Prove me wrong, world. Prove me wrong.
Anybody read this over the weekend? Let me just point you to a couple of choice quotes from David Stern:
Right now what I’m working hard to do, in a perverse kind of a way, from Seattle’s perspective, is to sell New Orleans to stay in New Orleans, and get a building for Sacramento that will enable the Kings to stay in Sacramento. I can’t say for sure [that a new arena in Seattle is] a pathway [to a replacement for the Sonics], but I will say that the only way to have a team these days is to have a world‑class building.
And here’s something else, also from Stern:
I just don’t see a North American addition,” he said. “We’re at 30, and we’ve got teams that we are working hard on to keep in their cities, to make strong through revenue sharing in our system, to grow their value, their fan base and the like.
What does that tell you? I’ll tell you what it tells me!
First, that it’s going to be damn near impossible to move a franchise from another city into Seattle. Why is that? Because the NBA doesn’t want to be known as the kind of league that’s constantly moving teams around from one city to the next! You can’t build a fanbase like that. Not with that kind of flux. The NBA wants to retain the THREAT of moving (proven with the situations in Seattle, Vancouver, Charlotte, etc.) to get what they want (taxpayer-funded Arenas to help build their North American empire), but they don’t want teams willy-nilly moving around from city to city like a bunch of fucking gypsies.
Plus, you know, it’s just HARD to move a team. You’ve got to have a situation where everything totally breaks down and/or you need to have an ownership group idiotic enough to sell to out-of-state buyers with the sole purpose being to move that team to their home state. Seattle suffered the perfect storm, that’s all. That’s why our team was ripped from us in the snap of a finger, while a city like Sacramento gets all the chances in the world to figure out a deal.
And also, I don’t know if anyone hipped you to this or not, but Seattle SERIOUSLY disrespected his majesty David Stern. They didn’t treat him like the North Koreans were forced to treat Kim Jong-Il and in turn, he had the city of Seattle executed. Don’t ever forget THAT. Our city and state governments may have let us down by not figuring out a way to finance a new arena that didn’t soak the taxpayer, and Howard Schultz might have been a super-collosal fucktard, but there’s a third element in play here. An element that let those Oklahoma shitheads steal our team in seconds flat. That element is a spurned David Stern who’s a fucking crybaby tyrant who will forever hold his grudge like the little, little man he is.
It’s simple, really. WHY did Sacramento get a million chances to keep their team? Because their mayor kissed Stern’s ass like the little brown-noser that he is. Why does New Orleans get special treatment? Because it would be a public relations DISASTER if Stern let a franchise leave New Orleans after all they’ve suffered and continue to suffer from the after-effects of Katrina. I’m sure every other city whose arena is shoddy will learn from Seattle’s mistakes and kiss Stern’s ass just the same.
Which leads me to my next point: why CAN’T Seattle get an expansion franchise?
I ask around and all I get are stock answers: it’s not possible economically.
To which I counter: what difference does it make? If a city can prove that it can support an NBA franchise (which Seattle did for 40 years), then doesn’t that mean we’re pulling our weight?
But, then I read the second quote from above, you know, the one about revenue sharing. It has NOTHING to do with diluting the talent pool – as others have expressed. If the NBA could make money by throwing a bunch of cripples onto a basketball court, they’d surely do that and not think twice. No, it’s not about anything altruistic, it’s about money. Specifically, it’s about PRESERVING money. There are 30 teams involved in this revenue-sharing venture the NBA is involved in. Adding a 31st team simply means that’s 1/31 less money to be spread around to the NBA teams already in existence. WE CAN’T HAVE THAT!!!
The only way you’re even THINKING about adding another team in expansion is whenever the NBA opts to re-negotiate their TV contract. But, again, at that point what is their incentive to add another franchise? Who wants to dilute their share of the pie to let Seattle have a brand new team? No one.
No, you know what it’s going to take for Seattle to get another team? The end of David Stern. And I don’t just mean David Stern retiring; that could happen any time. I mean, the next guy put in charge of the league CAN’T be a huge David Stern sympathizer. Otherwise, you’ll run into what we have in baseball with Bud Selig (with regards to the Pete Rose situation). As long as Selig is in charge, Pete Rose will never be in the Hall of Fame. Why is that? Because Selig has a big ol’ hard-on for Fay Vincent, who in turn had a big ol’ hard-on for HIS predecessor Angelo Giamatti.
In short, all of you optimists out there can keep holding your breath for a franchise to play professional basketball again. As for me, I live in the real world, where it ain’t fucking happening.