Tag Archives: Sonics

Thank You, Chris

chrishansenWith all due respect to Steve Ballmer, the Nordstrom family, minority stakeholders, ex-players, political figures, activists, media members, and anyone else who has helped lead the charge to bring the Sonics back to Seattle, I have to dedicate the following letter of thanks to one man, Chris Hansen. Without Chris, none of this “Bring Back the Sonics” mania even exists. Without Chris, we aren’t sitting here trying to wrap our collective heads around the real possibility that we may get our beloved green-and-gold-clad squad back. And without Chris, we lack the most important thing we need to keep the memory of our team and the prospect of its return alive: hope.

I still remember the day that Chris Hansen came riding into town on a proverbial white horse, seemingly out of nowhere, determined to bring the Sonics back to our fair city. It’s been more than a year. The first time I wrote about the guy was February 9th, 2012. I didn’t even know him, but I wanted to hug him. He got me believing in something that had been comatose, on life support. Who knew if the Sonics would ever come back? It had been three-and-a-half years since they’d left and the political climate from both ends of the spectrum — in Seattle, and with the NBA — was far from favorable.

But then this dude, this hedge fund manager, this guy no one knew — Who? Chris Hansen? The Dateline guy? The predator catcher? — changed all that.

I can’t be more clear about this. I don’t care what Chris Hansen does from this moment forward. I don’t care how he’s gone about trying to get our team back. I. Don’t. Care. The fact is, he’s made one hell of an effort. He’s put this entire town, this entire citizenry of basketball fans, upon his shoulders and carried us to this point. He’s done what no one before him could do. He’s made those who wanted to say “No,” say “Yes.” He’s forced non-believers to believe and believers to believe more. He’s been, if nothing else, inspirational.

It doesn’t all come down to today. Today, the NBA owners decide whether or not the Sacramento Kings can be relocated to Seattle. A vote in favor of relocation would pave the way for Hansen and Co. to buy the team, unencumbered, from the Maloof family. A vote against relocation would essentially allow for a Sacramento-based group led by Vivek Ranadive (and, let’s face it, mayor Kevin Johnson) to seize the team from the Maloofs, assuming the Maloofs would be willing to relinquish their asset to said group. A vote for the latter is what’s expected, the latter that likewise favors the opposition. Regardless of what decision is voted upon, however, there will be backlash. So no, this won’t be over on Wednesday. Not at all.

But let’s say the vote, as anticipated, were to favor Sacramento, not Seattle. And let’s say that the NBA, as anticipated, tried their hardest to get the Maloofs to sell the Kings to Ranadive’s group. Let’s say expansion failed to appear as a viable near-term option. And let’s say that, by Thursday, the situation looked bleak, at best. If Chris Hansen were to give up at that very moment, I wouldn’t blame him. I’d be a little surprised, but I wouldn’t blame him for walking away. And when I looked back upon Hansen’s legacy, I’d be happy for what he gave us over the course of a year-and-a-half. Because he’s given us a ton.

I don’t think Chris will give up, though. I don’t think he’ll quit. Not until the Sonics are more than just a memory. Not until there’s an NBA team inhabiting our city once again. What Chris Hansen and his cohorts have done is beyond amazing. They’ve given us hope, yes. But they’ve also given us clout with a league that turned its back on us just a few short years ago. They’ve given us a voice, they’ve made the world take notice. We’ve scratched and clawed our way back to relevance when it comes to professional basketball, and that’s thanks in large part to one individual who was brought to action by his own bubbling source of civic pride.

Maybe that’s why it will be damn near impossible to ever speak one ill word of Chris Hansen. Because unlike so many other guys who have propped themselves upon pedestals high above us average Seattleites, Hansen is one of us. He cares about this cause as much as we do. He loves Seattle as much as we do. He’s as average as they come, as average as the rest of us, and yet above-average in so many ways. As far as I’m concerned, this guy can do whatever the hell he wants. He’s a saint in my book. He deserves a holiday in his honor. Preferably something in August, because August needs a goddamn holiday. Who wants a day off in August? I know I do. Saint Hansen Day sounds like a good way to spend a summer afternoon.

No matter what happens today, tomorrow, next week, next year, next decade, I have two words for you, Chris: Thank you. You’ve made all of this possible. You’ve brought a legion of fans together. You’ve united a city. You’ve given us passion, you’ve given us fuel, you’ve given us reason to believe. We owe you a gigantic debt of gratitude and I can’t tell you how much all of this means to us. We are the Sonics, all of us. You, me, every fan emblazoned with the Seattle skyline in a green-and-gold semi-circle. Until our ballclub returns, this team is thousands upon thousands deep.

As they say in one of my favorite movies, Remember the Titans, “attitude reflects leadership.” You have led us remarkably. And we are one badass group of basketball fans.

Thanks, Chris. Go Sonics.

Keeping the Faith

sonicsI hate losing. I once sat in a 1991 Toyota Previa in the Factoria Square parking lot and bawled for an hour because I had pitched poorly in a Little League game and had cost my team a victory. My family went inside to eat dinner and I stayed in the van, refusing to eat, refusing to move. I don’t do well with defeat. I never have. Even now, there is little that can be done to assuage me when my team so much as drops a rec basketball game. I will either a) sit in grim silence for an entire car ride home, or b) verbally break down every single thing that went wrong on our failed quest for triumph. My friends deserve a lot of credit for dealing with that version of me that, to this day, struggles to cope with losing.

I guess in many ways it’s ironic that I am a Seattle sports fans — I don’t know how to lose, and seemingly all my teams do is just that. My whole life, I’ve encountered failure from these entities I hold so dear to me, and yet I’ve never learned how to accept the bitter taste of defeat. I sat through an entire childhood of Seahawks futility, labored through thousands (literally, thousands) of Mariner losses, had seats in the upper level for every home game of the only 0-12 season in University of Washington football history, then paid witness to the ultimate heartbreak when the Sonics were taken from us and moved to Oklahoma City.

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SSN Twitterbag: Antoine Winfield’s future, Mariner busts, the limit on what we’ll let fall in our beer, and more

winfieldIt’s like a mailbag, but with Twitter. Because outside of work, no one sends emails anymore. To participate in future Twitterbags, look for the #SSNTwitterbag hashtag and follow along, @alexSSN.

Will Antoine Winfield sign [with the Seahawks]? -via @caseyc8

Winfield, a 35-year-old free agent cornerback just released by Minnesota, is one of the premier players at his position, even at this late stage in his career. A former All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl honoree, Winfield reportedly worked out with the Seahawks just a few days ago.

To atone for my relative ignorance on Winfield’s contractual prospects, I went to one of the brightest football minds I know for some help. My buddy Curtis Crabtree (speaking of Twitter, follow him @Curtis_Crabtree) — who covers the Seahawks for Sports Radio KJR, as well as the west coast for ProFootballTalk — was able to provide some insight for us on the situation:

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Politically Correct with Kevin Johnson

arenaplanHas anyone seen Kevin Johnson’s Sacramento arena plan? Does anyone know if it actually exists? Has anything been written down? Drawn up? Are there blueprints? Has a location been settled upon? What the hell is the deal here?!

As the mayor of his hometown, Johnson has held press conferences on consecutive days to let the world know two important things:

1) He has a plan, which allegedly involves a lot of money and a new arena, to save the Kings.

2) That plan involves at least 21 investors, some of whom are whales.

Unfortunately, neither of those nuggets of information add up to much substance. Which leads everyone to believe that Johnson may just be talking out of his ass to save face in the wake of an inevitable defeat.

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Saves Sonics Roster. Drops Mic.

sonicstrade

Got rid of every player on the Kings roster. Except Isaiah Thomas.

Got Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, and Ray Allen in exchange.

IT’S A NEW BEGINNING, SONICS FANS!

*Disclaimer: Please understand that this trade would never happen. Ever. The moral of the story is that the NBA is coming back to Seattle, the Sonics are alive again, and playing with ESPN’s Trade Machine is once again relevant to us. Enjoy it, Sonics fans. We’re back.

We Deserve Our Sonics

Retro005The accountant who leases the office space in my company’s building has never said much more than a casual “Hello” to me in two-and-a-half years. I always politely greet him in return, and we’ll occasionally share a “How ya doing?” followed by a “Good, good. You?” We may have exchanged comments on the weather a few times, and perhaps even celebrated the occasional TGIF moment as we’ve checked out for the weekend. But in all, we’ve never really talked about anything of substance.

***

There’s a clerk at the grocery store I stop at on my way to work. He’s silver-haired, probably in his early-fifties. I’ve watched him interact with other patrons, as well as his coworkers. He has a sense of humor and a gregarious personality. He’s likable and appears to be well-liked. He can deliver a joke and is quick with a laugh. We had never spoken before, until one day when I stood in the aisle perusing cold drinks and heard to my left an abrupt, “Hey!”

***

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A Visual Chronology of the Sonics Rumors That Damn Near Broke Twitter Last Night

Damn you, Daina Falk. Keeping people up all night, getting their hopes sky high, making us think the Sonics might be coming back to Seattle. And she may be correct after all. We don’t know yet.

Regardless, the daughter of NBA agent David Falk got everyone all riled up on Tuesday night with a tweet announcing the sale of the Sacramento Kings to the Seattle-based group led by Chris Hansen.

The tweet issued by Falk had been deleted as of this morning (only furthering the conspiracy theories), but read as follows:

“So I hear that the Seattle Kings is officially a done deal! The Maloofs finally sold the ailing Sacramento team. #NBA”

This, naturally, created chaos. The following is a timeline of the tweets and events that ensued, attempting to logically examine, well, chaos.

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Four Years, Two Months, and Nine Days

If you would have told me on July 2nd, 2008 that in four years, two months, and nine days, Seattle would be celebrating the Supersonics, I would have laughed at you. The Supersonics were gone, taken from us on that very day. And September 11th, 2012? It was a date so distant, so irrelevant to anything more than, well, you know, and so seemingly non sequitur to NBA basketball that it would have made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

If you would have told me on July 2nd, 2008, that four years, two months, and nine days in the future, I’d be celebrating along with a community of passionate, tight-knit, basketball-loving, Sonics freaks, I’d have scoffed. Because on that day, way back when, we weren’t that. None of us. We were just…individuals. Who had been hurt. Badly. And didn’t know what to do with our introverted pain.

If you would have told me on July 2nd, 2008 that our community would grow closer over those four years, two months, and nine days, I wouldn’t have believed you. Seattle sports fans had scattered amidst the wreckage of a professional basketball franchise departing our region, distanced ourselves from one another as nearly every one of our local teams staggered to finish their respective seasons of misfortune, and grown apart while losing divided us. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. Our situation was miserable. We were miserable. And nobody wants to share misery with the equally miserable. So we wallowed alone, miserably.

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Where There’s A Wheel, There’s A Way (or, Overcoming Doubts About An Arena, a True Underdog Story)

Seattle has a knack for approving stupid municipal projects. It’s basically our forte. Take, for instance, the Great Wheel. The Great Wheel, for those of you who don’t know, is a brand new Ferris wheel located on Seattle’s Pier 57. It’s huge and it’s stupid.

Sure, the Great Wheel might very well be a lot of fun. I suppose if you’ve spent the $13 — yes, THIRTEEN American dollars — to ride the Wheel, you’ll probably enjoy your trip up and around its axis. But for the rest of us, the Wheel serves as an example of this city’s utter idiocy when it comes to making decisions.

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Let’s Hear It For The 2012 NBA Runner-Up Oklahoma City Thunder!

Seriously. Heckuva season. No shame in almost winning it all. Lots of people to acknowledge here, so let’s not waste any time.

First off, congratulations to Clay Bennett and Aubrey McClendon, owners of the coveted second-place trophy. That’s fantastic.

Second, to my man Brian Davis, former Seattleite and employee of Fox Sports Northwest who left to become Oklahoma City’s play-by-play guy — stay true, Big Dawg.

Third, to all the players who tried really hard: good effort, good job.

Fourth, shout out to the kids in Africa rockin’ the 2012 Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Championship gear. Enjoy that shit.

And finally, to all the fans out there who don’t know what it feels like to win a title, I give you this:

That’s how it’s done.

Thank you, Miami Heat.

Go Sonics.

Give us our team back, David Stern.

We Are All Heat Fans

The following is a piece I was graciously asked to write for allucanHEAT.com, a Miami Heat site on the FanSided.com network. You can check out the article on allucanHEAT by clicking here, or simply read on…

First of all, I don’t give a damn about the Miami Heat. The Big Three, in particular, annoys me.

LeBron James? He’s an aloof weirdo incapable of normal social interaction. Sure, he’s athletically gifted. But ask him to tell you something honest and he’ll likely panic and jump out the window instead. You can’t trust a guy like that. When he said he was taking his talents to South Beach, he didn’t mention anything about interpersonal skills.

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F**k You, Thundah!

This is an actual scene from Seth MacFarlane’s soon-to-be-released feature film, Ted. It is absolutely glorious. Especially if you’re a Sonics fan.

 

Ted is MacFarlane’s first feature film. He’s best known as the creator of such television shows as Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, and American Dad.

The comedy stars Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, and MacFarlane as the voice of the title character. It premieres nationwide in theaters on Friday, June 29th.

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A Testament to Seattle’s Pain

There will come a day that we have the Supersonics back.

There will come a day that our Supersonics triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

There will come a day that those beloved Supersonics, Seattle’s own, will win this city its second NBA championship.

But until then, we just sit here. In pain, mostly. Because for every ounce of effort we pour into building a brand new facility that will host those days that will come, for every speck of energy we devote to rallying the masses to call out the name of a temporarily-inconvenienced basketball team, for every shred of our collective hearts we exhaust on emotion for those memories the past has given to us, we often find ourselves at the mercy of the reality of the here and now.

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We Don’t Need Your S***, Oklahoma

Smug Yankees Player: We just wanna say, you guys played a good game. And we treated you pretty unfair all season, we want to apologize. We still don’t think you’re all that good a baseball team…you got guts, all of you.

Tanner Boyle: Hey, Yankees! You can take your apology AND your trophy and shove ’em straight up your ass!

In a perfect world, a sinkhole would open up directly beneath Oklahoma City and the entire municipality would just fall right in. There. I said it. And no, I’m not sorry. We’ve all thought it before. We just never say it. Because we’re taking the high road, after all. That’s who we are. We turn the other cheek. Oh, you want our basketball team? Well, alright. We don’t like this one bit. But we won’t speak ill of you so much as we’ll just petition the league for a new team. Because that’s what it’s all about, right? Everyone should get a team. This is Utopia. Teams for all!

F**k that shit.

Continue reading We Don’t Need Your S***, Oklahoma