Morning all. Last night, I was at what possibly was the last game the SuperSonics basketball team would play in Seattle. (The owners are adamant about moving the team to Oklahoma City, and may do so by the start of the next season.)
Key Arena was absolutely crazy. I’ve been to three games this year watching marquee teams, and this was the loudest the arena has been all year.
The arena was punctuated by loud cheers of “Save Our Sonics” (including a long sustained one after a timeout was called with 1.4 seconds left in the 4th quarter). There was a huge standing ovation of Sonics veteran Gary Payton who was watching the game in the stands. The arena was filled with a larger-than-usual security staff in case of riot. Fans carried banners and signs, including an enigmatic one that said “Boycott Starbucks!” (Starbucks having sold the team to the Oklahoman owner).
There was an ethereal feeling in the last few seconds that everything was happening in slow motion — especially since the Sonics only won by 4 points at the end. A fast break where Durant ran across the court for the layup to seal the win … surreal. The cheers were deafening. Bear in mind that the Sonics are the worst team in the Western Conference at the moment, and their opponent, the Dallas Mavericks, are playoff bound. So to end everything for the fans with a rare win… that was special.
I’m usually a Pistons fan, but I switched allegiances for one year only to support the local team. It’s tough to see so many people who have followed the local team for so long see their team taken away from under their noses.