There are many of us who still remember the lead news story on one fateful evening in February of 1996. As families turned on television sets across the region, we were informed that a caravan of moving trucks bound for Southern California had hit the road that day, packed to the gills with two decades’ worth of Seattle Seahawks history. Unceremoniously, our football team and all its belongings were gone, destined to become the Los Angeles Seahawks of Anaheim.
Owner Ken Behring, a festering pimple of a human being, was to blame for the heist. A real estate developer by way of the Bay Area, Behring had acquired ownership of the Seahawks in 1988 and proceeded to spend eight miserable years running the ballclub through the turf, beneath the concrete, and well below the surface of the ground.
While Behring, the real-life personification of a bumbling Scooby-Doo villain, acted quickly in shuttling the team out of town, the NFL and King County reacted with even speedier precision to halt the vans and return them to the Pacific Northwest. The shoddy relocation attempt was thwarted, and a humiliated Behring was forced to sell.
Almost immediately, a white knight emerged. He had built his fortune in the software industry, but his passion lay in sports, music, and later, philanthropy. He already controlled one major sports franchise – the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers – but had the bank account to afford another. Unlike his basketball team, this organization would be rooted in his hometown, rather than 173 miles south. With the stroke of a pen and a boatload of cash, Paul Allen committed to buying – and saving – the Seattle Seahawks.
There’s a rumor going around that former Utah Jazz center Greg “The Big O” Ostertag is on the verge of an NBA comeback. The 7’2″ big man worked out for the Portland Trailblazers last week, but has his heart set on a return to Salt Lake City, a city he called home for 11 seasons.
Ostertag retired from the league in 2006 and has been living in Arizona ever since.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Ostertag’s retirement and pending comeback is that the University of Kansas product is only 36 years of age. Thirty-six! I pegged him for about 40, seeing as how the guy made his NBA debut when I was 11 years old. Samsonite, I was way off.
We don’t have an NBA team anymore, so I had to go to Portland to watch basketball played at its highest level (thanks, local government). That’s where I was Monday night, amidst a crowd of rabid red-and-black emblazoned fans, cheering on the Trailblazers as they battled the visiting Philadelphia 76ers. This is my chronicle of the night’s events. Enjoy.
Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time when ESPN proudly displays their greatest invention, the NBA Trade Machine, for all us laypeople to experiment with. If you’ve never fooled around with the NBATM before, CLICK HERE to get started. Basically, the trade machine allows you to incorporate up to three NBA teams and begin trading players amongst the teams, taking into account the salary cap and other factors that would influence real-life deals. Here are some trades I’ve worked out already today.
Los Angeles Lakers get: Tyson Chandler, Mouhamed Sene, Kyle Weaver, Nick Collison, Earl Watson, Russ Westbrook, and Damien Wilkens.
Oklahoma City Thunder get: Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.