As much of a Nate McMillan fan as I am (and I am a huge one), he's really beginning to test my patience.
For evidence, see this latest quote from 'Mr. Sonic':
"The fans of Seattle have really become Blazer fans. Some of them up there of course still love the Sonics but because we have a lot of guys from Seattle area, we do have a fan base there."
(quote obtained via seattlepi.com).
Set aside the sheer inaccuracy of his statement (the fans of the Seattle have really NOT become Blazer fans, regardless of how much effort the Portland marketing staff makes), is it really necessary for him to say these things? At what point do we stop wondering if this is Nate trying to placate his present employer, and start wondering if he really has a bitter attitude towards all things Sonics after his messy departure four years ago?
McMillan endeared himself to a generation of fans with his on-court tenacity, selfless devotion to the team, and his no-BS style as a coach. He was a key contributor to all of the great Seattle playoff runs of the past 25 years, and if you had asked five years ago if there was any way I would ever consider throwing away my McMillan replica jersey, I would have laughed in your face.
And then spit in it.
Now? Now, I'm not so sure.
I'm not saying we should go crazy and cut the Mr. Sonic sash from his chest, but, at the very least, perhaps we should open the utility drawer and remove the scissors.
No way am I joining that BS bandwagon.
I know how most would answer this but if Vancouver an dSeattle shared a team 50-50? And the Key either was left as is had a freshening for half the cost or less of the previous proposal? Probably won't happen for numerous reasons but I think it could work. 2 TVs contracts, 2 merchandising markets, more sell-outs, more marketing deals, etc.
The travel considerations would be pretty onerous; and imagine if you were trying to recruit players as free agents.
"Let me get this straight, I can make $10 mil a year and live in one city, Portland, which means one house, one set of everything, etc, etc., or I can make $10 mil a year and live in two cities, Seattle-Vancouver, which means two houses, two sets of everything, etc, etc. Oh, and I get to pay 45% tax on my Vancouver earnings (20 games/year)? Where do I sign!"
Not to rain all over your parade, but I just can't ever see that happening. As it stands, until KeyArena is refurbished to David Stern's ever-shifting standards, there will be no hoops in this town.
I ain't marching in a parade no more.
Don't need two houses, no player would. Just treat the other city as part of the road life. For most players even their home basketball city is really a road city compared to where they choose to live otherwise.
Toronto draws certain players. Every city draws certain players more than others. I think Seattle-Vancouver would draw about as well as Portland.
Yeah it might be a negative but a mild negative.
And I mention this because Seattle may / probably will never be willing to redo the Key to Stern or the next guy's satisfaction. This was intended to be a nothing else has worked or is likely to work so what else is there last chance, longshot proposal.
Recognizing that almost nobody or nobody else would agree. But there it is anyway. My 2 cents.
I can see where you're coming from, but it seems more likely that KeyArena gets refurbished than a Seattle/Vancouver deal ever happens.
There are some other pros, though:
1. Much, much easier to sell (2) 20-game season ticket packages to two different markets than (1) 40-game package.
2. Expanded TV coverage (Sea/Van) vs smaller TV coverage (Sea only).
Another interesting negative: Where would they play the playoff games? Coin flip?
All in all, it seems like too much hassle. But, hey, if that's what it takes to get the NBA back in town, it's worth exploring, I suppose.
I mentioned those pros in the first comment along with others.
For playoffs it could be decided by where the owner or ownership group lives or split em.
FYI - I just read that Phoenix is thinking about doing this with the Coyotes. They'd play a few games 'home' in Canada at various sites, and some playoff games as well (if necessary). It's not going over so well from what I heard.
City sharing could just be a transition step for a Seattle team. I accept that eventually the Key will be redone or replaced again. By 2020 it will be pretty old as arenas go. But for 2012-4? I doubt Seattle gets it done.
Maybe Vancouver eventually warrants a team of its own, especially if they land an Asian ownership group.
Stern could do the 2 city thing, even temporary, especially if he ends up with problem franchises on his hands as seems likely in a few years, and then play judge and decide which way to go based on attendance, overall revenue streams, etc. Even going an entirely different direction later if things don't work out (Vegas, San Jose, Anaheim, whatever)
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