Wednesday, April 16, 2008

SOS Ignored

Usually when an S.O.S. is sent, it is expected to fall on the ears of one interested in helping the distressed. But these days, when the cry is heard from the Seattle community regarding their SuperSonics (one of the greatest regionally affiliated team names ever, up there with the Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Steelers), those in best position to help have turned a deaf ear. Namely, David Stern.

Most people on the east coast don't really care about the Sonics. But there is good reason to keep this team in the city of it's founding. Most teams that have moved, especially in the NBA, have found limited succes afterwards. For example, the Buffalo Braves (San Diego/LA Clippers), Vancouver Grizzlies (Memphis), Rochester/Cincinnati Royals/Kansas City/Omaha Kings (Sacramento) and until this season, Charlotte Hornets (New Orleans). But that is not the major reason for keeping a team at home. How many people realize that the Sonics have won an NBA title? 1979 over the Washington Bullets, led by Dennis Johnson and coached by Lenny Wilkens. The Wizards still exist yet their last title team was a year earlier against the same Sonics. The Sonics also made it to the finals in 1996 before losing in six games to a team that many consider the greatest of all-time (and at the very least earned the best ever record at 72-10) in the Chicago Bulls. It just seems wrong that a team with such great success, even if it wasn't last year, would be moved to a place that has no history of professional athletics, let alone basketball.

Now, I have no issue with a team being located in Oklahoma City, I just wish it wasn't going to be the Sonics. I was a big fan of Seattle growing up in the prime years of the Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Detlef Schrempf, Nate McMillan, Dalle Ellis teams (not to mention Hersey Hawkins or Sam Perkins). I had over 50 individual Shawn Kemp basketball cards, and despite his ballooned weight, multiple illegitimate children and money woes, I still generally think fondly of him. His dunks were ferocious and despite his limited intellect, he was able to play all over the court.

Maybe I shouldn't be so biased in my opinion, or maybe I should. I think it's a joke what David Stern is doing with Seattle. He's giving Clay Bennett a free ride out of town. I wish there was someone higher to appeal to in order to keep the Sonics where they belong, in Seattle.

1 comment:

Prizz said...

As a Seattle native (and kid who wept tears of fury when the #1 seed Sonics crashed out to the Nuggets), I'm intensely disappointed with the pending move. Even a disinterested observer would have to admit that this whole Schulz/Bennett/Stern fiasco is verging on diabolical.

As a side bar, Dennis Johnson might be one of the most underrated players in league history. 1979 Finals MVP, 3 time NBA champion, and one of the best defenders of all time. Props to DJ.