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Daily Roundup 10.31.06

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. It's when people like Steve Kelley get to dress up and pretend they know something about basketball.

3 out of 4 national "experts" surveyed say that the Blazers will be the worst team in the league this year.

Wow, look at all this stuff to get to.

The problems of broadcasting hoops on right-wing talk radio. That sounds like the premise of a sitcom of some kind.

There has been some speculation that Entercom's putting the Sonics on KTTH is the first step in creating Seattle's second all-sports station. KJR has a monopoly that would be tough to crack, but so did KMPS in the country format -- until Entercom's introduction last year of KKWF, which has performed well in the ratings. Entercom has made no public statements about getting into the all-sports business in Seattle.

I don't think I'm alone in thinking that KJR could use some competition. To put it kindly, the only reason I ever listened to their homer shtick was the Sonics. Now that they're gone I have literally no reason to listen.

Bob Hill enters the year like Nate did two seasons ago.

Hill was annoyed when he witnessed how proud the organization was after its second-round playoff appearance in 2004. The Sonics stunned the NBA and won 52 games, only to lose to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals.

"Losing in the second round is not something you celebrate. It's something you should build on," he said. "I don't think we built on that last season."

"We realize that a lot rides on this year," forward Rashard Lewis said. "Coach Hill has helped turn things around here, but we know we need to show the progress on the court and win. We all know there's pressure to win this year for a lot of reasons. And Coach Hill is one of them."

Gary Washburn Has Quickies With Entire Starting Unit

Gary Washburn Then Has Quickies With The Bench

Art Thiel says Bennett's got a tough job

Why ESPN sucks, Exhibit #127,682,137,821:

Said ESPN pro basketball reporter Ric Bucher: "How well can a team play when it's checking Oklahoma City real-estate ads between film sessions? My guess: not all that well."

Yuk yuk, hey Ric, you're pretty funny. Maybe some day you'll actually break a true story. Keep trying jackass.

"The squad must be able to distance themselves from the relocation maelstrom, otherwise they'll get caught up in the issues. That won't help a team trying to rebound from a disappointing season," Geoffrey C. Arnold wrote in Lindy's Magazine.

For the record I haven't bought a Lindy's since oh, Rex Chapman played for the Bullets.

The who, you ask?

You know, Manute Bol? Gheorge Muresan? Never mind.

It's the apathy that kills me.

Because of the off-court situation, this has emerged as a make-or-break season for the Sonics. In a town that adores winners and disregards losers, the Sonics have to find a way to regain the respect and adulation of a city that has become disenchanted with them.

Experts believe the Sonics will be hard-pressed to do that this season. Why should they believe now?

"Well, that's going to be the sweet part, to prove all the naysayers wrong," guard/forward Damien Wilkins said. "The whole point is, if we play like we're supposed to play and capable of playing, we're a playoff team. There's no doubt about that. Who really cares what they write? We know what we can do in here, but it's a matter of getting it done. That's what we need to be focused on. Nothing else."

Moving on ...

You've heard by now Luke was extended. If it's truly the 3 year $18-20 mil deal I've heard about that's a great move. The deal is neither long enough or large enough to be any kind of long term problem.

“I think it is a very smart deal for both sides,” said [Ridnour's agent Lon] Babby, who is based in Washington, D.C., and also represents Ray Allen. “From our perspective, it gives Luke a big salary and security for the next three years. It also allows him to, at age (29), become an unrestricted free agent in the prime of his career.”

Just when you'd thought we'd seen the last of overly ambitious color broadcasters:

Bennett, according to several sources, is speaking with Hall of Fame coach Lenny Wilkens about assuming an unspecified role in the front office – though it does not appear to be to replace Wally Walker as CEO.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

as long as it's not CEO that is.

As only Frank can, Wally Walker blasts Nick Licata, who believe me has it coming to him.

“There has been so much disinformation promulgated by elected officials on this issue over the last couple years that it has to be addressed,” Walker said. “Elected officials have to take the time to learn what these issues are. We have a politician … who said the Sonics have no social benefit. That is ludicrous. Our games have one of the most diverse audiences in the Sound.

“This same politician said abut six weeks ago that the Sonics do not pay taxes. I can assure you the Sonics pay a lot of taxes. You know what? I am tired of saying a ‘politician.’ Here is the liberating part. His name is Nick Licata, (the Seattle city council president). I know he means well, but he has the facts wrong.”

further:

“I am going to step outside and talk about a trade, because you have seen the trade that everybody wants to make. They are on big signs: Trade Wally. Those signs came about because of a trade in 2003. We acquired Ray Allen and the rights (that) became Luke Ridnour. The starting backcourt. No matter how much flak we took – and we took a lot – if we keep making trades like that we are going to be the Celtics of the ’60s because you can’t make a better trade than that. That is the business I have been in.”

Moving on ...

Jayda gets the Luke story, looks like Frank's the only guy with numbers right now.

Could the Times coverage be any more depressing? Jesus.

Wanna straight up laugh your ass off? Read this.

So that got us to thinking. What life milestones also invoke crisis? The obvious answer speaks to black balloons and banners and a certain birthday. Leaving us to wonder, since the Sonics are turning 40 and all, is this crisis of the midlife variety?

"Midlife crisis are usually because people are coming to grips with their mortality," Mike Bellah said. "They're wondering what they really want. Soul searching. Looking for something new."

It gets better, seriously. They quote Steve Scheffler.

The top 40 Sonics of all time according to the Times. They put Colabro WAY too freaking low on that list!!!

See! The amazing All-Time Sonics lineup!

Hear! About the Sonics team that started it all ...

Read! Steve Kelley, liar! He hasn't been to a Sonic scrimmage in about ten years.

There's actually more in the Times if you want to get into the predictions and stuff, but I'll let you search that out for yourself.

Happy Halloween. Watch a Hammer flick and don't OD on candy. I'll be enjoying my favorite: Mounds.