Wednesday, March 26

Do Over

As you've probably heard, Clay Bennett has generously offered to leave our history, team name, and old jock straps behind when he steals our basketball team. David Stern (busy getting "wowed" in Oklahomie) seemed to back down yesterday from his previous hard-line stance against the NBA "ever returning to Seattle", hinting that we might someday get a new team if we play nice with Clayface.

It's an interesting scenario. If we "own" our history, does that mean we could erase the Bennett Tragedy, granting Sonics fans a "do-over" for the past three horrible years? Hey, it worked for Spider-Man (sorta).

As tempting as it might be to forget that Mo Sene or Wally Szczerbiak ever wore a Sonics uniform, we would also be forfeiting the future legacy of Kevin Durant, and the struggles it took to get him would have all been in vain. Imagine the '85 Bulls moving to Butte, Montana (The Butte Bulls!) with Chicago receiving the Clippers as a consolation prize. Do you think Chicagoans would enjoy watching Jordan and Pippen hoist those six banners in another city, while they got stuck with Michael Cage and Benoit Benjamin?

Maybe, a long time from now, these three years of hell will only be a blip on the radar (or a "just a comma" in history as GW likes to say). Perhaps someday, after a brief hiatus from basketball in Seattle, we'll raise a new championship banner into the rafters of Microsoft Arena next to the hallowed '79 version, while the Bennett Boys are relegated to the dustbin of history, along with fellow carpetbaggers Ken Behring, Jeff Smulyan other long-forgotten villains of Seattle sports past.

This isn't a horrible fate. Brooklyn never got a second chance at the Dodgers. After all the bad blood between the uppity city council and the ego maniacal commissioner of the NBA, it's somewhat of a miracle that the possibility still exists.

And yet, I'm still not eager to embrace this offer. We're still being robbed. If someone steals your beloved family dog, but gives you a new puppy two years later, does that excuse the crime?

I want Bennett and Stern to come out and admit collusion. I want Stern to tell the world that there was never any real opportunity to keep the Sonics in Seattle--that this was a back room deal of the sleaziest variety to get his pal Bennett a team by any means necessary and to scare other cities into giving owners whatever they want in the future. I want Stern to step down from the office which he has disgraced.

I want justice.


chunkstyle23 said...

I'm with you, man. I've only now allowed myself to think that maybe, maybe, we've all been unwitting players in some bad theater directed by the commish and clay-bob. I guess I'm slow that way.

Nice to see you get on the soapbox every now and then, dude!

Anonymous said...

This is whats GOING to happen... clay gets to take his very low-on-talent-team and his coaches to his dustbowl home and after 5 years of losses and dissapoinments, there will be no more interest in the team and they will be losing so much money that they will have to sell it to another city. But no one will want the crappiest team in the league that was spawned by a corrupt and heartless owner AND commissioner. And in the end all their players will be free agents and seattle will get Durant and Green back at the beginning of their success. And the NBA's oklahoma RedNecks (their team name) will not only be dropped and fade into the NBA's (constantly getting worse) history but will also forever be known as the ABSOLUTE worst team ever in the NBA's entire history. Then Stern will have to retire as he will always be known and referred to as the guy who destroyed the NBA! Watch, this WILL happen! -seattleson

Anonymous said...

What I Really don't understand though, is why doesnt Stern just grant Bennett an expanision team? that is basically what they are getting besides retaining their players. Does clay really think he is getting a good deal by getting to keep a couple of rookies? In a sense he just paid $300M for two top ranked rookies, below average coaches,and a nameless team.

Eric Reynolds said...

This is hardly a constructive contribution to the debate, but I just gotta get it off my chest:


Forgive the anger, but I'm having my first child in June, and if I can't raise my kid a Sonics fan because a bunch of redneck carpetbaggers colluded with Stern so they could have a few more luxury suites in a minor dustbowl market, well, I hope you self-serving pricks can sleep at night.

It's amazing to me just how obviously unjust this move is to virtually every NBA fan and every media outlet that covers the NBA and yet Stern refuses to do what's right in order to help his favorite homophobe lobbyist.

As much as I think right now that I'd rather have *a* team rather than *no* team after Bennett's circus show moves to OKC, I honestly don't know if I could ever enjoy the NBA again after all of this bullshit. And makes no bones: it is bullshit. It's purely about money, with no regard to fans or the cultural fabric of a city that has supported the NBA for 40 years. How can I get behind a company that clearly holds me in such little regard? Would you go back to a restaurant that once refused to serve you? I think I'd have to succumb to a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome before I could find any enthusiasm in my heart for professional basketball again.

Anonymous said...

If you think about what teams might relocate to Seattle and get Sonic-ified, I think the Hornets and the Grizzlies are at the top of the list. New Orleans and Memphis are struggling to fill their arenas. How would we feel about either team "becoming the Sonics"? I dunno, it's kind of weird. But I'd take Chris Paul and that Hornets roster in a heartbeat. The Griz... yuck! maybe if they got Beasley in this year's draft... weird to even think about this - I'm gonna stop now!

Paul said...

That's something I forgot to mention in this article--how will we feel having to "steal" someone else's team in order to replace our own?

Granted, neither the Hornets nor the Griz have much of a history with their current cities, and would probably welcome a permanent home after traveling from city to city for the past decade, but all this hand-wringing and wife-swapping could be avoided if Stern just did the right thing. (Fat chance, there!)

Anonymous said...

Should've gotten an expansion team instead, but he was too busy kissing Stern's ass.

The only good thing this season was watching Durant and Greed develop into stars, and now this mofo wants to take it away! They're our team, even if they dont have the Sonics name around their chest. We've supported these players through all the losses, you cant take them away after making us suffer for so long

Anonymous said...

all of you whining seattleites... so funny... i can't wait to come to seattle this year and watch OU stomp Washington... look for me i will be wearing a Oklahoma City Sonics jersey... wake up! the NBA doesn't need you as fans/customers it is going to be the most pretigious basketball league in all the world for as long as any of us are alive... quit your crying and hope you get another team...

Unknown said...

What I continue to not understand is why has Mr. Schultz not been the target of more venomous remarks. Did he not seek local investors when it was decided to sell the Sonics? And I guess to that end why has local ownership only showed up when the inevitable loss of the Sonics is at hand.
Is Clay Bennett a ruthless, heartless business man? Probably, but how many successful pillars of industry are not. The days of the benevelonent Andrew Carnegies and Milton Hershey's are long gone. He rode into town with $300M in his pocket to spend and found a product he was looking for available. Did he pay too much, sure he did, but no one else stepped up to challenge. Would Mr Schultz took less for a local owner? I do not know.
The Sonics leaving Seattle is tragic. I just think more focus should be on Howard Schultz for letting the team go to non-local owners. Accountability should begin with Mr Schultz.

Anonymous said...

As much as it pains me to somewhat go along with a Sooner fan, I have to agree that it is in fact time to quit the crying and accept that 'your team' ( I call them that even though you cheap ass, latte sipping, plaid wearing, rain soaked, anti-depressant popping girls couldn't come up with the funds to keep the soon to be Oklahoma Sonics in town, but I digress) is on their way to greener, and also, much sunnier pastures. Oh, and by the by there sports fans, the sub committee that the NBA sent to OKC is approving the relocation. Just don't go and kiss your shotguns at that news!

Anonymous said...

these okies crack me up! they go and say "the NBA doesn't need you as fans/customers" and "i will be wearing a Oklahoma City Sonics jersey" when they are too damn iliterate to understand they wont get the teams name, colors, or history! and do you think they care about YOU now? haha lol! keep shit talking you okies cus all you are doing is showing the NATION and the WORLD how many ignorant hicks reside in ok.

Paul said...

I don't want to make this some kind of personal attack against the people of OKC, as I'm sure 99 percent of the people living there don't even give a damn about basketball. How could I hate a city that gave the world The Flaming Lips?

But if you guys want to tax yourselves to death to line the pockets of a millionaire, while doing nothing to improve one of the worst public education systems in one of the least-livable cities in the US, then go for it. I'm through being the NBA's bitch.

Anonymous said...

I have a non-biased viewpoint. I live in a state with no major sports at all, Albuquerque, NM. So we get fans from all over the nation. I follow pro sports pretty vigorously (lots of free time at work) and I know people from Denver, Arizona, Texas, and I actually know a couple of people from both oklahoma and Seattle. My friend is a seattle fan and when I asked him about this, I got more information than I could process! Well I also asked this guy who just moved here from OK what he thought of the whole issue, and he told me that he "feels like they would be more appreciated in Oklahoma" So I assumed he had a little knowledge of the situation and I started talking to him about it. But I soon came to notice that he had no knowledge of the arena/lease issues, Ownership issues, and especially no knowledge of the efforts of sos and seattle. Then after, I asked him what he thought, his answer did not change. I also have been reading a lot of these blogs and it seems to me like people in Seattle are just heartbroken and lashing out, But I also see a lot of Oklahomans bashing on seattle and most of it seems like they dont even care about basketball or the sonics at all, That they just want a pro team. So heres my un-biased opinion, why would you people from Oklahoma really want a franchise under those circumstances? I've been seeing a lot of national and even world support on the internet for Seattle. They Clearly want to keep their team. I can understand wanting a pro team in your home town, since I would love one here aswell. But in no way, would I ever want a team under those circumstances, ever.

Anonymous said...

"If someone steals your beloved family dog, but gives you a new puppy two years later, does that excuse the crime?"

LOVE that. Thanks for keeping the fight, man.

Also great post above from New Mexico.

Justin Townsend said...

Wayne, I believe you're referring to a 1984 bowl game in which OU was ranked #2 and UW was #3. UW won, and my alma mater, BYU, won the national championship.

I am from Oklahoma (an Okie State fan, not an OU fan) and have been a Seattle Sonics fan (to reiterate, a SEATTLE Sonics fan) since birth (my dad is from the Seattle area). I agree with the dude from NM that I can't feel good about gaining a local team under these circumstances. On behalf of my disrespectful fellow Okies who have made ridiculous comments here, I apologize and offer my sincere hopes that all of the fans in Seattle will somehow be able to retain THEIR team.

Anonymous said...

Paul, if you're going to start writing bitter articles about injustices full of sarcastic remarks and witty metaphors, then what the heck do you guys need me around for?

Nice work, by the way, although the grammarian in me wishes to inform you that it is "hallowed" not "hollowed." "Hollowed" would mean that the banner was empty and soulless.

You know, like David Stern.

Paul said...

Ack! Some "editor" I am.

The article was very Nussbaumesque. The only difference is I forgot to mention Steve Nash.

Anonymous said...

Or World B Free. Nuss seems to work World B in at least one article a month. I kind of like it myself.

Anonymous said...

No apologies needed for your fellow Okies bashing us. Every single person involved and in love with this situation will get their's eventually.

This is a crime. Its called extortion.

Im still rooting for any of the 100+ guys in Seattle who are richer than Bennett's entire group to buy the state of Oklahoma and use it for sewage. Or just sleep with Bennett's wife. Thatll do.

The NBA is getting nervous. They want the BOG to come quick because if this arena solution gets finished, they will be thrown into the lawsuit if they dont comply. Still waiting for real reasons why you can upgrade Ford and not even consider the Key.

Anonymous said...

For what it is worth last year the NOLA people said we (the OKC ownership group not me personally) should take our money and go buy your team and leave their team alone. Well nobody listened to that sad song at the time either and if George Shinn wasn't certifiably nuts we wouldn't be having this discussion with you good people of Seattle right now and we would have the first place team in the West playing at the Ford Center.

I feel for you guys I really do. I felt bad for the NOLA people when we were so close to stealing their team as well. But I will get over it while standing in line to purchase my season tickets.

Nuttin but love for ya,
Richard, OKC

Anonymous said...

Feeling bad for us doesn't save 41 years of history.

You will never know what this feels like because there is zero chance a team stays in OKC for 41 years anyway. When the team moves again a decade from now, dont start crying. Besides, a decade...amateurs.

Anonymous said...

I believe you have missed my point sir. OKC and Bennett's ownership group are not your main problem, it just seems that way. If we had managed to wrestle the Hornets from the iron grip of Shinn then you fellas would be having this discussion with and about an ownership group from Kansas City or Las Vegas right now. Your club was ripe for the picking, 41 years of history or not, and that isn't Clay Bennett's fault and it's not OKC's fault either.

At least Bennett is going to leave Seattle your history and brand name. So if the city ever does fix it's real problems NBA wise and gets another team, you will be able to have your Sonics back.

Hopefully sooner rather than later,
Richard - OKC