Money makes the world go 'round.
Despite making no legitimate effort to find a solution in Seattle, Clay Bennett has weaseled a way out of the Key Arena lease for his ownership group and the Seattle SuperSonics will be no more starting next season.
Even though I'm a diehard Trail Blazers fan, I just can't be happy about this at all. Seattle has won a championship, the Sonics are the city's oldest sports franchise, and, oh yeah, there's stacks of evidence that Bennett's ownership group never attempted to reconcile their arena "problem." Never mind that Key Arena is less than 15 years old in its current incarnation (which is just older than Portland's Rose Garden, for what it's worth), and that it wouldn't take much to improve the arena to "current NBA standards," whatever those are.
I care, but it's frustrating. Sports are a business, and a rather expensive one at that. People want to make money from this. I get it. But after seeing the way Portland has turned around its franchise - namely, rebuilding ties to the community and not letting burned bridges stand in disrepair - and seeing Bennett and his set of flyover state carpetbaggers gleefully holding torches while they exit stage east, I can't help but get a bit frustrated by it all.
Oh well. I can rest assured knowing that, at the NBA owner's meeting vote back a couple months ago to let Bennett take the franchise to Oklahoma City, Portland owner Paul Allen was one of just two dissenting voices. The other? Mark Cuban. I guess my respect for the Mavericks' owner has gone up as well.
Goodbye, Sonics; I hope to see you again some day. And fuck you to whatever this franchise will be called from here on out. I hope they get a shitty nickname, it'll make them easier to hate.