Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Oklahoma City/Kansas City/Las Vegas Sonics face interesting situation

Despite the yearning desires of Celtics fans and ESPN, the franchise with the most NBA championships in league history came up very, very short in today's lottery drawing. With the second best chance to win the lottery (19.9%), Boston ended up with the fifth overall pick, the worst possible pick they could have gotten.

Two franchises in small markets came up large. My favorite is the speculation that almost always comes about concerning a fixed lottery drawing. It's always a bit refreshing when two teams that the NBA would really have no reason whatsoever to endorse end up winning the picks that matter. The Portland Trail Blazers won the first overall pick and the Seattle Supersonics won the second overall pick.

Portland is one of the smallest markets in the NBA, but have a reasonably rabid fan base when the team is competitive. But, for interest's sake, we'll focus on the Sonics. Sonics Chairman Clay Bennett has made his intentions to move the franchise out of Seattle less than subtle. Oklahoma City has shown itself to be a legitimate NBA city by its successful temporary hosting of the Hornets while New Orleans put itself back together. Some other cities, including Kansas City and Las Vegas have jumped into the fray also. Since Seattle and Washington state have basically told the Sonics that a new arena in Seattle isn't going to happen without substantial funding from the franchise, Bennett has sought to move the team elsewhere so that the team will be in a newer facility and have the potential to gain more revenue from a city that is hungry for a basketball team.

The Sonics without a GM and head coach, it seems that a completely fresh start is coming. With either Kevin Durant or Greg Oden soon to become a Sonic, the franchise really does find itself in a unique situation. They'll be in Seattle for at least the next season, so starting clean completely this coming season just won't happen. One of the most interesting subplots this coming season will be how the city of Seattle reacts to an exciting young player in a city that is preparing to have their long-time NBA team moved elsewhere. How Oden or Durant (whichever falls to them) reacts to the situation will be equally interesting. Now, if somehow a move to Vegas happens, expect me to have an aneurysm of interest in that situation. A potential post on the NBA's potential in Vegas is coming soon.

Reasonably yours,

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