LeBron James is going home. He's not just returning to the team that drafted him, the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he's returning to Ohio, where he was born and raised. James' website refers to him as "Just a kid from Akron." There's an old saying that "you can't go home again." While LeBron has proven that not to be the case for him, for players from the Seattle/Tacoma area, it rings all too true.
Jamal Crawford, Jason Terry, Avery Bradley, Spencer Hawes, Aaron Brooks, Nate Robinson, Peyton Siva, Rodney Stuckey, Isaiah Thomas, Martell Webster, Marvin Williams, Tony Wroten, Terrence Williams, Jon Brockman. Not a bad looking roster. These players won't know the feeling that LeBron James is feeling. They can't. All those players are from the Puget Sound area and have no team to go to, no team to call their home team.
It's possible that some of them may still see that day. There may be a team in Seattle again before these guys' careers are over (probably not Terry. Sorry, bro). However, for players like Brandon Roy, Brian Scalabrine, and Doug Christie, that opportunity is gone. Those players are retired from the game. They can truly never know the feeling of playing for your home team, of having your city on your chest.
Seattle has regularly churned out NBA talent. Guys who grew up watching Gary Payton throw lobs to Shawn Kemp wanted that to be them. They wanted to run the floor like Detlef Schrempf or hit threes like Hersey Hawkins. However, the number of players coming out of the 206 is dwindling. Locals are being turned off by the lack of a team to call their own. The game is not as popular in Seattle as it once was. A recent article discussed how the NBA was still making money off the sale of Seattle SuperSonics merchandise. Should that be a sign that they don't need a team in Seattle because they can still make money off one that doesn't actually exist, or is it a sign that the city is thirsty for a franchise once again?
Clips Nation recently suggested the idea that Seattle fans adopt the Los Angeles Clippers, due to its many local ties. Jamal Crawford, Spencer Hawes, and recent draftee C.J. Wilcox all play for the Clippers. Jon Brockman plays for their summer league team. Not to mention the pending sale to local billionaire Steve Ballmer. While this is great in the interim, we need our own team. We need a team IN Seattle. We need the green and gold. We need the SuperSonics.
The NBA needs, to quote the main titles of the television show Quantum Leap, "to put right what once went wrong." LeBron James has proven that you can go home again. It's time for the Sonics to come home.