Thursday, April 13, 2006

No City Hopping, Please

Apparently, the Super Sonics are in danger of leaving Seattle.

"I would say that the city is making it pretty clear of what they want us to do, and we'll accommodate them," Stern said.

Asked what that meant, Stern responded: "What I mean is they're not interested in having the NBA there. We understand that, we understand that there are competing issues, and the mayor is free to make whatever decisions he needs to make and I support that.

Really, Stern? Not interested? Listen, I'm not about to look up a bunch of stats about attendance history, but I'm pretty sure that every game I've everr watched in Seattle had a large, lively crowd. I don't associate the Sonics with empty seats. I'd say the fans of Seattle have been plenty "interested" over the years, and still are.

Stern has said the Sonics' lease with the city is the worst in the NBA, and he went to Seattle in February to ask Washington state lawmakers for tax money to renovate Key Arena.

Renovate Key Arena? Really, Stern? Key Arena was built in 1995, for fuck sake. That's, like, the '90s! I highly doubt Key Arena is in bad shape. What happened to the days when arenas and stadiums were used until they smelled like a giant tub of urine and stale beer and were, without doubt, structurally unsafe? Those were the days.

Sonics owner Howard Schultz, the chairman of Starbucks Corp., has threatened to move or sell the team if state lawmakers don't approve a sales-tax package to pay for a new or renovated arena. But state lawmakers last month said there would be no deal this year.

Fuck Howard Schultz. Just another owner trying to further pad his pockets - or more to the point, avoid digging into his own - by using a perfectly fit arena as a swipe against a city that obviously loves the team.

I cannot stomach this garbage. A while back I ranted in here against the Trail Blazers possibly leaving Portland. Now, I'm not necessarily a fan of the Sonics nor the Blazers, but, as far as I can tell, there is no reason for either city to lose its team. It certainly can't be for a lack of a willing fan base nor a succesful, colorful history.

Total garbage.

Yes, I realize that Stern is dealing with jaded, moronic politicians and not actual loyal fans, but if either the Sonics or Blazers - or worse, both - bolt their respective cities, a lot of the shine that Stern has accumulated over the years is gone as far as I'm concerned. Stern has been given so much credit as the man who led the NBA up the pantheon of American sports, but, really, was he only riding the tails of MJ, Bird, Magic, etc?

If Stern, and the rest of the knuckleheads who run the NBA, can't get something done to keep the Sonics and Blazers right where they belong, it will be a major disappointment to the league as a whole and on the legacy of Stern himself.

Where else are you going to put a relocating NBA team, anyway? St Louis? Buffalo? Pittsburgh? OK, Pittsburgh would probably make a great NBA town, but that's beside the point.


Blogger Melvin Jones said...

I don't think Pittsburgh would make a great NBA town at already failed once. We can't support a hockey team or a baseball team very well because this is a huge football town. I would say baseball is more popular than basketball around's just not a good basketball area.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Bill-DC said...

"The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh" probably put an end to that city's pro basketball hopes.

That said, I hope the Sonics stay put.

4:14 AM  
Blogger UnknownColumn said...

When I think of Pittsburgh, I think of great fans. It seems like a great sports town.

It's hard to blame Pirates fans for being jaded at the moment considering the Bucs have not had a winning season since the early 90s and trade away anyone decent.

Don't the Penguins get great support even though they stick at the moment?

Did Pittsburgh have an NBA team? I know it had a team in the ABA, but that entire league failed. I don't remember the NBA in Pittsburgh.

Anyway, I was just throwing it out there as a city where an NBA team might work. I have no idea if it would.

I'll have to check out the "Fish That Saved Pittsburgh". Dr J, right? I haven't seen it.

5:45 AM  
Blogger Big Al said...

One of these days (I pray soon) a town and their politicians are going to stand up and tell Stern/NBA and their owners to take their “new stadium or were moving” threats and shove ‘em up their collective ass’. Then when they exhaust such terrific prospects like Albuquerque, or Idaho Falls and they come back, hat in hand, wanting that big market it’ll be the funniest fucking thing in forever.

9:09 AM  
Blogger UnknownColumn said...

Ah, Idaho Falls. That just screams CBA.

Las Vegas might be a decent locale. A bunch of NBAers partying in Vegas would at least be good for some quality police blotter on a regular basis.

11:40 AM  

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