Do you feel the change happening inside you or am I the only one?
The anger? The hurt? The bitterness? Not totally gone, but definitely on its way out. Good riddance.
Oklahoma City visited the Sacramento Kings last night. For the first time since our Sonics moved away and morphed into the Thunder, I can think about that without seething inside. I can look at Kevin Durant in that blue uniform and not feel sad.
For the first time since the Sonics were sold, I can look at a picture of Clay Bennett without hatred in my heart. I can drink any brand of coffee without having mixed feelings. I can watch David Stern on the television with a lesser temptation to display my middle finger.
The thought of OKC winning a title, while not a pleasant one, no longer makes me want to cry. I have no further ill will toward the people of Oklahoma, though I can see the rivalry brewing once we have a team again.
One reason for this change is obvious. I believe we will have Sonics basketball again next season. Things could go wrong and screw that up, but I don’t think they will. Even if it does, I believe we’ve made enough progress to enable something else to work out. Maybe not next year, but in the near future.
Why? Chris Hansen. Enough said.
There is also a less obvious reason, which is the passage of time. I’ve simply grown very tired of being angry.
There is, of course, a flip side to this. If things transpire the way most Sonics fans hope, a large group of people in Northern California will only begin to experience the anger, hurt, and bitterness that I am starting to get over.
If the Kings morph into the Sonics, the people of Sacramento will hate us. There is no getting around it. Prepare for it. Understand it. Have compassion for it. Don’t react to it. Just as important, don’t get bogged down in it.
These rules that sports fans are now living under? We didn’t create them. They evolved over time and we didn’t notice until it was too late.
It’s a new time for us. It’s a time to let go of the dark past and embrace the bright future.
I know there are those of you who aren’t ready to feel this way yet, but am I the only one? Surely not.