I hated the Sacramento Kings.
From the Human Flop Vlad Divac to that rat-faced punk Mike Bibby, I have always loathed that team. And the cowbells? Ugh. They were almost as annoying as soccer fans
In 2005, there was more than a little schadenfreude being dished out around here when Danny Fortson sat on Brad Miller
in the playoffs, literally crushing this pesky little team of overrated divas and allowing us (at least before getting stomped in the next round by eventual champs San Antonio) to bask in the glory of our Cinderella team, the last good team we would see in this town for quite a while.
So you'd think with this sort of deep, borderline psychotic hatred of the Kings, I would be happy to eliminate them from the history books while getting back my beloved Seattle Supersonics. But I'm not.
Because if we gleefully swipe a team from a city that has faithfully supported them (ENOUGH WITH THE COWBELLS! I GET IT ALREADY!), we become (gulp) Oklahoma.
We will have to let go of the glorious torch of righteousness we've been able to wave in the faces of Clay Bennett, David Stern and the rest of the slimy dirtbags who lied, cheated and swindled to get their damn dirty paws on our team. We become part of the same problem that cost us a team in the same place. We become enablers of the NBA's cycle of abuse and extortion.
It's tempting to say our case is different. That at least we're being upfront about wanting to take another city's team, unlike Bubba Bennett, who claimed to be giving us a chance to show we "deserved" a team (!), while purposely tanking the organization, alienating the fanbase and demanding the city pay for the most expensive arena in NBA history. In fact, I'll probably be consoling myself with that exact straw man fallacy if this deal goes through. We're not like OKC! We're not like . . . THEM!
But in the end, the only way we can truly have a clean install of Sonics 2.0 is to start from scratch with an expansion team.
And believe me, I know how unlikely that is. The NBA already has too many teams. The only way we'd ever get an expansion team is if another team folded, and isn't that in essence what would be happening in Sacramento (and in Seattle in 2008, for that matter)? And besides, this is just business
Except it isn't.
We don't watch basketball for the cold numbers of enterprise. We watch it because we fall in love with teams. We follow them like lovestruck teeny-boppers
. We are crushed with every loss and walk on clouds when (or "if" in Seattle's case) they win. Sports are about irrational love, not backroom deals and corporate naming rights. When we buy another city's team, we're not just acquiring a franchise, we're taking someone's dream (See
: NBA Finals, 2012).
As someone who has felt this pain, I hope the Kings stay in Sacramento. I hope they get the chance we never had. And I hope we get a new, guilt-free Seattle Supersonics someday so we can kick their miserable asses all over again.