Goodbye Sonics. And good riddance.

Jesus Weeps at OKC Memorial over Sonics

It’s official. The city of Seattle, having completely blown their legal case, settles up with the Sonics owners for $45M and the SuperSonics name.

I’d love to say that this is horrible, but hasn’t anyone watched the last 11 or so years of Sonics basketball? Shawn Kemp’s kids? The inexplicable signing of Jim McIlvane? Draft picks that were either rough and unready teenagers or European players that barely knew how to play — when they actually signed with the team? Howard Schultz running off Nate McMillan and ultimately handing the team to a bunch of Oklahoma City businessmen and scurrying back to Starbucks where he’s done nothing but continue SBUX’s run into the ground?

It’s sad to say this, but good riddance. I’ll always remember ’96, but the Sonics have turned into that girlfriend you’ve had that just let herself go, sits on the couch all day, gets stoned, and ultimately tells you she’ll dump you for that guy down the street unless you start giving her more and more expensive toys. Ultimately, the only thing you can do is point at the door and maybe call and tell the guy to swing by Tiffany on the way back.

And about this guy, er, city. Oklahoma City.

Truck stop to the world,
Call center, Flamer of Lips,
Player with Freeways and the Nation’s Cherry Limeade maker;
Sucky, soulless, boring,
City of the Big Slouchers:

Having grown up in Tulsa, well, of course I hate Oklahoma City. It’s a suburb in search of a city, a vast array of strip malls, tract housing, and interstates that were being continually rebuilt my entire childhood. Urban renewal usually meant a tornado plowing through town. Home to the Oklahoman, or Jokelahoman as we used to call it, which the Columbia Journalism Review once dubbed the Worst Newspaper In America. OKC was always the city in search of a soul and a purpose. Tulsa had the ballet, the opera, the art museums. Oklahoma City had the Cowboy Hall of Fame.

In some ways OKC is the mirrorverse Seattle. Republican, sprawling, flatter than flat, a bus system that doesn’t really go anywhere. And yet… you see one similarity with Seattle — they want to be something else. Seattle was founded on the idea of “New York by and by,” but that has in the end meant striving so hard to be big that it never really figured out how to do it sanely. Oklahoma City was founded in a day during the Land Rush, and since then it’s been trying to be a big city, but never has quite figured out what it meant. Both Seattle and Oklahoma City have done their best to knock down anything pretty in the name of progress. Both live in the shadow of larger, more global cities (Vancouver/Dallas) and smaller, artsier, happier with their lot towns (Portland/Tulsa).

So, yeah. The Sonics are gone. Off to the giant truck stop in the middle of the plains, where they will be begging Tulsans and Lawtonites and McAlesterans and Woodwardians to make the drive into the City, pay $150 a seat, buy a $10 small popcorn, and watch the NBA paste their asses 41 games a year. And us? Well, if we want to, I guess we can rebuild the Key, steal ourselves another NBA team, and make some other town unhappy.

In the end, though, we’re keeping Seattle, our ugly, lovely town amid the hills and lakes and trees. The Sonics, meanwhile, get Oklahoma City, out of which only four good things have come: The Flaming Lips, I-35, I-40, and I-44.

I think that’s a pretty fair trade.

PS to Mr. Tramel: Sorry, the guilt goes with the team. And also, all the crappiness we’ve seen the last 11 years. Enjoy.

4 Comments so far

  1. CeRo (cero) on July 3rd, 2008 @ 8:54 am

    He’s got a point about the two "palaces" we built, except that that’s sunk cost.

    My hope in this moment of sadness is that we can become like Columbus, Ohio, who without an NFL team exalts its Buckeyes. Husky basketball can reign or you know, we can go to Portland.

  2. CeRo (cero) on July 3rd, 2008 @ 10:03 am
  3. Mike (drgonzo) on July 3rd, 2008 @ 12:41 pm

    Don’t forget that Bennett intentionally tanked the season by pawning off the Sonics’ best players so people would form opinions exactly like the one you have. All the more reasons to move the franchise, really. It sucks that Bennett got away with this, but he’s another rich asshole who aways gets his way in the end.

  4. This is Seattle News « Mr. Wang Kai (aka Allen) (pingback) on July 9th, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

    […] the size of College Mall in Bloomington. Two days before U.S’s 232nd Independence Day, the SuperSonics ended its franchise in Seattle and will be moving to Oklahoma City for the coming NBA season. It is certainly a very sad day for […]

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.