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When Sonics move, don't let guilt move, too

by Berry Tramel Modified: July 2, 2008 at 4:59 pm •  Published: July 2, 2008
Maybe not. Frankly, I'm not all that interested in a history lesson from a city that built a new palace for the Seahawks and a new palace for the Mariners and then wants to start lecturing other cities, warning them about the dangers of giving into disgruntled franchise owners.

I understand the anguish over losing a franchise. Most of America does. Only Indiana cheered when the Colts left Baltimore. Only Tennessee celebrated when the Oilers left Houston. George Shinn made few friends beyond Bourbon Street when he took his Hornets out of Charlotte.

But sports fans have short memories. For all the despair over the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn, baseball took to LA and LA took to baseball immediately, and the Los Angeles Dodgers quickly became a brand to rival all but the Yankees.

It seemed nutty for the NHL to leave Minneapolis in 1993 for the football-mad Sun Belt, but who today can imagine hockey without a team in Dallas? Who declares the Ravens, a decade after fleeing Cleveland, are invalid in Baltimore?

Nationally, no one seems to be paying much attention anyway. Their take is elementary: Oh, the Sonics are leaving for Oklahoma City? That must mean Bennett is a sorry-dog owner.

But did you catch ESPN's Stuart Scott during the NBA Draft coverage? He said the "vote” to determine the Sonics' status could come later that night. There is no vote, and it wasn't true anyway. Scott even asked Jeff Van Gundy if the Sonics could make the playoffs next season, which means one of ESPN's primary NBA hosts doesn't have a clue about anything regarding Seattle basketball.

When the Sonics come to Oklahoma City, outrage and lament will reign for about 15 minutes. Then everyone will move on.

The rest is up to us. Fill the Ford Center and support the NBA and critics will scram in search of another franchise threatening to move. And there will be one to fit that description, because that's what franchises do.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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Related Audio

Sonics coverage
The decision on the Sonics vs. Seattle will come today at 6 p.m. Here is how you can learn about it and what it means.

•FIND OUT: Go on at 6 p.m. (Oklahoma time) to find out the decision and stay online to see updated news, videos reaction and analysis. Read Thursday's Oklahoman for more updates about the future of the NBA in Oklahoma City.

•LISTEN: NBA beat writer Darnell Mayberry talks about the draft, the decision and free agency in his NBA in OKC podcast on


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