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Phoenix Suns on Sonics, OKC

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: April 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm •  Published: March 20, 2008

The Phoenix Suns played the Sonics last night in Seattle and Shaquille O’Neal had some not-so-nice things to say about our fair city. Grant Hill, too.

Shaq called the Sonics’ prospective move to OKC “dumb” and “stupid.”

“Seattle has tradition, the Space Needle, and there’s water here,” Shaq said. “Oklahoma City’s a college town. You’re not going to have the T.V. market there.”

 When I think of Seattle, I think of (Gary Payton), (Shawn Kemp), (Jack) Sikma, Lenny Wilkens,” Shaq continued. “The Oklahoma City Sonics? When my son asks me about that, I’ll say there’s no such thing.”

Said Grant Hill of OKC: “That’s a bad road trip. It’s cold. This shouldn’t happen. Seattle’s a great market, a great city, and I would think there’s a lot of money in this city. It’s a shame. They had a good product. When I think of Seattle, it’s hard to see what’s going on now. When I came into the league, it was rockin’.”

The article says Hill and Shaq remember playing at the Tacoma Dome during the 1994-95 season while KeyArena was being renovated and now it’s considered obsolete.

My first reaction was that was 13 years ago. In two years, when the KeyArena lease is up Hill and Shaq will be obsolete, too.

It’s not my place to say which is a better home for the Sonics. And since Shaq and Hill have been in the league a combined 27 years, I’m going to say they know better than I. But the logic? Come on. Let’s see, Shaq thinks Seattle’s a better city for the Sonics because it has the Space Needle and water? Grant Hill, who remember played his first six seasons in Detroit, is griping about OKC being cold???

During the 2006 NBA All-Star Weekend, I asked Shaq about what he thought about OKC. He didn’t say anything negative. He talked about walking through Quail Springs Mall and “shutting down” IHOP, referring to star-struck patrons clamoring for his attention. I asked him what he ate.

“Got me a little sausage and cheese omelet,” he said. “Pancakes. O.J.”

That conversation obviously occurred when the Hornets were in town and faced an uncertain future.

The Hornets “belong to New Orleans,” Shaq said. “But if someone in Oklahoma City puts up the money I’m sure they can get something done.”


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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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