I grew up watching the Seattle SuperSonics.
I cheered when Jack Sikma, Gus Williams and Dennis Johnson led the team to a championship in 1979. The original pennant still hangs in my garage.
My friends openly mocked me when the Sonics lost in 1994 to the Nuggets. Granted, I spent that whole year talking about the greatness of the team, so I probably deserved the scorn.
When Clay Bennett moved the team to Oklahoma City, it was a bitter pill to swallow. What kind of person takes your team?
Since then, people have assumed that I will root for the Thunder.
Now, Chris Hansen is doing his best to bring a team back to Seattle. The arena appears to be a reality, and all we need now is a team.
Of course, that is easier said than done.
How do we get a team back?
The NBA has stated that they do not intend to expand anytime soon, and given the diluted talent in the league, that is probably a wise business decision.
If the NBA does not expand to include more cities, the only way to get a team in Seattle is to get one from another city. As much as I would like to see the Sonics return, I don’t necessarily want another city to get robbed the way fans have in the Emerald City.
Still, that may be exactly how Seattle gets a team to play in the new arena.
Of course, David Stern has suggested that there are not really any teams available at the moment. Why do I have the feeling that the same guy who stood by and let Seattle lose their team will not put much effort into putting a franchise back in the Pacific Northwest?
I still haven’t figured out why he let them leave for Oklahoma City. Then again, plenty of people are confused by Stern’s decisions these days.
Perhaps the city of Seattle will get a hockey team before they get a basketball team. That remains a possibility, as the NBA situation may not produce a franchise anytime soon.
In the meantime, the basketball fans in Seattle will have to be patient. The team colors, records and franchise name are waiting to be awoken by a new group of players.
Give the city a team, Mr. Stern. You owe the fans that much.