Thursday, January 31

Bennett Now Begging For OK Cash

Not satisfied with extorting money out of the pockets of Washingtonians, Clay Bennett has now shifted his attention to the good people of Oklahoma.

According to the AP, at a sports business conference (theme: "Finding Effective Ways to Get Government to Pay") at Oklahoma State University, Bennett stated that it did not make any sense for private individuals to pay for sporting venues, in that they are going to provide "such dramatic public return."

Unless, of course, they are in Seattle, in which case they have no affect on the local economy. This guy, he's killing me.

But if you want a real laugh, check out part of Bennett's rationale for why building these palaces for the wealthy are so economically relevant.

"... you've got players coming that are purchasing homes, buying vehicles ..."

Hey, we all know that NBA players are all about buying big cars and bigger houses, but would anyone with even a remote knowledge of economics agree with His Clayness on this point? Asking for $150 million from the state, then using the homes and cars of 12 individuals as an offset?

Man, when it comes to ridiculous, you can't top these guys.

Wally's Out

According to Gary Washburn at the PI, Szczerbiak will be sitting tonight's game against Cleveland out. His sprained right ankle injury has not healed as expected, so Damien Wilkins and Delonte West will get some extra minutes tonight.

Again, the irony of watching Mickael Gelabale sitting all season because of a minute crunch, seeing him sent to the minors, then within 48 hours seeing his team actually in need of his services is somewhat frustrating. Considering that Wilkins is still recovering from the flu, Gelly could have gotten 10-20 minutes tonight. Instead, he's in the D-League.

Oh, well, at least Delonte will get a chance to prove (again) that he deserves minutes.

Which leads to the question: Assuming LBJ is healthy tonight, who on the Sonic roster do you feel is best-suited to guard him, one on one?

Minimum Wages

From Wages of Wins, here are the total Wins Produced (WP) for the Sonics’ roster thus far this season.

Player, overall NBA rank, WP, WP/48 min.

Kurt Thomas (38), 5.0, .302
Nick Collison (48), 4.4, .201
Chris Wilcox (129), 2.0, .097
Earl Watson (144), 1.5, .066
Wally Szczerbiak (161), 1.1, .055
Delonte West (263), 0.1, .004
Luke Ridnour (325), -0.2, -.019
Johan Petro (355), -0.3, -.036
Robert Swift (383), -0.4, -.250
Damien Wilkins (386), -0.4, -.020
Mickael Gelabale (395), -0.5, -.127
Kevin Durant (424), -1.0, -.037
Jeff Green (442), -2.1, -.100

Out of 446 players, Jeff Green ranked 442nd. Of the bottom five players, three are from Europe (Bargnani, Nachbar, Pavlovic) and two attended prestigious American universities (Green/Georgetown and Jason Collins/Stanford). The moral? Don’t bother saving your pennies for putting your kid into a private university or sending him to Europe!

News for Thursday

- LBJ may not be in action tonight when the Sonics take on Cleveland at the Key. He apparently injured his ankle in the second quarter, then managed to come back and drop 17 in the 4th quarter as the Cavs topped the Blazers in Portland, once again proving that the Blazers suck eggs and the Sonics are the true champ.... oh, never mind.

- Jeff Green and Kevin Durant will be on the Rookie Team in the Rookie Challenge at the All-Star Festivities next month. Sadly, Mo Sene was not extended an invite to the Sophomore Team.

- The Sonic win against the Spurs came at a cost, as Chris Wilcox (elbow), Damien Wilkins (flu), Wally Szczerbiak (ankle, hair), Nick Collison (grit), and Kurt Thomas (everything) missed practice on Wednesday. Somewhere in Idaho, Mickael Gelabale is uttering curse words in French.

Wednesday, January 30

14? A Distant Memory

Unbelievable. Well, considering the Spurs were A) without Tony Parker and B) coming off a 2-game losing streak, perhaps a little more believable, but still, who among you expected a Sonic win last night?

crickets chirping

That's what I thought. Some crazy stats from the win over San Antonio, including some gruesome shooting numbers from point guards.

Some other nuggets to chew on:

- The Spurs are 9-9 this year when one of their Big 3 is injured
- S.A. is 11-13 in its past 24 games
- Earl Watson was 0 for 8
- Jeff Green managed 1 assist, 0 rebounds, 0 points, 4 missed shots, and 1 foul in 20 minutes
- Seattle committed 6 turnovers. 6!

Well, in a year full of horrible news and horrible games, last night was a bright spot for sure. Durant hits a game-winning shot, Tim Duncan is miserable, Tony Parker doesn't play ... hey, what's not to like!

Tuesday, January 29

More Arena News

Both the PI and the Times (oh, and the TNT, too) have articles about the court date, from which we can glean the following information:

-The trial is expected to last six days, with another week or two for the judge to reach her verdict, meaning a decision would not be available until July 1 or so.

-The NBA schedule is due out in June (ish), which could conceivably mean that Bennett might be able to move the team, anyways, but the timing would be exceedingly tight.

-That is counterbalanced by the possibility of the loser appealing the decision, which would add another year's worth of waiting.

-The NBA will discuss the Sonics' application for relocation in April at their governor's meeting. Considering that there will be a pending court case involving the team, it would seem unlikely that the league would permit the Sonics to move prior to resolution of the case. Also, according to Greg Johns at the PI, "The city has said it will consider adding the NBA to the lawsuit should the league approve relocation of the Sonics to Oklahoma City while the team is still bound by its current lease." That sound you heard was David Stern frowning as hard as humanly possible.

Court Date

Showing the wisdom one would expect from a judge of her stature, Judge Marsha Pechman listened to the Sonics asking for a March court date, the city asking for an October date, and split the difference:

June 16.

For those, like me, who wasted their time getting English minors/majors, that date should obviously ring a bell. It's Bloomsday, the date on which James Joyce based his eternally praised (by people who claim to understand it) and cursed (by students who have to slog through it) novel "Ulysses." The entire book, all 20,000 pages, takes place on June 16, 1904.

And now, a century later, the fate of a city's fandom will begin to be decided on June 16th. Let's just hope that 50 years from now that, in addition to being an Irish holiday, June 16th will be a date for Sonic fans to cherish.

[Oh, and on a side note - this screws Clay Bennett's chances of getting out of Seattle. I can't see the league allowing the Sonics to move to OKC after a decision is made in June as it wouldn't be enough time to allow schedules to be revised. I'll allow smarter folks to weigh in, but from my vantagepoint, this guarantees the Sonics in Seattle for at least one more year.]

Potential Trial Date Coming Today

As you should be aware, a very important decision may be made today by Judge Marsha Pechman regarding the court case involving the City of Seattle and Clay Bennett et al. From Eric Williams at the TNT:

Ruth Bowman, a spokesperson for the Seattle City Attorney’s office, said Judge Marsha Pechman has called a scheduling conference to bring the two sides together in the court case between the city and the Sonics for a 10 a.m. meeting Tuesday at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Seattle. Bowman said Pechman may set a trial date during the meeting.

The Sonics, obviously, are keen to have the court date set earlier, in March, while the city is looking for a post-summer date. By scheduling the date for March, Judge Pechman would enable the Sonics to move to Oklahoma City for the upcoming season, while an October date would cancel that possibility, regardless of her verdict in the case.

If info becomes available, we'll try to post it as quickly as possible. Basically, if you want to see the Sonics play at KeyArena next season, keep your fingers crossed that Pechman has a couple of weddings to go to in March.

Saturday, January 26

Absolutely Awful

It was perhaps the worst performance I've ever witnessed from the Sonics - at least for the first half, anyways. With a minute or so to go before halftime, the Supes had scored the grand total of 23 points (!), and I don't even know how they got that many.

Did I mention that Friday night's game was against Atlanta, at home? That Wally Szczerbiak had 2 points? That Jeff Green played the role of the Invisible Man, again? That Kurt Thomas looked like he was 55, not 35?

Kevin Durant spent the whole game looking for his shot, but never seemed to find it. With the exception of dunks, he was horrific, finishing 7 of 21 on the night. Granted, no one else seemed to have the touch last night either, as the Sonics went 0 for 11 behind the arc. Atlanta knew it was coming, too, as they sagged in around the basket all night and conceeded the outside shot they knew the Sonics were not going to make.

On the bright side, Johan Petro had a coast-to-coast dunk in the fourth quarter that brough the crowd to its feet. Yes, Petro and coast-to-coast in the same sentence. I'm still in shock myself. And Chris Wilcox and Luke Ridnour - in an attempt to make me eat my words about the two of them in my mid-season grades - seemed to be the only other Sonics with any sense of energy Friday night.

But, truly, the entire Sonic season could be summed up by one play in the second quarter. The Sonics had, again, let the clock run down to single digits, and panic set it on offense. Durant took the ball, split two defenders, twisted and turned his lithe frame in traffic, cocked his hand back ...

And threw a dunk off the front of the rim.

That's the 2007-08 Seattle Supersonics for you folks. Crappy at the beginning, crappy at the end, and a little bit of sun in between.

Friday, January 25


It's not every day that two headlines - run the same day - give two completely opposite impressions about the same situation. But then, this is the Sonics, in a year in which we are fully expecting James Cameron to be brought on board to help them further explore the depths of the NBA. ("Look, over there, off the starboard side, I think I can see the remains of Joe Barry Carroll! And isn't that a 1981 Cavaliers jersey over there?")

But back to where I began. Here is the headline from today's PI, story courtesy of Gary Washburn:

Sonics' Watson stays positive despite losses, unsure future

And, from the TNT, this time from Eric Williams:

Watson’s frustration surfaces amid skid

In Williams' story, it is revealed that Watson was irked about riding the pines down the stretch of the past two games, to the point where Sam Presti had a conversation with him about said subject. Don't misread the headline, though, Watson didn't come out and demand a trade, he only expressed dissatisfaction with the team's season and his lack of interest in rebuilding seasons. We hear you, big guy.

Likewise, Washburn relays how Watson has decided to bite his tongue and not voice his displeasure with the ongoing minutes situation between himself and Luke Ridnour.

The upshot of all of this? The two stories are basically the same, with just slightly more information in one than the other, meaning, as always, that readers should always remember that the fellow who wrote the story isn't the fellow who put the headline on it.

Thursday, January 24

A Dirty Dozen

The only feeling more painful than enduring a 12-game losing streak, is enduring a 12-game losing streak wherein the 12th loss came when your team had a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter.


If Norman Vincent Peale were to review last night's loss to the Rockets, he would point to how the Sonics shot 52% from the floor, only committed nine turnovers, and basically showed they were as good as the Rockets, one of the better teams in the Western Conference.

Unfortunately, there are no moral victories in the newspaper agate, only carved in stone wins and losses. If Kevin Durant sinks the 3 at the end rather than sending it off the back iron, if the Sonics manage to keep the Rockets from going on an 18-4 run to close out the game, hey, we're not talking about any of this, now are we?

Sadly, it all happened, and now the Sonics are one game away from tying the longest losing streak in club history, and, thankfully, with the Hawks and Kings the next two opponents - at home - there is a good chance they'll keep it from happening.

Wednesday, January 23

Great Washburn Story

Make sure to check out Gary Washburn's piece in the PI about a Sonic roster which is slowly beginning to boil. If you choose not to read for the strong research and insightful commentary, then take a quick look only for this paragraph:

"According to those close to the team, there is growing speculation that Carlesimo is losing some of the veteran players, many of whom are confused about their role, irritated with his abrasive style and disenchanted with the season-long evaluation process that has left several players confused about playing time."

Funny, but am I the only one who thinks that Gary Washburn could have cut and pasted that paragraph from either the Oregonian circa 1997 or the San Francisco Chronicle circa 2000?

The more things change, ...

Halfway Home

Continuing from Tuesday’s theme ...

If the Sonics’ roster maintains its current pace, this year’s club will have the second-worst performing top trio in team history. Durant, Szczerbiak and Wilcox combine to average 45.1 ppg, the worst since Nick Weatherspoon, Slick Watts, and Fred Brown combined to score 43.0 ppg in 1976-77. Sadly, the Sonics’ current top three falls far short in the afro and headband departments.

Jeff Green had more offensive rebounds in November (34) than Kevin Durant has all season (28).

PJ Carlesimo has now gone 55-145 in his past four years as a head coach.

In order to avoid registering the worst season in team history (and you have to go back to the inaugural Seattle campaign of 1967-68 to find the worst record), the Sonics would have to finish 14-27 in the second half of the season, a 34% winning percentage. The Sonics’ current winning percentage is 28%, a difference of 6 percentage points, or the difference between the 76ers and the Nets.

The Sonics’ final seven games this year will be against teams currently in the Western Conference playoffs. Four of them are on the road.

The Sonics will play in Boston on March 12 in the second of a back-to-back (they play at Indy the night before) and the final game of a 7-game/10-day road trip. Vegas oddsmakers are anticipating the first three-digit spread in NBA history.

The last time the Sonics went three years without qualifying for the playoffs, Gerald Ford was president.

Nick Collison is posting the best numbers of his career (per minute) in assists, rebounds, points, turnovers, personal fouls, and steals.

Luke Ridnour is the only player in the league shooting better than 90% from the free throw line and below 30% from the 3-point line (minimum 30 free throws). Frodo has not made a 3 since six days before Christmas, a span of eight games. Opposing point guards have now started a book club, which meets while Ridnour is lining up beyond the arc.

That’s enough sass for two days, yes? Let’s get to the meat of the sandwich, the player grades, a favorite tool of lazy writers everywhere:

A-: Nick Collison. He’s cut down the turnovers and personal fouls which plagued him for so long, and has emerged as a legit starter in the NBA. Collison has nine double-doubles so far, including six in the past few weeks alone.

B+: Kevin Durant. I gave him plenty of flak in these columns, and his shooting numbers are disappointing, but that’s only because we expect so much of him. He’s 19, scores like crazy, is relatively consistent, and the future definitely seems bright. It’s not his fault this roster is a disaster waiting to happen.

B: Wally Szczerbiak. Again, Wally World has done what has been asked. Is he someone I’d go out of my way to acquire as an NBA GM? Probably not, and this is – in a bizarre way – the best situation for him at this point in his career, statistics-wise. Considering he’s averaging 20 points per 36 minutes and has the best +/- mark on the club, I’d say he’s doing fine.

B-: Chris Wilcox. Only because he seems uninterested in improving. Weezy has the skills to be a borderline all-star, but he seems content to be the 13-point, 6.5-rebound guy he has been for the past few years. A guy with his athleticism should be able to get 15 points without any trouble, and 8-10 boards should never be an issue, but he has been lapped by Nick Collison this season.

B-: Kurt Thomas. On effort, Thomas gets an A, but his aging legs preclude him from much offensively, hence the rating here. Because of defense and rebounding, he’d definitely be an asset to a playoff team looking for bulk.

C: Jeff Green. He’s come on more and more, and a B-/B grade may be possible by the end of the season. His 69% mark at the line is troubling, as is his 42% mark from the field. Worse still, he has the worst +/- rating on the team, non-Robert Swift Division.

C: Damien Wilkins. Some might look at this is a negative assessment, but I don’t mean it that way. Wilkins is a slightly above-average NBA player, which is a huge compliment. His salary is a great bargain (mea culpa: I criticized the length of the deal when it was announced 3 years ago; sorry, Mr. Sund), and while he’s grown dissatisfied with his role (understandable), if PJ can get him consistent minutes off the bench, he’s a good asset.

C-: Earl Watson. Yes, his assist numbers are pretty, but his +/- is atrocious, he gets fewer steals than Edgar Martinez, and his offense is somewhat offensive.

C-: Delonte West. Going into the season, I thought Delonte would emerge as a great piece to this roster, but it hasn’t happened. Injuries have been a big factor, and it’s hard to say if the trajectory of his Sonic career would be different were he 100%.

D: Luke Ridnour. Honestly, I’d give him a D-, but he’s a former Duck, so I’ll cut him some slack. Ridnour seems to be on the verge of becoming an NBA vagabond – someone good enough to make a roster, and good enough to play occasionally, but not good enough to be a starter. How badly do the Sonics now wish the Hawks had pulled the trigger on that #1 pick for Frodo deal last June?

F: Johan Petro. He’s 7’ tall, shoots below 40% and doesn’t block shots.

Incomplete: Mickael Gelabale, Robert Swift, Mo Sene.

Tuesday, January 22

Race To the Finish

And down the stretch they come!

Have you ever been to a racetrack? You know that exciting feeling when the leading horses come sprinting towards the finish, with jockeys whipping them harder and harder, hooves pounding, noses straining forward, a whole stadium alive with anticipation?

Yeah, um, that feeling won’t be happening so much in KeyArena this year.

The Sonics are halfway home, 41 games in the books, and rather than the feeling of halfway to something exciting, it’s more akin to the feeling a six-year-old gets when he’s finished half of his spinach. Sure, half of the mess is gone, but he’s still got half of it left. And just like the spinach, the Sonics’ second half is going to be hard to swallow.

What can we say about the first half-year of the “Culture Club?” What, you don’t remember how “culture” was going to re-shape the Sonics? How Sam Presti and PJ Carlesimo were going to fly into town and magically transform the Sonics from a bunch of defenseless gunners to a tenacious pack of Michael Cooper wannabees? You know, make the Sonics into San Antonio with a latte?

Right, reality. Sorry, must have forgotten about that inconvenience non-San Antonio teams have of not being able to utilize Tim Duncan every night. Funny how superstars make all regimes look like geniuses.

But enough of that – let’s focus upon the task at hand. Herewith, a brief recap of the worst half-season in Sonic history.

Wally Szczerbiak has renaissanced (!) his career with the highest points per minutes of his professional life. Here’s a shocker for you: Wally, who never met a shot he didn’t like, is averaging more shot attempts per minute this season than in any season of his career. Yikes.

In three weeks, when Sam Presti phones Kurt Thomas to tell him he’s been traded:

SP: Kurt, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you’ve been ...
KT: I’ll be there in four hours. Call my wife and tell her to start the car.
SP: Don’t you want to know where ...
KT: No.

If the rumored Wally/Watson to Miami for Ricky Davis/Dorrell Wright/Jason Williams deal is pulled off, the Sonics will have had four point guards play for them this year, earning a combined total of $23.1 million – and none of them were worth a damn.

Sonic opponents have scored in triple digits 26 times this year. The Sonics have reached three figures 14 times.

Since the middle of December, the Seahawks – whose season ended ten days ago – have as many wins (two) as the Sonics.

Kevin Durant, a 6’9” shooting guard, is averaging 4.6 rebounds per 36 minutes this year.

Bobby Jackson, a 6’1” backup point guard, is averaging 4.5 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Durant is a once-in-a-lifetime athlete, no argument. But is anyone else concerned that he has been given carte blanche to put up some of the ugliest offensive shooting numbers this side of Vernon Maxwell? 40% from the floor, 29% from beyond the arc? Leading the team in shot attempts? Hey, I understand, he’s young, he’s learning and all that, but is this the right way for The Next Big Thing to learn the ropes in the NBA? Can some stat guy run the numbers and let me know if any future superstar ever had a start to his career like this? And at what point do the mounting losses begin to affect his mental outlook?

The Sonics have one player (Chris Wilcox) shooting higher than 50% from the field this year. Last year, twelve Sonics shot better than 43%. This year, the number is four.

The Sonics began 2007 by claiming the Sonics were an integral part of the Seattle fabric, and thus deserving of a new stadium. They began 2008 by claiming the Sonics’ departure would have “no effect” on the city’s economy. In the same press conference, Clay Bennett said he was “cool” with homosexuality and was donating $1 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

As a starter, Earl Watson shoots 38% on 3-pointers and 41% on all shots. As a reserve, he shoots 25% on 3-pointers and 46% on all shots. Which leads to the conclusion that the best way to utilize Earl Watson is infrequently.

Damien Wilkins’ minutes played in the past ten games: 9, 11, 17, 31, 20, ½, 21, 28, 12, 13. Since Wilkins was relegated to irregular minutes, the Sonics have gone 0-11.

Well, that’s enough for one day. We’ll re-commence the commiserating tomorrow afternoon.

Notes From (Another) Loss

Notes from last night’s game – the 11th (!) consecutive loss for your Seattle SuperSonics.

1. Houston outscored Seattle 24-16 in the 3rd quarter. Not that that’s unusual; during the Sonics’ 11-game skid, they have been outscored in 3rd nine times, by a cumulative score of 295-242. The two exceptions were the other night’s game against Dallas (where the Mavs lead by 400 points at halftime and were obviously on cruise control), and the first game of the streak when the Sixers let the Sonics sort of get back in the game. The Sonics won that third in convincing fashion, 28-27. I believe that third quarter will be available on the 2nd disc of this season's DVD. I'm especially looking forward to the bonus features, where Mickael Gelabale gives the french language version, Wally Szczerbiak provides hair grooming tips, and Mo Sene fills us in on the Senegalese cuisine available in the NBA D-League.

2. Nick Collison now ranks 5th in the league in rebounds per 48 minutes in January (18.5), trailing Joel Pryzbilla, Erick Dampier, Marcus Camby, and DeSagna Diop. And, yes, you could have gotten 1,000:1 odds that that would come true had you walked into Bally’s last October.

3. Luke Ridnour is now averaging 11.9 assists per 48 on the road and 7.9 per 48 at home. Do you think Earl Watson calls Luke's hotel room and hangs up at 4 am the day of the game? Me, too.

4. Wally S. averages 13 ppg in Sonic wins and 13.2 ppg in Sonic losses, and also shoots almost the exact same percentage from the field, the only Sonic registering sizable minutes to do that. I believe that’s called “getting yours” in the vernacular, yes?

5. With yesterday’s loss, the Sonics have equaled Dennis Kucinich’s win total for 2007. At this point, I’m not sure who I expect to get one sooner.

Monday, January 21

Wally to the Rescue

Not sure if anyone else caught this (from Jayda Evans' blog at the Times):

When the idea [of talking to the Daily Oklahoman] was explained to him, he gave a crazy look and a firm "No" to the interview request. Szczerbiak also declined to speak to locals following the game, however, stating he didn't want to say anything that would get him "fined or suspended."

(Read the rest here)

So, there are two ways to look at it. One, Wally S. thought the idea of talking to the Oklahoman (the piece was to be a 'Here are the Sonics!'-type deal) was wrong, and he said no. Or, he was primed to make some nasty comments about the way the team is being run (either on-court or in the owners' box) and decided to keep his mouth shut.

Either way, doesn't it make you like Wally Szczerbiak just a little bit more?

Friday, January 18

Strange, But True

Sometimes, strange times bring enemies closer. Sometimes, people make comments they never dreamed they would make. Sometimes, in the midst of lies, they tell the truth.

One of those times was this week, when the Sonics put – in writing, mind you – the same argument anti-stadium activists have been making for the past two decades; the argument that the economic benefits derived from professional sports teams is a great, big pile of nothing, that every dollar spent on a team is a dollar which would have been spent elsewhere.

Did I mention that it was the Sonics who made this argument? Here, if you don’t believe me, read this:

“Entertainment dollars not spent on the Sonics will be spent on Seattle's many other sports and entertainment options. Seattleites will not reduce their entertainment budget simply because the Sonics leave.”

That quote is taken (via Jim Brunner’s article in the Seattle Times) from the Sonics’ legal papers filed in US District Court this week. And, yes, the papers were delivered to the court with flying pigs which had to dodge the snowballs emanating from Hell.

Obviously, the quote is rhetoric, especially considering the Sonics argued the exact opposite in all their previous utterances. It is rhetoric designed to convince the courts the Sonics are not an integral part of the city’s fabric, and that the judge presiding in the case will allow the team to flee to Oklahoma City.

You know Okalahoma, the city being asked to spend $100 million on refurbishing their new stadium so that they might enjoy the economics benefits of a pro basketball team?

For Clay Bennett’s sake, I hope the internet’s down in OKC.

Thursday, January 17

Hornets whip Sonics, then support them. Sort of.

"Listen, you fool! We're trying to LOSE games! Don't you understand?"

After the WhatCityDoWePlayInAgain? Hornets beat the crap out of our Seattle Supersonics last night, their owner weighed in on the whole "destroying the hopes and dreams of basketball fans" deal:
“I think it’s a great market,” Shinn said of the Sonics, whose ownership group filed an application with the NBA to relocate the franchise to Oklahoma City. “I don’t know the circumstances. I’ve been in the arena, but it’s had to have been years ago.

“I just would hope that a team could stay in Seattle. I think it’s a good market. And being an owner, I’d hate to lose that market. But that’s a decision to be made by whoever is affected. I’ll have one vote if it ever comes to that, and we’ll usually follow the lead of the commissioner.”

Read the rest in the News Tribune
Well, it sounded pretty supportive until that "follow the lead of the commissioner" line. That's democracy in action, folks! Why even bother having a "vote", if you just parrot whatever crap that spews from Stern's mouth?

Wednesday, January 16

Sonics do the right thing

The P.I.'s Gary Washburn writes about the Sonics helping out folks in tent city in New Orleans (via Seattlest):
A city that's nearing Mardi Gras and just weeks from hosting the NBA All-Star Game still has major, bleeding and exposed wounds from Katrina, and Tent City is one of them. Two homeless men from Tent City point out an abandoned hotel just across Canal Street that could house the disadvantaged with plenty of space to spare. A state that has set aside $6 million for the New Orleans Hornets practice facility is uncertain what to do with its homeless issue.

"When Mardi Gras comes, they want us out of here," said Luther Davis, 55, who shook hands with several Sonics. "They don't know what to do with us, and the rent is so high here that we can't afford it. So we're here."

But their gratitude toward the Sonics was apparent. The players and coaches lined up outside the bus, each with a food item. Assistant coach Ralph Lewis had sandwiches. Delonte West had dinners in a Styrofoam container. Durant had rolls.

"Man, this is great," Davis said. "The Hornets don't even come over here. Seattle is going to be my favorite team now. Nobody comes over here to help us. And this was one of those days where people were hungry, so we needed this."

(Read the rest here.)
We here at Supersonicsoul heap a lot of abuse on the current owners of the Sonics, but this story is a reminder of why we still love the team.

Tuesday, January 15

More Secret Sonics Stuff

Now this is just getting silly (via SonicsCentral):
On the surface, it appeared Seattle leaders and the NBA hadn't even been trying to make peace with regard to the Sonics' lease at KeyArena.

With the city suing team owner Clay Bennett to stop him from breaking the lease and moving to Oklahoma, the past several months have been marked by a public war of rhetoric.

But now it turns out Seattle officials have made at least one effort to smooth relations: In mid-October, they made a secret trip to meet with NBA executives.

(Read the rest in the Seattle Times)
After yesterday's news (or non-news as it may turn out), it's hard to figure out fact from fiction in this saga.

Monday, January 14

Top secret Sonics deal in works?

Mayor-Wan, you're our only hope!

Several sources close to the situation (who, for some reason, felt they could confide in Supersonicsoul, aka Queen Blabbermouth) have claimed that the city may be soon unleashing a new plan to save our Sonics. What could the Council of Doom Boom have in mind? Tax breaks for a new arena? A supergroup of local millionaires to make Clay an offer he can't refuse? Did they hire Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law?

(You have to wonder if the recently announced Hornets deal might be triggering some panic in the current ownership group--maybe Oklahoma doesn't look like such a safe bet after all.)

According to my Deep Throats, the announcement could come as early as tomorrow. All right, Supersonicsouliacs, let the wild speculations start . . . now.

Thursday, January 10

300 Million reasons to keep the Sonics

Just look at that decrepit shack--it's nearly 15 years old!

As the Sonics continue their Bataan Death March, I thought I'd try to lighten the mood by sharing a piece I performed at a Save Our Sonics fundraiser last fall (and which was brutally paraphrased in a New York Times article last year):
As you might have heard, the Sonics are going to leave town unless we give them (at least) $300 million dollars for a new stadium. Since I’m a big basketball fan, I decided to make a list of 300 millions reasons why we should keep the Sonics. So far, I’ve come up with seven:

1) A lot of people think the $300 million dollars could be spent on “More Important Things”, like housing for the homeless. Let me ask you this: how many homeless people can dunk?

2) If Sonics point guard Luke Ridnour is not allowed to express his love for Jesus Christ on the basketball court, he might have to find somewhere else to do it—like in your pants.

3) Where else am I going to be able to pay seven dollars for a pretzel? Did I mention they were magic pretzels?

4) NBA games offer a safe place for closeted homosexuals to hang out with their straight friends, while secretly lusting after the giant, scantly clad men running around on the basketball court. Or so I’m told.

5) Everyone wants to help the less fortunate, but who stops to help the millionaires?

6) If the Sonics leave town, the Sonics Dance Team will be forced to return to their previous occupation: Iranian Death Squad Recruiters.

7) In 1979, the Seattle Supersonics won the NBA Championship. Have you?
Feel free to add to the list in the comments. Oh, and if you get a chance, please vote for me in the Famecast comedy competition. You can vote once a day, so feel free to stuff the (virtual) ballot boxes.

Wednesday, January 9

The Girls did it. Why can't we?

Well, we've got one pro basketball team staying in town:
Anne Levinson is a political dynamo, having served as a judge, chairwoman of the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission and deputy mayor of Seattle.

She's also a Seattle Storm season-ticket holder, and by the end of February, Levinson and three well-heeled friends will own the team they spend summers rooting for.

Levinson, Lisa Brummel, Ginny Gilder and Dawn Trudeau are in the process of buying the Storm from Clayton Bennett for $10 million, ensuring that the Women's National Basketball Association franchise remains here even if Bennett gets his wish and moves the Sonics to Oklahoma City.

Levinson said the group is buying the team for Storm fans and the community.

"This is driven by the enthusiasm of the fans," she said. "When you see Storm fans renewing their season tickets in the middle of complete uncertainty, saying, 'No, we want you here. This is important to us. Show us some support,' it's nearly impossible to turn that down."

Read the rest in the Seattle Times
So, what does this mean for us Sonics fans? Probably nothing. Clay had no interest in the Storm whatsoever and finding someone to buy the team is as much of a victory for Bubba and his Okie Woman Haters Club as the city of Seattle.

The interesting thing about this deal is the remarkable way it came together: four rich basketball fans buy their favorite team. Can you imagine if that happened with the Sonics? The Seattle Times' dares to dream about Sonics Super-fan Steve Ballmer sweeping in as a big, bald white knight. Granted, the Sonics aren't for sale, but as the Million Dollar Man used to say, everything is for sale if you have enough money.

Monday, January 7

Sonics: Just. Painful.

Seattle SuperSonics' rookie Kevin Durant drives past Washington Wizards' DeShawn Stevenson during the first half of their NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008, in Washington. The Wizards won ,108-86. <br />(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
The Sonics are making it very difficult for me to keep my New Year's Resolutions:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Washington Wizards had just won their second straight game by more than 20 points, but coach Eddie Jordan wasn't happy.

At halftime of Washington's 108-86 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Sunday, Jordan lectured the team.

"We're not that good," Jordan told them.

Read the rest here.
Not that good? What does that make us? Wait, don't answer that.

After seeing a game like this, it makes you wonder: are the Sonics even trying? Do they have their eyes on the lottery already or, worse, on the moving vans? Is it any wonder the enthusiasm for basketball in this town ranks somewhere between George W. Bush and E. Coli? Sigh.

In other depressing news, I entered one of those cheesy online comedy competitions. If you have some free time, please stop by and vote for me. I need all the help I can get.

Thursday, January 3

New proof that Sonics owners are evil

"What, Me Evil?"

Not content with crushing the dreams of Seattle basketball fans, it appears that Sonics minority owner Aubrey "McCreepy" McClendon is hell bent on spreading his evil one community at a time.

Seattlest's Seth Kolloen writes about McClendon's plans to wipe out a national park in Michigan.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate these guys?

Wednesday, January 2

New Year's Resolutions

To start off 2008 right, I thought I'd try something new this year: blogging. Ha! Seriously, I haven't been blogging about the Sonics much lately. I know this, because I keep getting emails saying "Why the hell aren't you blogging about the Sonics much lately?"

Well, my faithful handful of readers, you'll be pleased to know that one of my New Year Resolutions is to write more for Supersonicsoul. In fact, here's my entire list of Resolutions, some of which I actually plan on keeping:
1) Lose weight. (I'm starting to look like Vin Baker, if Vin Baker were 5'10 and white)
2) Read more. (Sorry, Blogs don't count.)
3) Take the "next step" in my comedy career. ("Next step" = "get paid once in a while")
4) Write more for Supersonicsoul (See? I told you so!)
And what do other folks have on their to-do list this year?
  • Greg Nickels: Eat more pie.
  • Jeff Renner: Grow back mustache
  • Steve Pool: Kick Jeff Renner's Ass
  • Aubrey McClendon: Learn to lie.
  • Clay Bennett: Teach Aubrey to lie. If that doesn't work, kill him.
  • David Stern: Admit to world that Clay Bennett and I are life partners.
  • Oklahoma City Council: Invent a way to print money and/or gold. Also, find way to tax all City Slickers and Fancy Pants.
  • Scooter Presti: Get Supersonicsoul to stop calling me Scooter.
  • Kevin Durant: Increase shots per game to at least 300.
  • PJ Carlesimo: Find Danny Fortson's phone number.

O.K. Supersonicsouliacs, we've all shared, now it's your turn! What are you planning on doing this year to make yourself a more complete person and/or Sonics fan? Go to more games? Post more comments? Shave the image of Slick Watts in your chest hair? We wants to know!