Best logo in the NBA

Best logo in the NBA

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Schultz Punks Seattle

It's official; I've had my last cup of Starbucks ever. Schultz, as expected, finally withdrew his lawsuit to rewind the sale to the OKC ilk. He spinelessly makes the announcement on the eve of Labor Day weekend where it'll get the least attention and the headlines will be gone by the time the holiday weekend is over. A calculated act of cowardry. Grrrr!

He walks away with a tidy profit while hanging Seattleites out to dry. I hope he feels great shame for what he's done. It's doubtful, though. He made his money on the deal and now his name is officially mud in Seattle. What a nightmare this has been.

The only way Schultz saves any face here is if he is aggressively engaged in luring the NBA back to Seattle for the deserving fans. It really roils my blood that he slips the announcement out on the eve of the long weekend in an effort to escape the wrath of the masses. It's like he shares the smoke-and-mirrors playbook with Clay Bennett.

Is it the end of the world for Seattle? Nah. Will the NBA ever return? Will Seattle even want it back after this disaster? IS the NBA even worth it? What now for Schultz? Can he ever save face in Seattle?

You'll find me at the local Coffee Bean pondering those questions over a cup of their finest.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Big Picture

Now that the Sonics have gone on the road to OKC, what is next for the NBA? Business-wise this move looks foolish. I have to wonder if there is a bigger picture Stern is trying to paint. Is this his way of forcing Seattle to build another arena at our expense? Will Seattle do it? The Seattle Center needs a facelift and a Coliseum rebuild could be the center of it all. The timing could be perfect. Or I could be delusional, take your pick.

Does Stern anticipate the Supes leaving OKC and back to Seattle in two years? Is Stern using OKC as a test market for more potential smaller cities? Does he want cites where there is no competition for the $$$? On paper I am sure that makes sense. Perhaps he is paving the way for expansion, although I don't foresee that, either. Current owners don't want to share their part of the existing tv revenue and I think the days of the mega-tv contracts are gone, especially in this economy. Small market teams don't add enough the pot to make owners want to expand, at least domestically. Eventually each team will have to have their own tv distibutors ala New York's MSG network. Look for that down the road when tv contracts start expiring.

What really amuses me is that in every scenario, the fan is simply ignored. I cannot help but think this short-sighted money-now mentality in sports is what is going to turn pro sports into nothing more than WWE-style soap operas. Only in America...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Men Take Home the Gold

The men's U.S. Olympic team dominated the entire field and then beat Spain for the second time, 118-107, to take the Gold medal. Dwyane Wade led the way with 27 points. The U.S. hadn't won since 2000, which, is really only two Olympics ago. This team was all business and showed a determination not seen in quite some time by a U.S. Olympic team.

Team U.S.A. is clearly the most talented team in the world, but the gap is closing as Spain and others have shown. The gap between the NBA game and the world game is closing, but for one more Olympics we get to stay on top. This was team to be proud of. Not since the days of Jordan, etal have I seen a team so desirous of a Gold medal. They earned it.

Kudos, team U.S.A.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Promoting the Blunder!

I am curious as to the new marketing strategy and motto the team will use this year. Naturally I started thinking of my own cute little slogans. I'll let you, the fans, decide the Blunder team motto for this season.

Get less for more! Why this? Having upper echelon ticket prices among the league is an interesting choice. Especially from an owner that blatantly put as bad a product on the floor as possible to torture a dedicated fan base in Seattle.

Blunder; Already leading the League in Steals! Why? Well, Clay outright thugged the team from Seattle through lies, deception and malintent. Could be a no brainer.

Blunder; redefining baskety'all. Why? A little southern hillbilly 'charm' may rally the yokels, er, locals through losing streaks.

Go, Blunder! Why? Simplicity. It's a command, a direction AND a cheer. Multitask = MultiBLUNDER!

I'll add more as I think of them. This is a starter kit.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kyle Weaver...Blunder!

Kyle Weaver is now a Blunder thanks to a daring trade with the Bobcats. Charlotte gets the Blunder's second round pick next season while Weaver gets to toil in anonymity. Weaver averaged 12.2 points a game for a slowed-down Wazzu attack and established himself as a strong defender and apt ball handler for a standout Cougar team.

Weaver just became the OKC spokesman for isolation, dust and cabin fever, having come out of Pullman, where that is a way of life. That knowledge will serve him well on the OKC Blunder as he eases his former Seattle teammates traumatic transition to desolation. It'll be a learning curve for him as well, so, will someone send him a book on tornados, STAT! Kyle, an F5 is a bad tornado, not an Air Force jet, FYI! Nothing to worry about. No, seriously...

What a bittersweet move for him - just missing out on playing in Washington, the state where he grew into a legitimate talent. Instead, he's going to OKC where that talent will be wasted playing in the Bored Center. What a shame.

When reached for comment, Weaver allegedly said "KFC has a basketball team? Really? Wait, the BlunderChickens? I'm not feeling so well." He then ran to an undisclosed location and hurled. Weaver was seen hurriedly filling out employment applications around the greater Charlotte area later that day.

I sincerely wish Weaver the be traded to another team! Hey now!

Go Weaver!

Go Blunder!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's Official; Stern an Embarrassment!

According to an OKCBlunder poll, you, the fans, have named David Stern as an official embarrassment to the NBA. The reasons are many; the new ball blunder, making the players wear suits to offset all the league troubles, the Donaghy ref scandal, and his lording over the Blunder Down Under by personally ushering the Seattle Supersonics out of the 12th largest market to the 45th because he had a personal grudge against the City.

American's love to win Awards. Stern is no exception. Just like Phelps is cleaning up for the U.S. Olympic team in Beijing, Stern cleaned up in the 'embarrassment' catagory, earning a whopping 73% of the fan vote. The results are posted on this site as exhibit "A". Congratulations on a truly remarkable accomplishment.

Next up for Stern? Let's find out!


Friday, August 8, 2008

Is Europe the league of the future?

With the departure of Josh Childress and a handful of other NBA talent, is the European League becoming a legitimate alternative?

On the face of it, I’d say a big fat ‘no way’. Digging deeper, I am not so sure. The revelation of the Italian team offering Lebron James $50 million a season certainly is enticing. Would he take it? Sources claim he’d consider it. The dollar is very weak compared to the Euro and the European leagues don’t operate under a salary cap. Kobe said if he was offered $40 million a year to play in “…Italy, Greece, Russia? Yeah, I’m there. Simple as that.” Was he joking? Likely. I mean, who’d play ball in Russia for any amount of money?

But seriously folks. With the ref scandal and the weak American dollar, this exodus may not be over. Will the elite talent jump ship? That’s the question. The globalization of the game helps the European league’s appeal. The money, for now, appears to be legit. Just like the OKC/NBA experiment has yet to be proven successful long-term, I remain skeptical that European money can pay these mega-salaries long-term. It just hasn't been proven yet.

I think the NBA will have Kobe and LeBron for a while longer. However, strong mid-level NBA talent looking for superstar dollars may be able to get it overseas in leagues seeking to be global power players in the pro basketball circuit. The fans will follow the players, right? All you need is a satellite dish.

Ironically, Stern talks about NBA overseas expansion and the growth of the league, while shrinking it here by moving franchises to smaller U.S. markets. While Stern preaches expansion, Europeans are building their talent levels up. Could they compete globally with the NBA brand of basketball? Of course. The Olympics have proven the U.S. is vulnerable. Could the “World Championship” of basketball actually become just that? Could the NBA be losing its grip on market dominance?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

When do we get the name?

Seems to be taking the braintrust in OKC a while to reveal the name and colors of their franchise. After all the polls and obnoxious 'leaks' to gauge the reaction to potential monikers of Thunder, Wind, Energy, Bison, Marshals and Outlaws, maybe they're going with something completely different. They have acquired those naming rights for all the aforementioned names, both for the NBA team and their new D league franchise affiliate in Tulsa through the US Patent Office.

I imagine it comes down to either Barons or Thunder. Either one opens the team up to instant mockery; Barons will become "Robber Barons" as a reminder they took the team under very dubious circumstances. Thunder will become, well, just see the title to this blog for the answer to that. A few last place finishes and that'll be the running joke.

I have a few name ideas of my own. Some publishable, some not. I think it would be a very cool gig to create and brand a team's identity, the name, logo, colors, etc.

Of course, I'm partial to green and gold and SuperSonics rolls off the tongue nicely...

Monday, August 4, 2008


Is sportsmanship important any more?

A sad byproduct of the Sonics move has been a display of poor sportsmanship by fans as witnessed in the Seattle Times forum. Mudslinging, name calling, you name it and it's been prevalent in many forums. Many OKC fans have taunted Seattle fans as soon as the Seattle/Bennett case was settled, releasing the Sonics from their lease agreement. Many OKC fans immediately upped the inflammatory postings, taunting and agitating Seattle fans that were still in shock. This, of course, lead to harsh responses by a fan base still reeling from the bitter loss. It got ugly.

Just as kicking a player when he is down is poor sportsmanship, so is kicking a fan when they're down. I'll bet that many of these antagonistic 'posters' are kids who've never played the game, or any real coordinated sporting activity outside of gym class. They choose to hide behind the cloaked veil of secrecy the internet provides. Many choose to engage in legitimate and civilized debate. Those are the real fans. Some may have even played organized ball. Why are the ones who do not even play, so often the poorest sports of them all?

Should they be allowed to continue posting? Yes. I embrace the first amendment completely. I wish folks would make quality use of that privilege. We’d be a smarter, more well-rounded society if posters looked to glean knowledge from this situation instead of interrupting quality debates with asinine drivel. Oh well. This is America. Freedom includes the right to be dumb, inefficient, narrow-minded, uneducated as well as the opposite of that. It's a choice we all make.

Now more than ever, sportsmanship is important. Compassion and empathy are part of it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

What rights do fans really have?

"Bennett Files Motion Against Sonic's Fans" reads a headline in today's Seattle Times. My favorite part of the story is this little gem: Bennett's attorney Steven Minson said the plaintiffs have a "fatal misunderstanding of the rights of a ticketholder."

Seattle's class action lawsuit probably has legs because if tickets were sold after the team had no intention of being in Seattle, perhaps you're looking at fraud and misrepresentation by the Sonic's owners. The likely result? Probably a refund plus interest. I doubt anything more. The interesting part of this is that there is no previous precedent for this type of claim. What happens going forward could change all of that.

It makes you wonder what rights the fans have and how seriously owners and team executives take them. How much value is placed on the fans? They're expected to be the revenue stream, buying tickets, concessions, merchandise, parking, etc, yet they are often treated with a pompous smugness by the owners. Not always, but enough that the fan is left treated like a second class citizen. That is not to say there are not great owners who do it right – there certainly are.

The greatest part of sports is the passionate fans. Passion driven by loyalty, intense rivalries and that dangling carrot - a potential playoff run culminating in a championship. The fans are the ones picking up the tab with their pocketbooks. I wonder if at some point a fan’s litigation, like this one, could change the whole landscape of the game and give some leverage back to the fans. Is it a stretch? Probably. The cost is high, the process long and our attention spans are notoriously short. Sometimes the best trials are the ones held in the court of public opinion.

If you’re a potential OKC season-ticket purchaser, you may want to ask your self something before committing that chunk of money: "Do I have a fatal misunderstanding of the rights of a ticket holder"?