Time to sort out what KeyArena news is actually fake

Two recent stories regarding the arena and NBA and NHL teams haven’t passed the smell test.

Inside sports business

We’ve heard about “fake news” since last year’s presidential campaign, to the point where the expression has become vastly overused.

Nowadays, the term gets widely applied in internet arguments where somebody simply disagrees with someone else. But “fake news” is actually meant to describe false stories purposely put out to mislead readers.

That intent stuff is tough to prove. That said, there have been a couple of stories with regards to Seattle’s arena quest this past month or so that certainly qualify as “false news” even if we can’t prove them “fake” by strict definition.

Both stories — regarding the NBA and NHL — gained national attention. But their factual foundations fell apart under cursory questioning.

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The first involved a sports website called 16 Wins A Ring, which published a Jan. 16 story claiming NBA brass was coming to Seattle that week to visit city officials. The story also said NBA commissioner Adam Silver was frustrated by Mayor Ed Murray ducking his calls.

Turns out NBA executives never came to Seattle. And not only was Murray taking Silver’s calls, he was planning a new one with Silver that’s since been held.

Beyond Seattle, the story’s claim that a meeting was taking place the following day between the NBA and Louisville city officials was also denied by all.

The central thrust to the story was that the NBA was poised to announce expansion plans — with Seattle and Mexico City named by the website as supposed front-runners with Louisville close behind. Never mind that Silver, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and all types of people working within the NBA insist expansion isn’t even being discussed internally.

Even as the story was being widely denounced, 16 Wins A Ring stood by its expansion…

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