There’s Still Time On The Clock, Just Push It Up The Floor
Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on April 17, 2008
Every baseball fan young and old knows all too well about the story of the Dodgers’ move to Los Angeles and how, after 50 years of major league baseball in Southern California, Walter O’Malley’s name in Brooklyn is still spoken with a sense of complete dislike.
Fast-forward to 2008, where instead of close-knit Brooklynites begging for the Dodgers not to depart from Flathbush, a city and a former owner is fighting like crazy to keep their beloved NBA team in the city of their origin.
Going into the 2007-08 NBA season, the Seattle Sonics weren’t among anyone’s list of contenders in the Western Conference. Although the Sonics did strike gold by drafting Kevin Durant, who will nonetheless become this year’s Rookie of the Year, the Sonics were making more news away from the hardwood than on it throughout this season.
As many of us NBA fans know, the Hornets, like many of the pro teams around the New Orleans area, were evacuated because of Hurricane Katrina to temporary sites.
With the Hornets it was Oklahoma City, home to a gleaming showplace for basketball in the Ford Center, which in recent years has hosted the Big 12 Conference Tournament.
While the arrangement between the Hornets and the city was short-term and successful, another Oklahoman is trying his best to do the same thing that Walter O’Malley, more than 50 years ago, allegedly did.
Break the hearts of a loyal fan base.
Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett is trying to obtain permission from the NBA to move the Pacific Northwest’s oldest major pro sports team, the Seattle Sonics, to Oklahoma City and thereby doing something that could not be done with the Hornets: sustain a long-term presence of pro basketball in Oklahoma City.
But it’s not going away without a fight.
As we speak, Washington senators are doing everything in their power to stop the move by filing lawsuits, bringing in a former owner to get the team back and keep it in Seattle, something that the people of Brooklyn would have never envisioned doing 50 years ago when their Dodgers traded Flatbush for Hollywood.
But much like the Dodgers, the Sonics have been an instution in Seattle.
And barring a last-second shot, Clay Bennett is going to join the ranks of Horace Stoneham and Walter O’Malley as the most hated owners in sports history.
Too bad, because Seattle was getting used to seeing Kevin Durant and possibly seeing the team get back into contention in the West.
But because of a hillbilly, that won’t be the case.
This entry was posted on April 17, 2008 at 9:22 AM and is filed under General Sports. Tagged: AUTHOR:DOC HANCOCK, NBA, Seattle Sonics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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