Before this was about buildings, owners, and politics, it started out being about basketball. It was about going to games with your parents, taking your kids, or having that special group of friends that were always willing to talk about the roster or just hang out and watch a game. For a lot of us it started with the NBA and will eventually end with the NBA.
My love of the NBA started as a freshman at Western Washington University. My buddies in the dorm and I watched young upstarts Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton upend the Run TMC Warriors in the first round of the playoffs before being picked apart by John Stockton and Karl Malone in the second round. Kemp’s dunks in that series were incredible and I was hooked.
The following year I left Western but carried the hoops addiction with me to the United States Army, where sports became a much bigger part of my life. In the military you are pretty much defined by your city of origin and I was “Brian from Seattle” at a time when Seattle was defined by Gary’s swagger and Shawn’s athleticism. Every single day during the playoffs my friends from New York, Chicago, Portland, and Houston and I would hit the sports bar, talking smack about each other’s cities and betting on games. We battled with the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets, defeating Malone, Stockton, and Olajuwon, making it to the conference finals before being robbed by Charles Barkley’s Suns. It was exceptionally fun
Next week’s game is not the return of the Sonics, but it is an opportunity to remember why we care so much. It’s a chance to wear green and gold, tell fun stories and celebrate with friends that we haven’t seen for a while. For this site, and hopefully for fans in general, it is an opportunity to write and talk about NBA basketball again, even if only for a week.
Be on the lookout for an increased emphasis on the NBA, including game coverage and talk about our Sonics memories and legacy. We are asking our readers to get into the spirit of things, participating in that conversation and actively inviting your friends to do the same.
Fans are encouraged to support Simply Seattle and their “We Got Next” Campaign. Seattle’s Team Shop without a team has stepped up in a major way and wants to make sure that this city is a sea of green and gold when ESPN comes to town for a national broadcast. They are offering up “We Got Next!” T-shirts for just $5 (order online today!) and will have rally cards available before the game. Wear those shirts or your own Sonics gear as much as possible next week to get people excited and set the tone for Kevin Durant’s return on Friday night.
“We Got Next!” is a great message to send at a time when national media and powers that be in New York will be watching our city very closely. It also sends a reminder to our allies and owners that, while we’ve been proud to support our friends in hockey and know what a big milestone the arena is, we also have an expectation that our turn is coming. We’re not going to rest until an NBA franchise is in town 41 games a year plus pre and post-season. When they find a way to make that happen we will do our part to make it a success.
In addition to co-sponsoring “We Got Next,” our friends at KJR Sports Radio 950 will be leading the game day activities . Softy Mahler will hosting a pre-game show from 3-7 at Buckley’s Sports Bar and the station will provide local play by play coverage for those of you who aren’t able to attend. If you do make it out to the game come join us back at Buckley’s for the after-party. It will be a great opportunity to share a cold beverage or have a conversation with SonicsRising staff, the guys from KJR, Sonicsgate and other friends we’ve made along the way.
See you next Friday. Go Sonics!
He's ready. #sonicsforever http://bit.ly/2xIY4UuPosted by Simply Seattle on Friday, September 28, 2018