Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NBA back to Vancouver?

Despite what you may read in the Globe and Mail today, as cool as it would be to have an NBA team back in Vancouver, it probably won't happen.

Obviously, Vancouver is a sizeable enough market with enough cash to provide for a third major sports team (Whitecaps FC are set to debut in Major League Soccer this spring) but is the passion really there? Vancouver was sold-out by NBA commissioner David Stern from the moment the expansion draft was set up to when he allowed Michael Heisley to move the franchise despite strong attendance numbers. Those two events bookended a franchise that was marred by mis-management, poor play, NBA-worst records and Steve Francis.

After Stern moved the Sonics south to Oklahoma City out of Seattle, is it safe to say that the Pacific Northwest trusts the NBA anymore? With Chris Bosh's unceremonious-yet-somewhat-justified departure from the Toronto Raptors, the NBA doesn't give off the impression that smaller teams can be competitive.

We've seen this tactic before, where an owner or a commissioner will publicly suggest relocation for a franchise that needs corporate dollars to pony up, or if they're looking for publicly-funded upgrades to their arena (or a new arena itself).

Cliff's notes: Don't trust David Stern.

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