This won't be a popular opinion in my hometown of Seattle, but I stick by it. Seattle having any part in relocating the Sacramento Kings to replace the Supersonics is exactly the same as siding with ownership in the Sonics' move to Oklahoma City. All of the rabid Sonic fans who cried foul when their team was hijacked to OKC have no leg to stand on if they now are eager to help rob Sacramento of their team.
I moved to Seattle in early 1977, a golden time for local sports. The town had a strong NBA team, the NASL Seattle Sounders, the Mariners and Seahawks were new, and even the Huskies were going to Rose Bowls under Don James. The sports honeymoon was not going to last though.
Historically, Seattle is not a city of takers. Instead we are the city who either gets taken or acquiesces to corporate blackmail, committing more and more taxpayer dollars for newer and newer stadiums.
The Mariners almost become the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1992. The M's were at it again three years later in 1995, needing a miracle and getting it in the form of their first playoff appearance to keep Major League Baseball in Seattle. A year later, more threats to leave the city came from Mariners CEO John Ellis. The Seahawks took their turn in 1996, packing up and literally moving to Los Angeles before the league told them they had to go back north.
Even our original MLB team, the Seattle Pilots, moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers after only one year. Seattle had to sue MLB to become one of the expansion cities in 1977 to get the Mariners.
It's always been a struggle here.
So it wasn't a surprise when less than 10 years after renovating Key Arena, the city was presented with new ransom demands. "Build a new stadium, or else." The surprise was that they actually took their forty-one year history and left.
After the initial shock, Seattle fans were justifiably upset. Cries of foul play and robbery rang out across the city. I'm pretty sure Howard Schultz, Clay Bennett and David Stern still wear disguises whenever they come here to visit.
Yet these same hardcore Sonic fans have no problem taking Sacramento's NBA team, slapping a new paint job on them and calling them the Supersonics. It's as if your house got robbed and you use that as an excuse to break into your neighbors house.
Seattle should hold out for an expansion team, or none at all. I'd prefer it if the NBA never allowed another sale of a team ever again. Dissolve franchises that need to vanish and run expansion drafts for every new team. No more moving teams period.
Seattle, we are not takers, why start now?