Listen, basketball is my favorite sport (I like the way they dribble up and down the court). Nothing else really comes close, except maybe post-season baseball, and, of course, croquet (which I'm convinced could be the new poker if only we could get some celebrities behind it, but frikkin' Clooney no longer returns my calls.) If I had to choose one sport for Seattle to have, b-ball would be it. That said, I don't think Washington taxpayers should pony up one cent for the Sonics. Or should I say one cent more, after the $74 million spent renovating Key Arena in 1994.
I'm unimpressed by an ultimatum from team owners, even less by the argument that since we've allowed ourselves to be reamed by the Mariners' and Seahawks' owners in the recent past, it's only fair that Sonics' owners get a(nother) turn. Budgets are about priorities, and subsidizing the hobby of a bunch of multi-millionaires (and the jobs of another bunch) should not be one of them. I don't have much faith in the backbone of city and state politicians to stand up to these sorts of threats and claims of intangible, magical benefits of sports teams, but here's hoping.
Yeah, I'll be bummed if the Sonics leave Seattle. And as I wallow in the deep, deep, depths of my sad, sad, sadness, I'll go out to hear some music, or to see a play, or to an excellent restaurant, or to one of Seattle's many great cinemas, and enjoy the things that make this city uniquely great, as in pro sports isn't one of them (unless we get the croquet thing going), and quickly forget what I was sad about.