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We’ve noticed that a big red triangle shape had been added to the Sonics’ practice complex located at the west end of the Seattle Center parking lot on Mercer. We find out tonight that it houses the new offices and locker room for the Storm!

The paint is barely dry, the furniture just in place and the new complex is being opened to the public for the first time. We find out that the final construction was finished just 24 hours before the doors open. After touring the facility, the Storm management holds a Q&A in the practice center.

Karen Bryant, Coach Dunn, Wally Walker and Sonja Henning are at the front and take questions. Karen starts out and discusses the recent sale of the Sonics and Storm from the Ackerleys to the Basketball Club of Seattle. She acknowledges the massive contributions that the Ackerleys have made over the years, including acquiring the Storm franchise from the WNBA. Several members of the Ackerley family are here and all get an appreciative round of applause.

Karen tells us that the Storm are, at this point, the only WNBA team with their own training facility (shared with the Sonics of course), and the only team with their own practice locker room. As amazing as that sounds, it is true.

The crowd begins asking some good questions. For instance, someone asks when the WNBA schedule might move out of the summer and run along with the regular NBA schedule. Karen answers that this is a concern of the league and it is something under consideration. The focus now is to get the league into the black. One of the league initiatives is to push the average attendance up to 10,000 for all teams. Until this happens, things like lengthening the schedule or moving it may have to wait.

Several people ask Coach what she’s going to do with the first draft pick. She says that she will tell us all exactly what she will do. She will trade the first pick for 2 or more likely 3 veterans who will produce immediately, or she will take Lauren Jackson, Jackie Stiles, Ruth Riley, Tamika Catchings, Katie Douglas, or some other top college or international player. Simple. Don’t ever play poker with this woman.

Angie asks Karen about a possible organized trip down to Portland for a Storm away game. Karen tells us that they are talking with Amtrak about a potential train trip, but even if that doesn’t come through something will be planned (we have since learned that a bus trip is potentially being planned for the July 4th game, details pending).

There are some additional questions that we unfortunately can’t remember (we weren’t taking notes yet – sorry). The crowd then goes over to the Key for a Sonics game. We are getting seriously pumped for the new season.

 

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