I assume everyone who reads this, at some point, has seen the movie The Dark Knight Rises. If you haven’t, let me set the scene: Bruce Wayne has just been captured by the villain, Bane. His back has been broken and he has been locked in a prison, seemingly on his death bed.
Bane and Bruce engage in dialog about the fate of Gotham, wherein Bruce inquires on his whereabouts. In the midst of his speech, Bane proceeds to deliver a few very relatable lines to us Sonics faithful:
"So easy…So simple… And like shipwrecked men turning to sea water from uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying. I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope..."
In a discussion amongst the Sonics Rising team, a very interesting scenario came up:
If you had to trade the Seattle Seahawks franchise--their history, recent Super Bowl win, everything--in exchange for the Cleveland Browns--their franchise, their history, their struggles--and either the Cleveland Cavaliers or an expansion NBA franchise in order to get a basketball team back, do you do it?
Ask yourself: would this quench your thirst for a basketball team? Would you consider abandoning your most successful sports franchise(s) in exchange for one that was taken away? And would you rather inherit an existing team, or be given an expansion team?
Another twist: if we inherit the Cavs, we must keep the name Cavaliers. No SuperSonics.
Before anyone gets out of hand, this isn't to insinuate that Cleveland is a terrible sports town or imply that we deserve to have their teams. It's just a scenario where a successful sports team is traded for one or two not-so-successful ones. An exchange between two cities that have varying experiences of heartbreak.
Let me lay out the details:
When I say everything is included I mean everything. Starting from the top, it would mean we would inherit the owners of the Browns (Jimmy Haslam) and Cavaliers (Dan Gilbert), while Cleveland would inherit Paul Allen as an owner. In the case of an expansion team, an owner would be appointed by Cleveland. All front office personnel, coaching staffs, players, and cheerleaders would also be exchanged. All current contracts would remain in place and honored for the years they are signed. I won’t add in stadiums or anything that is physically located in either city, for logistical purposes.
This is less about a fantasy franchise trade than a question of what you value more: a particular sport in your city or your personal attachment to a franchise?
The trade via ESPN’s Trade Machine:
So, how desperate are you? I invite Clevelanders to join the discussion, too. Comment away.