Every year in November, the NBA starts up. We've all been fed these stories about how the Heat are evil, John Wall will be great, Kobe Bryant is the best player in the league and he'll prove it, yadda yadda yadda...
Yet somehow, no matter how interesting things get, the NBA will always be a cruel, sick joke to everyone who pays attention.
Censoring myself carefully, I'll explain. Like I said, those who pay attention (and also those who read the title of my blog) probably already know what I'm about to rant about. Go ahead, close your browser windows if you're from Oklahoma, or you don't care what a bitter fan has to say. However, I'm still going to say it, and it frustrates the hell out of me that no one's listening.
A team with history, promise, and plenty of fan support was ripped away from Seattle, and David Stern sat back and watched. The Sonics, the only team from Seattle to win a national title in one of the "Big Four" leagues, were bought by a man with bad intentions, and those bad intentions soon became harsh realities. The Oklahoma City Thunder was born.
The reasoning was a lack of an arena. Really? KeyArena would only be the smallest capacity in the NBA by 500 seats. Don't like that? Renovation plans were being debated upon up until the "big move" happened. If they would have waited a year, they might've had a deal the voters would agree upon.
But Howard Schultz didn't want to wait a year. He wanted the NBA in Oklahoma City, and he wanted it fast. David Stern was happy to let him do just that. That is exactly why the NBA is a joke; it doesn't protect its fans.
I am reminded of this joke every time I walk into Red Mill Burgers for lunch. A sign reading "Save our Supersonics!" is in the bottom left of the window. A letter to the editor of the Seattle Times on the issue is printed and framed right on the counter. My sadness is real.
So, this basketball season, when you drive to the arena to see your local NBA team play, count your blessings. Who knows, maybe your owner will go broke and sell the team to a man from Seattle, and then you'll know how we feel.
David Stern won't protect you.