Seattle Basketball Fanhood: Free Agency Options and Contract

Casey McLain@caseymclain34Senior Analyst IJuly 8, 2008

Nearly a week after the devastating blow set forth by Clay Bennett, David Stern, and the City of Seattle, we, as Seattle fans are set to become free agents.

I previously wrote an article, explaining that I may become a free agent. In the wake of an overrated, undersized combo-guard signing a $100+ million deal (Gilbert Arenas), I feel that now is our time to make demands and be greedy.

There are five options for the free agency of our fanhood.

1. Sign a max deal with Bird rights with the hometown team (the first of many bad metaphors)

Wait! I thought they left? Yes, they did. Balls are being bounced in Oklahoma, but Howard Schultz still has a pending lawsuit. While a victory on Schultz’ part would likely mean the suit lasted well into the regular season, a victory could mean that the Oklahoma City team moves back to Seattle, bringing back their hijacked banners.

This would involve a lengthy hold-out for us, as free-agent-fans, but could be worth it.

2.) Sign a long-term contract with another team

Why should the Seattle fan wait for Seattle to pull its collective head out of its collective...

There are other teams out there, many with beloved former Sonics on the team. Rashard Lewis is in Orlando, Ray Allen is in Boston, Desmond Mason is in Milwaukee, they are out there.

However, keeping Seattle ties is not a requirement, but be sure to have a valid explanation for why you chose the team.

*A 2008 revision will allow former Sonics fans to become Trailblazers fans without fines or suspensions from their buddies’ dinner tables. This provision must be taken advantage of by January 1, 2009, or when Schultz lawsuit is finalized, whichever comes later.

3.) Sign with the Kings or Grizzlies for the mid-level exception.

The Kings and Grizzlies seem the most likely to re-locate to Seattle. The two cities, Sacramento and Memphis, don’t have the cap room for legislators or fans, respectively.

However, isn’t taking another team’s city just robbing Peter to pay Paul? Not every basketball fan believes in karma, but if it does exist, Seattle would certainly have bad karma stealing a team from an innocent fanbase, no matter how large or small, to appease its own.

4.) Sign a contract for the veteran’s minimum with former team

Love Kevin Durant? Big fan of P.J. Carlesimo? Getting a Clay Bennett crew cut? I have just the team for you. The Sonics are moving to Oklahoma City, why should you give up 40+ years of history, Bennett sure isn’t (new team is duplicating championship banners, retired numbers, etc.).

Transferring your fanhood is the same type of naïve, ignorant, blind devotion seen in the wives of high profile-athletes.

*A 2008 ruling has determined that any OKC (team name) followers living in Seattle will be subject to both verbal and deep psychological abuse without any recourse.

5.) Sign a deal for the rookie minimum

Expansion. It’s an ugly word in a NBA that hasn’t been extremely relevant in the last decade until this season. It is also an option for Seattle getting a new team.It is possibly the most organic, clean way of bringing basketball back to Seattle, and our fanhood back to basketball.

Unfortunately, much like a second-round pick, we’ll be holding onto our amateur status for a while. While the Sonics settlement with the city allows five years for an NBA franchise to re-surface in Seattle, that deal is tied to money from Bennett’s ownership group, and doesn’t really encourage the NBA to bring a team to Seattle.

The NBA last expanded in 2004, with the Charlotte Bobcats, however that expansion was somewhat of an anomaly, a single team expansion, which brought the NBA to an even 30 teams. Previous to that, the NBA hadn’t expanded in nine years, since 1995 when the then Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors brought the NBA to Canada.

In 1988 and 1989 the NBA introduced the Hornets, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Orlando Magic. That was the NBA’s first expansion since 1980, when the NBA introduced the Dallas Mavericks in another odd-ball single team expansion.

Expansion is a long-term prospect, as the only team in that group to win a ring is the Heat, and it took them nearly two decades to do so.

Dual Fanhood

Dual Fanhood is allowable under certain circumstances. The fan in question must choose option 2, and may also choose options 3 or 5, whichever, and if either become applicable.

However, a Dual Fan must note that a choice of the Blazers, Knicks, or Lakers precludes the option of renewing fanhood in Seattle upon the inception of a new team.

As a fan with Dual Fanhood, certain responsibilities must be considered. Being a Dual Fan is very similar to being an immigrant of the United States. Moral precedent has been set in the case of Seattle vs. “The Growing Army of ‘Life Long’ Red Sox fans in Seattle.”

When entering a bar, sporting event, or any other place where a fan’s credibility must be questioned, Dual Fans must be equipped with an approximate date of fanhood, as well as a functional knowledge of that team’s history.

*A Seattle fan of a new franchise may not claim any championships or suffering on their Résumé of Fanhood, however must have knowledge of both.

Option No. 1 Clause

If Howard Schultz wins his lawsuit, a fan may resume fanhood of the Seattle Sonics under the following conditions: 1) fan renounces all other fanhoods 2) fan did not devote fanhood to Trailblazers, Lakers, or Knicks

All other fanhoods or fanhood misdeeds will be absolved if acknowledged and corrected within 30 days of a Schultz victory and confirmed Sonics return.


Official Fan Contract

Part 1

Choose one and signify with an X or check mark.

[   ] 1. Max Deal with Seattle Sonics

[   ] 2. Long-term contract with other team

[   ] 3. Mid-Level exception with Kings or Grizzlies

[   ] 4. Transfer fanhood to Oklahoma City

[   ] 5. Sign rookie contract with expansion team


Part 2

If option No. 2 was selected, signify secondary option with X or checkmark

[   ] Portland Trailblazers fan (if revision is followed)

[   ] Fan of Knicks or Lakers

[   ] Dual Fanhood of allowable teams



Print name __________________________________


Signature ___________________________________ Date_________


Comments: ______________________________________________________________







All contracts may be sent as a proclamation to the Mayor’s office by emailing Sharon Thomas at Sharon.Thomas@Seattle.Gov, mailed to P.O. Box 94749, Seattle, WA 98124-4749, or faxed to (206) 684-5360.


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