Sweet NBA Dreams Are Made of This – 25 Thoughts on the Recent Decision By the NBA BOG

I’m going way back with this one. Call it the way-back machine, time machine, vault, whatever. Point is that I’m dropping a Eurhythmics reference. In the title-referenced song, these lyrics are used-

“Some of them want to use you…Some of them want to abuse you.”

The first part (“Some of them want to use you”) obviously refers to the “incumbent” overlord-like NBA Commissioner David Stern, showed all the grace of a saucy, filter-less seven-year-old at the podium; I’ll get to that later. True or not, you could conceivably put together the pieces supporting the fact that Seattle was used to keep the Kings in Sacramento. In his poorly prosed press conference, Stern talked a lot about “advantage to the incumbent.” Which, if that was the case all along, the Seattle group probably should have deserved a heads up that it was really Sacramento’s team to lose.

The second part (“Some of them want to abuse you”) refers again to Stern, who for some reason, seems not to like Seattle.

Now, on to my 25 thoughts on the matter:

  1. David Stern showed very poor podium presence. Of all the things in the world that David Stern could have said to open his press conference, he went with, “This is going to be short for me. I have a game to get to in Oklahoma City.” REALLY??? I have many problems with this; one is that the OKC reference is exceedingly poor taste. I wasn’t kidding about a rude, mouth running seven-year-old having the same amount of grace at the podium. That dig was filled with so much bad taste it makes the six-week-old liver at the back of your fridge seem like it will actually taste good.
  2. Stern needs to learn to be present. Taking aside the fact that he slammed Seattle with the opening dig, did he really need to say that? Even if it was a playoff game in Boston, Tanzania or a polar ice cap, you be present. You are in charge of the league. Acting like you’re half asleep and saying, “I don’t even know where I am” (paraphrasing). Pull it together. I would have said, “pull it together, buddy” just because it sounds better, but David Stern is clearly no buddy of mine.
  3.  If you have to rush off to a playoff game, why did you schedule the meeting for today in the first place? If you want to go see a playoff game, then don’t schedule the Board of Governors meeting during the playoffs. Simple as that.
  4. The NBA made the wrong decision.
  5. The NBA made the wrong decision.
  6. The NBA made the wrong decision.
  7. And… the NBA made the wrong decision. Is Sacramento a better market? Does dirt look appetizing to eat? All jokes and jabs aside, I do think that Sacramento is a good NBA town, just not as good as Seattle would have been/was/will be.
  8. Seattle also has, and will have, a much better market if you strictly look at it from a standpoint of number of big-name companies with headquarters or large offices in each city. In one corner you have Seattle with powerhouses such as Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks (should they chose to get back in bed with the league,) REI, Boeing, Alaska Airlines, Nordstrom, etc. In the other corner you have Sacramento with… wait, was that a tumble weed? (points somewhere off to far left.)
  9. On the bright side of things, I just stopped writing momentarily to see the Memphis Grizzlies move on to the Western Conference Finals. If you live under a rock, that means the OKC Raiders lost and were eliminated from the playoffs. Ah, little victories.
  10. Also, I would like to personally commend the eight NBA owners who made the right vote. Seattle appreciates it.
  11. Here’s a joke, David Stern walks into a bar in Seattle… oh wait, that will never happen.
  12. Another small positive from Wednesday, the Mariners dropped a twelve spot on the Yankees. At least we still have the M’s.
  13. I also want to thank the Sacramento fans who weren’t complete ____________(your choice-y swear word in plural form here.) Sacramento wanted to keep their team; you can’t hold that against them. The bad apples that started ripping Seattle on everything from the Mariners to Macklemore showed the same poor taste as Stern.
  14. In a less cynical statement, I hope the Kings do well in Sacramento. It would be horrible for everyone if the Kings went back to their ways of tanking in attendance. Worst case scenario, Sacramento struggles after a honeymoon period, but still keeps their team, and the NBA doesn’t admit its’ obvious mistake. But, like I said, I hope Sacramento justifies the NBA’s decision to stick with them.
  15. Adam Silver may one day win the “Biggest Hero in Seattle Sports History” Award simply based on default. While it would be amazing to get an NBA team during the rest of Stern’s rather stern tenure, it probably isn’t going to happen. Stern himself has served for nearly 30 years, meaning, even if Silver lasts half that long, we will probably get a team during his tenure. Thus he wins the aforementioned “Biggest Hero in Seattle Sports History” Award. Seriously, he’d get more votes than the following:  Felix Hernandez, Mike Holmgren, Shaun Alexander… Take back what I said, he would get second in the award voting, the winner would be Chris Hansen.
  16. We in Seattle have now joined a very hallowed fraternity of sports cities. We’re the 31st or 33rd league city. The city without a team that makes you go, “well, they deserve a team more than at least a third of the league, if not more, why don’t they have a team already?” Yes, people actually say all that. Current members of the club include Los Angeles of no-NFL fame. Montreal of baseball fame, Quebec City in the NHL and well, us. Cleveland , formerly of no- NFL fame, used to live at the fraternity house, but it has since backed its bags and left.
  17. Was this really smart for the NBA? The NBA is a money-driven league. Rather than being driven by people named David and Adam, the league is run by folks named Benjamin, Andrew and Abraham. The league is run by money.  Which is why it is confusing to see the league go with an inferior offer, purely from a monetary stand point. Seattle is a fantastic market, and truth be told, probably has better NBA fans than half the league.
  18. To continue the rant on the incumbent NBA commissioner, anyone else think it was wrong for him to wear a purple tie to the Warriors/Spurs playoff game the night before the vote? I know that he has to look impartial to the two teams. So that rules out the colors, black, white, silver, blue, yellow, orange (the Warriors former color). He probably shouldn’t have worn any Sonics/Kings colors like he did, so that rules out green, gold, yellow (again,) purple, etc. Red is still available! Wear that colored tie and at least try to look impartial. Yes, I just critiqued Stern’s tie choice… but when it clearly looks like he’s being partial in a situation when he is required to be impartial, someone has to call him on it.
  19. Another joke, Clay Bennett walks into a bar in Seattle… also, never happening.
  20. Also, if the NBA truly wants to come back to Seattle one day, during the press conference after the Sacramento decision was made, shouldn’t the league have treated Seattle with more respect? The league should have done everything to say, “We’re going with Sacramento on this one, but we very much would like to go back to Seattle.” What happens if you are so rude to Seattle that Seattle doesn’t want you back? What happens if team X falls into financial disarray and you need to move them? Who’s going to step up and be a good market? Anaheim? No, too close to LA, the Lakers and Clips would throw a hissy fit at the notion. Las Vegas? Probably not, the whole allure of Vegas mixed with a professional sports team seems like the wrong idea. Virginia Beach? Their efforts to get the NBA are in the infant stages at this point. How about Vancouver? They would be good, but they are still at square one in terms of everything. So what if no new buyer is found? Does the league do what it did with the Hornets? Does the league want to do that? What if no buyer was found and the team folded? It seems like the league has something against 31 teams, as if it’s a negative. If 31 teams is a negative, then 29 is apocalyptic-negative.
  21. This topic has been broached by many a reporter, but shouldn’t the NBA have been willing to give Seattle more time to do anything to improve their bid, or even just give them more time to be fair? I thought it seemed unfair to give Sacramento countless number of breaks when they clearly weren’t ready, and then when Sacramento was ready, Seattle’s neck got slammed to the guillotine and that’s that. Seems a bit unfair. “Sacto” as some people affectionately call it, got too much leeway in terms of extending deadlines.
  22. What happens to Gary Payton’s jersey? Or Shawn Kemp’s? Are these numbers retired in Seattle or are they mothballed? These numbers need to be retired properly in Seattle. Especially with Payton getting into the Hall of Fame this year.
  23. “Some of them want to use you.” It did feel like Seattle got used. I talked about this earlier, if Sacramento was always getting the team, why play Seattle and not be completely honest about it?
  24. I alluded to it earlier, but from the outside, it seems like Stern really doesn’t like Seattle. Maybe he didn’t like all the backlash after the Sonics left. Who knows, but this seems despicable.
  25. I also want to point out one other thing. The city of Sacramento is very lucky to have Kevin Johnson as their mayor. I think had Sacramento had any other mayor who had zero ties to the NBA then we might have the Sonics back.


You Think You Know Heartbreak Sacramento, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Some Sacramento Kings fans like to point out that here in Seattle we have the Mariners, Seahawks and Sounders.

Yes, they say, you’ll surely be fine; you have baseball, football and soccer. And you have UW. “You should be giving us a break.”

This piece also says that “few cities know heartbreak like Sacramento.”

Sacramento may know a little heartbreak, but we know its tendencies much better.

Sacramento also likes to remind everyone of the uncertainty and ever-present-nervousness that nearly resulted in a move to Anaheim.

Yes, it’s true, Kings fans have lived in fear of losing their team for a very long time, and I feel for them in that regard, but to ask for a break from Seattle?

The difference is that while Sacramento has been in a struggle to try and keep their team, they have had a team. A product on the court. We haven’t had that product.

It’s one thing for the Sacramento fans to believe that they can comprehend the disaster of losing a tem, especially when they have teetered on the edge of it. It’s another thing to understand it when it has happened to you.

I have nothing against Sacramento fans. I applaud them for making a strong effort to try to retain their team.  Kings fans would have a reaction similar to mine if roles were reversed. Let me try to put it this way:

As a town without an NBA franchise it’s hard to give a break to a town that already has one.

Just saying.

King Me- The Sonics Are Back!!!

The one day I don’t check any of my usual sports sites first thing in the morning is the day the Sonics are sold.

Granted nothing is official. We are still awaiting an official announcement from the NBA Board of Governors on the approval of the sale. And then there is Kevin Johnson’s last-ditch effort that is the equivalent of a pitcher hitting with two outs, no on and down by one in the bottom of the ninth. There is an ice cube’s chance in hell it happens. That being Johnson convincing the Board to keep the team in Sacramento.

They should move to Seattle, by the way, and that’s not just me being from Seattle, but also because the Hansen/Balmer/Nordstrom group is forking over nearly a billion dollars of their hard-earned money to bring a team here. Why would you deny that?

Think of the possibilities. Think of all the talent that the Sonics will have. DeMarcus Cousins is going to flourish into the NBA’s best big man. Isaiah Thomas is going to be the next big time short point guard, at the very least a somewhat reincarnation of Nate Robinson. Thomas Robinson is going to blossom as a power forward in time. Tyreke Evans could be a really dangerous player if he plays like he played when he was a rookie (something you don’t always hear.)

I’m no NBA agent, but Seattle would be a really “cool” (a la Pete Carroll) landing spot for free agents. Not to mention all that Seattle-area talent might want to play at home. They could be Washington natives looking for a one-year deal and decide to play at home. Nate Robinson could fit that bill. Should Brandon Roy not have his contract guaranteed by the T-Wolves, he would fit. Jon Brockman is out there; maybe he regenerates some of that UW magic in a Sonics uniform.

There is almost too much to get excited about.

The team can finally retire Gary Payton’s jersey. Retire Shawn Kemp’s jersey. Definitely not retire Wally Walker’s. Kevin Calabro could come back.

There are already talks of Phil Jackson joining the team in a “mentor” role. RC Buford (who has engineered the most underrated sports dynasty of all time in San Antonio) and Larry Bird are also being tossed around as potential front office names.

We could bring back Nate McMillian, or if all else fails trade everyone not named Cousins, Robinson, Thomas and Brooks to Denver for George Karl.

There are just so many opportunities. Seattle Center will have its most exciting tenant back (albeit for two or three years at most.) Plus, you know whenever those darn (wanted to use a different word there) Raiders come to town for the first time, the Sonics are going to beat them. It’s a given.

Key Arena: The Sonics soon to be temporary home.

Key Arena: The Sonics soon to be temporary home.

This just couldn’t have come at a better time.

Put aside the fact that those darn (wanted to use another word, again) 49ers made it to the Super Bowl. Put aside the fact that UW, WSU, Gonzaga and Seattle University all lost by 10 points or less over the weekend. Put aside the fact that it could have been the Seahawks in the Super Bowl (you know we would have beaten Squidward and friends.) Put aside it all for a moment.

The Sonics are back.

What are you most excited about?