With news that the Seattle Supersonics won’t be coming back, as the NBA has voted to keep the Kings in Sacramento, the city of Seattle has yet again been scorned by the NBA. But while there may be sufficient motivation to lash out at the city of Sacramento, Seattle fans need to pause for a moment and cheer for Kings fans, because somehow they evaded the fate Sonics fans were tortured with back in 2008.
Here’s the thing about this whole situation — it showed that the system really does work even if we all want it to be broken. If it’s broken, that’s something to rail against and it gives us all something to talk about. But once in a blue moon, the system doesn’t fail and this time around the NBA didn’t fail the fans the way it did back in 2008.
Seattle fans should be happy for fans in Sacramento. Before you point your blame at Kings fans, remember that pain and sorrow felt when the NBA allowed a team to be stolen from you and placed in a new city. Sure, Thunder fans love their team, but it’s a second-hand team that got snazzed up with new uniforms and a different name.
The controversy about the Sonics returning to town at the expense of Kings fans was apparent from the start — as was the blatant hypocrisy on the part of Sonics fans. Their pleas that they were sorry about stealing the Kings were as empty as Clay Bennett’s bold-faced lies about keeping the original Sonics in Seattle.
Instead of wallowing in anguish, Sonic fans need to turn this into a positive. The reason the Sonics being stolen by Clay Bennett and his Oklahoma cronies was so painful for all NBA fans was because it was a demonstration of a heritage and birth right being taken away by greedy businessmen. The Sonics, like most sports teams, weren’t just a basketball team — they were the memories of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters all over the Washington area.
So when the team was taken, the hope for new memories with a new generation were crushed.
The Sacramento Kings are a miserable franchise, but regardless of that, fans came out in droves and made an aggressive push to show that the team meant more to them than wins and losses. This wasn’t a snobby California community trying to prevent “outsiders” from taking something from them. This wasn’t Beverly Hill wanna-bes trying to make sure they weren’t going to be without something as flashy as an NBA team — this was fathers and sons, mothers and daughters across the Sacramento area hoping that the team would stay so memories could continue to bloom around their favorite franchise.
If the Kings fans didn’t care, there’s no discussion. If fans didn’t love this team they way they clearly do — the way Seattle fans loved the Sonics — no one votes against this move.
But the fact of the matter is the system is in place to avoid situations like the one that happened to Seattle in 2008. While that fan base now has more reason than ever to hold animosity towards a league they have every right to believe is screwing them, they should direct their hate at the NBA and join the applause and joy Kings fans are experiencing today.
The saddest part of the heist of the Sonics was that fathers and sons, and mothers and daughters across the Seattle area were hoping the team would stay so that new memories could be made with the team they loved. Those memories will never happen and it’s a tragedy.
Sonics fans were screwed out of a team, their hearts were broken and the memories that could have been made had he team stayed are forever gone. That son will never ever go to a Sonics basketball game with his father and have that memory. But down in Sacramento, some father will take his son to his first Kings game and the two of them will fall in love with the team and the sport together and cherish that memory forever.
Hate the NBA all you want Seattle, but think about your loss and feel thankful that another dedicated fan-base doesn’t have to experience what you did.