While the NBA’s grand old gatekeepers take their time weighing the option of keeping the Sacramento Kings in California’s capital versus relocating the franchise to Seattle, the strongest reason for my pro-Emerald City optimism is that the league ultimately will not escape Seattle’s presence.
Like a ghost unable to stay hidden in a closet of skeletons, the Sonics – the team taken from its home in 2008 and moved to Oklahoma City – will haunt the league until that particular wrong is righted. And while I can envision Sacramento joining the likes of Buffalo, Vancouver and Fort Wayne in the pro basketball history books, I cannot envision the NBA in 10 years without a Seattle franchise.
What makes NBA games so special and electrifying are the epic in-game dunks. Of course, we love the flashy passing and heart wrenching buzzer-beaters, but to be capsulated in a moment where someone gets posterized is beyond blissful. Let’s start by saying shout out to Brandon Knight as he valiantly didn’t give up on the play last night when he could have. He could have dodged DeAndre Jordan and let Lob City get away with another alley-oop. He didn’t. It’s okay. Read More »
Not since 1999 at Brookline has the chaste golf world let its hair down quite like it did yesterday at Medinah for the Ryder Cup. If you didn’t happen to catch the only tournament that sounds like a college football game, Europe tied a record for largest comeback to beat the U.S., and rallying from a 10-6 hole to win 14.5-13.5. It sent the Euros into a Moet-soaked celebration and the wife of former world No. 1 Luke Donald to tweet, “FYI Sergio gets drunk on 1 beer…”Read More »
As our friends at Draft Packs remember, on draft night in 1987, 25 years ago, Scottie Pippen was taken No. 5 overall. Because time has warped our recollections of that night, most probably figure it was Chicago that took him. That was the only NBA team he ever played for up until going to Houston after winning his sixth title in the Windy City. Instead, it was Seattle that took him, and ultimately traded him to the Bulls for… wait for it… Olden Polynice (as well as a second round selections in 1988 or 1989 and the option to exchange first round selections in 1989). The big lumbering center, who’s greatest career achievement was impersonating a police officer, played in over 1,000 career NBA games. But it’s still safe to say this trade helped spark a dynasty. Read More »
The memories are still in Seattle. The team, and the playoff hardware it earned back in the Northwest, is now in Oklahoma City. Yeah, it’s an awkward time to be talking about the best playoff memories of Oklahoma City, which has only been in its new city four years, and when its former city is where all that magic happened. I don’t know how many fans of the Sonics have become full backers of the Thunder, but I can’t imagine it’s a majority. Read More »
By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the videos. In this era of technology, Twitter and 24/7 highlights, you probably heard about it not long after Pau Gasol felt it. It gives you an idea of how we value excitement in sports. The Clippers lost last night, Kobe Bryant hit a game-clinching shot and Andrew Bynum was going to work, and yet this morning it’s been all about Blake Griffin un-manning Gasol twice. As we wrote in Smack, he murdered him early, resuscitated him and then killed him again. Twice in one game he smashed all over the Spaniard. Kendrick Perkins and Timofey Mozgov breathed a sigh of relief somewhere. Read More »
WHERE WAS BLAKE? This year’s dunk contest set itself up for an inevitable disappointment when the league’s preeminent smashing machine decided not to come through for the fans. Last year, despite what you thought of Griffin’s winning performance, he created excitement, a buzz. This year there was none of that, and we were left with some average guys trying to uncover drama by dunking over small celebrities and turning off all the lights. Read More »
Why am I posting this when everyone in the world is talking about Chris Paul? Because Keyon Dooling and Ray Allen are now teammates. According to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, the Celtics have acquired Dooling in exchange for a second-round pick. And for those of you that don’t remember, Dooling (Magic) and Allen (Sonics) got into an infamous fight during a game in 2006.
I’ll never forget watching Seattle’s run during the 2005 playoffs. They played the future champs – San Antonio – to a virtual tie in the second round, losing in six games but not before they nearly pushed it to seven. They were a fun team, really one of the last in Seattle to matter. Ray Allen was in his prime as an all-around player, and they gave minutes to a lot of memorable guys. Their front line packed more beef than an offensive line: Danny Fortson, Reggie Evans, Nick Collison and Vitaly Potapenko. But the biggest of them all was Jerome James. In 11 playoff games, he provided us with the first and the last glimpse of the Jerome James that mattered. Read More »
Watching Shawn Kemp in the 1998 NBA Playoffs was like seeing a ghost. Over the course of that season, his first in Cleveland after being shipped out of Seattle, Kemp’s star dimmed considerably. Between his production suffering, his weight gains and Cleveland becoming the J. Cole of NBA teams, slightly boring and monotone, he went from being one of the league’s biggest stars to one of the league’s biggest stars. Whereas he was once playing on NBC every week, Kemp was stuck in a city whose basketball team had one major problem: nobody cared about them. Read More »