Poor, Poor Seattle

June 17, 2012

Features, NBA

Anyone who has watched Sportscenter for about 36 seconds can tell you that the 2012 NBA Championship has been labeled a matchup of “Good v. Evil”.

The Big 3 are arguably the most hated trio in sports while in terms of building a franchise, the Oklahoma City Thunder have done things the right way.

Brief Draft History:

2007: They admitted they couldn’t win a title so they shipped their franchise player (Ray Allen) , Glen Davis for the No. 5 overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft, Delonte West and Wally “One-time All Star” Sczerbiak. While the move may not seem that glamorous, it let Allen get a well deserved ring with Boston and freed a good amount of cap space up.

They then used their two selections on Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. While the Blazers were believed to get the better player in Greg Oden, he has only played 82 more NBA games then I have. Fortunately for the Thunder, Durantula decided to become an All-NBA star and consistent threat to the scoring title.

2008: Selected Russel Westbrook with the 4th overall selection, Serge Ibaka with the 24th and traded with the Pistons for DJ White (currently on the Bobcats, can’t all be winners). Analysts seemingly  loved the draft although a few questioned Westbrook on the offensive end.

2009: Selected James Harden with the 3rd overall selection. NBA ready two-guard who had an inconsistent showing in the tournament. Typical limited ceiling, low risk prospect. (The legendary beard had yet to come)

2010: After a flurry of trades, ended up with Kendrick Perkins, Morris Peterson and No. 11 overall pick Cole Aldrich.

I apologize if I blatantly missing something, but I believe that explains the path of most of the Thunders core.

Now lets go over the foundation of Miami.

2003: Draft Dwayne Tyrone Wade Jr. with the 5th overall selection. No brainer at the time.

2008: Draft Mario Chalmers with the 34th overall selection. He was believed to be a massive steal.

2010: Sign Lebron James, sign Chris Bosh, sign Mike Miller, resign Udonis Haslem, sign James Jones, fill roster with spare parts.

Two ways to build a franchise. One takes years, one takes ego. Both have proven to be effective.

No one is going to say that “The Decision” wasn’t the most egotistical display in professional sports. No one is going to argue that the celebration when the Big 3 signed together was a good idea.

Hell, no one is going to argue that you should root for the Miami Heat. If anyone from Cleveland plans on reading this article, please stop now and continue your Thunder/Cavs campaign. There is no amount of money that you would take to root for Lebron James.

With that being said, Oklahoma City may be far from justly deserving the “Good” moniker.

If you looked purely at the players, there really isn’t a reason to hate the Thunder. Russel Westbrook wouldn’t pass if he was holding a rabid honey badger, but that may be the only negative.

Durant doesn’t appear to have a massive ego, James Harden’s beard may as well be a folktale and Ibaka even helped a kid get his stuffed animal back. In other words, they are pretty much the opposite of the Miami Heat.

So why would someone think twice before drinking the Thunder Kool-Aid?

Everyone has a favorite local team. They may not be the greatest team in the world but you are proud to be a fan of them; they are YOUR team.

Now there were some squabbles that your state government was stalling on a new arena, but hey a new owner was coming in so everything would sort itself out.

Then all hell breaks loose.

Your previous owner sold the team to a group blatantly looking to move the franchise. It is reported that as soon as the arena lease is up, your favorite team is booking it.

Lawsuits are filed to keep the team in the city, but they fall short.

Rallies are held, fans pack the stadium to make one final attempt to save their team.

Nothing works.

Your favorite team leaves and you are left not knowing whether you will see them again.

This is exactly what happened with the fans of the Seattle Supersonics later to be named the Oklahoma City Thunder. All of the Sonic’s tradition, memories and the history left with the Thunder.

Now on basketballs biggest stage, Seattle fans get to see the perennial scoring champion Kevin Durant (whom the SONICS drafted) lead a team of up and comers who will be among basketballs elite for years to come.

It has been 32 years since Seattle has won a championship in anything (1979 Sonics). Now the team that laid its foundation in Seattle is on the cusp of bringing its new arena glory.

“Well at least they can support their former team…..”

Sit down and think about that. If the Detroit Pistons become the Tulsa Shock (see what I did there?), would you support the Shock or spit fire anytime they are mentioned?

Seattle fans are currently feeling the latter sentiment.

From that article,

How deep does the bitterness run today in the Pacific Northwest? According to an ESPN poll, Washington is the only state outside of Florida in which a majority of basketball fans are pulling forLeBron James and the Miami Heat to beat the Thunder in these Finals.

Perhaps Seattle will get another NBA team soon, maybe they give Seattle fans that taste of another championship. I would put money that the Sonics as currently constructed are closer to winning a title than the Seattle Seahawks, but I digress.

Maybe this means nothing to you. Maybe Jurassic Park terrified you as a little kid and the sight of Chris Bosh makes you wet yourself. Maybe the Heat complaining about every single call would force you to buy a Bobcats jersey if 28 other teams came down with the flu. Maybe you work for Rogaine  and Lebron’s hairline has caused a major influx of business.

Those reasons are understandable and these Thunder players have done no wrong.

At the end of the day, who to root for comes down to one simple question;

Does your hatred for the Miami Heat crush any would be aspect of loyalty to a team?

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