I saw a Kevinn Durant replica jersey tee shirt this weekend for the first time. All things considered, that is pretty darn quick and I am impressed.
I am also impressed by some of the moves the Sonics have made this off season. It is clear that they have decided to quite trying to remain competitively mediocre after a decade of trying to do the NBA impossible … rebuild and contend at the same time …
It appears that there is a lot more talk about the Sonics now as a result of their clear decision to blow things up and start from scratch. A lot of the talk is that all too familiar, "Too bad they are leaving, that's when they will be good …" stuff that has tended to follow the general sense of futility at even caring whether or not they were going to be good or not since they are leaving anyway …
To be fair, the Sonics at least tried to stay good in the past decade, but they have mostly hovered in that middle ground of being basically around five hundred and contending for a playoff spot, but not bad enough when they miss the playoffs to really get a good lottery pick. Well, once they got the big lottery pick this year I think the impetus to get bad in order to get good simply had to take precedence over other concerns. The notion that they had to win now to get an arena simply hasn't proven to be true; a couple years ago they won 50 game, their division, and almost pushed the Spurs to a 7th game, and yet the previous ownership group got no love at all when it came time to push for an arena. I will acknowledge that the previous ownership group had many other problems, but the momentum from winning proved to be irrelevant.
I am not a huge fan of the way arenas and stadiums are funded over the past several decades and have been on record in print on this subject. However, I also believe that a region like the Puget Sound needs to have first class venues for arts, entertainment, and sports, and if the way it gets done is the way the Safeco Fields and Qwest Fields of the world were funded, then perhaps I should just say so be it. There should be a truly first class arena in this region. Key Arena has some good points, but it clearly is not the arena this region needs.
I argue that the new direction might prove to be more beneficial than contending for the 8th seed and losing in the first round would be for the Sonics. There is a clear big picture of building a new team around a group of very talented young players.
The possibility of previous minority owners attempting to purchase the Sonics gives me hope.
The possibility of an arena in Auburn near Emerald Downs gives me hope. I still believe that a downtown location on the site of the current Key Arena makes the most sense and that in 20 years there will be a clamor for a new downtown arena, but that is just the way things are around here.
Now, if I could only bring myself to believe that the current Sonics ownership group actually wants to stay here and get an arena here … I am just not there yet.