Monday, August 27, 2007

It's over, but is it really over?

The Storm took too long to find their hunger to win. I can't say why, and it doesn't really matter in the end either way. Three years, three first round exits. It seems like the player pieces are there. Outside of a true backup point guard, one who plays aggressive, full court defense, penetrates and can hit the open three, the core roster is pretty darn good. Talent wise and ability wise this looks like a roster that should win more than it does. Yet, again and again it simply doesn't.

Do they tweak again? Do they overhaul the roster around Bird and Jackson? Do they look at changes to the coach and/or GM? Phoenix added a strong GM and went from bubble team to dominant force. It is something to think about. Do the players need a new voice in the locker room or does the coach need some new players?

Does any of this matter?

Will the Storm be here next year?

I told on Friday night that my hope is that the NBA steps in and solves the problem here like the NFL did for Cleveland in the 90's. The NBA makes sure that the people of Oklahoma City (a fine city with noble people whose triumph after the tragedy of the Federal Building terrorist bombing is all but lost in the shadow of NYC and the twin towers), Clay Bennett, Aubrey McClendon and their partners receive the greatly desired and deserved NBA team. David Stern and his organization keep the Sonics and Storm in Seattle. Sell our teams to local owners and grant Oklahoma City an expansion franchise. Let them take Presti and Carlismo if they so desire. Just keep our teams here. I even told the reporter that I would take just one team if that was all I could have. I told him I would take the Storm.

I love basketball. I have been a Sonics fan since before I moved to Seattle. The Sonics are just a basketball team, though. The Storm are my family. The fans of the Storm in this city, those I know by face and those I know by internet handle only, they are my family, too. My three year old son knew Lauren Jackson's name before he knew Ray Allen. He has never asked to play let's pretend and be a Sonic player. When he plays basketball, he is ALWAYS LJ. Your first love never leaves your mind, and the Storm will always be the first team he loved. I want to hold on to them for him as long as I can.

My hopes for the Seattle Storm now lie in the hands of local politicians, local wealth, the legal system as well as with David Stern and the NBA.

I wrote Seattle City council member Richard McIver last week about this issue and his response is the best I have heard in over a year...

I think all of us would be saddened if the team leaves Seattle, as appears to be
the intent of team ownership. It is my hope that enacting this legislation would
help to keep them in Seattle, if through no other way than by letting the NBA
know that we both want to keep the team and that we’ll use the legal tools we
have available to do that and to protect our own financial interests.

It will be tough. Oklahoma City is apparently ready to cover all the costs for Bennett's group to relocate and fight a legal battle to escape their lease. I hope that Orlando and Sacramento watch these events closely to see whether they should think twice about signing long term leases with NBA franchises. If we can be robbed of our teams despite a long term lease than they will forever be held ransom by the NBA as well.

There are people here that care. I have met some of them, I am meeting some more of them tonight. None of these people really have the power or the money to make a significant difference. Our best hope is to rally enough to get the people with money and power to act publicly.

If you or someone you know has the power or the money, please step forward. Take action. Be a local hero.


Veronica Lynn said...

As a serious Spurs' fan, let me tell you: Carlesimo and Presti are keepers.

Patrick said...

They are keepers. I love what Presti has done so far. I believe PJ can be a great coach in this league. I realize though that should the NBA allow the Sonics to be sold to local owners and hand the current OKC owners an expansion team, they are likely to want to keep Presti and PJ for themselves. I'd rather have Durant and the Sonics even if it costs me Presti and PJ.

Anonymous said...

Here is an interesting BBC Show about the Oklahoma City Bombing. Please watch and then pass link along to friends.