A few days ago, a friend reminded me that three years had passed since the Sonics left Seattle.
For this fan, the NBA in large part died that day and I haven’t really given it much thought since. Sure I’ve checked in from time to time, but with the lockout starting, it seemed the NBA would be taking a considerably long break to which I have no issue.
Yet there was this painful reminder that the Sonics were gone. As I drifted back, my thoughts were mostly sentimental and positive, yet I couldn’t escape the idea of what Kevin Durant would mean to the franchise and the city of Seattle if the team were still here.
So what does Jimmer Fredette have to do with the Sonics?
Currently, the Sacramento Kings find themselves in a similar situation to where the Sonics were a few years ago in being held hostage by their owners and seem a likely candidate to move with the way things are progressing.
Going back to the draft I couldn’t understand selecting Jimmer given the team’s current roster, but now it makes sense. While the range of opinions on the young gunner from BYU wildly vary, the risk is worth it in an otherwise lackluster draft.
For a franchise looking to make itself relevant, Jimmer was the clear answer. People took notice, jerseys will be sold, and maybe just maybe people will look back at this as a turning point.
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While DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans are talented ball players and potential All-Stars, adding Jimmer broadens the team’s appeal to fans beyond northern California.
If Jimmer can make things interesting this upcoming season, the value of a Kings ticket improves significantly in both Sacramento and on the road. Team record and chemistry may require some time to sort themselves out, but time is of the essence.
Sadly, teams have been moving for ages and yet life goes on, but what makes it hard is wondering, “What if?”
Kevin Durant was the future for the Sonics. The kind of player I could picture my son collecting cards and tacking posters to his bedroom wall.
Had the Sonics never drafted Durant, perhaps the sting of the team leaving wouldn’t continue to hurt as much. The pain lingers though because each time we watch we wonder if things could have worked out? We finally had someone and potentially something special to rally around. Yet, it was all snatched away.
Perhaps it’s best that my son is still too small to know any better. Perhaps in time, a team will return to Seattle at an age for him to appreciate and enjoy. If the Jets of the NHL in some form can return to Winnipeg, then I suppose there’s hope for all of us who have been jilted.
For now, though, I ask the fans of Oklahoma City to please enjoy and take care of Kevin Durant; he is truly someone special, but of course you already know that…
Meanwhile, for the fans in Sacramento, I offer you the best of luck. Hopefully, your fate has not yet been sealed. Hang in there, keep fighting, and pray that Jimmer is the answer!