Sonics fans vow to reclaim history from Oklahoma Cityon June 6, 2012 @ 4:45 pm (Updated: 6:27 pm - 6/6/12 )
As if taking the team wasn't bad enough, Oklahoma City has taken our history as well, using the parts that are convenient and stuffing the rest in a closet. From merchandise to the media guide, the Thunder has usurped the best of what was the Seattle SuperSonics.
"They have hats that say 1967 in Oklahoma blue, the media guide has Gary Payton, Sean Kemp, all our former teams," complains longtime Sonics fan Jason Reid, director of the award-winning documentary "Sonics Gate" detailing the sale of the team.
When tycoon Clay Bennett bought the team and took it to Oklahoma, he got all the Sonics stuff - including the 1979 championship trophy and the rights to share the team's history with Seattle. In a deal with former mayor Greg Nickels, Seattle got to keep the Sonics name and the colors for a future franchise.
"It would be one thing if they adopted it as a new franchise in Oklahoma City where, 'This is our first trip to the playoffs,' but it's kind of thrown in our face," says Reid.
"So the only thing we can do is say 'hey this is wrong, we deserve the history here in Seattle. I can only hope that Chris Hansen can negotiate with the NBA and Clay Bennett to make that happen."
Even NBA insiders like former All-Star Charles Barkley agree. The outspoken analyst went off during a recent telecast when a statistic referred to the Thunder's playoff record dating back several decades.
"Wait a minute. That doesn't count! You can't take another city's stats," Barkley exclaimed.
They can, and they did. Bennett has the 1979 championship trophy, the banners and retired jerseys that used to hang from the rafters in Key Arena.
For now, it's all "on loan" to the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, where it's stored away as the museum moves to its new location.
The trophy will eventually be displayed again for museum visitors when it reopens in December 2012, according to spokeswoman Jackie Durban.
There was no response Wednesday from Thunder media staff about the Sonics' shared history or future plans for the artifacts stored in Seattle.
But, Reid vows to keep the issue alive until Seattle gets another team, and reclaims its past.
"You know we hear from Oklahoma City Thunder fans all the time and they get mad at us for not going away and not being quiet. But part of the reason we're not going away and not being quiet is to make sure we get our history back."
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