First Fanpost, I'll let my letter speak for itself.
Dear Mr. Ballmer
Ideas, Passion, and Tenacity. Three words that you emphasized to me on my graduation day from the University of Southern California in May, 2011. Three lessons I have used as a source of motivation in my pursuit of my career as a physician. Three characteristics you now utilize as you try to acquire the Sacramento Kings franchise.
I am a Sacramento Kings fan. I love my team, and have since I first attended a game with my father when I was young. I will continue to love it as long as they remain in Sacramento. I understand your interest in bringing the Kings to Seattle from a personal and financial standpoint, and fully support Seattle once again becoming an NBA city. But, I am writing you today to ask: at what cost? While the Sacramento faithful are not your concern, there is a better way to do this deal. A right way. Seattle, with an impassioned fanbase much like we also have in Sacramento, knows the pain of watching a team abandon its city. Seattle supported and cheered its team without asking anything back but a commitment to stay, only to see the team turn the other way. Find a way to bring basketball back to Seattle, but do it without stripping another town of one thing they are so very passionate about.
I am on the outside looking in, but it is apparent Mr. David Stern wants you and Mr. Hansen to join the owner’s club. You both are immensely successful individuals and bring the right image that the league wants from its owners. With your personal and financial attributes combined with the history between Seattle and the city, you will get an expansion team. Maybe not to open next season, but you will get it. Seattle can have its Sonics back, without leaving another city with a void where its team once stood. All that is required is continued patience.
At the end of the day, this is basketball. It’s a game, not world hunger. But a beauty of sport is that the emotion it encourages and the drama it brings transcends its place on the list of “real world” issues. It fulfills needs for so many of us—a desire to belong to a community, an outlet for our energy, and an opportunity to cheer for OUR team. True fans are passionate for their team, tenacious in its defense, and irrepressible in their support. It would be easy to feel powerless as a fan witnessing the situation revolving around my team, but I am here, asking you, to consider other means of obtaining a team for your beloved city.
Thank you for your time.
Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, MD Candidate 2015
University of Southern California, Class of 2011