Forget journalistic objectivity. Oklahoma City can take their basketball team and shove it right up their behinds, broad side first. Now go cry about it, whiners.
The one we celebrated a championship with.
The one that produced superstars like Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, and even a Hall of Fame coach like Lenny Wilkens.
A team so ingrained in the fabric of our community that the foundation of one of the greatest AAU basketball programs in the entire country is thanks to former Sonics coach George Karl.
A team with players that reciprocated the fans’ adoration. Where guys like Payton and Xavier McDaniel would return to Seattle to rally with citizens in attempts to save the franchise. Where even a youngster like Kevin Durant would go on record as saying he missed the Emerald City, only months after he had been forcibly removed.
Citizens of Oklahoma City, you don’t get it, and you never will. You can’t understand because you have no sports history. The closest thing you’ve got is Oklahoma football, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
But imagine if they did.
Imagine if an outsider came and uprooted your local university, moving it 1500 miles across country before your very eyes.
Imagine if your beloved OU was stripped of its colors, stripped of its name, stripped of its heritage.
Imagine if the outsiders mocked you, taunted you, laughed at you, and poked fun at you simply for being the victim.
Imagine how it would feel. Imagine the pain. Imagine the anger.
In conversation, Seattle sports fans have made all sorts of analogies to the theft of the Sonics franchise. Rape, murder, burglary, kidnapping. But let’s not aggrandize the situation. We’ve lost a team, a franchise, not a person, not a human being. It’s a thing, it’s material. It’s not flesh and blood.
And yet some of us see it that way.
Some of us staked our livelihood on the Sonics franchise. In businesses surrounding Key Arena, and in jobs with the team.
Some of us saw the players as our family, the logo as a crest, the colors as our tradition.
Some of us just miss the team for what it is, a team.
We miss those nights when we could head inside and cheer our brains out for a ballclub that wore “SEATTLE” across their chests.
We miss the hours spent discussing the game over drinks.
We miss the minutes spent processing the dunk that just blew our minds.
We miss the seconds it took to get excited about a victory.
Oklahoma City, you’ve destroyed part of our community, our family, and our history. To us, it’s a tragedy, just as your city, too, has experienced tragedy in the past.
It’s a hurtful thing to have to lose something you truly care about, made even worse when it’s thrown back in your face time and time again.
It doesn’t take an educated person to figure out why we’re upset over what we’ve lost. And until you can wrap your minds around that fact, we’re going to keep on despising you for all the pain you represent.