5 Reasons I Can't Root for the Thunder
As a Seattle native and a die hard sports fan, the accomplishment is bittersweet for me. On the one hand, I'm happy Kevin Durant is playing for a title, and I marvel at how quickly the Thunder organization has put together a championship caliber team. On the other hand, I'm jaded over the fact this sequence of events isn't playing itself out in the 206.
Try as I may, I can't bring myself to root for the Oklahoma City Thunder in their quest for the Larry O'Brien trophy. Here are five reasons why.
I'm a Homer
As a sports fan, there's no greater feeling than when the home team is playing for a championship.
Everyone is in a happy mood, people from all walks of life come together and the city is galvanized with championship aspirations. It's painful to watch that euphoric feeling taking place in another city with a team that used to be yours.
The Championship Drought
Aside from the Storm of the WNBA, no other professional sports franchise in Seattle has won a championship since 1979.
I have fond memories of that Sonics team, but truth be told I was only 6 years old when that happened. Thirty-three years is a long time to wait for another opportunity.
There were chances in 1996 (Sonics vs. Bulls) and 2006 (Seahawks vs Steelers), but the Thunder look as if they will be competing for titles for years to come. Eventually, they will break through and win one, but in Oklahoma City.
The Relocating Process
For those of you not familiar with the details of the Sonics moving to Oklahoma City, it may seem like I'm crying over spilled milk. In reality, the way Seattle's team was taken away is nothing short of criminal.
Politics, greed, a vindictive coffee salesman in Howard Schultz and an opportunistic oil man in Clay Bennett are the focal points behind this travesty of justice. The move of the franchise was a very unpopular decision in Seattle that never should have happened.
For those of you that want more specifics, I encourage you to watch the documentary Sonicsgate.
It's rare that you see such a talented athlete reach his potential so quickly. Kevin Durant was the college player of the year (the first freshman to win the award), the 2008 rookie of the year, the 2011 FIBA World Championships MVP and owns three scoring titles before the age of 24.
Imagine what he can accomplish by the time he reaches his prime. Other than Ken Griffey Jr., he's the best athlete that's ever played in Seattle and he didn't leave on his own terms.
Fans in Oklahoma City see things differently. They want Seattle to get over the loss and stop whining.
They make light of the situation with clever slogans, smug twitter posts and condescending t-shirts. In short, they rub it in everyone's face they have the basketball team and Seattle doesn't. They have no remorse or empathy for what Seattle fans are going through.