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.