Monday, January 02, 2006

It is 3 am here in Hawaii. My youngest woke me up two hours ago screaming in unidentifiable agony which was eventually silenced by a little Motrin and a lot of snuggles. I leave paradise in another 10 hours or so to catch a flight to LA, one more hotel and finally home to the damp green of Seattle on Wednesday.

This has been a blog about the Seattle Storm, the WNBA and women's basketball, but I need to rant a little on the Seattle men's team .

The Sonics seem to have lost their heart, their soul, and their passion this season. This was a team that clawed their way to a dominant first half of the season last year, a division title, and took the eventual league champions to a closely contested six games without two of their top three scorers.

They look now however, more like the team that couldn't clinch the division championship at the end of last season and lost game after game that they should have won. That team was missing three point assassin Vlade Radmanovich, though, and he is available this season. That team had injuries to all star Rashard Lewis, but Lew is playing even better basketball this season.

Yes, they lost Jerome James and his annoying potential coupled with laziness, and his shot blocking bulk/height in the middle coupled with his "what about me?" selfishness. Yes, they lost the fire and take it to the rim passion of backup Antonio Daniels, who tended to finish the games that Luke Ridnour always started. I don't think this is the real problem though. I think the real loss is in Nate McMillian and Dwayne Casey. I know that their new teams aren't doing so hot either, but they were the keys (in my opinion) to why last year's team worked. They were hard nosed coaches who knew their personnel and how to use them. They spoke to them and utilized them as they needed to be spoken to and utilized to win games.

Bob Weiss seems like a nice guy. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to cut it with these players. He knows them...he has been in Seattle forever. He just doesn't seem to know how to get them to do what they need to do to win. These guys seem to need to be screamed at and brow beat into action. They seem to need to be angry with their coach to win games. I don't think we HAVE to hire a new coach to get that. He just needs to get to work and remind these players what it takes to succeed in life AND on the court. I just hope that it isn't too late.

Someone needs to ignite their competitive fire, to rekindle their passion and show them where their collective heart is hiding. Champions have talent, yes, but they have desire that is greater than their talent. Where is your desire Seattle Supersonics?

It is a shame that your fans are booing you when you should deserve cheers. They don't boo your losing games though, that happens, and they understand loss. They boo you for refusing to put your heart out there on the floor for 48 minutes. We pay to see you play, and so far you aren't responding to that one request.

My voice is not one of those booing you. I do understand why you hear the sound however, because though my voice doesn't sound out to you, my heart grieves for the loss of the heart it saw last season down on the floor. That heart sang a song of desire and of passion, and mine knew the tune and was thrilled to sing along. My heart still sings the harmony, but the melody that comes from the hardwood has been silent this year. Find that song Seattle, the rest of us are here and are happy to hum the tune if you have forgotten how it goes. We even know the words. Give it a shot, OK?

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