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May 26, 2009 at 10:33 AM

More on the business side of the Storm

SeattleStorm.pngHopefully you had the chance to read columnist Jerry Brewer’s piece about Force 10 Hoops last week. The four businesswomen are the ownership group of the Storm.
Along with the players and coaching staff, chairman Anne Levinson has been bopping around town to speak about the team and draw in more fans. The group feels it’s reached their most enthusiastic followers and now need to branch out to that casual fan.
At a recent stop as guest speaker for executives who are part of the Association for Corporate Growth, Levinson made one of her more interesting statements. “We’re not in this to make a profit,” she told the gathering of about 40 men and women.
When questioned by an ACG member, Levinson reasoned that if you are, you begin to make decisions for the wrong reasons. She envisions the Storm more as a community investment.
Levinson added that with the philosophy, moves will be made to make the product better. I hope that means more will trickle down to the players — the true product.
When previous owner Clay Bennett left with the Sonics, he practically ransacked KeyArena and the training facility. I’m surprised he didn’t empty the water in the whirlpool.
The weight room at the training facility doesn’t have leg equipment and all of the cardio machines at the arena are gone. Those were key for players who didn’t see action to get a workout and for players to stretch out injuries.
Gone also is The Gun, a shooting machine that fires balls back to the player, eliminating the need of a rebounder.
“Some of them like The Gun, some of them don’t,” said Storm coach Brian Agler, who doesn’t believe it has impacted the team. A few players have complained about not having one. “We talked about getting one but decided not to just from the standpoint that we can do just as well without. It’s nice if you’re on your own to shoot, you can come in and load that gun up and get your shots up. In our situation with practice, we’ve got people who can rebound and can do just fine.”
Agler, who’s in his second season, has a system of having a pre-practice before the actual three-hour practice where he expects player to shoot about 100 baskets. And there are always shaggers ranging from his daughter last season to trainers.
Seattle shot 42.6 percent from the field last season, 31.6 percent from three-point range (which ranked 13th in the then 14-team league).
Like going green and creating a fun atmosphere for fans, it seems investing in equipment that makes the players better should be considered, too.

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