Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, July 02, 2021

It’s finally official, and all over but the crying — tears of joy in Oklahoma and of grief in Washington State, as Seattle’s NBA franchise strikes a deal to relocate to Sooner country for next season.

They won’t be playing their games as the “Oklahoma City SuperSonics”, though:

[Team owner Clay] Bennett said he and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels signed a binding agreement Wednesday, which would be formalized later, that keeps the SuperSonics’ name, logo and colors available if Seattle gets a replacement franchise.

Leaving behind a franchise’s trappings in the wake of relocation has become de rigueur for carpetbagging owners, often characterized as a goodwill concession. Never mind that it’s mostly self-serving — there are distinct advantages to creating a new brand identity to match a team’s new home city, mostly in the merchandising area. And there’s only one modern-era instance of a successful “restoration” of a city-team franchise: The current incarnation of the Cleveland Browns, which the NFL pretty much insisted upon as a public relations fix. Furthermore, I know of only one other in-effect major-league franchise leave-behind: That of the NHL’s Hartford Whalers, whose spirit is property of the State of Connecticut.

Which brings me to my idea: Instead of embarking on a mad dash for another shot at big-league hoops, the Emerald City should take its parting gift, and promptly graft it onto the next National Hockey League team that wants to move into KeyArena.

Why not? Hockey is a missing link for the Pacific Northwest’s sports scene (the cross-border Vancouver Canucks notwithstanding). Reviving the Seattle SuperSonics as an NHL team would nicely fill the void. That green-and-gold color scheme would look great fitted with skates and hockey sticks. The Sonics logo would have to be reworked a little, but it can’t be too hard to airbrush that basketball into a puck.

Besides, it’s high time that Seattle resumed its aborted Stanley Cup-winning run.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/02/2021 11:27 PM
Category: Basketball, Hockey
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3 Feedbacks »
  1. A puckish sense of humor…

    The next step for an NBA-less Seattle, says Costa: Instead of embarking on a mad dash for another shot at big-league hoops, the Emerald City should take its parting gift, and promptly graft it onto the next National Hockey League……

    Trackback by dustbury.com — 07/03/2021 @ 4:53 PM

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    Once considered a slam-dunk, the move of the New Jersey Nets from the East Rutherford to Brooklyn is now on shaky ground, thanks to local opposition over Atlantic Yards and a faltering real-estate economy. They could stick it out in the Meadowlands fo…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 07/06/2021 @ 7:01 PM

  3. NHL VS. NBA AND THE ENTHUSIASM GAP…

    When Supersonicsoul posited a year-by-year attendance-trend comparison between the NHL and NBA to suggest that pro hoops were on the decline compared to its ice-rink brethren, I thought this was a subtle Seattle-fan endorsement of my suggestion to tra…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 11/21/2008 @ 4:37 PM

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