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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"Stealing" the Sonics?

Will They Be Moving?

In my previous post endorsing the extension of the sales tax to do improvements to the Ford Center, I deliberately left out my thoughts on the prospect of moving the Seattle Supersonics to Oklahoma City. This is even more problematic than voting to fund an NBA team in the first place.

First, let me say that I really, really like the city of Seattle. Forget the fact that part of my family lives there. Seattle, for me, is the most beautiful city in America. I love the region's politics. If I could live anywhere else in America, I would probably choose to live there.

Second, like most of my fellow citizens, if we get a team from another city, I wish it would the Hornets. We all fell in love with Chris Paul. New Orleans doesn't seem to be able to support the team, and didn't really do so before Katrina. That's not likely to happen for a variety of reasons though.

So how do I feel about taking a franchise away from its original home, away from a city that has supported it for over 40 years because it's home arena has been deemed inadequate? I feel about it probably the same way someone might have felt about Los Angeles stealing the Brooklyn Dodgers: bad for them, good for us. If Oklahoma City is ever to get a major league franchise, then we will certainly get it at the expense of another city. The NBA, NHL, MLB or anyone this side of Arena Football will not expand their league just to get at the coveted Southern Plains market. The US market is pretty much at the saturation point, and if any new teams are created, they are going to be placed outside the US. This is particularly true of the NBA which openly covets an opportunity to establish itself in South America, Europe and Asia.

Prior to Katrina, Oklahoma City had already been turned down by the NBA and the NHL. We became a player in the NBA because we had prepared ourselves for the opportunity which is the best definition of luck I know. [Senaca's Definition of Luck] Baring any new change of events in the present situation, I feel that Oklahoma City will probably get the Sonics. For us, this will be the culmination of a long time of planning, work and patience. For Seattle and others, we are mere opportunists, but that only looks at one side of the formula.

However, when I go to visit Seattle, I probably will tell anyone who asks that I live in The Village.

1 comment:

Rick said...

It always seemed strange to me that L.A.'s basketball team is still called the Lakers, in a city that is very arrid and dry. What is "Sonic" about OKC - other than the drive-ins that are popular around there?

You've been posting a lot - interesting stuff.