Thursday, September 29
As always, Supersonicsoul is late to the party on this one (hey, it's not my fault that I don't obsessively follow Twitter and Facebook; I've got kids on my lawn!).
Anyways, it looks like the whole fiasco started with Spreadshirt.com/NBA Off-Season.
Who created this mess, you ask? Well, that's a fellow named Mark in Florida, who thought it would be clever to piss off every one who ever lived in the 206 area code at some point in their life. Here's the tag line Mark came up with to sell his "product:"
You can't bring the Sonics back to Seattle but we've done the second best thing: bring the old Sonics logo to Oklahoma City. Maybe that's not the second best thing, but bitter Sonics fans and converted Thunder fans alike can now rep with pride!
Okay, that's just stupid, but whatever. Clearly, Mark didn't care if he ruffled a few feathers if it meant he could double his usual t-shirt sales to, I don't know, six, I guess. (Zing!). Unfortunately, that's when things started to get a little ugly for our friend, Mark, as the Bring Back Our Sonics entity on Facebook got wind of it, and their followers started harassing the heck out of poor, silly Mark. To make matters worse, it appears that ol' Mark wasn't even born in the US, and, indeed, is an ESL fellow, meaning he probably never anticipated the crapstorm he was about to walk into.
But back to NBA Offseason, the purveyors of this garbage. After numerous emails, voice mails, and complaints from Sonic fans, they issued this statement (shown in partial form here):
The intention with this particular shirt was to highlight the Seattle Sonics situation. The Oklahoma City Thunder are originally from Seattle and should still be in Seattle. There never was any malicious intent with it. We were not attempting to be disrespectful of a passionate fan base; we were highlighting the difficult situation between Sonics and Thunder fans, in our own humorous way.
Again, as lame as lame can be. While someone who wasn't born in this country might be able to hide by a language defense, the people at NBA Off-Season should have known that this sort of thing would have bothered the heck out of Sonic fans. Even worse, I can't see anyone in OKC considering buying this piece of crap either, which means it was just a crass attempt at bolstering their pathetic company's name.
Good work, fellas.
Anyways, Buckwalter is about to be inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame (and no, smart aleck, it's not because he lost to the Blazers as the Sonics coach), and the former Portland executive regaled Matt Calkins of The Columbian with some great early 1970s hoops stories, including this classic involving the legendary John Brisker:
... a couple weeks later in Detroit, [Brisker] introduced Buckwalter to his two brothers — both of whom had just been released from prison and were seeking tickets.
Buckwalter provided them with two just behind the Sonics’ bench, but quickly regretted the decision as the brothers bombarded him with complaints about Brisker not being on the court.
“Settle down!” Buckwalter snapped. “He’ll be in in a second.”
That’s when one of the brothers pulled back his jacket and revealed a gun.
“I looked down the bench and said ‘John, get in,’ ” Buckwalter recalled. “It was about then I realized head coaching was a perilous job.”
The rest of the article makes for great reading, although, sadly, there aren't any other firearm stories to be had.
(Via The Columbian).
Wednesday, September 28
That in mind, I'm curious how most folks around here regard the impending lockout. For many of us, the thought of not having pro basketball on television for a prolonged period is a horrifying prospect. For others, the idea of seeing owners, players, fans, and everyone else be forced to endure what we have endured - even if for only a year - is a schadenfreude-filled joy.
So, in which ring do you cast your hat? Are you rejoicing at NBA armageddon, or are you biting your fingernails with anxiety at an NBA-free winter?
Thursday, September 22
Tuesday, September 20
Helene Elliott points out that - while the ongoing lockout has tarred his legacy - Mr. Stern will leave office as the best leader professional sports has known. To prove it, she quotes Scott Rosner, the associate director of Wharton Sports Business initiative at the University of Pennsylvania:
"To think about where this sport was when he took over in the early '80s, so many teams losing money — the majority of the teams losing money — the Finals were on tape delay in many markets across the country, and David has brought that league to where it is."
Point One - Tape Delay
This is a falsity, and an "associate director of Whatever" should know it. Stern became commissioner of the NBA in 1984 and CBS began broadcasting live coverage of the NBA Finals (and playoffs, for that matter) in 1982. Only a fool would give Stern any credit for that achievement. Is it possible that some markets were still opting to tape-delay the games in 1984, even though CBS was broadcasting them live? Certainly, but to think that Stern's leadership - and not the Lakers/Celtics phenomenon - was the main factor is beyond ludicrous, it's just flat-out idiotic.
Point Two - Profitable Teams
Excuse me, but are we not in the middle of a lockout caused by the fact that nearly all the teams are losing money? How is this any different than the situation Stern inherited 30 years ago?
Stern - and his boosters - cannot have it both ways. If, as he claims, the NBA is bereft of profitable teams, then he needs to take responsibility for that. If, however, he is a great commissioner and his teams are making bundles of money, then why are they trying to bend the players over a park bench?
Just because David Stern had the good fortune to get his job precisely when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were leading the pre-eminent franchises in the league and months before the greatest professional athlete in American history was set to debut for the Chicago Bulls doesn't mean he's a genius, or the best commissioner in America, or any of that crap.
It just means he was pretty damned lucky.
Wednesday, September 14
Of course, the correct answer is lots of strippers, but the council isn't interested in that, they're more interested in how much money it would take to get the 29-year-old building into something resembling pro-sports-ready status. $45 million? $145 million? $3.1 billion?
Anyone with a nickel's worth of common sense would tell you that there is no way 17,000 people are going to make the drive down I-5 at 6:30 to watch a basketball game (Anyone out there remember what it was like in 1994-95? Care to re-enact that fiasco? I didn't think so.).
And that's what it boils down to. It's conceivable that the NHL would give it a look, but even that's pushing it. Any professional sports team in this region that wants to be successful is going to need to draw people from the greater Seattle area, which means either a team in downtown or on the eastside, not Tacoma, no how matter how much money they put into renovating the Tacoma Dome.
(via Bellingham Herald)
Tuesday, September 13
No team in Sonics history received more attention than the mercurial Payton/Kemp team of the 1990s.