Another NBA Season Sans-Seattle

Another NBA Season Sans-Seattle

As October begins to wind down, the NBA will soon start up again. The National Basketball Association will raise the curtain on yet another season. For the seventh year, this curtain-raising will happen without Seattle.

It’s a sad fact to realize that the NBA has spent the better part of a decade without a franchise in the Pacific Northwest. Since the Sonics left, we’ve had two different presidents (and likely a third), two popes and even a Super Bowl title courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks.

As we’ve seen the NBA continue to prosper, we’ve also seen a number of other things happen while without a men’s professional basketball team.

  • We’ve seen the number of former Sonics dwindle. Kevin Durant, Nick Collison, Reggie Evans and Jeff Green are some of the few that are left. Luke Ridnour was in that discussion, but he could retire soon.  
  • We’ve also seen potential options in terms of moving to Seattle come and go. The New Orleans Pelicans (then known as the Hornets), Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks were all linked with, or close to a move.
  • The Seattle Storm have been to the playoffs five different times, including winning the WNBA title in 2010. At least the Storm are continuing to carry the torch for professional basketball in Seattle.
  • The entire Hobbit franchise came and went

By “we,” I’m referring to the people of Washington State, and Seattle. Losing the Sonics was brutal, but the fact that it’s been so long since we’ve had a team is just as brutal.

For Sonics’ fans, the NBA has become a league of players. We obviously haven’t moved on to different teams, but we become fans of players. This isn’t to say we rush out and buy the jerseys, but we more appreciate the specific players’ skill. The NBA has also become out occasionally checking the standings and making sure that team from Oklahoma isn’t doing well. We have nothing against the players, it’s just, you know…

The NBA’s return date to Seattle is TBD, but it’s bound to happen eventually (hopefully soon). The Seattle area has a few exciting propositions on the table in both SoDo and Tukwila, so there’s hope. If all goes well, Seattle will have an NBA team soon. However, that’s obviously not going to happen this season. Thus begins another NBA season without Seattle.

David Stockton Destroyed the D-League

Anyone who has watched Gonzaga basketball over the years knows that David Stockton is more of a pass-first point guard. The son of the legendary Hall-of-Famer John Stockton, David got his first taste of NBA action on a 10-day contract with the Sacramento Kings. After totaling one point, two rebounds and an assist in seven minutes of action, the younger Stockton returned to the D-League and promptly destroyed the competition.

During his first game back he totaled 44 points, 10 assists, eight steals and seven rebounds. Did I mention he’s a little under six feet tall?

The second outing brought 37 points, 22 assists (no typo) and five rebounds.

In his third game back he poured in 35 points, nine dimes and eight boards.

If he keeps this up, he’s going to stick with an NBA team at some point. His overall stat-line for the trio of games? 38.7 points per game, 13.7 assists per game and 6.7 rebounds per game.  NBA guys generally put up inflated numbers in the D-League, but this is just ridiculous.

NBA in Seattle: A Retrospective Look at Traded Players with Local Connections

We may not have a team in the Emerald City at the moment, but a host of players with Seattle/Washington ties were moved at the trade deadline. Whether this is good or bad remains to be seen. Here are those esteemed Washingtonians/people with Washington connections.

  • Aaron Brooks

The Seattle native was acquired by Denver from Houston to fill a need at back-up point guard. He cost the Nuggets young, swing-man Jordan Hamilton, but hopefully the former Rockets standout will provide Brian Shaw’s team a spark. The Nuggets only moved for Brooks to fill their back-up point guard spot after losing fellow Seattleite Nate Robinson for the year due to injury.

  • Luke Ridnour

A former Sonic and graduate of Blaine High School, Ridnour is one of the few ex-Sonics left in the league. He and Gary Neal are headed to Charlotte, while Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien moved the other way to Milwaukee.

  • Spencer Hawes

Hawes, the first Husky on the list, was dealt from deadline-seller Philadelphia to quasi-contender Cleveland for Henry Sims, Earl Clark and two second-round draft picks. Here’s hoping he finds a smidgen more team success in Cleveland than in Philly.

  • Austin Daye

The former Gonzaga standout isn’t from the state of Washington, but he was a superb collegiate player in Spokane. He’ll look to rekindle his career in San Antonio.

  • Reggie Evans

Another non-Washingtonian makes the list. Evans started his career as a Sonic and is one of a few left. He and the next player on the list were dealt to the Kings for Marcus Thornton.

  • Jason Terry

The Jet has moved again. This time from Brooklyn to Sacramento. He’s out for the year with an injury. Hopefully he finds success in Sacramento.

“Back to Work” Inspires Hope for Seattle’s NBA Future

Chris Hansen’s NBA team, or team of people trying to bring the NBA back to Seattle, are back to work according to their Twitter feed.



Expansion is looking more and more like an option. Well, it kind of has to be unless you want to count on Sacramento’s arena folding by 2017, in which case the NBA can arrange a sale to a new ownership group who would move the team out of California’s capitol. Meaning that unless another city comes along, not completely out of left field, but close, Seattle would be looked at as a front runner.

So there is that option, or Seattle could twiddle its collective thumbs until Franchise X in City Y runs into a brick wall out of nowhere.

I like expansion better.

Expansion probably isn’t going to happen this offseason, unless Hansen and friends have been in a huddle with Stern and his many cronies discussing it recently. Even then, there is the issue of the draft. Or drafts. The expansion draft would have to happen, and the normal NBA draft. Which, if Seattle got a team this year, their front office would go into the draft completely blind, not having done a whole lot of homework.

So, maybe the Sonics come back next year. I can wait. At least it’s not 2017.

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.


Latest Semi-Often Sonics Skims

As we await the return of the Sonics tomorrow, here is the latest from the ‘net.

Tom Ziller explains why there’s no reason for the NBA to delay expansion to Seattle. 

Macklemore isn’t too pleased with the OKC Raiders using his latest hit “Can’t Hold Us” during games.

In strange, or not-so-strange timing, the NBA is apparently ready to start informal negotiations on its next TV deal. FWI (as the kids say,) their current deal with Turner Sports and ESPN expires in two years.

Brian Floyd answers some frequently asked questions on the Sonics/Kings situation over at SB Nation.

David Aldridge would like the situation to end. 

Kevin Durant is still supporting the Emerald City.

(Hat tip to Sonics Rising for tweeting it.)

And finally, check out one of my favorite sites out there, Homers Apparel, they’ve got some great products, all of which have to do with Seattle sports.