A small aside from the craziness that reigns this time of year in the self-publishing/personal book industry. I've avoided railing here on the absurd decision and lack of loyalty that was the move of the Seattle Supersonics to somewhere in the Southwest under a name that I won't mention. It was the final nail in the coffin in my mind for a league that has really lost it's way under David Stern.
I moved to Seattle in January, 1979. That year the Sonics won their first and only world championship in five games over the Washington Bullets (now the Wizards). I was hooked. Lenny Wilkins was our coach and he was a Hall of Fame player while with the St Louis Hawks of my childhood. Gus Williams was our star and he didn't look any taller than me among the giants that he had to play against every night. Paul Silas was the enforcer along with young Lonnie Shelton. It was a wonderful team. I bought into season tickets for many years until the cost just got too high to continue, which was the beginning of the end for the Sonics as we knew them.
So the word on the street is that New Orleans, who lost their first NBA team to Salt Lake City (Utah Jazz? Really? Got to be the strangest name connection since the Lakers left Minneapolis), are not supporting the team and it likely will move. This is the team that the City that won't be named should have waited for, as they helped to bridge the time after Katrina by giving the Hornets a place to play. But, no, carpetbaggers with lots of dollars and nothing else to do had to come steal our team, with Stern as a willing accomplice.
Word is that Steve Ballmer remains interested in an NBA team in Seattle, as he was to try to keep the Sonics from leaving only to see the complete lack of support from Seattle's Mayor, who lost reelection to an unknown in large part due to his stupidity in the matter, and our wise State Legislature, who also managed to run the corporate offices of Boeing out of state. Members of the Seattle City Council even publicly stated that the NBA had no value to the community. Zero.
In an urban area the NBA is more than just another sport. It was a major part of our identity. It's not an accident that Seattle has become a hotbed for basketball. Ask any of our young stars and they will call out guys like Gary Payton, or Shawn Kemp as a prime motivating factor.
I feel bad for the fans in New Orleans. I can't imagine doing to them what the losers in Oil-ville did to us. But New Orleans is not an NBA town for what ever reason and the Hornets are going to move. And as much as I thought I would never say it, I hope they come here.
Make no doubt about it, those impostors that play in the state between Texas and Kansas are not the Sonics the way the Hornets in New Orleans were the Hornets in Charlotte. They have no legacy. That legacy lives, legally and rightfully, here in Seattle. That team is simply a very good expansion team with no real history. If the Hornets move to Seattle they will be the reincarnation of the Sonics. We still have our championship trophy. The names like Sikma, Payton, McDaniel. MacMillan, Brown and Chambers will be part of the rebirth. The people who stole our team could have done things the right way and had an untarnished legacy of having saved the Hornets. In the end, they killed the Hornets. I feel bad for the players that have worn that uniform in the past.
So I'm gradually getting used to the idea that Seattle may once again have an NBA team. For some reason the Horn-ics seem like a good fit and may be the salve that heals the open wounds brought to bear by Stern and friends. We'll see how it all works out.
For those interested, Sonicsgate is a great, award winning indie film about the whole move debacle and Steve Kelly has a nice piece on the recent events.