Go OKC!
June 12, 2008 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Goodbye Seattle! Hello Oklahoma! Get ready for the NBA's newest team, the Oklahoma City SuperSonics! Whither Seattle basketball? Methinks not.
posted by parmanparman (78 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Man, if i were a player on that team, I'd be fucking bitter.
posted by empath at 8:09 PM on June 12, 2008


If I were a player on that team, I'd be fucking taller.
posted by rokusan at 8:15 PM on June 12, 2008 [9 favorites]


This has been an interesting drama for the last NBA season and a half. Why a weak-linked scant post about it now?
posted by xmutex at 8:19 PM on June 12, 2008


w00t!

For those who don't know, the New Orleans Hornets were a sell-out classic in OKC, which is also home to some of the best Vietnamese food in the country.

Okay, that's all I've got, but Oklahoma needs a pro sports team badly. Right now all they have to root for is the GOP.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:19 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I were a player on that team, I'd be fucking excited that the lower cost of living means I'd get to live like a fucking king. Strike that....a fucking viking.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:19 PM on June 12, 2008


Oklahoma needs a pro sports team badly

Oklahoma already has a pro sports team.

They're called the "Sooners."

bah dum bump, khsss...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:22 PM on June 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


Didn't they renovate their stadium in the last ten years or so? Seems awfully soon for the stadium to be obsolete already.
posted by hootch at 8:28 PM on June 12, 2008


Cool Papa Bell: only further proof of how rabid and awesome the sports fans there are.

Seriously, I move from place to place frequently, and the two places which actually feel like "home" to me are (1) Brooklyn, and (2) Oklahoma. I'm just happy to see that they'll both be getting their own basketball teams soon (even if I could be happier with the Atlantic Yards proposal.)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:30 PM on June 12, 2008


Trivia: The Supersonics were named after the super-sonic Boeing 2707 civil transport (and Concorde rival) that was cancelled before any aircraft were completed. The mockup sits in the Hiller aviation museum in San Jose, CA.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:32 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Didn't they renovate their stadium in the last ten years or so?

Yes, Seattle renovated Seattle Center Coliseum in 1994, renaming it Key Arena.

Seems awfully soon for the stadium to be obsolete already.

Depends on who you ask.

The city, of course, thinks it's dandy.

The Sonics complain that it's the worst arena in the league, revenue-wise, because of its relatively new number of private suites (compared to the Lakers home, Staples Center, which has three times as many) and other high-value amenities.

The NBA agrees with the Sonics, because it perceives that more money can be made in the OKC arena.

Which is strange, the city says. Because here's NBA commish David Stern praising Key Arena on opening night.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:35 PM on June 12, 2008


relatively new

relatively few
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:36 PM on June 12, 2008


No - no professional sports team? Oklahoma City already has the OKC Blazers, the greatest minor-league hockey team in the world. Over the years, the Blazers have dominated the likes of the Amarillo Gorillas, the Austin Ice Bats, and the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs - largely due to the awe-inspiring mustache of coach Doug Sauter. For several years there, the Blazers' mascot was a giant, foam-headed replica of the city's own beloved Coach Sauter, and his beloved mustache.

Seriously, how many Clydesdales has P.J. Carlesimo bitten into submisson?
posted by ormondsacker at 8:57 PM on June 12, 2008


bah dum bump, khsss...

Here you go.
posted by A dead Quaker at 9:10 PM on June 12, 2008


I just hope Seattle gets to keep the name Sonics. Coolest fucking professional sports team name anywhere. The Oklahoma City SuperSonics? That's as dumb as the Utah Jazz.

Actually, most people here couldn't seem to give a shit. And that people, is why I live in Seattle and not Oklahoma City.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:11 PM on June 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Any hey, don't forget we have arena football!*

ormondsacker: Don't forget to mention the stuffed likenesses of Sonic food that come out at halftime. Do they still have those? It's been a few years since I've been to a game.

*Not as awesome as Sauter's moustache, but then again, nothing is.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:15 PM on June 12, 2008


Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs

Go mudbugs! OMDG.
posted by Brian B. at 9:16 PM on June 12, 2008


Slarty Bartfast: I actually do care. I think the name of the Sonics should stay with Seattle, and if this teaches the City to pay for a decent-sized arena, and they bring in a new team, hopefully they won't end up with the Seattle Washingtonians.

I have no idea what the Oklahoma team should be named, but it shouldn't be the Sonics.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:19 PM on June 12, 2008


Navelgazer- The city didn't want the supersonics, they wanted us to pay, as tax payers, for the stadiums so the teams could make more money. I got the general idea the residents couldn't care for the sonics and aren't crying over them leaving.

Now if the Storm's were to leave that would be a bigger problem I think.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:25 PM on June 12, 2008


Yay! Can you take the Bud with you on the way out of town? Stay gone! K THX!
posted by mwhybark at 9:26 PM on June 12, 2008


mrzarquon, I'm referencing the incident when Bud Adams demanded that Houston build a new stadium for the Oilers, and Houston told him to go fuck himself, and he did so, happily and successfully in Tennessee, and then Houston begged for an expansion team, which meant building them a new stadium, and they didn't even get to name the new team the Oilers.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:33 PM on June 12, 2008


Trivia: The Supersonics were named after the super-sonic Boeing 2707 civil transport (and Concorde rival) that was cancelled before any aircraft were completed. The mockup sits in the Hiller aviation museum in San Jose, CA.

Trivia: the team bought the name from the infinitely cooler than an SST local garage-stomp band, The Sonics. Hopefully, they'll give it back, since there's a gig here at Halloween.

(Please note my pix and posting history: I love the planes, but I love the rock more. Sports? What's that?)
posted by mwhybark at 9:34 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, and OKC? SEND MORE STEAKS.
posted by mwhybark at 9:35 PM on June 12, 2008


And in conclusion, may I say: I grew up in Indiana, where hoops is a religion. Any chance at ALL that Oklahoma could drain the faith outta my homestate? 'Cause I'd really appreciate it.
posted by mwhybark at 9:36 PM on June 12, 2008


Sonics Basketball: At least our hotdogs don't stink.

GO SONICS! ...and take the Seahawks with you.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 9:37 PM on June 12, 2008


I lived in/around OKC for several years -- one of my favorite places. Good people. They deserve a pro team.

As far as the name -- yeah, the OKC SuperSonics just doesn't cut it. They really should play to their strengths: the Oklahoma Twisters, or Vortex, or something similarly weather-related. Or maybe an oil theme.
posted by davidmsc at 9:38 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer, you are damn right the OKC team should drop the Sonics moniker. It's the only thing Clay's not welcome to. Would he like some baseball or football with that? Because I would be happy to help, and so would the rst oof us in the city that voted against funding these goddamn stadiums not once, but three times. Please, I insist! Have a platter of linebacker or a bowl of shortstop! We have MUCH more than we want!
posted by mwhybark at 9:41 PM on June 12, 2008


I am filled with glee! We all agree, back the fucking trucks up already!
posted by mwhybark at 9:42 PM on June 12, 2008


Oh, and by happy coincidence, my old band from Indiana was called Vortex! Clay, baby, call me already!
posted by mwhybark at 9:44 PM on June 12, 2008


There certainly is more to the story than what's in those links. Like the fact they were always planning on "stealing" the team from the city. Also stacking the team with a lot of inexperienced younger players. Which in the short term will make it a losing team, but in the long run allows for a team to grow together, and gain stability allowing for a long term money-maker. They're just trying to get, while the gettin's good. Opposed to what the story says, I believe there are a lot of people who care whether or not they go.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:46 PM on June 12, 2008


SHH P.o.B. what are you DOING awwww MANNNN
posted by mwhybark at 9:50 PM on June 12, 2008


On the topic of basketball, has the whole Sydney Kings fiasco been brought up here on mefi yet? The Kings won the NBL (Australia/NZ version of NBA) premiership three years in a row recently but thanks to a scumbag ownership and some massive debt are incredibly likely not to see another season. This leaves plenty of players and even the NBL itself in trouble. Along with said scumbag causing more trouble and the NBL doing bugger all to help the situation it seems basketball in Australia is now in a sorry state.

There is a small chance of reviving the kings, but the future of the team and the competition aren't looking great.

Apologies if this has been brought up elsewhere
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 9:55 PM on June 12, 2008


Actually I'm just sad we're losing the Sonics Dance Team. I've put in some serious stalking time damnit!
posted by P.o.B. at 9:58 PM on June 12, 2008


They'll need to rename the team in a few seasons to match the new locale. Focus group research will point to "Oklahoma City Steers N Queers".
posted by Burhanistan at 10:02 PM on June 12, 2008


Why a weak-linked scant post about it now?

Well see cause:

Stacking the post with a lot of inexperienced younger links. Which in the short term will make it a losing post, but in the long run allows for links in the comments to grow together, and gain stability allowing for a long term favorite-maker. They're just trying to get, while the gettin's good.
posted by cashman at 10:03 PM on June 12, 2008


P.o.B., you think THEY wanna go? Dude, you gotta work on your chat lines.
posted by mwhybark at 10:04 PM on June 12, 2008


The only thing I will ever agree with davidmsc is that OKC deserves a pro team.

OKC Wheat Germs?

Oklahoma Sooners? (oh, wait)

Oklahoma Dirigibles. Oh, yeah. That's perfect. Dirigibles! That's the future!
posted by dirigibleman at 10:06 PM on June 12, 2008


cahsman, you may or may not be aware that there's a local humor dynasty here in Seatown which might pay you HARD COLD QUARTERS for your userid. I'll contribute the groundless speculation that MeFi hero tkchrist may well have met one or more members of said dynasty.
posted by mwhybark at 10:07 PM on June 12, 2008


dirigibleman, as the founder of Seattle Pacific Zeppelin Airlines, I resist this suggestion, unless it is accompanied by several thousand dollars in folding Canadian currency.
posted by mwhybark at 10:09 PM on June 12, 2008


And now, the starting lineup for your....

Oklahoma City OverAlls....no
Oklahoma City Farmer Tans...maybe
Oklahoma City Ford F250s...no
Oklahoma City SuperSooners...no
Oklahoma City Texas Longhorns...definitely no

This is harder than I thought.
posted by clearly at 10:10 PM on June 12, 2008


I don't get why these hugely profitable money-making groups known as pro sports teams need taxpayer support.

The Seattle Mariners tax-payer-paid-for baseball palace now supports the worst team in baseball, and the owners simply don't care. I guarantee when their sweetheart lease is up for renewal there, the team will be crying how they just can't make any money without renovations at taxpayer expense and will threaten to move the team to Osaka or Nairobi.

Sports teams "lose" money just like every Hollywood movie "loses" money. It's bullshit accounting.

I love me some baseball, but, really: fuck professional sports franchises. Millionaire players playing for billionaire owners. The Halliburton/Blackwater of the entertainment industry. They're merely vehicles for transferring public monies to private pockets.
posted by maxwelton at 10:12 PM on June 12, 2008 [7 favorites]


Sing it max!
posted by mwhybark at 10:15 PM on June 12, 2008


I don't get why these hugely profitable money-making groups known as pro sports teams need taxpayer support.

Welcome to the USA. Land of Bizzaro Communism.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:18 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, shit. Seattle isn't losing the Supersonics the way Cleveland lost the Browns, are they? Because I lived in Cleveland when they lost the Browns, and even as a die-hard hard-core Steelers fan, what happened there was so fucked up that I wouldn't wish it even upon Browns fans.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:21 PM on June 12, 2008


Stacking the post with a lot of inexperienced younger links. Which in the short term will make it a losing post, but in the long run allows for links in the comments to grow together, and gain stability allowing for a long term favorite-maker. They're just trying to get, while the gettin's good.
posted by cashman at 10:03 PM on June 12 [+] [!]


ROFLOLZORZ!!!11!!ONE!!
posted by P.o.B. at 10:23 PM on June 12, 2008


Also, yes, I agree with the hilariousness of teams who use public money to build stadiums being supported by libertarians and other so-called fiscal conservatives.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:25 PM on June 12, 2008


How about: If I were a fan of that team, I'd be fucking bitter.

Primer: Oklahoma City native Clay Bennett's group purchased the Sonics for $350 million, and six months later asked taxpayers for $300 million to build a brand-new $530 million arena in a Seattle suburb. At the same time they were in negotiations with the city and state, the owners were emailing each other about moving the team to Oklahoma City. This came to light this April, though at the time the owners were professing their commitment to working with local government to keep the team in Seattle.

Former owner (and Starbucks mogul) Howard Schultz has filed suit to regain control of the team, saying that Bennet and friends did not make a good-faith effort to keep the team in Seattle and fraudulently misrepresented their intentions in buying the team. The city of Seattle (though it has a history of turbulent relations with ownership of its various pro sports teams) has sued the owners for breach of contract in an expensive effort to keep the team in town until their lease with the arena runs out; their trial begins Monday.

Oh, and even though this year the Sonics have had an awful team and an owner who was openly hostile to the fans' interests, the arena averaged ticket sales of almost 80% of capacity. Millionaires squabbling with each other and with local governments have overshadowed the issue of civic pride.
posted by kyleg at 10:31 PM on June 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


What's funny is that anyone thinks the sports team has anything to do with the "home" city in any way besides a calculated money-making operation. Maybe if they required all players for the Yankees to have been born or lived for some time within a certain radius of the Bronx?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:32 PM on June 12, 2008


I'm just glad they sold off the Storm to local owners to keep them in Seattle. The Storm have been doing rather well in the WNBA, and both Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson have decent name recognition around here. And they signed Sheryl Swoops this year too. Yay WNBA! :)

OK can HAVE the Sonics.
posted by evilangela at 10:42 PM on June 12, 2008


Oklahoma City already has the OKC Blazers, the greatest minor-league hockey team in the world.

The hell you do.
posted by dw at 10:53 PM on June 12, 2008


Even when I lived in OKC, I thought "Pro sports? Here? AHAHAHAHA no."
posted by mrbill at 10:54 PM on June 12, 2008


I live in Seattle.

We still haven't finished paying for the Kingdome, and we already blew that one up. The Seahawks and the Mariners have beautiful new stadiums, which the taxpayers voted against both times (and got overruled both times by Paul Allen and the mayor).

The whole thing is a horrible scam and the sooner it's over, the better.
posted by Revvy at 10:59 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


One thing no one mentioned is that the lease the Sonics have on KeyArena is pretty airtight. So long as the city's lawyers don't completely screw this up (and honestly, they just might), the Sonics will have to play two more seasons in Seattle, in front of what will be some pretty empty arenas.

If Bennett really wanted the Sonics to stay in town, all he had to do was go to the city and say look, the lease is lose-lose, tell you what, we'll sign a better one that will get you more money over the long haul if you get us $80M in county/city/state money to upgrade the arena. And he would have probably gotten it, since it would just require piggybacking the costs on the Qwest and Safeco bonds.

But instead, they went straight for a $500M arena, barely offered any cash to pay for it, ran up an unfeasible plan for a Renton arena, and then vetoed what would have been a free lease from the Muckleshoots for an Auburn arena. They've done the bare minimum they could to try, gloated about their plans to move the team in e-mail, even got smacked around by David Stern for saying they'd move to OKC.

And that's why I want the city to win the case. The Sonics are gone, and they're going to OKC. But along the way, I want these carpetbaggers to really feel the pain of incredibly small crowds and zero local support for a couple years. These shysters deserve the tens of millions in losses coming to them.
posted by dw at 11:02 PM on June 12, 2008


dirigibleman, no, we are literally begging them to go with big flashing signs pointing the way out. My guess is that is not the Cleveland experience.
posted by mwhybark at 11:03 PM on June 12, 2008


strangley, dw, I agree with you on this about 80%. I hesitate to endorse the term shyster and don't care if they feel pain or not. But I want the city to win the case as long as the team goes.
posted by mwhybark at 11:05 PM on June 12, 2008


which the taxpayers voted against both times

Incorrect. The taxpayers voted against the Mariners deal in 1995, which led to Safeco getting built via the Legislature.

But they did vote for the Seahawks plan in 1997 by a 51-49 vote.
posted by dw at 11:07 PM on June 12, 2008


I hesitate to endorse the term shyster and don't care if they feel pain or not. But I want the city to win the case as long as the team goes.

See, here's the problem -- they're breaking the lease and pulling all this crap in the name of making a hell of a lot of money. The OKC Sonics will make an asston of cash, simply because of bumper attendance, a ridiculously favorable lease deal (OKC is literally handing them cash), and a huge increase in team value. These guys are going to sell this team out for 2-3-4 times what they paid for it. This is what happens every time one of these teams gets moved.

So, for once, I want the owners to endure real financial pain and a sports league a real black eye. They're not going to get the message that they should stop continually looking to the taxpayer for cash until they actually have a teachable moment.

And 500 people + Kevin Calabro watching a Sonics-Warriors game some winter's night in 2010 will be a teachable moment.
posted by dw at 11:14 PM on June 12, 2008


On Monday a trial begins in which the city of Seattle hopes to compel the Sonics ownership to fulfill the final two years of their lease in Key Arena.

And here's the lawsuit (pdf) that some are hopeful will pave the way for the Sonics to remain in Seattle indefinitely.

Personally, I'm torn. The NBA has become a joke. It's still great to watch some of the best athletes on the planet do their thing, and I'll be disappointed if I can't do that anymore in Seattle, but commissioner David Stern has made the league into something that often seems to be more about creating star players than preserving any integrity in the game. It's hard to get worked up over efforts to keep such a corrupt organization in town. My biggest hope is that we'll get to see David Stern on the witness stand, testifying under oath, where his slimeball tactics won't go unchallenged like they do in his press conferences, interviews, and public statements.

Here's a video of Stern being interviewed on opening night, 1995, in the brand new Key Arena, which was completely gutted and rebuilt to the Sonics' specifications. Twelve years later, that same arena is obsolete and the team will be forced to move without a new one. In truth, the market has changed and, unfortunately, Seattle built its arena just before bigger arenas with more and varied revenue streams became the preferred type of NBA facility. But for the Sonics fans in Seattle, it's just a shame that they're probably going to lose the team they love because Stern and the NBA insist on a business model in which the host cities have to subsidize the filthy-rich team owners, or else.
posted by Balonious Assault at 11:15 PM on June 12, 2008


Maybe now, folks in Oklahoma City will have something else to do besides this.
posted by MetaMan at 11:32 PM on June 12, 2008


Dude, I'd much rather shoot a machine gun than sit and watch some corporate team toss a ball around. If anyone says otherwise, they're just being dishonest with themselves.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:37 PM on June 12, 2008


Clay-Clay is going to lose the lease trial. He may even lose to Schultz. The sonics haven't left yet...
posted by Windopaene at 11:53 PM on June 12, 2008


To hell with the Sonics, we've got a championship roller derby team that's actually interesting to watch and not just a bunch of whiny millionaires phoning it in. Don't let the door hit you, etc etc.
posted by bizwank at 12:34 AM on June 13, 2008


The Supersonics were named after the super-sonic Boeing 2707 civil transport.

That's befits a team from Seattle. But around here in Oklahoma, Super Sonic is a cheeseburger from a major fast food chain, Sonic, which is based in Oklahoma City. I guess Sonic will be playing this up for all it's worth.
posted by crapmatic at 5:30 AM on June 13, 2008


It's kind of surprising that the NBA isn't in worse shape considering all the PR hits it has endured lately from this to the crooked ref.

Pro Basketball can be fun to watch but the divide between the good teams and bad teams is so much wider than other sports. Granted, it can shift a bit quicker in basketball.
posted by drezdn at 8:06 AM on June 13, 2008


When I first moved here I thought the Sonics were named after the Sound. Eh... still seems plausible to me.
posted by Wood at 8:22 AM on June 13, 2008


Oklahoma City native Clay Bennett's group purchased the Sonics for $350 million, and six months later asked taxpayers for $300 million to build a brand-new $530 million arena in a Seattle suburb

You'd think if he can afford $350M for the team, he could get a subprime mortgage for the $530M, maybe pay it out at ten bucks a week or so. Hell, I got a $490,000,000 mortgage and I didn't even have proof of income!
posted by mattbucher at 8:46 AM on June 13, 2008


Well, Oklahoma City is the home of a gigantic Air Force base that overhauls most of the Air Force's jet engines. Supersonics isn't a completely absurd name.

Though you couldn't catch me voting for a tax to upgrade an arena for them. They're millionaires, why do they need tax money to run their business?</small
posted by Quonab at 10:27 AM on June 13, 2008


small
posted by Quonab at 10:28 AM on June 13, 2008


"They'll need to rename the team in a few seasons to match the new locale. Focus group research will point to "Oklahoma City Steers N Queers"."

C'mon, it's obvious that they should be called the Oklahoma City Bombings.
posted by klangklangston at 11:17 AM on June 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


mwhybark: dirigibleman, no, we are literally begging them to go with big flashing signs pointing the way out. My guess is that is not the Cleveland experience.

Good. I always figured more cities should tell douchebag owners to go piss up a rope (like St. Louis did to the football Cards in '88).

That said, bets on how soon Seattle plays host to its next NBA team, or at least is used for a team to blackmail its city? Not that I follow the NBA closely, but surely some other sucky sub-.500 sad sacks are disgruntled with the age/size/revenue generation potential of their venue (someone always has to have "the worst arena in the league!").

Oh, and it has to be the Oklahoma OKs.
posted by hangashore at 12:19 PM on June 13, 2008


Oklahoma Laters, maybe?
posted by rokusan at 12:32 PM on June 13, 2008


I remember when Seattle used to have a professional basketball team but it was years ago. Seahawks are the only pro team worth watching in this town.

The main problem with the new stadium deal is the timing. Mariners made the move after their improbably playoff run in '95. Seahawks did the same after Paul Allen took over and turned a perenial loser into a playoff team.

The Sonics are just terrible so who cares if they stay or go? All of this can be laid at the feet of Wally Walker. He set the table for this team stinking up the place.
posted by trinity8-director at 3:20 PM on June 13, 2008


Oklahoma Panhandlers
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:20 PM on June 13, 2008


OKLAHOMA OKLAHOMA OKLAHOMA OKLAHOMA OKLAHOMA OKLAHOMA OKLAHOMA OKLAHOMA!!





(had to get that out of my system.)
posted by Spatch at 9:30 AM on June 15, 2008


Update
posted by Artw at 9:19 AM on June 16, 2008


Update

:D That's totally brilliant. Make them stay for two years and make them *give* the tickets away. Oh, if only...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:05 AM on June 16, 2008


So, they're moving the team to Oklahoma City.

I grew up in the house across the street from the Bennets. From 1st grade to about 5th grade Clay was my very best friend in the entire world. We went to summer camp together three years in a row.

Around about 6th grade Clay grew much, much bigger than his peers, and became a pretty well-known bully. It was a foregone conclusion he would eventually be expelled from school, until he started dating Louise Gaylord, the daughter of the richest man in Oklahoma.

I'm pretty sure the last time I saw him was when I visited after college and went to a party he threw. The theme was "Come as Your Favorite Black Person".

Congratulations, Oklahoma City.
posted by yhbc at 6:53 PM on July 2, 2008


Seattle better keep its hands off the Bucks.
posted by drezdn at 7:01 PM on July 2, 2008


Finally official. My vote for name is the Oklahoma City Bombers.
posted by HyperBlue at 4:15 PM on July 3, 2008


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