Tuesday, November 27

Happy birthday Reign Man!

Happy belated birthday to the greatest athlete in Seattle sports history.

Tuesday, October 9

Stern Talks Expansion (Maybe)

First found via the tremendous Tom Ziller at the fantastic Sactown Royalty.  Ziller's article attempted to ascertain whether David Stern was actually, possibly thinking about maybe going the expansion route rather than the scorched earth franchise relocation method when it came to Seattle and the NBA. 

At first blush, it seemed as though Ziller might be reading too much into the proverbial tea leaves (and, hey, can you blame the guy?), but when you watch the video at NBA.com, well, you can understand his sentiments. The video is here (and skip to around the 26 minute mark), but you can read the pertinent transcript below:

Q: Commissioner, regarding the Seattle new arena, is there a chance during the next five years when they’ll probably finalize it [the arena], that there’ll be an expansion team, a new Seattle Supersonics?

Stern: Are you the gentleman from Albania?

Q: Romania.

Stern: Romania, yes, Romania. You want to know about the Seattle Supersonics? I love it! 

Q: Yeah, because I grew up with Seattle.

Stern: Oh, well, good! You see, that’s the universality of our game. The answer is, there seem to be plans, uh, moving along for a new arena in Seattle. There was general agreement in the past that Seattle needed a new arena, and, uh, it would be my hope that within the time frame that you mentioned – five years – that if everything works out perfectly, there would be a new arena and a new team in Seattle. That’s always for the NBA Board of Governors , but I know that many governors are favorably inclined. 

Who knows what rattles around the in the head of David Stern, and who knows if he truly meant to indicate expansion was a possibility, or if he merely meant a "new" team in much the same way I tell my 3-year-old daughter that her shoes are "new," even though her sister wore them four years ago. 

Either way, God bless Romania.

Monday, September 24

And you thought NBA refs were bad.

Give the refs a break--they just forgot which guy slam-dunked the home run ball!

Sacramento Kings clearing the books for move to Seattle? Let the wildly unfounded speculation begin!

Seattle Supersonics fans know the pain of having a beloved team ripped from their home.

Four years ago, after being a Seattle institution for 41 years, the Sonics were shanghaied to the mid-south, never to be heard from again. Northwest basketball fans were devastated and many (like myself) vowed to never watch another NBA game again.

And yet, as the Seattle City Council votes to approve a new stadium to lure an NBA and/or NHL team here, I'm probably not the only one who has a Google alert set for "Sacramento Kings, Seattle".

With no expansion in the near future, to get Seattle back into the NBA country club, one must agree to a Faustian pact: to avenge your own heart being broken, you must break another's.

So it's with a stomach churning mix of optimism and self-hatred that I read the following report out of Sacramento this morning:

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It’s a money meltdown for the Sacramento Kings as their biggest sponsor is splitting, and they’re not the only ones. 
One of the Kings’ most loyal corporate sponsors is taking a bite out of the owners’ already rickety revenue structure.  
Carl’s Jr. once touted them as billionaire brothers in an ad campaign, but now the fast food company tells CBS13 that its cravings for the Maloofs are over. 
“Carl’s Jr. is not seeking naming rights for the arena in Sacramento. While we have sponsored the Kings in the past, we will not be renewing our team sponsorship this season,” a company statement read. 
CBS13 has learned the Maloofs are only offering companies one-year sponsorship deals, no long-term commitments. As a result, some of the local companies who came together in a $10 million sponsorship pledge last year are also out.   
Read the rest here.

One-year sponsorship deals. No long-term commitments. These sort of self-inflicted revenue wounds sound eerily familiar to Sonics fans, who remember Big Boy Bennett using the same despicable tactics to make it look like there was no support for the team in Seattle the year before they moved. 

As a lifelong Sonics freak, I admit I'm excited about getting an NBA team. But as an empathetic sports fan who still feels the pain of having his team stolen away in the dead of night, this sort of story makes me more than a little queasy about our deal with the devil.

Thursday, September 13

Chris Hansen: Seattle's new teen heartthrob

Seattle Supersonics savior Chris Hansen is making fanboys swoon across the Northwest (he even wants to buy you a beer tonight!). I'm sure at some point the honeymoon will be over ("I can't believe that idiot traded Xavier McDaniel Jr. for Devlin Schrempf!") but for now, let's just bask in his wonderfulness , like a 70s teenager with a copy of Tiger Beat.

Monday, September 10

BREAKING NEWS: Chris Hansen, City Council reach agreement on new NBA / NHL arena in Seattle

UPDATE: Press conference at 9:30 this morning--stay tuned!

Chris Daniels at KING-5 News just broke the story that investor/saint Chris Hansen and the Seattle City Council have apparently reached a deal on the new NBA/ NHL arena that could lead the way to the return/rebirth of the Seattle Supersonics:

SEATTLE – Multiple Sources confirmed Monday that a deal has been reached between the Seattle City Council and the investor group led by Chris Hansen on the financial terms that would put a new sports arena near Safeco Field. 
A key, multi-million dollar concession by Hansen that could see his investor group spend more out of pocket to build the arena appears to have brought reluctant councilmembers onboard with the project.  City Council members are expected to make an official announcement outlining the terms of the agreement on Tuesday.
Read the rest at KING-5 News.

Friday, July 27

Bully Pulpit

Since the elected leaders of Boston and Chicago are so eager to condemn Chick-fil-A for the company's anti-gay-marriage stance, might I suggest an additional person for whom they could direct their vengeance?

Perhaps a boycott of all OKC games played in Boston or Chicago would be in order?

Thursday, July 26

I'm not crazy. You're the one that's crazy.

Here at Supersonicsoul, it goes without saying we are pretty crazy about the Seattle Supersonics.  If prompted, I could name every player on every roster during the Bernie Bickerstaff era. I considered naming my children after several of them. To say, during a certain time of my life, I was obsessed with my favorite team would be a monumental understatement. 

Having said that, there is absolutely no way, even when the team was stolen away by a backwater baron,  I would consider comparing my plight as a beleaguered fan to 9/11.

Of course, this could just be an isolated wacko. I mean, I'm sure most Penn State fans are reasonable people, right? 

It's times like these that make me never ever ever never ever want to care about sports again. 

Tuesday, July 24

Thanks but no thanks

Um . . . thanks to whoever sent Supersonicsoul an invite to join the Romney campaign, but we have a strict anti-cyborg policy around here

Thursday, July 19

Big Arena Meeting Tonight at Town Hall

He's short, like us!

To all our supporters, 
I just wanted to reach out to all of you ahead of tonight’s joint public hearing. This is a fantastic opportunity for all of you to express both how important this project is to you and why this is a great deal for the City and County. While I first and foremost want to encourage all of you to attend, as a great turnout will really help our cause, I also want to express to you that it is important for us to handle ourselves with class. 
While I think we all feel that this is a great chance to make our case, I would just ask each of you to appreciate the fact that the democratic process here in Seattle is as much a part of our history and culture as the Sonics. The Councils are simply doing their duty in vetting our deal and asking tough questions, and as with most things in life, not every citizen is going to agree with our opinion. As such, we should be respectful of both the Council members and our opposition. Nothing good can come from rudeness, heckling, or booing. I’m sure that’s actually what many people expect from passionate sports fans. Let’s show them that we’re better than that. 
We have the facts squarely on our side, so I would just encourage any of you who plan to attend to take a deep breath and relax. If you plan to speak, do your homework, try to say something thoughtful, helpful, and factual, and above all do so in a polite and courteous manner. Never underestimate the power of being kind, genuine, and respectful. 
— Chris Hansen
For more info, go to www.sonicsarena.com

Tuesday, July 17

Tuesday, July 10

Reunited and It Feels So Good

So, you've no doubt read that Rashard Lewis has signed a contract with Miami, and that Ray Allen is expected to do the same some time this week (next week? not sure).

In any event, it obviously marks the sentimental reuniting of two players who never gave a damn about defense ... rather, it reunites two high-scoring former Sonics in the down phases in their careers, appealing to about 17 people outside of the 206 area code.

Surprisingly, this is not the first time two former 20-ppg teammates on the Sonics have found themselves teammates once again in non-Seattle jerseys. In fact, it's happened twice! (I know, it's right there with the ending of the Usual Suspects!)

First time:

Bob Rule and Lenny Wilkens
68-69 to 71-72 in Seattle
 72-73 and 73-74 with the Cavaliers

Second time:
Tom Chambers and Xavier McDaniel
85-86 to 97-88 in Seattle
90-91 with the Suns

Some other notable re-pairings ...
Avery Johnson and Dale Ellis
88-89 to 89-90 in Seattle
92-93 in San Antonio

Shawn Kemp and Detlef Schrempf
93-94 to 96-97 in Seattle
00-01 in Portland

Sam Perkins and Derrick McKey
99 to 01 Pacers

Best of all ...

Eddie Johnson and Derrick McKey and Ricky Pierce
95-96 Pacers (no wonder I loved those mid-90s Pacers so much; that, and Vern Fleming)

Of note, Marvin Webster and Spencer Haywood were teammates on the 78-79 Knicks, but were never teammates in Seattle.

Thursday, June 21

Supersonic Schadenfreude

Not exactly sure what's going on here, but thanks guys! 

ESPN quoted me in this article on bitter sports fans. In related news, I am ecstatic OKC got their asses kicked tonight in the NBA Finals--time to light the  Jack Sikma shrine and do the Habegger Hop!

Tuesday, June 19

Stern-spiracy in Miami?

Photo from Sonicsgate Facebook page

This just in from the Sonicsgate Twitter feed:
  at the  Game4. Arena staff inexplicably confiscated our signs in Q2  
The Zombies have taken control of Miami--get out while you still can!!

Monday, June 18

Oh, History

Here's a fun trivia fact for you:

OKC's top three scorers are all 25 years or younger (using total point scores to determine said scorers). Well, actually, they're all 23 years or younger, but I'm going somewhere with this, so bear with me.

Can you guess the last NBA champion who featured under-25-year-olds as its three leading scorers?

Wait for it ...


Amazing, no? (In case you were wondering, those three scorers were Gus Williams (25), Jack Sikma (23), and Dennis Johnson (24).

Friday, June 15

Cyborg spotting!

Sure, we're all happy that thousands of Sonics fans showed up for the rally yesterday. But what the hell was that CYBORG doing there? Was he an evil agent of the NBA? I smell a STERN-spiracy! I think it might be time to call in Danny Fortson to investigate.

Wednesday, June 13

Ballmer, Nordstroms Join Hansen's Group

Per this letter from Chris Hansen to King County and the City of Seattle, the prospective new Sonic owner has added Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and renowned locals Peter and Erik Nordstrom to his ownership/arena investment group. As Hansen points out, their association "reinforces my commitment that the team will never again leave Seattle."

(via King 5)

Monday, June 11

More Evins

Remember the bit in the Bible where God says He'd spare Sodom if Abraham could find 50 righteous men*? I was reminded of that story from my church-going days when I read this comment on last week's post:
EvinOKC said...
I never watched pro basketball much until the Thunder came to OKC. On a whim I got season tickets and split them with family. Over the years I've become a die hard fan and my boy has grown up watching the team. Now he yells and cheers and gets mad when I make him go to bed for the Celtics games. Im truly happy for the Thunder but watching my boy I realize what you lost and why it sucks so bad! If he lost his team it would be gut wrenching for me. I truly hope you get a team again. Any fans who keep a blog up four years later are obviously true fans in my book! Hopefully you get a team again soon so I can travel to Seattle for a Sonics Thunder game!
I shall spare thee, OKC**. Just findeth me 49 more Evins.

Genesis 18:26***
** No, no, I'm not saying I'm God or have any smiting abilities on my resume. No, I just speak for Him. KIDDING AGAIN.
*** Actually, The more appropriate line would be Jeremiah 5:1, where God says He'd forgive Jerusalem if there was ONE righteous dude there. Pssh, way to play favorites, GOD.

SI's Classic Sonic Photos

Some fantastic stuff here from Sports Illustrated, although the quality tends to deteriorate towards the end. My personal favorite is the one shown above.

Friday, June 8

Hey, Brother, Would You Like to Buy a Map?

"The results from today’s annual meeting are the corporate equivalent of riots in the street – with the fury pointed directly at McClendon’s debt-fueled empire building and the conflicted intertwining of his personal interests with those of shareholders. With such anger, it’s hard to see how he can govern at all."

(via Slate)

If I'm David Stern, I'm keeping a close eye on the Larry O'Brien Trophy for the next fortnight. With gold prices being what they are, there's a non-zero chance McClendon might try to swipe it and melt it down.

Thank you Tri-City Herald . . .

 (Courtesy of Peter Fries and Tri-City Herald)

Thursday, June 7

The Four-Year Post

[Note: I have a buddy from That City. He’s a good bloke. He’s actually more of a baseball guy. But to help me sort through all these thoughts I’m having, I had to imagine That City was full of guys like him that I didn’t know, but due to Historic Events, we totally hated each other. Which is kind of stupid when you think about it. So here’s a fake letter to an imaginary version of a friend who’ll never read it, because what kind of weirdo cares this much about basketball?]

Dear Fake Lance,

I didn’t think the day would ever come. But I think at last, I’ve done it. I’ve reached the last stage of grief. Acceptance.

Now, acceptance is not the same thing as being okay with the outcome. Like I would ever say, “Golly, you know, the way the events unfolded was actually for the best! I’m SO glad that happened! You guys were totally right and it was so wrong of me to feel sad or angry. How petty and foolish I was to want to keep something that was dear to me and my city for 41 years. My bad, guys! Cheers!”

Where was I? Oh right. Acceptance.

Since 2008, I’ve been personally, illogically angry about the Zombies’ each and every success. Which means I’ve been getting progressively crankier for 4 years straight.

Over that time, I wondered how I would feel when, God forbid, THAT TEAM made it to the Finals. Or worse, WON the goddamn thing. I predicted I’d for sure be tooth-gnashingly enraged. Like, full-on, gamma-irradiated property damage mode at the very least. But truthfully, when the posts about the Game 6 results popped up in my Facebook feed, my mental state fell somewhere between resigned and numb, with a dash of “meh” thrown in.

I was disappointed. But I didn’t throw my phone, punch my television or rip my Sonics flag off the wall. I didn’t write a heartfelt note to Howard Schultz on the windows of the local Starbucks using dog feces. Progress!

I’m not sure how or why it happened. It could be that I got tired of being mad. It could be that I finally learned that sports is a business, and fanaticism rewards owners and leagues more than the fan. It could be that I took stock of the things I have in my life, and realized a basketball team was just a bonus on top of that. Whatever trick my brain pulled, it seems to have worked.

Which makes me foresee a day where I can feel something like Normal Seattle Sports Heartbreak, instead of Post-Apocalyptic Seattle Sports Heartbreak. And when that day comes, it’s possible that we might be able to coexist in this dimension. We won’t have to like each other, but we can be cool to each other. As in, walk past each other in the hallway and do that up-nod “’Sup?” thing without talking or stopping.

How do we get there? Some suggestions in my usual bullet-point gimmickry:

  • Let go of our history. The banners, the trophies, the stats, the records. You didn’t live it. And you don't need it. Your present and future are way better anyway, so what do you want with our crummy, tortured past?
  • As soon as we get a team, we promise to graduate our hatred of your team from “Blind, Frothing, Clawing-Through-the-Drywall-Rage Every Time We Hear/See Your Stupid Name/Logo” to your run-of-the-mill, “Can’t Fucking Stand That Team But Hey My Blood Pressure Doesn’t Spike Anymore” levels.
  • Go ahead and leave all your lovely, classy comments about us on your own websites and facebook pages. I mean, they are for you, and you should be able to say whatever you want over there. Just please don’t troll our joints, okay? ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA.
  • Acknowledge that the team was not relocated due to low fan support. Fans had little influence on the outcome, and billionaires had plenty. Does pinning the blame on Seattle fans somehow make it easier for you to enjoy your team? Seriously, I don’t know why perpetuating that falsehood is so important.
  • Don’t expect me root for That Team. Ever. It's like telling me "Dude, your ex just won Miss Hawaiian Tropic and she's marrying Ronaldo at Super Bowl Halftime. What do you mean you don't want to watch?" Or to put it in your terms, it’s not like I’d ask you to root for the Longhorns ever, right? So let’s leave it at that.
  • Lastly, realize that there’s a difference between “getting over it” and “moving on.” The former won’t ever happen, but the latter is starting to.
That’s all I got for now. Suggestions welcome.

Friday, June 1

This day in Seattle Supersonics history . . .

On this day back in 1979, Les Habegger did the Habegger hop and the Seattle Supersonics won their only championship.

I was seven years old at the time and preparing to move with my family from San Diego to a mysterious place called the Great Northwest, which I was pretty sure was full of Bigfoots.

We were at a friend's house and got to stay up late because the grown-ups were drinking and forgot about us (1970s!). My big brother and his friend were watching a basketball game on TV. I couldn't believe people played sports this late at night. I would later find out that the game was tape-delayed. THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP WAS TAPE DELAYED!

With Bird and Magic on the way, this turned out to be the last year no one cared about the NBA. Tough luck for the Sonics, but bad timing turned out to be a regular occurrence for the franchise (asking for a stadium right after the city paid for two other ones, drafting possibly the best player in franchise history the year before they move, Patrick Ewing).

On this June night in 1979, however, none of that was on the radar. There was joy and excitement and champagne on the TV. And Seattle looked like a pretty cool place to live.

Monday, May 21

Hoosiers Revisited

Please enjoy this lovely, nostalgic, Hollywood-ending alternative to totally-not-ever-rigged* NBA Playoff basketball.

Via the always-on-point Cosby Sweaters.

*Remind me again why I want anything to do with that crooked operation?

Thursday, May 17

When Is a Free Lunch Not Free?

I know this might run afoul of the prevailing sentiment about the proposed new arena in SoDo, but I'd like to add my two cents about the supposed "tax-free" contributions the public will be making to said arena.

As it stands, all taxes generated by the building - from sales taxes to admission taxes to property taxes - will be redirected away from the city and county general funds and towards paying down the public's debt on the arena. (Going off memory, I think that provision lasts about five years, or at any point, it lasts until the debt is entirely paid). Proponents of the building claim this makes the building "tax-free," in the sense that as those taxes would not exist without the new building, they are, in a sense, found money.

Except that's not really the truth. Yes, there is certainly a large chunk of money that will be generated by the NewSonics that would otherwise not exist, but what percentage is unknowable and, furthermore, there is a very, very large percentage that is being re-routed from other, existing expenditures - expenditures that do contribute taxes to the general revenue.

That's a lot to digest, I know, so let me try to explain it in less complicated terms. 

Let’s take a hypothetical casual basketball fan, Xavier McMillan. In the past, Xavier attended five Sonic games a season, buying a total of 15 tickets a season (his friends, Spencer and Detlef, usually went with him). Those 15 tickets cost him an average of $30 each, and let’s say Xavier spent an additional $40 a game on food, drinks, etc (I know, he’s cheap). Add it all up and he has spent, on an annual basis:

Tickets, $450
Other, $200
Total, $650

After the Sonics left town, Xavier had no pro hoops to follow (well, he drove down to Portland once, but, geez, that was a long drive, and Spencer Payton still hasn’t paid him back for gas like he said he would). So, he started going to other games. A few M’s games, a couple UW games, even a Seattle U game that one Thursday when there wasn’t anything good on TV. In the end, he didn’t dole out the entire $650 that he did on Sonic-related spending, but he did spend $400. And all of the money he spent was being taxed and sent to general funds.

Now, a few years later, Xavier is excited about going to Payton’s Place to watch the Sonics, and all that money he spent on the Mariners, the Huskies, etc. will now get spent on the Sonics.

And that’s the key to this whole deal – instead of contributing $650 that would be taxed and used for roads, schools, and so forth, that $650 will now be taxed and used for a basketball arena.

Now, we can get into the argument about whether the government should or shouldn’t spend money on the ridiculous things it spends money on, or whether tax money spent on building new arenas for billionaires is better than tax money spent on the normal bullcrap governments spend money on. But this isn’t the time for that argument.

No, this argument is whether the money Sonic fans contribute in arena tax revenue is money that would not otherwise have been spent anywhere in King County. Ask yourself, as Sonic fans, what did you do with the money you would have spent on tickets, beers, and popcorn at KeyArena in the past few years?

I’m guessing that at least some of that Sonic money has been spent on other things – movie tickets, bar tabs, rent, Sounders tickets, whatever – all things that contribute tax money to the general fund.

However, by putting up a new arena, you will, in essence, be taking the money you would have been contributing to the general fund and, instead, be directing it towards paying down the debt on the new arena. Now, as a Sonic fan, that’s perfectly fine with you. I’m sure you’d much rather see your $100 or whatever in tax revenues spent on a basketball team than on another study of how to get people to take public transit or whatever else it would have been spent on.

But regardless of how you feel about how the money is spent, the argument that general fund revenues won’t be affected by this new arena is, well, not a lie exactly, but not exactly the truth, either.

(UPDATE: For a better, well reasoned take on this subject from someone who knows quite a bit more about it than myself, check out Field of Schemes.)

Wednesday, May 16

Arena Announcement; NHL No Longer Required

KING5 has the story. With a memorandum of understanding agreed to between the investors in a new NBA team, the mayor of Seattle, and King County, it now goes to the City Council and the King County Council for approval. If approved, construction on a new arena in the SoDo area could conceivably begin as soon as an NBA team is stolen from another city  acquired. Previous speculation had focused on any arena proposal requiring both an NBA and an NHL team for success, but today's MOU seems to indicate that only an NBA team would be necessary, although an NHL team would certainly be nice.

BREAKING NEWS: (Another) Arena Press Conference this morning

Invester/Savior Chris Hansen meets Seattle's last three Sonics fans. (Photo: Joshua Trujillo/seattlepi.com)

Only in Seattle could there be this much excitement about a "memorandum of understanding". (And only in Seattle could there BE something called a "memorandum of understanding"--way to commit, guys!)

From the Seattle Times:
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, County Executive Dow Constantine and hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen are scheduled this morning to announce details on two agreements between Seattle, King County and ArenaCo on financing a new, $490 million sports arena in Sodo.

City and county officials met late Tuesday in McGinn's City Hall office to finalize what Sung Yang, Constantine's chief of staff, characterized as a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that would be sent to the councils.

Hansen and city and county leaders initially proposed a memorandum of understanding to detail how the city and county would issue the construction bonds and how the investment group, led by Hansen, would repay them. A MOU would be less binding than an ordinance and potentially less of a guarantee of taxpayer financial commitment.
 According to KING 5 the press conference will be at 10:30 this morning.

Tuesday, May 15

The Enemy of my Enemy is . . . my Enemy?

I hate the Lakers.

Always have, always will. Whenever I see Dyan Cannon and all the other phony-baloney "fans" at the Forum, I get an overwhelming urge to stab them in the sunglasses. And don't get me started on the wanna-be Lakers fans who would show up at Sonics games wearing Kobe jerseys. What kind of sick bastard would do that?!

 But here I am, a man without a team, long divorced from the ups and downs of the NBA, slowly getting pulled back into the heat of PLAYOFF FEVER by, of all things, the Lakers.

You see, those filthy, rotten Lakers are playing the only team in all of sports that are even more filthy and rotten than they are: The Team That Shall Not Be Named. The Oklahoma . . . ghuhhhhhhh. I can't even write it. Let's just call them . . . Those Guys.

It was bad enough to steal our team (and recently, our history). Now these villainous cretins are forcing me to root for a team that I've hated since I was a child.

 There are probably some old-time Sonics fans that think we should cheer for the You Know Who. After all, we drafted a few of them, and, well, they're playing the LAKERS for God's sake! Well, these people are idiots.

Anyone who would ever root for . . . THEM . . . is not a Sonics fan. A true Sonics fan would root for a team of Hitlers over Those Guys.

Which is exactly what I'm doing. I'm rooting for a bully. I'm cheering for Satan. I'm . . . (shudder) . . . a Lakers fan.

 I want the Lakers to win every game by 2000 points. I want . . . that other team . . . to sob openly on the court and then hurl themselves en masse off the nearest bridge which, hopefully, happens to be over a lake of fire. I want them permanently erased from the NBA record books. Then I want the record books to be burned, just to be safe.

I want all of this to happen. And then I want the Lakers to get swept in the next round.

Thursday, May 3

Just When You Thought You Couldn't Hate Howie Any More

Unbelievable article up right now detailing the final despairing days of a Sonic employee. The money quote:

I didn't see how we'd get an arena deal led by men who couldn't conceive of it as anything but a rich man's boondoggle, perpetrated on behalf of other rich people. Average people would shoulder the costs of making sure that the Puget Sound's affluent—suits at Boeing, executives at Microsoft—could be coddled at a sporting event that average people would no longer be able to afford to attend. 

 See the rest at Deadspin. No, really, see the rest at Deadpin, like, right now. Story by Jeremy Repanich.

Wednesday, May 2

Deserve? Deserve's Got Nothing To Do With It

"But [the Maloofs] don't deserve [Anthony] Davis. They don't deserve a team."

-Steve Kelley, Seattle Times, May 2

Let's get one thing straight - deserve's got nothing to do with.

You want to talk about deserve? Does Jerry Buss - a Class A philanderer - deserve Kobe Bryant?

Does Donald Sterling - a racist skinflint - deserve Blake Griffin or Chris Paul?

Does Aubrey McClendon - a top-class con artist who has swindled his own company out of hundreds of millions of dollars - deserve Kevin Durant?

Does James Dolan - a top-notch jerk who seems to flounder from one disaster to the next - deserve Jeremy Lin?

For crying out loud, who does deserve Anthony Davis? As it stands now, Michael Jordan and the Bobcats will get Davis, even though they forced their customers to pay first-class prices for third-class service the entire 2011-12 season. Do they deserve Davis?

The answer, of course, is no. As much as Steve Kelley would like to get free tickets to NBA games again, and as scandalous as the NBA's departure from Seattle was, we don't deserve an NBA team any more than anyone else. And the notion that David Stern will now - after 30 years of being a condescending and selfish twit- suddenly morph into a benevolent dictator and hand us the keys to the Sacramento Kings, well, I'm sorry, but I'm not holding my breath about that happening anytime soon.

David Stern is going to do what David Stern always does: Get the best deal he can for his owners and let the chips fall where they may. If he can keep the Maloofs in Sacramento and get a new arena he will, but if not, it will be up to the Maloofs - not David Stern, not Steve Kelley, not anyone else - where the team will go next.

Because deserve's got nothing to do with it.

Tuesday, April 24

Richie Rich Hates Aubrey

Aubrey McClendon Must Be Stopped
Shareholders must demand accountability and vote to throw out McClendon. If any pocket of justice exists in our ambivalent world Aubrey McClendon will be forced to exit Chesapeake and walk the long plank of disgrace.

Did I crib this from Mother Jones? Or perhaps Utne Reader? Or Supersonicsoul?

Nope. It's from Forbes, and it's written by an investor from Houston whose most recent piece in the magazine was titled “Some Tips For The Simpletons of Occupy Wall Street.”  Worth a read, if only to revel in the coming financial apocalypse headed Aubrey's way.

Good ol' AM, still an a**hole after all these years.

(via Forbes)

Monday, April 23

Updated Sonicsgate on CNBC; Chunkstyle’s Stern Cameo

As Seen on TV! By Friday, 10pm EDT anyway.
Like every diehard Supes fan, I watched the original Sonicsgate doc with a mixture of pride and heartbreak. I could only watch it in 20-minute segments, if only to keep myself from punching my monitor or sending Tourette’s-like streams of expletives to Howard Schultz’s corporate email account.

It’s been at least two years since I watched the whole thing, so it is easy to recommend, nay, DEMAND a fresh viewing of the documentary in its slim-and-trim-for-2012, 1-hour form on CNBC, Friday April 27 and Sunday April 29, 7pm PDT. What’s new? Oh, just a couple things:
  • new interviews with Sonics legend Shawn Kemp and Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament
  • new archival footage, photos and evidence
  • stunning new graphics and visual effects
Unless they meant some sweet Video Toaster transitions, I should probably mention that the STUNNING! NEW! GRAPHICS! will include my STERNZILLA painting. Which means I will soon be having this conversation on the phone:
"Yes, Mom, the painting will be on TV. No, no, I won't be on TV. Just the painting I did. No, they're not going to talk to me. Because nobody cares what I have to say, I'm an artist. Sigh, yes, I will come over and help you set your VHS."
Anyway, said painting is conveniently now (soon?) available in the all-new SUPERSONICSOULSTORE on the Zazzle. Also, some of my other SSS “Hall of Fame” images are included in the Sonicsgate DVD Bonus Features.

Dammit, did I bury the lede? That’s what I get for being a journalism school dropout.


Friday, April 13

Doesn't Get Old

The Kings are scheduled to play at Power Balance Pavilion next season. Stern wouldn't speculate where they would play beyond that, and said if they sought to relocate, approval would be left to the relocation committee that is headed by Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett.
via AP

I could read those last seven words every day for the rest of my life and it'll still get a laugh. God bless you, David Stern, and your horrible, ridiculous league.

Wednesday, April 4

Hyperbole, Meet Graph

"While the Mariners successfully co-exist with the Seahawks and Sounders in the adjacent CenturyLink Field, Lincoln notes that an NBA arena will need to host 200 or more events a year to be financially viable and would thus dramatically change the road and parking situation in an already-congested area."

(via Pravda)

Graph below shows scheduling of hypothetical NBA, NHL, and MLB teams in Seattle. Dates used for NHL are from the Vancouver Canucks in 2010-11, the OKC Ahem in 2010-11, the Seattle Mariners for April 2012 and the Texas Rangers for October 2011 (playoff data for Mariner games is slightly outdated).

Note that in the entire calendar year, there was one date (April 13) where a regular season Mariner game overlapped a regular season NBA game and no cases where a regular season MLB game overlapped a regular season NHL game. Note that there were six instances - in total - where a regular season/post-season MLB game overlapped a regular season/post-season NBA/NHL game.

In other words, in a typical season where the Mariners miss the playoffs and the NBA/NHL teams leave by the second round, we're talking about three or four days a year where a scheduling snafu might arise.

Not exactly 200, but, then, why let the truth get in the way?

SoDo NoMo?

As someone who proudly wore a Seattle Mariner starter jacket and cap to the 1985 World Series, I think it’s safe to say I have some credibility when it comes to Mariner history.

Which is why I do not make this comment lightly about the M’s thwarting of the proposed Seattle basketball arena: Incredible.

No, it’s not because the Mariners are hypocrites who have no problem sucking from the public teat while simultaneously blocking their brothers from doing the same. And, no, it’s not because they continue to say that their interference has everything to do with traffic concerns and nothing do with keeping a lid on competition for Seattle’s pocketbooks.

No, the reason I say that this whole affair is incredible is because if 1985 me had flown in via time machine to 2012 and heard that the Mariners were the kingpins of the Seattle sports scene … well, 1985 me would have dropped his Mariner painter’s cap and Alvin Davis rookie cards in utter astonishment.

Regardless of your opinion of the nonsense arising from the professional sports teams in this region, you have to be amazed at how times have completely changed in the span of 25 years. Two decades ago, the Mariners played before crowds that resembled a Ringo Starr tour, were routinely booted to odd AM or FM stations whenever the Seahawks happened to be playing at the same time, and were generally thought of as the stepchild of Seattle sports, below (in order) the Seahawks, the Huskies, and the Sonics.

Now? Well, now it’s different. As Geoff Baker pointed out in the Seattle Times today, the Mariners’ decision to stand in the way of the proposed new arena is such a horribly pad PR move that it can only mean the team’s owners are close to selling, and could care less about the long-term ramifications of their decision.

Will their position hurt the team? Honestly, I have to believe that whatever tomatoes get thrown their way will have a minimal impact on the team’s attendance, and whatever money they forfeit from a hypothetical TV network involving the M’s, Sonics, and NHL would be more than made up for by not having to share King County’s disposable income with two other competitors.

Bottom line? The M’s decision is bad PR-wise, but not so bad that it’s going to kill them. After all, every Sonic fan already knows the true moral of this story, and every story regarding pro sports:

It’s a business.