Friday, December 12, 2008
Kris Gardner of the Houston Roundball Review asks why the comets disbanded when Gardner's sources stated that at least two groups were interested in buying the Comets and keeping them in Houston.
The answer, as always, is money. My understanding is that even though the WNBA was operating the Houston Comets, Koch still owned the Comets. The WNBA was basically spending its money to keep the Comets alive and acting as his real estate broker, shopping the Comets around.
I'm sure, however, that months ago someone came up with the obvious conclusion. "We can either act as a broker, and sell the Comets - and all of the money ends up in Hilton Koch's hands. We might get a deal from Koch to recuperate the operating costs from him when we ran the team, but that's all we can hope for."
"Or, we can just let the Comets fold. Koch gets to take the entire loss. Furthermore, all of those binding agreements Koch made with other businesses like Reliant Arena also go under as well - no team, no agreements. We let the ground sit fallow for a year or two."
"We then let someone in Houston start a new team. The cost of the new franchise - $10 million - goes right into the league's coffers. Someone smart comes in, and they can negotiate a new set of deals and we look like winners. They can even call the team the Houston Comets. It's likely that Koch owns the 'colors and indicia' of the Comets, but he's hurting financially. If he owns those rights, we'll buy them back for a pittance. And if he doesn't want to sell those rights, then screw him, we'll just call the team the Houston Dynamos or something."
"Everyone's happy. The league makes cash. The Houston fans have a team. The new owners are happy. The press reports about the WNBA's renaissance. The only one who isn't happy is Koch, and who cares if he isn't happy?"
Gardner is right . Not ALL of the options to keep the Houston Comets alive were explored. Because the patient was worth more dead than he was alive.