Seattle, the most lost franchise in the NBA

Seattle, the most lost franchise in the NBA

When in 2008 Supersonic They left Seattle permanently to move there Oklahoma City Even losing her name, many fans outside the United States did not understand this decision. How could a city like Seattle lose an NBA franchise? Although this has happened on several occasions – most recently with the Grizzlies, who migrated from Vancouver to Memphis – many have found this situation difficult to accept.

This is understandable: Seattle is a wonderful city, of a character that undoubtedly makes it unique within the complex agglomeration of the United States. And an ideal city to have an NBA team within. But what is more difficult for us Europeans is to admit that American professional sports have nothing to do with European sports. Could anyone imagine, for example, that Partizan Belgrade would move to Zagreb to play? Or will Barcelona take the club to… Madrid? Isn't this impossible? But Europe is not the United States, and loyalty is reserved for university teams, and that's why National Collegiate Athletic Association He always fills his halls to bursting, although the quality of basketball he plays is, in most cases, debatable. It is clear, for example, that it is not possible for the University of Memphis to move to Canada.

Let's remember that In 1995 The Spanish Football League decided to drop two categories to Celta and Sevilla Due to proven administrative violations: With the legislation in place, relegation has become mandatory. Well, there were citizen demonstrations, led by mayors, where the punishment had to be corrected and those who failed to comply with it pardoned. In Seattle, no one protested and the fans resigned without tearing their clothes.

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I remember the 1996 Finals like it was yesterday. The Sonics and the Bulls played some vibrant defensive series, which was resolved in game six, in Chicago – at the time the format was 3-2-3 – I remember Jordan excellenceOf course, but also Kukoc, who was named the best sixth player in the regular stage. And I remember the great Rodman putting a distraught Frank Brykowski, a powerful but limited center, out of his wits. And I remember, first of all, George Karltheir coach, who lifted the Supersonics to the heavens and brought them closer to glory.

George Karl talks to Fernando Martin during their time in Madrid

Carl is a kind person, easy to talk to, and always experienced the pain of failing to succeed real madrid In two different stages. His first signing in 1989 was a surprise to everyone. It was pretty extraordinary that a coach with NBA experience ended up in Europe. Carl has adapted to the city and fits in well with ACB. His only problem was called Norris, Epi or Solozábal. Barcelona won Karl's first league, and he left at the end of the season with a bitter taste, but with the conviction that he wanted to return. He did so after two seasons, but then his problem was called out Thompson, Ferran, Villacampa or Giuffresa. Joventut won the league and Karl left and never returned. Of those two seasons, what I remember most is that in the lead-up to the games, his son Kobe — who went on to play for Peña… and the Lakers — came out to play when he was 6 and 8 years old. respectively. It was a strange and endearing image.

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After Madrid came the six seasons in Seattle, where he had an exceptional trio under his leadership: Gary Payton, Sean Kemp, and Detlef Schrempfa wonderful German player who trained at the University of Washington who I surprised him one day as he walked across Alcazar of Seville In a preview of the preseason game pitting the Sonics against the Pacers. The event was presented in this wonderful venue. I remember Schrempf saying to me: “You must live well in Seville.”

I also had a good relationship with George Karl. He remembered me because at that time TV3 owned the rights to ACB and we interviewed him on more than one occasion – it was a time when few journalists in Madrid knew English and he had not had many opportunities to speak his language in the two seasons. He headed to Real Madrid. So, it was easy for me to interview him during the 1996 finals.

Literal move from Seattle to Oklahoma City during 2008

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“I love Spain,” Karl told me after training in those finals. I really like the atmosphere in the wings, very emotional. It just hurts me not to be able to give Real Madrid the title.

– Is the level of European basketball completely different from the level of the NBA, George? -Requested.

Everything is basketball man. Everything is basketball: In ACB there are excellent players; Sometimes the level reminded me of the NCAA (here I must say that I and the good old Karl did not agree).

After '96, the Sonics' star began to decline. Sean KempA photography guy, he did some great shots, but it was already clear that he didn't have a lot of lights, he started gaining weight, he had seven kids by six different women and the last time we heard from him it was because he was involved in a shooting in a parking lot. Cars in Tacoma, near his now-distant exploits with the Supersonics.

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Some veteran NBA Total fans asked me recently if I thought Seattle would ever get an NBA franchise again. It pains me to answer this type of question because whoever asks it expects a positive answer and I would very much like to please them, but… And my answer was…no.

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Oliver Walton

"Pro alcohol addict. Bacon scholar. Award-winning beer fan. Gamer. Social media expert. Zombie guru."

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