And the Sonics are out

DMZ · July 2, 2008 at 5:42 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Seattle settled, team leaving.

We haven’t said much at all about this, in large part because on non-Mariner or baseball issues, we pretty much stay quiet, and we didn’t have anything insightful to add. But this totally, totally sucks, and there’s so much blame to go around that it’s hard to know where to start. Well, no, actually, you start with Howard Schultz, but you get my point. No one in Seattle, including the other teams, wins here.

And you people in Oklahoma City — I would hope you would be appalled enough by this to not participate in this shameful debacle, but I don’t have a lot of faith in that.

Comments

90 Responses to “And the Sonics are out”

  1. Donald P. on July 2nd, 2008 5:49 pm

    [no]

  2. egreenlaw9 on July 2nd, 2008 5:52 pm

    I just moved to Queen Anne and was really hoping they’d stick around.

    At least we’ll still be able to call ‘em the sonics when we get our new team.

    And while I’m really thankful you guys put this post up, I’m kinda surprised at no mention of the Pilots/Mariners connection.

    Here’s to hoping the Sonics fans get a team as quickly as baseball fans did (even though it was all before I was born).

  3. Benne on July 2nd, 2008 5:53 pm

    What a clusterf*ck. I was too confused about what was going on to actually get angry at anybody or anything. There’s enough blame to go around in this soap opera that it’s impossible to direct any vitirol towards any one person.

  4. profmac on July 2nd, 2008 5:54 pm

    [no]

  5. profmac on July 2nd, 2008 5:54 pm

    [dupe]

  6. Zero Gravitas on July 2nd, 2008 5:54 pm

    The city really got surprisingly out-lawyered in that trial. I was shocked at how much stuff the Sonics’ lawyers dug up that was damaging. And Gorton really screwed the pooch with his NDA noncompliance and whatnot – I didn’t see that coming at all.

  7. martin026 on July 2nd, 2008 5:56 pm

    I have to guess that there is some deal in place for the city to get a new team, otherwise this is just a bad deal.

    I hope it is an expansion team, I would hate to see some fans in another city have to go through this also.

  8. Steve T on July 2nd, 2008 5:56 pm

    I don’t think the Governor has much to do with it; it’s the city who look like morons. Their legal case was a disaster; all the skullduggery with Gorton was just embarrassing.

    But at least we won’t be getting robbed by that team. Now OKC gets to find out how much it really costs.

    As for the Pilots/Mariners connection, I hope you realize what a handicap the Mariners operated under at first, being awarded a franchise by court order without actually having an ownership group that could handle the job. The Mariners took almost two decades to get out from under that.

  9. profmac on July 2nd, 2008 6:01 pm

    Did anyone else hear the first words out of that Bastard Bennett’s mouth at the press conference. “We made it..” I wanted to punch his fat little smug face and kick him in the baby maker.

  10. NODO Dweller on July 2nd, 2008 6:03 pm

    I haven’t been following this as closely as some others here probably have, but I thought the early indications were that a new team in Seattle would require at least a new NBA commissioner if not porcine levitation.

  11. cdowley on July 2nd, 2008 6:03 pm

    There is a plan of sorts… Bennett will have to pay another $30 mil in five years if there’s not a concrete plan in place to get another team here by the start of the next season.

    My opinion? Well, I’ve been a Sonics fan since I was a little kid. I’m glad the name, colors, and records stay here for the new franchise if/when we get it (sadly for Memphis and New Orleans, it seems as though it’ll be one of those two teams to come here, not an expansion franchise).

    However, no matter what the end outcome is, I just ordered myself a Portland Trailblazers jersey (Brandon Roy if you were wondering, despite being a Coug alum). It is somewhat easier for me to make that jump than some, because of the connections I have to the area and how much I like Nate McMillan and that young, energetic roster.

    There’s still some hope with the Schultz suit still going, but the reality is that he has very little hope of winning that.

    Still, no matter what does or does not happen, today is a very sad day in Seattle sports history. With the eleventh-hour saves we’ve had with the Mariners and Seahawks, we all hoped for a better outcome, but alas…

  12. profmac on July 2nd, 2008 6:04 pm

    Do you think Schultz’ lawsuit will do any good. Apparently it seems to have some real substance to it, in the fact that it is clear that Bennett never truly intended to keep them around, even though he made the good faith commitment to try to keep them here.

    How many death threats do you think Bennett will receive?

  13. cdowley on July 2nd, 2008 6:08 pm

    Do you think Schultz’ lawsuit will do any good. Apparently it seems to have some real substance to it, in the fact that it is clear that Bennett never truly intended to keep them around, even though he made the good faith commitment to try to keep them here.

    I really don’t. It’s the legal equivalent of a Hail Mary pass in a lot of ways, and a buddy of mine who’s much more familiar with legalese than I am says that the clause he’s trying to enforce is weak at best.

    How many death threats do you think Bennett will receive?

    I’m guessing high triple digits. I’d ask someone to set an over/under on it, but we’ll probably never know the exact amount.

  14. carcinogen on July 2nd, 2008 6:09 pm

    To those angry at Gregoire, you have every right to be, but search deep and ask yourself…would a Rossi administration really have been able to do anything? Would anyone? The wheels were set in motion when Schultz put pen to paper and took his payday.

    The team is gone, this sucks . . .

  15. daveblev on July 2nd, 2008 6:17 pm

    So i guess the OKC mascots will be a “man possessed”. This sucks, eventhough I live in Virginia I’ve always favored Seattle sports teams. I had a Payton jersey at one point. Well I was hoping it wouldn’t come to ths but fearing it did, I bought NBA08 for PS3, since it features Kevin Calabro calling the play by play and it will be one of the last video games with the Seattle SuperSonics in it. Kinda like the Montreal Expos in the baseball video games.

  16. north on July 2nd, 2008 6:17 pm

    Laughing out loud funny. Deciding your governor vote based on a basketball team.

    Next thing you know you’ll be telling which candidate you’d rather have a beer with.

  17. Benne on July 2nd, 2008 6:18 pm

    I would feel really, really guilty if we got the Hornets. Their city needs the team far more than we do. Grizzlies, less so, but for other reasons–that franchise is cursed.

    What a crappy day. Go Blazers.

  18. profmac on July 2nd, 2008 6:18 pm

    Having grown up with Shawn Kemp and Gary “the glove” Payton rocking Key Arena, even if a new team is brought in, I will find it hard to root for them. Even with the Sonics jersey on, they won’t truly be the Sonics.

    What kind of a response would there be amongst fans in Seattle were the Sonics team being dragged to OK City to return to the Key to face off with the replacement team.

    Chris Paul is amazing, so if it’s the Grizzlies or the Hornets, I hope it’s the latter.

  19. The Beer Baron on July 2nd, 2008 6:19 pm

    The fans got betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. Greg Nickels is worse than Clay Bennett.

  20. vitalogist on July 2nd, 2008 6:20 pm

    This is such a sad day. Makes our problems in marinerland seem so much smaller.

    I can’t believe this is happening.

  21. profmac on July 2nd, 2008 6:22 pm

    Oh… okay. Well, as long as you’re asking, I’d rather have a beer with Johnnie Mac.

    Clinton is freaking ugly and seems more of a crazy drunk than a happy drunk, and Obama and his mama is too much of a pop icon for me.

  22. Benne on July 2nd, 2008 6:27 pm

    No politics….please?

  23. sealclubber253 on July 2nd, 2008 6:27 pm

    This just makes me so angry. Clay is a horable person and I wish the worst upon him. I hope they don’t win a single game next year and their attendance drops to about 55 people a game.

    Someone in here wished bees upon me, please redirect them to Clayton Penis Face, the evil destroyer of children’s dreams.

  24. shortbus on July 2nd, 2008 6:32 pm

    As a long-time Sonics fan I can’t believe what I’m hearing from some of you guys. Even if I would ever consider watching the NBA again…which is unlikely…the last team I would root for (after the Oklahoma Cow Patties) would be the hated Blazers. My father-in-law was a Senators fan and there was no way he would start rooting for the Orioles when they left.

    As for the trial…I believe the city was expected to win the suit or why else would Bennett have paid the city a nickel? The Mayor talked about losing the team anyway in two years, so he settled for cash, the team colors and name, and assurances from the NBA to work with the city and state. This means he also expects Schultz’ suit to fail.

    So blame Schultz all you want, but I hold local government a distant third (after the NBA itself) in resonsibility. There just was no political will coming from the public to give money to a team that got $75 million ten years before they started asking for more. It’s the NBA’s business model that’s the problem, not Key Arena. I’m glad the politicians said “no” to the new arena. Stern is looking for one sport towns with sweetheart deals and, I believe, made up his mind a long time ago to make and example of Seattle. He and Bennett can go Cheney themsselves, as far as I’m concerned.

    Oh and to screw Oklahoma… buy less oil.

  25. BrianV on July 2nd, 2008 6:33 pm

    Like most things worth knowing, I learned about this here.

    This sucks. This really, really sucks.

  26. vitalogist on July 2nd, 2008 6:33 pm

    sealclubber:

    Its true. My six year old burst into tears when he heard the press conference. When the MAYOR OF SEATTLE said those words. FUCK THEM. All of them. The NBA doesn’t deserve seattle. Seattleites, please use your vote to unelect every one of those lying bastards.

    I hope the whole league crumbles after the giant game fixing scandal breaks later today. Please, god, if you’re out there, give us this.

  27. sealclubber253 on July 2nd, 2008 6:41 pm

    Hey Shortbus, I didn’t get your link. But if it helps bring down C.P.F., I am going to buy a moped tomorrow.

    Please, if anyone can come up with a good way of protesting this that gets huge attention and doesn’t end up with anyone in jail or dead (almost anyone), share your ideas cause the world needs to know how big of a Penis Face Clayton is.

    On the good news front, Satan has a spot for him saved.

  28. cdowley on July 2nd, 2008 6:43 pm

    As a long-time Sonics fan I can’t believe what I’m hearing from some of you guys. Even if I would ever consider watching the NBA again…which is unlikely…the last team I would root for (after the Oklahoma Cow Patties) would be the hated Blazers. My father-in-law was a Senators fan and there was no way he would start rooting for the Orioles when they left.

    In my case and cases similar to mine, though, it’s less of a crime, or at least it is IMO. I have a lot of family down there who are Blazers fans, and I have tons of respect for a lot of their staff and players. I guess to some extent I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time, just not like I was a fan of the Sonics. Kinda like my semi-fanhood of the Rockies. Followed them since they were formed, but the Mariners are always first to me.

  29. bratman on July 2nd, 2008 6:46 pm

    a terrible sad day for Seattle sports. An embarrassment on the World Sports Scene.

    A sad debacle on all levels.

    Losing a team is saved for cities not named Seattle – Kansas City, Vancouver …you get my point. We should be very saddened to lose a team after 41 years of history.

    The gravity of this situation wont be felt until the Sonics step foot on the floor in OKC.

    7/2/08 – The Day the City of Seattle sold the Sonics to Oklahoma City.

  30. OppositeField on July 2nd, 2008 6:46 pm

    I’ve been too upset about this for too long to really have anything to add here. It’s just a very sad day for me. I’m angry at everyone involved. This is one of the biggest parts of my childhood being shipped to Oklahoma.

    Where do we hang Gary Payton’s jersey now?

  31. bratman on July 2nd, 2008 6:49 pm

    Headline on the Oklahoman “We made it.”

    We just were spit on and all just had our women pillaged. Our brilliant ‘elected officials’ just watched.

  32. Colm on July 2nd, 2008 6:49 pm

    This is such shite.

    Politically – it’s hard to imagine that a Governor more committed to small government/laissez-faire/libertarian ideas would have been quicker to intervene than one with a policy of more active government interventionism. Neither one would have had much sway over such a determined bunch of conniving bastards.

    The real culprit here is David Stern. This deal sucks for Seattle AND it sucks for the NBA. How is it better for the game to remove a team from Seattle and toss it into Oklahoma? Not only is Oklahoma a much smaller market but it already has three pretty successful NBA teams right next door in Texas. This smacks of cronyism and corruption.

  33. LMF on July 2nd, 2008 6:57 pm

    Not only does it suck that they are leaving, but made worse by the fact that they are becoming a pretty good young team. Three lotto picks in two years plus cap room? OKC could have their first championship before long.
    I live in Ohio and witnessed the return of the browns and must say that the city didn’t miss a beat. Actually worked out prettty well for the tribe too (see 1 million consecutive sell outs). I know the Sonics aren’t to Seattle what the Browns are to Cleveland (I think that would be trees or the outdoors or something), but hopefully the loss will help the city realize what it had.

  34. BlazerD on July 2nd, 2008 7:01 pm

    As an Oregonian that has been a lifetime M’s fan, I invite all of you Sonics fans to gaze on the splendor that Kevin Pritchard has created down I-5.

    The Portland Trail Blazers are the future of the NBA.

    And I don’t think there is a better GM in basketball than “KP”. He has revolutionized statistical analysis as far as basketball scouting goes (he had Jeff Ma of “Bringing Down the House” fame create a stats analysis program for him).

    I know it sucks to lose the Sonics, but at least there is another GREAT team in the NW to get your NBA fix from. And every Portlander will be booing the sh*t out of OKC when they’re in town.

  35. vitalogist on July 2nd, 2008 7:06 pm

    To hell with the Blazers and the NBA.

  36. skipj on July 2nd, 2008 7:06 pm

    colm,

    Corruption? Cronyism?

    In Professional sports?

    My God man, have you completely lost your mind!

    (Already edited for soul-sucking cynicism.)

  37. sealclubber253 on July 2nd, 2008 7:08 pm

    [nope]

  38. G-Man on July 2nd, 2008 7:09 pm

    I guess I had mentally packed them out of town already, so it didn’t hurt me as much a it did most of you guys. I figure that the only way that we’ll have a team here is with a LOT of support from politicians and deep pockets, and it’s more likely to happen to bring a new team in now than it was to retain the Sonics.

    I also figure that Mariners ownership will expect some of the $$ that was being spent at Key Arena will now be spent down at Safeco Field, so maybe that will get them to raise the salary budget — OK, OK, just dreaming. :)

  39. cdowley on July 2nd, 2008 7:10 pm

    37: Kickass idea… may have to do just that…

  40. amsballs on July 2nd, 2008 7:20 pm

    There MUST have be a quid pro quo, most likely involving the Grizzlies, I happen to know they are for sale. It would obviously be a suicidal PR move to state this publicly since they’ll have to play (at least) next year in Memphis.

    My Totally Unsubstantiated Hunch:

    Stern probably made a threat to do everything in his power to block the city from ever getting another team if the team was forced by the suit to honor the lease. Thus, the city would have to rely 100% on Schultz lawsuit or somehow get the Okies to sell in the next two years…an all or nothing long-shot approach.

    Instead, the city chooses to deal, retracting their rights while getting the league to officially endorse a new Key and annoint Ballmer and company as future owners…and the city structures the deal to incentive and put major pressure on the state.

    Conclusion:

    What sucks about it: We have no team for at least a year, most likely more than that.

    What sucks less about it: We essentially paid to get back in the good graces of the league, which is EXTREMELY important.

    How it could have been avoided: Extending the stupid hotel tax or whatever and funding a $150 M Key expansion (a drop in the bucket of a state budget), preferrably when Schultz was in charge but CERTAINLY when Gorton asked for it in March. Armed with such a plan, it’s possible the Board of Governors vote and even probable the Schultz lawsuit would have turned out well for us.

  41. Dash on July 2nd, 2008 7:34 pm

    Well my Sonics dollars will be going into the new Pro soccer team.

    As for the NBA, maybe I’ll buy a Knicks Jersey

  42. OppositeField on July 2nd, 2008 7:34 pm

    The problem with the Grizzlies being moved here is that, well, we’d just be doing to Memphis what Oklahoma is doing to us. We can’t have it both ways.

  43. amsballs on July 2nd, 2008 7:45 pm

    The problem with the Grizzlies being moved here is that, well, we’d just be doing to Memphis what Oklahoma is doing to us. We can’t have it both ways.

    Not suggesting we have it both ways, I want a team and don’t care about markets that are actually failing like Memphis.

  44. Jay R. on July 2nd, 2008 7:45 pm

    I was probably 7 or 8 when I started watching the Sonics with my dad. I cried when they lost game 7 to the Bullets in 1978. I was 9 the next year when they won it all. I distinctly remember running outside as soon as the game ended so I could hear everyone around town celebrating. I was puzzled when I couldn’t hear anything- I hadn’t yet realized that not everyone was lucky enough to be a sports fan.

    Those unlucky people are lucky today. They don’t feel like a part of their family is leaving, and for no good reason. I will relish every ‘OKC team having revenue problems’ that are guaranteed to come due to the much smaller market and the NBA’s crazy financial model. I will celebrate if/when the game fixing scandal brings down the smug David Stern. I sincerely hope the entire league is cast into chaos and folds.

    I do not want another NBA team. I want nothing to do with them. I will vote against every single incumbent I can this year for this and for a variety of other reasons. I will spend my winters as I have since Bennett bought the team- ignoring them (it hurt less than following them knowing they were leaving), reading everything I can about the Hot Stove League, and watching hockey (T-Birds are moving in like 10 minutes from house!). I will survive, but my life is definitely less rich for this, and that sucks.

  45. BaltimoreDave on July 2nd, 2008 7:50 pm

    I’m walking in cold on this one.

    Could someone provide a quick background for us East Coast, non-NBA fans? The article linked above doesn’t provide any.

  46. DMZ on July 2nd, 2008 7:52 pm

    What, are your fingers broken? Do a search.

    I don’t think anyone’s in the mood right now to recap this debacle. But maybe someone’s more even-keeled than I am.

  47. BaltimoreDave on July 2nd, 2008 7:55 pm

    Searching as we speak… just thought a handful of bullet points could take care of it.

  48. Benne on July 2nd, 2008 8:00 pm

    I’ll do a quick receap for BaltimoreDave:

    –Howard Schultz, Starbucks guy, sells team to OKC group.

    –OKC group, unsurprisingly, wants to move the team to OKC.

    –City wants to keep team.

    –fingers are pointed, names are called, David Stern effectively shrugs and says “sucks to be you.”

    –Sonics settle with city.

  49. DMZ on July 2nd, 2008 8:03 pm

    There’s the spirit of hospitality I was unable to muster.

  50. BaltimoreDave on July 2nd, 2008 8:07 pm

    Thanks Benne. Point number 4 is what appears to be missing from the stories I’ve read. ESPN, believe it or not, has a pretty even-handed take.

    Stern looks like a pretty big d*ck in this mess.

  51. DMZ on July 2nd, 2008 8:07 pm

    Fucking Stern.

  52. cdowley on July 2nd, 2008 8:09 pm

    Don’t blame you Derek. This has been a whale on all of us involved in this…

  53. The Beer Baron on July 2nd, 2008 8:10 pm

    Stern makes Bud Selig look like God.

  54. Benne on July 2nd, 2008 8:11 pm

    Amen Derek. I would rather have Bud Selig’s bumbling incompetence over Stern’s arrogance and shit-eating grin. He’s the biggest douchebag in all of sports.

  55. BaltimoreDave on July 2nd, 2008 8:12 pm

    The more I read about this, the more this looks like a really, really dangerous precedent that no professional sports league should want to set.

  56. Benne on July 2nd, 2008 8:14 pm

    In terms of “messy franchise/city divorces”, I think this ranks right up there with the Baltimore Colts and Cleveland Browns ditching town. But at least those cities got teams again. Maybe the Expos.

  57. coffee on July 2nd, 2008 8:15 pm

    I moved to OKC 7 years ago after spending most of my life in Seattle. I grew up a Sonics fan and have never stopped being a fan no matter how bad they were or where I lived. My love for the Sonics is much like my love for the Mariners – no matter what, I will always be a fan.

    But as a Sonics fan I can honestly say that I will never buy a ticket to an OKC basketball game, never buy any memorabilia, or support the team in any way.

    The team that will be here is not going to be the Seattle SuperSonics. The team I grew up watching and loved will always be in Seattle.

    It’s a very sad day for a life-long Seattle sports fan who just happens to be displaced to this hell hole. I am sickened by the news coverage on a daily basis and the attitude of the people who live here. I hate it when people ask me “What do you think about the Sonics situation” and I give them my answer. Then they are shocked by what they hear? These are people who will never understand what the city of Seattle is losing and what the true fans are going through.

    Here is hoping the Seattle SuperSonics are not gone forever.

  58. bratman on July 2nd, 2008 8:16 pm

    Although they had a powerful legal position in the language of the arena lease, mayor Greg Nickels and the Seattle City Council somehow reached the conclusion that $45 million was preferable to two years of lame-duck, NBA basketball and $11 million in rent from Bennett. Most legal experts agree that the city would have prevailed and could have held the team in Seattle for two years.

    Nickels and the city hope that Seattle will somehow qualify for another NBA franchise. But, after arguing that no sum of money could replace two years of Sonics basketball, they gave away their team for a modest sum of money. It will become more of a political issue than a legal issue as Nickels and the council members face re-election.

    How dumb is Nickels? Who did this stupid city elect?

  59. DMZ on July 2nd, 2008 8:16 pm

    Stern… the thing that absolutely pisses me off is the whole Key Arena thing, when he totally dismissed the fact that we spent a half gazillion dollars rebuilding that thing to their spec not that long ago, as if that wasn’t even part of –

    know what? I’m going to stop now, because I’m getting really angry again.

  60. BaltimoreDave on July 2nd, 2008 8:18 pm

    And to this day many Baltimoreans spit at the sight of a Mayflower truck…

    But, wow – the ransom payment essentially allows any team to buy their way to any other city for the right fee. The NBA, and any other pro sports league for that matter, should be fighting that not aiding and abetting it.

  61. Benne on July 2nd, 2008 8:19 pm

    Wikipedia has a pretty good summary of the whole mess.

  62. OppositeField on July 2nd, 2008 8:23 pm

    As a sports fan, it just shakes me to my core. What is the point of investing so much time, money, and emotion in this stuff if it can just be snatched away like this? What does it make of my memories of being at the NBA Finals with my dad? Seeing Gary and Shawn go up against Scottie and MJ. That team doesn’t exist anymore. The fans who, in the arena that is now apparently too outdated to make money, cheered so loud during the announcement of the starting lineups that you couldn’t hear the PA. Here’s a youtube video of it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EW19D4qXStI

    Listen to the f*cking place. Listen to that. It breaks my heart.

  63. bratman on July 2nd, 2008 8:27 pm
  64. cdowley on July 2nd, 2008 8:28 pm

    I remember that night like it was yesterday… I was only ten years old, and I was so excited I couldn’t talk for days after that game.

    Thanks for reminding me of one very pleasant memory tonight OppositeField :)

  65. sealclubber253 on July 2nd, 2008 8:29 pm

    DMZ, I will let you know when I get tickets for the first Blazers/OKC game. I will buy the tickets, you get the green and yellow body paint. Seriously.

  66. bratman on July 2nd, 2008 8:30 pm

    62 – Unbelievable footage.

    Someone needs to tape stern, schultz, bennett and nickels down to watch that.

  67. BaltimoreDave on July 2nd, 2008 8:30 pm

    Another reason to like Mark Cuban – he was one of only 2 NBA owners (Paul Allen was the other) to vote against the move.

  68. sealclubber253 on July 2nd, 2008 8:31 pm

    Stern does have to be the worst figure in sports. There is so many problems with with the players off the court, the rumors of refs betting and throwing games, and now this. Put him on a raft and set him a sail.

  69. cdowley on July 2nd, 2008 8:34 pm

    Stern does have to be the worst figure in sports. There is so many problems with with the players off the court, the rumors of refs betting and throwing games, and now this. Put him on a raft and set him a sail.

    Eff the sail. Make the little prick paddle with his hands. In a sea of full of sharks and piranhas…

  70. sealclubber253 on July 2nd, 2008 8:36 pm

    [that's it for you]

  71. OppositeField on July 2nd, 2008 8:37 pm

    Everyone, everyone, everyone, needs to watch that video. And crank the volume. It gives me chills and nearly brings me to tears every time. When the PA introduces the “Seattle SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPERSONICS” and the ENTIRE crowd is screaming “SUUUUUUUUUU” along with him, it’s just transcendent.

  72. vitalogist on July 2nd, 2008 8:41 pm

    that put tears in my eyes. thanks for sharing.

  73. Benne on July 2nd, 2008 8:43 pm

    That video gives me chills. It’s kinda sad how the rest of the nation generally ignores Seattle sports–when our teams are doing well, few other fanbases are as rabid as we are. Go to Qwest Field if you need further proof.

  74. crazyray7391 on July 2nd, 2008 8:50 pm

    I’ve never been much of a Sonics fan, but watching that video brought tears to my eyes. There are plenty of people out there that care as much about the Sonics as I do for the M’s. Those are the people that really got shit-on here. You can blame individuals all you want, they are all guilty here, but the fact that nobody gave a shit about the fans is the biggest problem to me.

    Bennett didn’t care, Schultz didn’t care, Stern didn’t care, the list could go on. Then, the mayor of Seattle wants to stand at the podium and crack a couple jokes while saying, “this is a sad day for everybody.” Sure didn’t seem like a sad day for him. He got his money, and was able to throw out there that there is a “chance” that we could have another team in the next 5 years, but the fans need to help to keep the team here. Seriously, the only group who hasn’t done anything wrong during this whole ordeal is the fans. So don’t stand up there with your bags of money and put this on the fans, the fans have been there all along. The fans don’t NEED to do shit, but they will, because they love their basketball. KJR today threw out that the Sonics averaged over 13,000 for attendance this last season. That was better than Memphis, and I think another team or two and only 800 less people per game than New Orleans. Don’t say that the fans have to do anymore, it’s not the fans fault, that’s just a crock of shit.

    I hope that there really will be an effort made to get Key Arena upgraded, and I hope that if that happens, that weasel David Stern lives up to his word and puts Seattle at the top of the list, but forgive me if I’m not totally enthusiastic that it will happen.

    As for the Sonics fans, we all feel for you.

  75. cody on July 2nd, 2008 8:50 pm

    62-Absolutely surreal.

    I’m not that much of a basketball guy, so I don’t have as much of a connection to the Sonics. But I’m still angry at how this whole thingg was handleded. Honestly, between the Bad News Mariners and the Sonics leaving, this could go down as one of the worst sports years for a city (and regoin) in recent memory. The Sonics were Seattle’s oldest big time sports team. This sucks all around.

  76. vitalogist on July 2nd, 2008 8:57 pm

    Maybe #8 can leave the hometown 11 to a title in 2008 for holmgren’s last stand, 75.

    We can dream, right? God, is it september yet?

  77. scott19 on July 2nd, 2008 9:10 pm

    Another reason to like Mark Cuban – he was one of only 2 NBA owners (Paul Allen was the other) to vote against the move.

    Not surprised by Cuban also being a pissed-off camper as well…after all, he’s only losing a pretty good chunk of both gate and TV revenues the Mavs were getting out of that part of their fan base in Okie-homa.

    Stern makes Bud Selig look like God.

    Whether it’s Stern, Selig, Gary Bettman, or whatever other a$$clown who calls himself a professional sports “commissioner”, they all seem to be cut from the same sorry, corrupt piece of cloth. >:(

  78. kevlar on July 2nd, 2008 9:19 pm

    65- This needs to happen

  79. daveblev on July 2nd, 2008 9:36 pm

    “So you can’t blame jazz musicians/or David Stern with his NBA fashion issues.” – from the new song “NBA Is Dead In Seattle” by Nas.

    Stern irritates me…i couldn’t believe how much Clay Bennett sucked up to him in that email apologizing for Aubrey McClendon’s comment.

    With the Sonics out of Seattle, I will no longer care about the NBA, oh I’m looking for a “sweet flip” to be a fan of another team. Maybe if Norfolk gets a team, but that will never happen unless Virginia Squires and ABA return. I am kind of wondering if I shall become a fan of the Bulletts..er..Wizards.

    So the biggest question looming is what happens to Squatch now?? Is the pro-soccer team interested?

  80. cdowley on July 2nd, 2008 9:41 pm

    79 – I’d become a huge Sounders fan in a heartbeat if Squatch became their mascot.

  81. matthew on July 2nd, 2008 10:02 pm

    A devastating day in the life of a Seattle sports fan :(

  82. jro on July 2nd, 2008 10:04 pm

    It’s a shame it had to happen to us, but Napoleon Stern will get his due after about 3 years of the OKC Stuper-Sonics. When the league is reeling due to its bad business model, the fingers will be levied at Stern. Big prediction: this move will be marked as a defining moment in the decline of the NBA (and Stern) as we know it.

    Stern takes a team from a market much more sizable and valuable than New Orleans and puts them in a market less sizable and valuable than New Orleans? One that’s geographically near the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs? And the Hornets are a team that went deep into the playoffs.

    Another prediction: we’ll have a shot at more than one franchise within five years because other towns are having trouble meeting Stern’s dumb-ass business model. Frying pan, meet fryer.

  83. Breadbaker on July 2nd, 2008 10:28 pm

    Stern screams that the revamped KeyArena idea is a non-starter, but when his buddy Bennett gets what he wants, suddenly a revamped KeyArena would be just fine for another team. Right.

    As to Memphis, they stole the Grizzlies, I don’t see that they have any moral superiority here if they can’t support their team. Same with New Orleans, which not only stole the Hornets, but did so with the most obnoxious lease guaranty possible. It’s like Baltimore losing the Colts and stealing the Browns. After awhile, it’s all fair game.

  84. whiskeychainsaw on July 2nd, 2008 10:57 pm

    [ding!]

  85. Axtell on July 2nd, 2008 11:06 pm

    [conspiracy theory]

  86. aaron c. on July 2nd, 2008 11:07 pm

    It’s been a while since I’ve been an NBA fan. Baseball has pretty much taken over my life these last ten years, and whit little energy I have left is dedicated to the Seahawks. With that being said, I have a lot of friends who love the Sonics as much as I love the Mariners. And even though I was just a little kid, I remember how much the Sonics teams of the Payton/Kemp/Karl years meant to me. I remember waking up early on a Saturday morning to hear the debut of “Not In Our House” on KUBE 93.3. I remember sobbing uncontrollably while I watched Dikembe Mutombo celebrate what was at that time the most improbable comeback in professional sports history. I remember knowing that the 1996 team didn’t have a chance in the world of beating the Bulls, but not caring in the least and screaming my head off the whole way through the series. Despite the fact that the Mariners became my one true love, the Sonics were the first team I ever felt connected to, and in many ways, the first thing that made me feel at home in the Pacific Northwest. They define a very specific, very happy period of my life, and I can’t look back on that time as fondly as I used to any more. This is a sad day.

  87. amsballs on July 2nd, 2008 11:07 pm

    OppositeField said:

    As a sports fan, it just shakes me to my core. What is the point of investing so much time, money, and emotion in this stuff if it can just be snatched away like this? What does it make of my memories of being at the NBA Finals with my dad?

    I know it certainly cheapens mine. I was a teenager in 90s and the Sonics were my life. It’s hard to think about those playoff runs now. I was SO into it.

    And on DMZ’s arena comment, or, where i think he was going with it, at least…

    In 1995 The City opened a $133M Brand New Arena for the Sonics (the $75M figure you often hear or read about did not take into account the leftovers from the Coliseum, which would have been purchased if we didn’t already have them (stuff like the large concrete bridge that was fully included into the design), a 17,000 seat capacity, along with 58 suites, which were nice ones.

    The OKC Ford Center was constructed in 2002 for a cost of $89 M, with 18500 for basketball and 49 suites.

    So, does the additional 1,500 seats really make such a huge difference? Especially with reduced suites?

    Now take into account the proposed modifications of both buildings. At Ford, you’re getting a $121.6 M makeover (malls and stuff) and, BAM, it’s all of the sudden a “viable NBA arena,” as Stern likes to say.

    How can Ford be viable when the Key, even AFTER $220-300M in renovations to Bellevue Square-ize it still be NOT viable to the NBA?

    WHERE’S THE BEEF?

    I hate David Stern.

  88. Mike Snow on July 2nd, 2008 11:08 pm

    Okay, collective venting is in danger of losing control, comments are closed, back to baseball.

  89. DMZ on July 2nd, 2008 11:13 pm

    Hi!

    Look, I’m as disappointed as anyone, but the name-calling and general horribleness of things said is way, way out of hand. It’s okay to be angry, but you can be angry and not, say, wish harm on someone, or call them names, and so on.

    Please. Thanks.

  90. aaron c. on July 2nd, 2008 11:13 pm

    Also, in response to those that equate the Grizzlies moving to Seattle as us putting the city of Memphis through the same thing we’ve gone through:

    As a native of Memphis, I can say with near 100% certainty that this isn’t the case. The Grizzlies have been in Memphis for seven years. The interest in having a professional team was limited to a very small portion of the community and motivated mainly by a desire among the wealthy and business interests to make Memphis more of a “world-class” sort of city. The vast majority of the population couldn’t have cared less; Tigers basketball is much, much more important and ingrained in the fabric of the community.

    So, while it would suck for some people in the area, it’s not really all that comparable of a situation. Memphis did fine for 200+ years without pro sports; they’ve got Elvis and Stax. What more do they need to prove?