. And I will. I am at the peak of my basketball career and I want to win in the NBA” added Il Mago who talked also about Italian National Team. “It is time to do something important. It is not the first time that we are a good team. But we have to make sacrifices to win. National Team is not like a club and there are no reasons to be egoists. Eurobasket is going to be a great opportunity for all of us. I can’t wait to play with Italy”.

 RONDO, MAVS REPORTEDLY PART WAYS

In honesty, this is not surprising news, but while not confirmed, ESPN have reported that Dallas Mavericks has parted ways with guard Rajon Rondo.

The suspected back injury tat Rondo had, apparently was to “save the face”.

Via ESPN:

The day after the benching—April 22—the point guard and team “made a mutual decision to part ways … framing the reasoning as a back injury as a favor to try to help the four-time All-Star point guard save face,”