James Donaldson, a former NBA All-Star, is planning to run for Seattle City Counsel in 2009. A former Seattle SuperSonic for his first three NBA seasons, Donaldson wants to clean up the disorganization with the Sonics 2008 exodus in an effort to bring the Sonics back, amongst other things. What better platform is there than Mayor of Seattle?
The previous Sonics venue, Key Arena, is no longer viable for NBA basketball; something the NBA and Donaldson both agree on. Other elected officials are of the mindset that with two world-class stadiums in town (Safeco Field and Qwest Field) a third isn’t logical, and the funds just aren’t there for it. Donaldson has his work cut out for him even reaching office, let alone rallying others and raising funds to support a Key Arena remodel or new stadium.
Donaldson, 51, spent 14 years playing in the NBA with five different teams. His lone all star game appearance came while playing for the Dallas Mavericks. At 7-foot-2, to the best of my knowledge, if he wins, he will become the tallest elected official in United States history. Tom McMillan who played in the NBA and was a Congressman was 6-foot-11.
On Friday, Donaldson joined Groz with Gas on KJR in Seattle to discuss his campaign plan and his outlook on bringing an NBA team back to Seattle:
“As I got more and more involved (in efforts to save the Sonics here in Seattle) in what’s happening around Seattle, and seeing more and more what needs to be done I kept thinking to myself ‘hey I’ve been studying and preparing myself for these kinds of things for the last 20-30 years.’ All my community involvement, business involvement, and now relatively new political involvement, it all kind of culminated in a period of time to where I said I’m ready, I’m ready to really get myself involved. We need a mayors office that works hand-in-hand much better with the city counsel and the county counsel than this (current) mayors office does.”
Groz asked Donaldson if there was anything potential voters didn’t already know about him that they should before the cast their ballots:
“People take a look at me and I think they quickly put me in a category where they think I belong, or where they think I might have come out of. But sports didn’t come to me until real late in my life. I was a senior in high school before I played my first basketball game. Education has always been a big passion of mine and a paramount piece of my life. On top of all that, I love people. I love the city I live in and I really feel like this is a great time in my life at 51 years of age to really get involved at another level and make a greater impact, and have a further reach all the way across the state. From Seattle all the way over to WSU and Pullman, working with leaders hand-in-hand making our state better than ever.”