Watch and enjoy folks.
Many times a fan will have a second team. Regardless of the sport or league, everyone has a backup squad. This team isn’t in the same universe as the person’s favorite team, but they keep a small level of interest in the second team—in other words, they care about that team just a smidgen more than the rest of the league and much less than their favorite team.
The Sonics will always be Seattle’s team, regardless if there is an incarnation of the green and gold in the Emerald City. However, the Los Angeles Clippers are quickly developing into Seattle’s second team. Or rather something closer to a “interim” team.
I basically bestowed the Heat with this title a few years ago. After all, Miami had beaten that team from that one Midwestern state (people from Washington State know which NBA stolen property team I’m referring to) in the NBA Finals. The Heat also employed former Sonics greats Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
The Clippers win the award for a few reasons. First off is the fact that they are simply fun to watch with highlight reel dunks and alley-oops a regular occurrence. The team also employs elite players in Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
After that, theirs the fact that they are owned by a man with obvious Seattle connections, Steve Ballmer. In addition to Ballmer, Los Angeles employs two of the Emerald City’s finest in Spencer Hawes and Jamal Crawford. The Clippers also recently drafted former Husky C.J. Wilcox in the first round of the NBA draft.
Congrats Clippers. You’re unofficially Seattle’s second team until we get the Sonics back.
Washingtonians, who is your second NBA team, is it the Clippers or another team?
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Fun fact, has been viewed more times than Squatch the Sasquatch (or Bigfoot for that matter) in the last five years. (Although that may change soon…)
Don’t worry though, knowhitter fans. Your favorite David Stern disapproving blogger will still be rolling out new content.
If you live under a rock, or maybe you don’t watch Monday Night Football, then you missed one of the greatest games in the shows’ history. It was a classic, one that Seattle won 14-12.
The Seahawks, with the 12th Man in tow, held the All-World Offense of the Green Bay Packers to a meager 12 points. They made Aaron Rodgers look like a crash-test dummy at times. Putting him on the ground an astounding nine times. That’s nine sacks. The ridiculous part? Chris Clemons had four of them in the second quarter alone.
Yes, the game was controversial. Yes the “replacement” officials botched the entire thing, but boy was it fun to watch.
Obviously Packers fans have a different view of this, but that’s water under the bridge. Your team lost, and that’s fine.
Do you live in Cleveland? How about some other market? Or are you just a normal, sympathetic sports fan? If so, you probably hate the Miami Heat!!!
It would make sense to me if you lived in Cleveland or Toronto or if you are a fan of their teams and you have somewhat of a hatred of the Heat. Why the rest of America does, I’m not sure. Is it because they took your favorite player? It can’t be that you’re mad that your team lost Shane Battier or Mike Miller. Battier was in a rental situation in Memphis. While Miller was the equivalent of a traveling homeless man in the NBA after being dealt to constant lottery players Minnesota and Washington in consecutive years.
So it’s definitely not that.
I still don’t get it. Are you mad because they are too good? Whatever the case may be, we here in Seattle, or at least I, am growing slightly more sympathetic-to-their-cause-by-default-because-some-terrible-owner-and-his-aforementioned-BFF-took stole-my-team.
It would seem a little like the Heat are trying to sway the Seattle fan base to jump on their bandwagon until we get a team here. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s what it’s starting to feel like.
First off, you have the fact that the Heat beat the Oklahoma City Raiders in the NBA Finals. They will forever be in my good graces until the day comes, probably in sixty some odd years, when they play the Sonics in the Finals. They didn’t do that to please us in Seattle. They did it so they could win a freaking ring.
Moving on. If I were to ask you to name two of the best former Sonics players still in the league, who don’t play in OKC, who would you say? Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis are probably one and two with Luke Ridnour and Reggie Evans a distant third and fourth. Coincidentally, the Heat have already agreed to terms with… Ray Allen and are supposedly setting their sights on another free agent… Rashard Lewis.
So let’s say that Lewis joins Allen in South Beach. That’s one hell of a three-point attack and one hell of a Seattle connection.
And once again, to reiterate on the title, we in Seattle, are the one fan base where the Heat have failed to become Villain Number One in. For us Northwesterners, Villain Number One A will always be Stern and One B will always be Bennett.
There has been speculation from all of the talking heads and what have you that this is the first of many opportunities for a basketball team in Oklahoma City to win a title.
And now I will explain why that is a load of “horse droppings” (again, trying to stay as clean as possible here).
First of all, Kevin Durant is great. And that’s amazing and all, but where is the offensive depth behind him? Russell Westbrook is also a viable point-scoring option, but after that it might get sketchy. No, I haven’t forgotten James Harden, but he is going to demand a large paycheck when he reaches free agency. And while he is effective, where is the depth after him?
Nick Collison is a nice fourth/fifth post option, and Derek Fisher has his moments, but after that the cupboard is bare. There isn’t a whole lot behind Westbrook and Fisher at the point. While the starting two, Thabo Sefolosha, is defensive, in a word. On the front line, however, well there is a bunch of bargain bin fodder really; Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward and Nazr Mohammed aren’t too exciting.
So here is the “pleasant” dilemma OKC has. Shell out a bunch of dough to Harden and lose cash to go after much needed bench help, or let Harden walk and go through a tail spin of sorts. I should also mention that Serge Ibaka will warrant a whole lot of money as well.
The third thing here, and most glaring hole in OKC’s game, is that they have no scoring presence in the post. Take away KD, Westbrook and Harden with three very good defenders like say Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Shane Battier, then you’ve won the game already.
That leads right into my Finals prediction, Heat over the Thunder in 6.
(Sorry Stern, you already handed Bennett the team, you don’t get to hand him the trophy.)
Oh yeah, spite. That’s the answer, or at least that’s my take on it. You see, not only have we (Seattle) lost our team, but in a matter of years the Raiders are in the NBA Finals. So, not only does that irk me (that’s the PG version), but I should also point out that all of the Sonics’ history is owned by Clay Bennett and his “posse”.
So, assuming you’re still following along after that painfully short lead-in, here is my perception: spite. Yes, spite. Why else would you want to take a team’s history? When Seattle gets a team back (looking at you Stern), I don’t want that team’s history. That’s their history; they accomplished it, and they deserve to have it.
Say your team is gone along with its history. Say you’ve had some Hall of Fame worthy players as well. Now let’s say that those players’ jerseys were never retired and that the history, as stated, is owned by somebody else. Welcome to our world readers who aren’t Northwesterners and/or Sonics fans. Gary Payton’s jersey was never retired, and the ability to retire it now lies in the hands of Clay Bennett. And that’s what bugs me. Bennett isn’t going to retire the Glove’s jersey. Even if he did, GP has said he doesn’t want it retired in OKC. So basically, the jersey is useless in OKC’s hands. And that’s what bugs me. They know that they weren’t going to do anything with the jerseys of guys like Payton and Kemp, not to mention the 1979 NBA Championship Trophy. But they own the history nonetheless. Which seems spiteful to me.
You’ll notice that I don’t refer to OKC as their actual nickname, and more accurately call them the Raiders. They are in fact just that, Raiders, who took the team and the history.
A quick side slant at Bennett and Stern here. Stern named Bennett the head of the NBA Relocation Committee. That might be the worst hiring since the Knicks brought in Isaiah Thomas. Or maybe even worse.
Another thing that is bothersome (again, being PG rated here) is that every time I watch the NBA playoffs, they throw out stats like “OKC’s first playoff (put accomplishment here) in over 15 or 20 years.” That’s also a load of bahooey (again PG), because it wasn’t OKC. It was the Sonics.
And just to clear things up, I’ve got no ill will towards the Thunder players or coaches. Most of them weren’t in Seattle, but the people I do have a problem with are Bennett and his “posse”.
(Never thought I’d write “Hot Topics”….moving on.)
Is it too early to discuss the NBA offseason?
Is it premature to speculate about the goings on in the offseason?
Yes and yes. But I’m delving into it anyways. And don’t think I’m giving up on the playoffs yet, I’m pouring all my energy into jumping on the Spurs bandwagon. I’m not saying this because I’m heavily opposed to the Raiders, which I am by the way. I’m saying it because San Antonio is the most complete and best team left in the playoffs. There, I said it Heat fans.
Enough about San Antonio, let’s get on to the offseason:
Uncertainty: When I say uncertainty I’m aiming right at Sacramento. David Stern needs to do something right for the first time in a of couple decades. He (and I’m sorry King fans, I feel your pain, I really do) needs to move the Kings north to Seattle. I’d like it done quickly, but honestly just the promise in writing that a team is coming at some point is fine. And no one gives a rat’s whatever about my opinion. Case-in-point-but-not-really-just-wanted-to-say-the-words-case-in-point.
It’s also that time of year when the time-old tradition of imploding-playoff-teams-if-they-can’t-work happens. The Lakers are a sure candidate for this after being bludgeoned out of the playoffs by the Raiders. Pau Gasol is a likely trade possibility, as is Andrew Bynum if the right return presents itself (read Dwight Howard). The Boston Celtics are probably next in line at the blowing-up establishment. The Big 3 are obviously in their twilight years and even if they win a title, change could be in order. Atlanta has gone through a lot of one-and-done as well as second-round exits in the last couple years. The underlying-theme-spoiler-alert-WRITTEN-IN-ALL-CAPS theme is that the current group isn’t doing it. Joe Johnson is good, but not good to the point of warranting his contract. Josh Smith supposedly wants out, Marvin Williams is an amnesty option and Kirk Hinrich’s contract is up. Al Horford is the one sure thing on the roster. He’s backed up by a solid Zaza Pachulia and will likely be joined by the potentially-potent Jeff Teague. After those guys, and I’m not kidding you, the rest of the roster is one-year, minimum contract guys. That’s how low the Hawks are on cap space. So now that I’m done rambling about them I’ll give you the short version of the story on all the other possible roster-dynamite-lighters. Utah was a surprise playoff team and could move some of their vets toward a larger youth movement. Dallas might blow it up to get under the cap, and Orlando has the whole Dwight Howard conundrum.
If you haven’t heard (because whenever you Google “NBA free agency” you get a load of pick-your-expletive on the Miami Heat and what not) free agency is almost upon us. That’s right, no LeBrons or Chris Boshs, but very good players none the less. Steve Nash is an option for teams looking for point guard help (just realized that might be the worst lead in on a topic ever). After Nash there’s a guy you might have heard of that kind of took the world by storm and then couldn’t make the tail end of Sportcenter: Jeremy Lin. Not because he played bad, but because he just wasn’t playing at a ridiculous level. In the rest of the free agent pool there are a lot of guys wading (pun intended… eh… not my best) for a big payday. Roy Hibbert could cash in big time after a nice bout of postseason play. Ditto JaVale McGee. Other guys waiting in line for a bigger pay check include Lavoy Allen, Omer Asik, Lopez’s Brook and Robin, Landry Fields, Ersan Ilyasova, Kris Humphries as well as Eric Gordon. Let the speculations begin.
There’s also this little thing where guys get to represent their country called the Olympics coming up, again, not sure if you’ve heard of it. There are plenty of spots available now that Dwight Howard and Derek Rose were lost to injuries. Just thought I’d mention that so you could run to the Y and practice before you try out. Anyways, the loss of Howard is a real blow to the Americans. With a daunting Spanish frontline consisting of the Gasols and Serge Ibalka, it might be a problem without one of the better rim defenders in the league. But the options after him are quite good. Tyson Chandler might be second in everything that Dwight Howard is first in defensively and Kevin Love is a rebounding monster. And I write this as I look at the roster of finalists, you thought Beijing was good? Listen to the potential here, you’ve got almost everybody from ’08. Which means Kobe, LeBron, D-Wade, Chris Paul, Deron Williams. Then there’s the “new guys” Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Andre Iguodala and Russell Westbrook. This is going to be a really good team and a fun one to watch too.
So there it is, enjoy your off-season folks. Well, enjoy it after the finals, but enjoy it none the less. And let’s bring the NBA back to Seattle while we’re at it. (Looking at you Stern.)
Have you been watching the NBA playoffs? Have you seen the Oklahoma City Raiders, as the politically correct people call them? Have you seen how good Kevin Durant is? Have you seen Russell Westbrook go bananas? Have you seen James Harden’s beard? And have you seen Seattle?
I cringe at the fact that the Raiders are so good. Actually, take that back, I do think they are a decent NBA team, it’s just the constant feeling that they could have been in Seattle. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. They could be the talk of Seattle now, instead the talk of Seattle probably includes the word Robbed.
Take that word and flip it into whatever synonym you see fit, because we were robbed.
It continually kills me to see the Raiders succeed. Yes, that’s right; I’m to the point of not mentioning their name.
It’s not as if this is a city like New York, or Dallas where all of the sports teams generally succeed. The Yankees seemingly always make the playoffs. The Giants won the whole thing last year, and the Jets aren’t too bad either. And in Dallas, the Mavericks went from perennial playoff squad to title winners last year. The Rangers have won the last two AL pennants.
The point with that last blip is that the pill is easier to swallow if a team leaves, and if the other professional teams in and around the area are playing at a high level.
Which brings us to our next point. Where have the big playoff moments been in Seattle? The Storm won a title in the WNBA and the Sounders are a really good side, but our last big-nationally-talked-about-you’ll-remember-where-you-where-when-it-happened-moment was when Marshawn Lynch unleashed the beast and went on a smash-and-dash 67 yard run to clinch the win over the defending champion Saints in the playoffs. And that’s coming up on two years ago. Before that it was a Seahawks Super Bowl should-have-been-win that was botched by officiating, and before that we have to go back to “the Double” by Edgar Martinez. And that’s going back a ways.
But to get back on topic, Stern and his joined-at-the-hip buddy Clay Bennett have robbed us of a successful, Big 4 (that’s MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL) team. One that would have taken the city to a whole new level of sports pandemonium. Instead we are forced to sit and watch the Raiders succeed.
Stern and Bennett not only took away our team, they took away a team that is pretty darn good. And one that might be that good for a while.
One of my favorite moments in Sonicgate is when they flash to a kid showing a sign that reads: “Clay Bennett Ruined My Childhood.”
What we should remember here is that it isn’t just Bennett’s fault. The blame falls on others shoulders as well, people like Greg Nickles and Howard Schultz. But the main culprit not named Bennett is Stern.
Isn’t it funny that when we had the Sonics situation on our hands, David Stern barely lifted a finger? And then when we see Sacramento’s arena deal and team security thrown into uncertainty, Stern does almost everything godly possible to keep the team in Sacramento. He practically got them another year in Sacramento. And that’s the problem. He is in love with small markets.
I know everyone and their dog are rooting for the Raiders in the playoffs in and around the Oklahoma area, and the revenue off that is great and all, but wouldn’t you look a lot better if that were in say, Seattle?
Anyways, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Bennett ruined my childhood. You see, my childhood has been great to this point. But I was in middle school when the Sonics left. I even wrote an essay on it for English class, saying why the Sonics should stay and all that. But that one year in middle school was also the year I really got into basketball. I mean I played it at every waking hour at school when I didn’t have classes. I was, and still am, obsessed with it. And that’s the sad thing. I never got to go to see the Sonics in person and barely saw them on TV. I’ve gone the last Andre-the-Giant-sized handful of years without an NBA team. Because the Sonics left I shifted my attention to the college ranks to get my winter basketball fill. Washington wasn’t amazing at the time so I watched a lot of Gonzaga and Washington State, seeing them both make the NCAA tourney.
And that’s just the thing today. For folks to get their local basketball fix their options are UW, WSU, Gonzaga and Seattle U. That’s it in the state. Seattle U is making the transition back to D1, and WSU and Gonzaga are on the other side of the Cascade Mountains. Not too many people are going to make that trek 2-3 times a week from the Puget Sound area to see basketball. Which leaves us with the Huskies. This is the first team in NCAA history not to make the tourney after winning the regular season championship in a power conference. They lost to South Dakota State by 19…
Let me say that again. They lost to South Dakota State by nineteen whole points!
I tend to get caught up in baseball over the summer, so that makes it a bit hard to follow the Storm intensely.
So, thanks to Stern and his little buddy Bennett (and some others) the biggest basketball draw in the Pacific Northwest over the winter and spring is a team that lost to South Dakota State by 19 points. Did I mention it was at home? Maybe if the Raiders win a ring and the NBA doesn’t come back to Seattle soon you very well may have ruined my childhood, Bennett and Stern.
If I asked you who the highest paid player in the entire NBA is you’d probably rattle off answers like LeBron, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose or the ghost of Gilbert Arenas’ contract. But no, in fact it is former Seattle SuperSonic great Rashard Lewis.
Yes, Rashard Lewis is being paid 22.7 million dollars next year. What makes it even more perplexing is that he plays for the Washington Wizards, a team that doesn’t really need him and should be angling every asset on their roster towards youth.
Which is what they might be doing with Lewis.
Maybe Ernie Grunfeld and friends were being smart when they didn’t use the amnesty provision on Lewis. Maybe they’ll look like complete geniuses for not doing it. After all, he could turn into the next Tracy McGrady.
T-Mac was dealt in a three-team mess with the Knicks and Kings from the Rockets to New York. Houston also gave up Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey and in return picked up Jordan Hill, a couple first round picks and the right to pay Jared Jeffries checks.
Not too bad right?
Now if you’re Washington, you already have a star player and team “Atlas” of sorts in John Wall. He’s the star; he’s the present and future face of the franchise. You already have a very good center in this league in Nene. And you have a bunch of youth, which is never bad. Some of it will pan out and some of it won’t, but it’s better than trotting out declining vets with bloated contracts.
Going on my theory of throwing almost a dozen young players at the court and seeing which ones stick, it wouldn’t be bad if Washington had more of them to throw at the court.
Now, McGrady was moved to New York for the sole intent of clearing cap space to bring in a max free agent(s). Which ended up being Amare and money to throw at Carmelo after they were robbed by the Nuggets and left with Anthony. The point here is that Tracy McGrady was moved so the team could get under the cap so they could go after a max-contract free agent. It’s not as if there aren’t any potential big-name free agents hitting the market soon. Well, except some guy named Dwight Howard. Maybe you’ve heard of him.
Again the point is that normally teams wouldn’t go rushing out to get an overpaid player whose contract is north of 20 million as a rental, but that is something that might become a reality here.
The big, grand finale-ish, maybe-wrapping-up-point-but-probably-not is that the Wizards are in a prime position to move Lewis to a team who would like to clear cap space for Howard.
These would be teams like the Lakers, Mavericks and Nets.
LA isn’t going to do anything brash and dump Pau Gasol for Lewis, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them pick him up for the sole purpose of clearing cap space. I’m sure LA would love to be rid of Metta World Peace, Josh “McBobs” McRoberts and Steve Blake’s collective contracts, however, the Wizards aren’t going to make that trade unless David Stern threatens to move them to Omaha. Again, a completely viable option. I would not put it past him. Next thing you know the Magic and Suns will be playing in the Dakotas. All because he likes “small markets”.
Dallas could conceivably deal Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood and Vince Carter’s unguaranteed contract to Washington, though while Marion would help Washington a lot at the 2 and 3 as well as providing… You know what? A John Wall, Nene, Marion, Jordan Crawford and Jan Vesely starting five would be pretty fun to watch.
The only thing that really prevents the previous trade from happening is Brendan Haywood’s supersized, bloated, terrible, overkill contract. Feel free to add any adjectives that I might have missed there. Maybe it could happen if the Wizards forced the Mavs to take Andray Blatche back. Not sure if Dallas would do that.
Another scenario, this assuming Lamar Odom’s contract isn’t bought out, sees Dallas moving Odom, Marion and Carter for Lewis. Not sure if the Mavs would sacrifice that much wing depth, but to Deron Williams or Dwight Howard, I’d do it.
The trade machine makes it a bit difficult to trade with the newly dubbed Brooklyn Nets seeing as almost all of their contracts are expiring. Still, Lewis to New Jersey for anyone but Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Brook Lopez or Gerald Green makes sense. I realize that I named almost half the roster there, still those guys are likely safe unless Howard comes to Brooklyn. In that case Lopez would be available.
The point here is that Rashard Lewis and his contract very well could be one of the more sought after commodities on the trade front. He’s gone from maybe the least desirable asset to maybe the most desirable one.