March 12, 2013 at 2:00 PM
Dear David: A reader’s stern letter to the NBA commish
By Bary Roy
Bary Roy graduated from Central Washington University in 2012 after majoring in broadcasting. He co-hosted several sports radio shows at CWU and writes a blog, The Bary Roy Report.
Is it OK to call you, Dave? I mean, you spent so much time here in the waning days of the Sonics in 2008 we’re practically friends, right?
All right, so I digress.
As the Oklahoma City Thunder build an identity far sweeter than the bitter taste the team left with Seattle fans, time ticks in a market hungry to prove you wrong after the biggest lie you’ve ever told while partaking in the biggest heist of a professional sports franchise since the NFL’s Browns moved in 1996.
The lie? That Seattle, after 40 years, was no longer fit to have an NBA franchise.
Some of us, like jilted lovers you cheated on while making bedfellows with a mistress named Clay Bennett, will never forgive you. For others, the angst still tugs but not as strong as it was because of news that the Sacramento Kings could be ours if Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer’s bid to purchase and move the team to Seattle is ratified by the NBA Board of Governors.
As NBA commissioner, you say you don’t have a vote and that the decision is not yours to make regarding the Kings. Just like the decision to wash your hands of Seattle while paving the way for Bennett to relocate the Sonics wasn’t yours to make, either. You may not have a vote but you have clout, and if you don’t, then you have the cheapest commissioner title in sports history.
This isn’t about righting a wrong and placing the Kings in Seattle. While we all agree that you’re the worst sports commissioner of all time because of what happened here, we don’t feel good about plucking the dying carcass of a wilting franchise to whet our basketball appetite.
You oversee a billion-dollar league that can’t seem to find room for an expansion team or two. An expansion team in the Seattle market alone, with an arena deemed acceptable by modern NBA standards, is a win-win-win for all three interested parties moving forward – Sacramento, Seattle and the league that you oversee.
As a sports fan, I hope that expansion will be seriously discussed in the coming weeks, with a promise that all of the Sonics’ history is returned, not shared, when the league finds it can “afford” to add to its billion-dollar industry. I prefer that Sacramento keeps its Kings and its mayor, Kevin Johnson, can get back to the real problems that plague his city. Like crime.
And it’s a crime to pillage California’s state capitol of it’s only professional sports franchise. It was also a crime to rob Seattle of it’s beloved SuperSonics.
In every tug of war, someone will always lose. You’ve pitted two cities against each other again. Two fan bases are locked in a desperate fight to win the adoration and affection of a league that only cares about making sure more millions are added to its billions in the bank.
Realize, Dave, that you’re entangled in this mess, and that the sad saga of 2008 was also your doing. Give back to Seattle what you had a hand in stealing. If it’s the Kings, so be it because, again, every tug of war has a winner and a loser.
But no matter the winner or loser, you’re still the one with egg on his face when it’s all said and done. No one needs to vote on that.
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