i remember when the mets let darryl strawberry go. i was distraught. and the day lawrence taylor retired? heartbreaking. when the knicks traded patrick ewing, i understood why, but it still sucked.
however, i never lost the mets, giants or rangers. i still had the rest of the team to root on, still had the home games to attend, still had the emotional chains that pulled harder when the season drew on.
i can't imagine how a sonics fan feels right now.
after 40 years of allegiance, of fathers and sons and grandsons going to see wilkens and chambers and payton, of living and suffering with almost great teams and hopeful rebuilding stories, of arguments between fans and high-fives with strangers, suddenly it's all gone - and neither side who argued the case cared at all about the people who cared most about the team.
one on side, there's the utterly detestable clay bennett, the dick dastardly of this two-bit organization, who lied from his first day as owner and continued to act in poor faith throughout any sort of faux negotiation and never cared to keep his customers happy - and seemed to mock the city and their citizens at every moment.
and with him there's david stern, who as j.a. adande wrote should never be allowed to run another hypocritical "NBA cares" commercial, who decided to make the implausible business decision to move one of his franchises from a global city to one most americans will never think of visiting. and he did this by endlessly belittling the home that cherished it for forty solid years.
and then there's the city of seattle, who honorably never gave in to david stern's blackmail for a new arena, but then decided that although there was no money amount that was acceptable for losing a civic treasure, still settled for $45 million.
nobody gave a shit about the people who buy the merchandise, wear the jersies, lose their voices while chanting and spend their free time and money obsessing over the one thing that, no matter where their lives might lead them, would always stay constant.
nobody cared about the family stories and arguments or the conversations in local pubs. or the hopes and dreams neighborhoods had for the kevin durant era. or the way a basketball team can pull a city together, no matter how many consecutive rainy days it might have.
and now, all of it is gone, buried underneath the scars of legal documents, empty lies and bitter insults.
you know, i understand fully that sports is business. i get that totally. no denying. but i never thought it was bad business.
but i never thought that an NBA franchise with 40 years of equity in a global city would be moved simply to repay a favor to a friend.
i never thought that an NBA arena in the middle of the city that was renovated just ten years prior would be seen as "antiquated" and "unable to house a professional franchise" and would be the cause of a team leaving their city.
i never thought that seattle could actually lose a team to oklahoma city. and that david stern and the NBA would actively encourage it.
i never thought that the NBA would let it happen.
i never thought it would come to this.
but it did, no matter how incredibly bad for business it is.
the NBA is a weaker league today. seattle is less of a city. clay bennett is the new art modell. david stern is a hypocrite who is losing his fan base through an endless series of arrogant decisions.
and oklahoma city is still irrelevant, no matter what the NBA will have you believe.
and it's a shame that the shameless should have the day.