I think it's safe to say that Clay Bennett has modeled his current franchise on the San Antonio Spurs. From his GM to his coach to his "culture" mindset, it's evident that what you see in San Antonio is what Clay Bennett would like to see in the Puget Sound (or, Oklahoma, depending on your level of cynicism; at supersonicsoul, our level of cynicism for Mr. Bennett is currently at "Used Car Salesman" level and on the verge of "Politician During Election Campaign").
The reason I bring this up is in regard to the current stadium debate in Seattle, and how it ties in with an interesting piece of news from San Antonio, Mr. Bennett's land of milk and honey, where everyone is a Republican, speaks with the proper accent, and the NBA team wins 70% of its games.
For those of you too lazy to read the article, it boils down to this:
The Spurs got a $193.5 million stadium from the city of San Antonio five years ago. Now they want $164 million to upgrade the ancient edifice because "without new sources of revenue, [the Spurs] cannot pay the player salaries that would allow the team to keep winning."
In other words, the great seers of San Antonio, who can forecast a player's ability to succeed with phenomenal accuracy, who can tell that an obscure Argentinian and an unknown Belgian would vault them to heights unforeseen in the NBA, do not possess the ability to make a profit in a five-year-old stadium when they are the reigning NBA Champions?
This tells me two things:
1. The NBA structure must be horribly out of whack if the NBA Champs are struggling financially with a stadium that is a year older than my pre-school aged daughter; and
2. No matter how much money the City of Seattle throws away on a new Sonic Arena, within 5-10 years that building will be insufficient to meet the team's needs.
Call me a cynic, call me an oversimplifier of unbelievably complicated situations, but I am slowly reaching the boiling point for this arena situation. As far as I'm concerned, the NBA and their owners and their messed-up system can go jump in a lake. If you took all the sales taxes paid towards arenas and stadia in the past two decades, you could probably build a home for every poor family in the United States. Instead, we as citizens continue to subsidize these lying blackmailers out of fear of "losing our team." And yet, these owners and leagues continue to peddle flim-flam schemes that would make the Music Man proud, pawning one city off another, using one city's new toy arena as a threat to extort a new arena for themselves.
At what point do we say enough is enough?