When making such a fuss about rebranding the Seattle SuperSonics into the Oklahoma City (Team Name to be Announced)s, you would imagine that the owners of the city’s new NBA franchise would want to control the announcement of their team name. You know what happens when you assume?
Well, the NBA schedule for 2008-2009 was announced today and the inaugural season of the Oklahoma City franchise is set to kick off with a match against the mighty Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, October 29th. More interesting, to us at least, is what is listed above the team schedule on the NBA’s official website.
Update: The link is now dead. Thankfully screen shots live forever.
When not on a high horse about message boards, Berry Tramel has a day job. He works for the Dark Tower where he writes a daily column giving his take on sports related topics. In the past, we have even labeled him as the most tolerable writer at The Oklahoman, a status that was not hurt when he dropped a reference to my recap of the Season II premiere of Saving Grace.
But for the sake of intelligent conversation in this state, Berry must stop brainstorming. Short of that, he could just stop sharing his off the cuff ideas. It all started when he mused on names that should be considered for the team-formerlly-known-as-the-SuperSonics. In concluding that “ThunderBirds” was the best option, he first considered some gems like: Bandits. Outlaws. Jellicle Cats. And the cherry on the top of his craptastic name list, Wildcatters.
First of all, he should have left the name suggesting to people who know what they are doing. Had he ended with this, though, we could have let it slide.
With LawsuitFest 2008 pitting Howard Schultz against Clay Bennett’s legal dream team, it appears that our friends in Seattle are crying over spilled starbucks. Everyone seems to realize that OKC is better for the NBA except for a delusional Yahoo! writer and some sporadic chatter at the Dark Tower’s website.
As a City, we’ve endured this garbage before when we temporarily borrowed the Hornets from the underwater Orleans. They needed a place to stay, and we had a place for the then-horrible Hornets to play. This poor little market produced better attendance than Boston, Houston, and that zit on Puget Sound, Seattle the last year the Hornets played downtown.
At the time I said repeatedly — and got flamed, repeatedly — that the right thing to do would be let the Hornets fly home. I had faith that the NBA’s financial department would have a brain, see our home attendance, and provide us an opportunity for a team. I was right then and I am right now.
Clay Bennett played a role that few would want to play. The people of Seattle ostracized the owner of their team based on his residence in Oklahoma. He spent $350,000,000.00 on that franchise — more money than the entire GDP of an independent country. If Bennett gets the green light from the NBA to move that team to just inside the gates of hell, it is his right to do so.
The fact is, we’re profitable and Seattle is not. Had the City of Seattle, the State of Washington or the people of Seattle lifted a finger other than to complain the same “woe-is-me” song they sing about their Warshington Huskies since their fluke against OU in 1985, I would feel sorry for them. Dressing up like a bunch of hippies and crying at a town square is not going to make a market profitable. New arena? Yes. Schultz’ business sense, no.
The longer this cavetching continues, the more inclined I am to push renaming the Ford Center the “Sonic” Center, rip on former Seahawk Steve Largent’s dismal career, and boycotting Starbucks. Anyone else in?
Even before Clay Bennett and his posse were able to break their lease in Seattle by relinquishing the name “SuperSonics” (as well as ponying up as much cash as T. Boone Pickens keeps in his shoe), speculation regarding what the NBA franchise would be called in Oklahoma City was rampant. This website even succumbed to the temptation. Others have taken interest in what colors the team should adopt. Now, a writer on ESPN.com has taken it to the next level.
Paul Lukas, the author of ESPN.com Page 2’s feature “Uni Watch”, has announced a contest for designing the team’s new uniforms. Considering the team does not have a name or colors (as I alluded to above) this could be interesting. It also opens up an opportunity for us to hold our own competition.
For any enterprising LostOgle reader who can get a design immortalizing one of the team names we suggested in this article by having Lukas mention it, a prize will be awarded (probably a t-shirt). If you can get a design for the Oklahoma City LostOgle’s mentioned in the column, we’ll even throw in an authgraphed copy of The Gazette.
If you want more information on the contest, follow the jump…
If the above heading scared Sally Kern into fearing the impending rapture, running into the closet, and finding her son, that’s great news. What I am really referring to, however, is the impending verdict of the City of Seattle v. Professional Basketball Club of Oklahoma which is due at 6:00 CST today.
What rides on the ruling of Justice Marsha Pechman is not exactly of great significance to the people of Oklahoma. Should she rule in favor of the PBC, there is a chance that the Sonics could relocate to our fair state in time for the 2008/2009 NBA season. (More likely, the City of Seattle files an appeal delaying the move long enough that the team is stuck another season in Washington.) If Pechman favors the City of Seattle, the Sonics will probably be stuck as many as two more seasons on the West Coast until the lease runs out and Clay Bennett moons the Seattle City Council from the back of a moving van.
Either way, it is hardly a day of infamy. But, in order to beat The Oklahoman to covering the ruling, we offer our analysis of the verdict after the jump.
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