Less than a month into his big comfy leather chair, new NBA commissioner Adam Silver has not made any fans in the Northwest.
Forget for a minute about the Vancouver Grizzlies/Mounties/Dragons/Coffeedrinkers/NothingOtherThanCanucks … whatever they want to call the team returning to British Columbia. I mean really, of course, it makes more sense to send teams over to England to play both exhibition and regular season games rather than having multiple teams in Canada (sarcasm).
Face it, folks; the chances of an NBA franchise (no matter how badly we want or deserve it) returning to the Lower Mainland are about as likely as TMZ going a day without a Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber story.
Bring back the Grizzlies to Vancouver!
While it may be a contradiction to the story I recently wrote about Vancouver honoring Shareef Abdur-Rahim, facts are facts and reality is reality: the team was only here for six years and the minimal history does not really warrant another opportunity in the eyes of the NBA executives (YES IT DOES!).
But that is O.K. because just two hours down the road, the Seattle SuperSonics were/are all but promised a new (or slightly used) franchise. At least that is what former boss David Stern alluded to when Chris Hensen raised the hopes of sports fans in the Emerald City. However, just as he did with the Chris Paul – LA Lakers trade, Stern and the NBA front office teased and took away.
Yes, the NBA Board of Governors voted heavily in favor of the relocation of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, but the fact that Stern had once again stomped on the hearts of Northwest basketball fans shattered hearts up and down the I-5.
Now with Stern kicked back on a secluded beach, hopes that Silver would right an obvious wrong started brewing (get it, Seattle, brewing, coffee…..tough crowd). However, recently Silver mentioned in an interview with ESPN that there would not be any expansion franchises awarded anywhere around the globe. While this news does not bode well for Seattle or Vancouver fans, Silver did acknowledge the fact that the NBA is currently in a state of dilution, so why try to add another piece to the puzzle?
Again, where does this put the Northwest, an area, more so Seattle than Vancouver, that has a market screaming for another pro sports franchise?
As with the Sacramento Kings situation just a short time ago, the Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl is looking for some financial assistance to keep the floundering squad in Wisconsin. How quick have the fans in Seattle been to jump on the fact that not only are the Bucks struggling on court, but also in the stands.
While there were many that felt wrong to take the Kings out of Sactown, a good number have thought differently and a bit more selfishly and are willing to do what is needed in order to get what they want.
Besides, Stern, Silver and the NBA front offices weren’t exactly thinking of the impact that relocating the Sonics and Grizzlies would have on Seattle and Vancouver, so why should the Northwest have any compassion?
Maybe Mr. Silver should take note on how supportive sports fans in Seattle (and Vancouver) are of their franchises. Whether it be the 12th man at CenturyLink Field or the sea of white towels in Rogers Arena, Northwest fans are supportive and invested in their sports, if they were just given the opportunity.