Does this mean that the KeyArena event is a non-starter? Blazer coach Nate "Mr. Not-So-Sonic" McMillan intimated as much in an earlier interview, and this new scheduling lends credence to the thought that perhaps the NBA overestimated Seattle's ability to forgive and forget.
Tickets go on sale for the Vancouver game on August 8th, but I don't know what the story is for the Seattle game.
Looks like my suspicions were correct. Percy Allen from the Seattle Times reports that the Oct. 14 matchup at KeyArena has been ... canceled.
Allen tried, but was unsuccessful in getting Portland's front office to admit they canceled the game because they knew a sizable amount of bitter, twisted old Sonic fans would show up with NSFW banners with various combinations of "Stern," "Bennett," "Sucks," "F$#@," etc., etc.
Instead, Portland President Larry Miller told Allen, "We were looking into it, checking into and thinking that it was going to work out, but at the same time we were looking at some other options for that game." And, as a result, the Blazers will now play Oct. 14 in Portland, at the Memorial Coliseum.
So let me get this straight, the Blazers, who are desperately wooing Seattle fans, and are aiming to broadcast their games on radio and possibily TV in Seattle this season, decided the best possible way to lure ex-Sonics fans into the Blazer fold was to cancel their only visit to Seattle and replace it with a game in ... Portland?
In what universe does playing a early pre-season game in Portland make more sense than Seattle, from a business perspective?
I'll tell what universe: The universe where the NBA refuses to acknowledge that there is anything but unconditional love of their product. The universe where David Stern refuses to admit that he made a colossal PR blunder in removing the Sonics from Seattle. The universe where Mr. Stern loathes any possible hint of negative reflections on his disgraceful conduct.
That's the universe we're talking about, no matter what Larry Miller says.