The Sonics kicked the bucket and formally ended their journey in the NBA three days ago, and as a consequence Oklahoma city will get an NBA franchise next season.
Even if we saw that coming for ages, I was kind of taken aback when I read this breaking news. I mean Sonics were part of Seattle for more than 40 years! And all of a sudden, the business-minded NBA says : “It’s over”. Just like that. Because their arena (Key arena) was deemed outdated by the NBA’s board of governors. It wasn’t financially worthwhile anymore.
And in the nick of time Seattle’s staff proved to be unable to build another arena, which coerced the NBA to close the Sonics’ coffin.
I was not a Seattle Sonics fan, just for the record. But I think it’s a little bit shocking to wipe out a team in cold blood. 41 years of sports history in Seattle have been erased in a callous way. I mean can you imagine for one second how the average Sonics fan feel right now? He certainly feels distressed, to say the least. His toy has just been stolen, and there’s no way for him to get it back! Now, he can just turn on the waterworks and that’s about all.
Okay guys I read Stern’s comments on the possibility to bring back an NBA team in Seattle in the future but in my opinion it’s a cop out.
Here’s what he said : “Given the lead-times associated with any franchise acquisition or relocating and with a construction project as complex as a Key Arena renovation, authorization of the public funding needs to occur by the end of 2009 in order for there to be any chance for the NBA to return to Seattle within the next five years.”
Seattle folks were used to watch basketball for 41 years. Their Sonics brought them some dream, some hope… You can’t deny there is a basketball culture in this city, you just can’t turn it off! Outstanding players have widely contributed to basketball development here.
Way back in ’79, Seattle even won the NBA title, spearheaded by legendary coach Lenny Wilkens, and reached once again the NBA Finals in ’96, with Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp at the pinnacle of their career.
And what about all those kids who were downright mesmerized on a daily basis by their NBA players ? Now they’ll just see basketball in front of their TV… Talk about a U-turn!
Well, economic issues have prevailed in this case… and that’s plain sad, because it didn’t take into consideration all the human beings who were proud and dedicated for their their Sonics team for more than 4 decades.