So, I dunno...
I took a look at Sonics Rising today for the first time. I hadn't really had any interest, and there were plenty of people on here passing along quotes, and I figured, why bother? It isn't relevant to my day-to-day, and I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.
This evening, for some reason, I was bouncing around SBN blogs, and there I found myself, having a read. A lot of anger, bitterness, unflattering comparisons, inaccuracies, but also a more than a handful of people whose sentiments ran along the lines of, "I still want a team here, but Hansen's actions were wrong."
I wasn't surprised; there's no reason to think that Seattle and/or Sonics fans don't have the same percentage of intelligent, thoughtful people in their midst. Maybe more than most, for all I know. I'd expect that Seattle would be one of the better places to live, all things being equal.
But this is the intarwebs, so you've got a fat share of borderline illiterate rage monkeys. We do fairly well with that ourselves around here, myself included from time time.
I seem to recall that the ink wasn't dry on the check the Swamp Ass brothers got from Hansen before people on this board started speculating about the Milwaukee Bucks or the New Orleans (name transitory) being a good fit because
The fans aren't very good and don't support the franchise
Our former owners are duplicitous bastards
They're smaller markets, and we got screwed, so we deserve a team
Any of these angry rationalizations ringing any bells?
I haven't taken the time to go through the threads for specific quotes, and for all I can recollect, I may have had a view choice ones of my own. I remember writing that if the team moved any farther than Folsom, I was done with the NBA, but I may have been part of the Milwaukee/New Orleans poaching party. I hope not, but I can be a handful on occasion.
I don't care for the moral superiority I see in threads at StR where Seattle is concerned. I don't understand the need to go on their site and piss on things being said, even if the piss often improves the quality. If Sonics fans want to bitch and moan here, who cares? Even in Ziller's fine article at the The Hook, Kings fans spent a ridiculous amount of energy arguing with a guy who, in all likelihood, is 11 years-old, about the relative ranks in different categories, clearly demonstrating the superiority of this city or that one.
I just don't believe for a minute that this site wouldn't take on the acrimony seen at SR had Seattle gotten the Kings. Maybe not from the moderators directly, but this is a passionate fanbase, and passion spurned invariably becomes corrosive.
Were we in Seattle's place, are they really so many of us who wouldn't have supported Burkle jamming 100 grand into a ballot initiative up north if it served our purposes? "He's doing what's necessary to get us our team back, and we got screwed, so all is fair in love and basketball." If your level of purity is such, you have my respect.
Our argument with Seattle is done. Should December come and go without STOP getting enough signatures to force a vote, then the war is won. If the issue appears on the ballot? I honestly don't know. The people who want construction are engaged, as we are here. I don't think the ratios of pro and con contingents at the council meetings were even remotely representative of the larger picture. The people who don't really give a damn one way or the other are, frankly, the majority. If the past few decades have shown anything, it's that when we don't really have an opinion on an issue, Californians are largely inclined to vote NO on ballot initiatives.
Until this thing resolves, hopefully sooner rather than later, there's just no reason to respond to disgruntled Sonics fans. They are rightfully angry, even if a good portion of it is misdirected. Clay Bennett screwed them. David Stern screwed them. Sacramento hasn't done a damned thing except fight like hell to keep our team. I believe that it's important to keep those three facts in mind, and just disengage from the conversation. We have been extraordinarily lucky in regard to where this thing stands, and there isn't a legitimate Kings fan who can't conceive of a hundred ways that this thing could have gone wrong.
I know it's the offseason, and there's very little to talk about, but nothing at all is far better than wasting your limited (or all-too-abundant) leisure time rebutting every assertion about Sacramento, Ranadive, representative government, parking revenue scenarios, or anything else, especially Spencer Hawes.
Sonics fans, unfortunately, are left with the absolute emptiness of starting from zero, both in terms of getting a team, and getting something built. I hope they get it done and the NBA expands there as soon as possible. We have our opportunity now, and we should focus on that, or, my preference, Kings basketball.
I empathize with Seattle, but their problems are their problems. We have different, and fortunately, better problems of our own to deal with. We are in a position to be magnanimous, which, while unusual for Kings fans, should be a place where we can be happy, and stay out of the mud.
Leave them be, even if they won't grant us the same. I'm not saying we're better than this. My point is that we just don't need to bother.