The sad story concerning the absolute theft of the Sonics from Seattle by Oklahoma oilmen has gotten almost no publicity to date. Considering we are the city that launched Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft, RealNetworks, Cranium and Pearl Jam, you would think collectively we might have the phone number of one PR person in town.
But amazingly, for the most part, no one outside of Seattle seems to take note of a very simple story:
- In 2006, Oklahoma guys buy team that’s been in Seattle for 41 years A team that plays in a 17,000 seat arena, in the middle of downtown, that was renovated 10 years ago.
- New owners demand $500 Million new arena from taxpayers, an arena that would cost more than the 70,000 seat football stadium and 47,000 seat retractable roof baseball stadium.
- City tells Oklahoma City guys to stick it.
- Oklahoma guys claim they can’t be successful in Seattle and announce they have remarkably found a city willing to take the team – in Oklahoma City.
- Local Billionaires who were asleep at the switch in 2006 say they will buy team to keep it in Seattle.
- Oklahoma guys, who now have Kevin Durant and six 1st round draft picks in the next 3 years, tell the local Billionaires to stick it.
- David Stern looks at Seattle fans, and tells them to stick it. Then stick it again for good measure.
- Everyone acknowldges the only question is whether they leave in 2008 or 2010.
Thankfully, one national reporter has taken up the cause. And the amazing thing is, he is the Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, as influential as any writer in sports today. His letterbag column is a must read, and carries with it the potential that NBA fans from across teh country could tell David Stern, "Hey, this isn’t right. I support the Pistons, but damn if I’m going to support a league that will let some oil baron rape and plunder a 41 year old legacy."
So please, read Bill Simmons. Send an email to thank Bill Simmons. Join the Bill Simmons Facebook Group. Send the Bill Simmons column on to your friends. Blog about Bill Simmons. Because this Bostonian has emrged as the only sportswriter who seems to care that the Sonics belong in Seattle.