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A letter to Sonics lovers from Kings fans, ‘We’re still fighting’

Sacramento Kings fans say they'll fight to keep the NBA team, despite rumors last week that a deal with Seattle investor Chris Hansen, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, and the Nordstrom family is in the works. (Photo by Kelley L Cox)

They were just trying to help.

Two nice Seattle guys who were behind the Sonicsgate documentary, telling the story of how our NBA team was swiped from us, thought they’d give Sacramento Kings fans some advice.

Dear Sacramento Kings fans,

You probably hate hearing anything about Seattle right now. We know the sick feeling in your gut, the rage in your head, the sadness in your heart. There is nothing anyone could say to you right now that would make things better. We have felt your pain, and we understand the irony of hearing this from the fan base that may now gain from your loss.

The loyal Sonics fan base was beaten down, desperate, angry, depressed, and powerless. The national perception was that an indifferent Seattle had simply let the team leave. We knew this wasn’t true.

The full letter includes a “blueprint for how to get a team back in your city.”

Too soon Seattle. Too soon.

A Sacramento Kings fan and NBA sports writer, Tom Ziller, responds.


I’m afraid we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot.

You see, we are fighting desperately to ensure that what happened to the lovely basketball fanatics of Seattle does not happen to the lovely basketball fanatics of Sacramento.

The news about the Maloofs potentially selling the Sacramento Kings to Seattle’s saviors broke a week ago. Last Wednesday. Down here, we’re all going to remember that day, just like y’all up there will remember the day in July 2006 when word broke that Howard Schultz sold the Sonics to some Oklahomans. You remember that, right? And you remember when Clay Bennett’s arena talks with the state broke down, right? You remember how utterly crushing that was? How it felt like some money mongers were ripping your still-beating basketball-loving green-and-gold heart right through your ribcage? That’s how it felt for us. Except our hearts are purple and black and occasionally powder blue.

For us, that was a freaking week ago. One week.

You’ve got to understand that right now we don’t see the word Seattle and think about the cruelty of the Sonics’ relocation…We see the word Seattle and we see what y’all saw (and still see, I reckon) when you see the words Oklahoma City. You’ll say you have nothing against the fine people of interior Oklahoma, and maybe that’s even an honest statement for most of you. But there’s still something guttural about the words, about the immediate connotations. Oklahoma City. Still gives you the willies, yeah?

Five years later, right?

We’ve been dealing with the word Seattle for one week. One week. Pardon the willies. We’re having trouble looking past that guttural reaction and remembering that the Puget Sound is a wondrous place populated by kind people and wildlife we share common bonds with.

His open letter concludes with a “blueprint for how to prevent a team from leaving your city.”

Meanwhile, information from a Sacramento insider is confident the city will keep the Kings.

Related: Despite the hype, numbers show little NBA interest in Seattle


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