View Full Version : An Insider’s Notes On The Shabby Death Of The Seattle SuperSonics



Matt
05-09-2012, 03:20 PM
I posted this last week, but didn't realize it was in a thread in the Local Businesses section, of all things, and probably not a lot of people had a chance to see it. So now it gets it's own thread here in the Sports section.

Deadspin: Howard Schultz Gave Out $3.50 Starbucks Gift Cards: An Insider’s Notes On The Shabby Death Of The Seattle SuperSonics (http://deadspin.com/5907371/howard-schultz-gave-out-350-starbucks-gift-cards-an-insiders-notes-on-the-shabby-death-of-the-seattle-supersonics)

Nice, long article from an ex-Sonic employee on the last days of that franchise. Worthy of a read.

Here's a snippet:


I could have gone to that last game, the one where fans chanted to "Save Our Sonics." That came a year after I'd left. Friends with the team offered me tickets, but I declined because I believed it would only be the last game of the season, not the last of the Seattle SuperSonics. Like the Mariners and Seahawks, which had threatened to leave before, the Sonics would find a way to stay.

And then they were gone. I still have friends, much bigger basketball fans than I am, who have totally abandoned the NBA. In that first season with no basketball in Seattle, I simply couldn't bring myself to watch the league, though I did delight in catching stories about the Thunder's ineptitude in OKC. I've slowly come back to the NBA as a basketball nomad in search of a team, and for the most part I've tried to ignore the Thunder. But now that they're on the verge of joining the league's elite, some old resentments have been rekindled. This should be our team, my heart tells me, not Clay's, not Oklahoma City's.

I wish I could really believe that. But the Thunder, the runaway Northwest Division champions, are not the Sonics. Had Howard Schultz not sold this team to Clay Bennett, the Thunder as we know them—the title contender Seattle fans so desperately wish they'd had—wouldn't exist. Under Howard Schultz and Wally Walker, the Sonics were a team and organization that aspired to adequacy. Maybe they would be good, but they would never be great. Fans could see it on the court and during the draft (Robert Swift and Mouhamed Sene?!); employees could see it in the shabby, penny-pinching way the front office was run.

In Seattle, we wanted to denigrate the Okies so much that we couldn't even keep our prejudices straight. We heard Bennett and Co.'s accents and saw their regressive politics, and we labeled them rubes and idiots. At the same time, we painted them as sinister geniuses who'd cynically orchestrated the theft of our team, with David Stern as their co-conspirator. Resentful Seattleites are like those 9/11 Truthers who simultaneously believe that the government is both totally inept and guilty of perpetrating and covering up an immense terror plot. You can't have it both ways. Either Bennett is an idiot who married into his fortune and lucked into the team, or he's a canny businessman who played the game shrewdly and won.

I have to think he's the latter. I need only look at the organization he's put together to know he's running the club better than Schultz—the media-ordained genius—ever did. It was Bennett who brought in the architect of the club, Sam Presti, based on their mutual connections with the San Antonio Spurs. It was Bennett who allowed Presti to build slowly around Durant instead of demanding wins immediately. Sure, there was plenty of bad faith on Bennett's part during the sale, but at this point it's silly to expect anything else from a sports owner. Caveat emptor applies to us as much as it does to owners. They are running revenue-maximizing operations, and a fanbase is of use to them only to the extent that it makes them money. All we can hope for is that an owner cares enough about his product to give us something worth watching every year. By all evidence Clay Bennett cares about his product. Howard Schultz never did. Maybe that's the ultimate deception in the Sonics' story: A lot of us had the wrong villain all along.

:donatello

SoonerBoy18
05-11-2012, 11:16 PM
I am so sick of people bringing the Seattle Supersonics into the equation EVERY time the playoffs arrive. Get over it. My god. Its starting to tick me off.

MDot
05-12-2012, 12:10 AM
I am so sick of people bringing the Seattle Supersonics into the equation EVERY time the playoffs arrive. Get over it. My god. Its starting to tick me off.

It ticked me off before the team even relocated here because they were making all Oklahoman's sound like some form of cave dweller's that have no contact with anything in the "real world" and deserve to be banished from anything that would make us worldwide that didn't include the dates April 19th, 1995 or May 3rd, 1999 (I apologize if some find those remarks offensive).

Not that it means much coming from someone in Oklahoma but my heart goes out to all the real former SuperSonic fans, they were the ones that cheered for the team even in their last season in Seattle when they knew what was coming but still went to games out of hope they could "Save Their Sonics" while the poser fans were trying to come up with another snide remark towards "Okies" to make us look worse than we did (since 3.6 million people can be attacked/generalized because of one man) rather than doing what they could to try and save the team from relocating. The author summarized it the best, Seattleites were too arrogant to believe it would happen to them and they 150% knew that the shiny city of Seattle, WA would never lose out to "flyover country" Oklahoma City, OK, now they're trying to get the NBA back in their royal city while us backwood rednecks are trying to make more room to fit our Thunder merchandise that, in most cases, shouldn't even exist.

Now that it's all said and done there's nothing anyone here in Oklahoma can do, but I hope Seattle can get another team someday just for those Seattle SuperSonics faithful. As for the poser fans, well (-__-)t.

okcpulse
05-16-2012, 10:05 PM
3.6 million people can be attacked/generalized because of one man

I agree whole heartedly with your post. Just wanted to add, it's now 3.8 million ;) Only nit-picking in a good way!

MDot
05-16-2012, 11:07 PM
I agree whole heartedly with your post. Just wanted to add, it's now 3.8 million ;) Only nit-picking in a good way!

I was going by the 2008 estimates since that's when all this went down but you are correct. =)