By Ken Reed

It was their team. It should still be their team. But it’s not.

A couple carpetbagging owners who bought the local team, the Seattle Supersonics, in 2008 while promising to keep the team in town, instead moved the franchise to Oklahoma City in a move that reeked of greed and a lack of ethics.

“It’s a complete travesty that there’s no team here, because Seattle is a basketball city first and foremost,” says Adam Brown, producer of the award-winning documentary “Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team,” which chronicles Seattle’s efforts to keep the Sonics in Seattle, along with the bitter relocation of the franchise to Okie City. “The Sonics were more closely woven into the Seattle and Washington state community than any of the other pro sports teams.”

Bottom line, a couple greedy owners methodically screwed a community’s diehard fans, ruining the basketball tradition in an entire community. It’s certainly not the first time. Cases like this are a big reason why the community ownership model needs to become more prevalent in pro sports.

“I was a huge Sonics fan,” says Anders Miller, a long-time Seattle resident. “I personally was so devastated by them leaving that I don’t even watch the NBA anymore.”

No matter if you prefer Kevin Durant or LeBron James, it’s hard to watch this year’s NBA Finals and not feel sorry for the thousands of Supersonic fans stuck without a team in Seattle.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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