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Seattle in NBA again (maybe) - The Branding Discussion


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Can someone tell me why the Seattle SuperSonics are somehow worthy of resurrection at the expense of the lineage of the Royals/Kings franchise? I mean you have these Sonics fans saying, essentially, "yeah the Kings have seventy years of history behind them, but it was seventy years of being terrible so who cares?"

The absurdity of cherry-picking the historical record aside, what makes the Sonics' forty year history in Seattle all that more impressive? Like the Royals/Kings the Sonics have one forgettable NBA Championship and a few seasons that ended in post-season disappointment. It's not worth killing off a seventy year old team's lineage so they can *pretend* to be that.

Impressive or not, the Royals/Kings have been around for the better part of a century. They pre-date the NBA, and are one of three teams that can claim a title from before the establishment of the NBA. In a lot of ways they're a relic, like the Green Bay Packers. Now don't misunderstand me. I'm not comparing the two teams in terms of overall success. The Packers, however, are a relic in the sense that they're the last team remaining from a NFL that consisted mostly of small and medium sized Midwestern markets. In some ways that's what the Kings are to the NBA. A relic from the NBL days, a team that was there when pro basketball was in its infancy. Their history wasn't the most illustrious, but it did happen, it was significant, and it shouldn't be ignored to placate a group-think induced desire to play make-believe.

Fact is that by forcing the Kings to adopt the name and records of the old SuperSonics you're killing off a significant chunk of pro basketball history. That, I think, is a shame.

So I've said my piece on this topic in every thread where the discussion has come up. I wasn't going to repeat myself here, but I figured I should since this is the "official" thread for the discussion now I guess. Anyway that's my opinion on the matter. So to recap...

The Kings shouldn't have their lineage erased because it's historically significant to the historic narrative of pro basketball.

People would support the Seattle Kings anyway because that's what fans do.

Fans don't own anything, as warm and fuzzy as the idea may make some people.

The forty years of Sonics history should belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

I'm done.

I agree with this.

Besides, if the Thunder/Sonics share a history, then it would be redundant if the former Kings were to absorb the old Supersonics lore.

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I think it's a great thing for the Sonics to come back, I've missed them. I don't believe the Thunder should get any history from the Sonics because when they were sold, Seattle had a clause to keep the name, logos, and team colors. I see it as a new NBA franchise in Oklahoma City. That's also how I feel about the Kings moving to Seattle. I will view the Sonics as a returning NBA franchise similar to the resurrection of the Cleveland Browns. I would not want to see them become the Seattle Kings or try to move their history to Seattle. Everything Kings related should stay in Sacramento similarly to how Seattle was able to keep everything Sonics related.

Maybe one day someone will buy the Kings' identity and bring that franchise back as well.

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Can someone tell me why the Seattle SuperSonics are somehow worthy of resurrection at the expense of the lineage of the Royals/Kings franchise? I mean you have these Sonics fans saying, essentially, "yeah the Kings have seventy years of history behind them, but it was seventy years of being terrible so who cares?"

The absurdity of cherry-picking the historical record aside, what makes the Sonics' forty year history in Seattle all that more impressive? Like the Royals/Kings the Sonics have one forgettable NBA Championship and a few seasons that ended in post-season disappointment. It's not worth killing off a seventy year old team's lineage so they can *pretend* to be that.

Impressive or not, the Royals/Kings have been around for the better part of a century. They pre-date the NBA, and are one of three teams that can claim a title from before the establishment of the NBA. In a lot of ways they're a relic, like the Green Bay Packers. Now don't misunderstand me. I'm not comparing the two teams in terms of overall success. The Packers, however, are a relic in the sense that they're the last team remaining from a NFL that consisted mostly of small and medium sized Midwestern markets. In some ways that's what the Kings are to the NBA. A relic from the NBL days, a team that was there when pro basketball was in its infancy. Their history wasn't the most illustrious, but it did happen, it was significant, and it shouldn't be ignored to placate a group-think induced desire to play make-believe.

Fact is that by forcing the Kings to adopt the name and records of the old SuperSonics you're killing off a significant chunk of pro basketball history. That, I think, is a shame.

So I've said my piece on this topic in every thread where the discussion has come up. I wasn't going to repeat myself here, but I figured I should since this is the "official" thread for the discussion now I guess. Anyway that's my opinion on the matter. So to recap...

The Kings shouldn't have their lineage erased because it's historically significant to the historic narrative of pro basketball.

People would support the Seattle Kings anyway because that's what fans do.

Fans don't own anything, as warm and fuzzy as the idea may make some people.

The forty years of Sonics history should belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

I'm done.

The Supersonics played in Seattle for 40-something seasons. People were born in that time and grew-up to be Sonics fans. They have always rooted for the Sonics. The name is very meaningful to them. However, the Kings name is not at all meaningful. They don't care that a team named the Royals won a championship 60 years ago, they care that they always watched a team called the Sonics. The nomadic history of the Kings is less important to them than Seattle basketball history. And there's no reason they should get excited to have the Kings, other than the obvious of having a basketball team in general. It's not like they are getting a marquee NBA team with a storied lineage, like the Celtics or Lakers. Instead, they are basically getting the St. Louis Browns (plus a few name changes/change-backs and moves). The Browns were only historic in the fact that they were around from the start of the American League. The team almost always sucked and had very few noteworthy moments. Now, it still sucked that the team had to move and the league lost that identity, but it wasn't like baseball lost some great lineage. The NBA isn't losing a titan in the Kings. And while the Supersonics didn't have a storied history, it was very meaningful to Seattle fans.

I think you're wrong with continually claiming the team would be playing make-believe. You could maybe say that about the Cleveland Browns, but not in this case. The Sonics won't be claiming to be the same team which played in Seattle for 40 years, but they will be a basketball team playing in Seattle and named the Sonics. They literally will be the Sonics, not just pretending to be them. And I think it sucks to lose the Kings. The Maloofs should have been stripped of the team a while back, Sacramento should keep the Kings, and Seattle should have Kevin Durant because the Hornets should be playing in Oklahoma City. And even today, the Kings should be forced to stay in Sacramento while Stern tosses one of the handful of other failing franchises to Seattle. It sucks losing a name with the history (as crappy as it may be) as the Kings have, but I don't think that's reason enough to demand that the fans in Seattle have a team with a name that is not meaningful to them.

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Last two things I'll say on this, honest, and I'm only saying that in response to someone else.

I'm glad someone's white-knighting the Kings' history, but really, there's not much there.

Saying "well it was seventy years of not being relevant" misses the point to me. It doesn't matter if they only have one NBA Championship, and it was when the league was in its infancy. It doesn't matter to me if they've called five cities home over the course of their existence. It doesn't matter if they've been irrelevant for most of those seventy years.

History, at the end of the day, is a very simple concept. It's the story of what happened. You don't get to skip the years 1866-1917 in an American history class just because it's not as monumental compared to the Civil War or WWI. You have to take it all, learn it all. It all happened, the good and bad, the significant and insignificant. It's all worthy. Same with the Kings' history. It's not illustrious, but it did happen. Saying "well it happened but it was underwhelming" is, again, missing the point. It happened, and it should be recognized. Having the Kings suddenly pretend to be the Sonics would lead to that history no longer being recognized.

I don't see any good reason that we can't all just pretend the Sonics were on a few-years hiatus and they're back. It's the way the city will treat the franchise, its last great draft pick playing elsewhere notwithstanding.

My reasoning is because that's not what happened. Simple as that. It isn't me trying to piss on Seattle or their fans. I don't have anything against the city or its teams' fanbases. It's just that I honestly think it's a shame that the Royals/Kings history will be killed (and save me the "well maybe Sacramento will get a team again" nonsense, they won't). I don't think "well facts be damned, this is what makes we warm and fuzzy inside" makes for a good justification. Sorry :(

EDIT- The first part of this works as a response to TheOldRoman, so cool I guess.

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History, at the end of the day, is a very simple concept. It's the story of what happened. You don't get to skip the years 1866-1917 in an American history class just because it's not as monumental compared to the Civil War or WWI. You have to take it all, learn it all. It all happened, the good and bad, the significant and insignificant. It's all worthy. Same with the Kings' history. It's not illustrious, but it did happen. Saying "well it happened but it was underwhelming" is, again, missing the point. It happened, and it should be recognized. Having the Kings suddenly pretend to be the Sonics would lead to that history no longer being recognized.

That's about as plain as it gets. History tells us what happened. The franchise is sold and moves to another city. You just don't shed history off of your back and leave it from where you came. Historically, the Sonics 1.0 moved to OKC and became the Thunder. There was no expansion team that came out of nowhere and picked up a bunch of free-agents that were disbanded from the Sonics, the franchise moved from here to there. Same thing with the Kings - they are moving from Sacramento to Seattle. They are the same franchise. There is no disconnect that one disbanded and the other materialized, they are one and the same. What they choose to call themselves is something else, but to me it's dishonest and illogical to just take a franchise's history (meaning the banners, who played for them, etc.) like it was a commodity and just assign it elsewhere. OKC may not give a flip about Spencer Hayward, but Spencer Hayward is a piece of their franchise's fabric. Sure, he's a part of the city of Seattle's fabric too, but his historical legacy as it relates to the NBA resides with the Thunder franchise. I realize Seattle will celebrate Spencer Hayward, but only as a member of the team that existed in Seattle back then - Spencer Hayward is a jewel of Seattle but has nothing to do with this new Sonics franchise.

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History, at the end of the day, is a very simple concept. It's the story of what happened. You don't get to skip the years 1866-1917 in an American history class just because it's not as monumental compared to the Civil War or WWI. You have to take it all, learn it all. It all happened, the good and bad, the significant and insignificant. It's all worthy. Same with the Kings' history. It's not illustrious, but it did happen. Saying "well it happened but it was underwhelming" is, again, missing the point. It happened, and it should be recognized. Having the Kings suddenly pretend to be the Sonics would lead to that history no longer being recognized.

That's about as plain as it gets. History tells us what happened. The franchise is sold and moves to another city. You just don't shed history off of your back and leave it from where you came. Historically, the Sonics 1.0 moved to OKC and became the Thunder. There was no expansion team that came out of nowhere and picked up a bunch of free-agents that were disbanded from the Sonics, the franchise moved from here to there. Same thing with the Kings - they are moving from Sacramento to Seattle. They are the same franchise. There is no disconnect that one disbanded and the other materialized, they are one and the same. What they choose to call themselves is something else, but to me it's dishonest and illogical to just take a franchise's history (meaning the banners, who played for them, etc.) like it was a commodity and just assign it elsewhere. OKC may not give a flip about Spencer Hayward, but Spencer Hayward is a piece of their franchise's fabric. Sure, he's a part of the city of Seattle's fabric too, but his historical legacy as it relates to the NBA resides with the Thunder franchise. I realize Seattle will celebrate Spencer Hayward, but only as a member of the team that existed in Seattle back then - Spencer Hayward is a jewel of Seattle but has nothing to do with this new Sonics franchise.

You're way, way overthinking things. A team/franchise is about the players and the city...haywood will be linked whichever nba team plays in seattle as the sonics. The Sonics, Browns, etc. are just reincarnated. Thats the way to look at it. A few moving fans full of stuff doesn't change that.

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History, at the end of the day, is a very simple concept. It's the story of what happened. You don't get to skip the years 1866-1917 in an American history class just because it's not as monumental compared to the Civil War or WWI. You have to take it all, learn it all. It all happened, the good and bad, the significant and insignificant. It's all worthy. Same with the Kings' history. It's not illustrious, but it did happen. Saying "well it happened but it was underwhelming" is, again, missing the point. It happened, and it should be recognized. Having the Kings suddenly pretend to be the Sonics would lead to that history no longer being recognized.

That's about as plain as it gets. History tells us what happened. The franchise is sold and moves to another city. You just don't shed history off of your back and leave it from where you came. Historically, the Sonics 1.0 moved to OKC and became the Thunder. There was no expansion team that came out of nowhere and picked up a bunch of free-agents that were disbanded from the Sonics, the franchise moved from here to there. Same thing with the Kings - they are moving from Sacramento to Seattle. They are the same franchise. There is no disconnect that one disbanded and the other materialized, they are one and the same. What they choose to call themselves is something else, but to me it's dishonest and illogical to just take a franchise's history (meaning the banners, who played for them, etc.) like it was a commodity and just assign it elsewhere. OKC may not give a flip about Spencer Hayward, but Spencer Hayward is a piece of their franchise's fabric. Sure, he's a part of the city of Seattle's fabric too, but his historical legacy as it relates to the NBA resides with the Thunder franchise. I realize Seattle will celebrate Spencer Hayward, but only as a member of the team that existed in Seattle back then - Spencer Hayward is a jewel of Seattle but has nothing to do with this new Sonics franchise.

You're way, way overthinking things. A team/franchise is about the players and the city...haywood will be linked whichever nba team plays in seattle as the sonics. The Sonics, Browns, etc. are just reincarnated. Thats the way to look at it. A few moving fans full of stuff doesn't change that.

I don't know, does anyone associate Johnny Unitas to the Ravens? The city of Baltimore, yes, but not the Ravens.

I couched all of this in the Hornets/Pelicans thread by saying how much pro sports sucks when it comes to something like this, but pro sports is a business. The notion that they belong to the city is a nice notion, but it's not reality. The only thing the city owns is the memories at the end of the day.

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This response was over in the Pelicans thread, it sums it up quite nicely.

It's all well and good to remember all the championships from your city, and for one team to acknowledge the championships of its predecesor. But franchise continuity is important; and it's just wrong to ignore this. I can't imagine how a fan of a team can be completely uninterested in the team's history. The fact that the Nationals came from Montreal is part of your team's history; it should indeed mean something to you.

Over the weekend I was watching some baseball stuff on YouTube. I stumbled onto this clip from the 1972 World Series, which was the first Series that I saw.

That clip has the opening of the NBC telecast and the player intros from Game 1 at Oakland. Check out what happens at 11:10 -- they have Lefty Grove throw out the first ball. Grove is introduced with a reference to 1931, which the stadium announcer says is the last year that the A's were in the World Series.

I had this thread in mind when I watched the clip, and was happy to see the acknowledgement of franchise continuity. I was also reminded of Roy Campanella Day, which took place at the LA Coliseum (where Campanella never played) in 1959, and which held the mark of the highest attendance at a baseball game until the recent Dodger-Red Sox exhibition game there that drew over 100,000.

These things represent the right attitude towards franchise continuity, as does the Warren Spahn statue in Atlanta, the games in which the Orioles wore St. Louis Browns uniforms, the games in which the Texas Rangers wore Washington Senators uniforms, the games in which the LA Clippers wore Buffalo Braves uniforms, the games in which the Kansas City Chiefs wore Dallas Texans uniforms, and so on. To a sports fan, games are not ephemeral; they represent chapters in a decades-long story. If we don't acknowledge and respect history, then we lose much of what we perceive as the meaning of sports.

In short: history matters.

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The only reason this is a discussion is because it has been/was a small of a gap without the Sonics/Hornets/Browns. A few years only. And people have it fresh in there mind where and when the Thunder/Bobcats/Ravens came into existance. If say, the Kings were moving to Buffalo and called themselves the Braves, or to Syracuse to be the Nationals. Would we be having the same discussion? Look at what the Expos did.... did ANYONE have a problem with them being called the Nationals? Were they really expected to stay the Expos???

I'm not talking about altering the record book, just adopting the NAME of a team that has history in that region. As best I can tell right now that's all thats happening, We don't know if the NBA is planning to re-arrange the official record books. I beleive they should not rearrange the record books, but I have no issue with them being called the Sonics in honor of Seattle's basketball history and honoring that history with the colors and championship banners of their predecessor.

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History, at the end of the day, is a very simple concept. It's the story of what happened. You don't get to skip the years 1866-1917 in an American history class just because it's not as monumental compared to the Civil War or WWI. You have to take it all, learn it all. It all happened, the good and bad, the significant and insignificant. It's all worthy. Same with the Kings' history. It's not illustrious, but it did happen. Saying "well it happened but it was underwhelming" is, again, missing the point. It happened, and it should be recognized. Having the Kings suddenly pretend to be the Sonics would lead to that history no longer being recognized.

That's about as plain as it gets. History tells us what happened. The franchise is sold and moves to another city. You just don't shed history off of your back and leave it from where you came. Historically, the Sonics 1.0 moved to OKC and became the Thunder. There was no expansion team that came out of nowhere and picked up a bunch of free-agents that were disbanded from the Sonics, the franchise moved from here to there. Same thing with the Kings - they are moving from Sacramento to Seattle. They are the same franchise. There is no disconnect that one disbanded and the other materialized, they are one and the same. What they choose to call themselves is something else, but to me it's dishonest and illogical to just take a franchise's history (meaning the banners, who played for them, etc.) like it was a commodity and just assign it elsewhere. OKC may not give a flip about Spencer Hayward, but Spencer Hayward is a piece of their franchise's fabric. Sure, he's a part of the city of Seattle's fabric too, but his historical legacy as it relates to the NBA resides with the Thunder franchise. I realize Seattle will celebrate Spencer Hayward, but only as a member of the team that existed in Seattle back then - Spencer Hayward is a jewel of Seattle but has nothing to do with this new Sonics franchise.

History also tells us that the Seattle SuperSonics won the 1979 NBA Championship, not the Oklahoma City Thunder. History tells us that Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton played for the Seattle SuperSonics, not the Oklahoma City Thunder. Basically saying everything transferred to OKC with the current team while only being a technicality in the history of Seattle sports would also be going against history. All those things that happened with the team, happened in Seattle as the SuperSonics, not in OKC as the Thunder. Otherwise you're rewriting history with the Thunder in place of the Sonics. History is when and where and who it happened to at the time. And at the time, they were the Seattle SuperSonics. And now, these guys are gonna be the Seattle SuperSonics. You can say its not the same team (but other than "lineage" what is the same about the Thunder and the entirity past Sonics?) and that they're another "edition" of the Sonics, but it still remains that they're the Seattle SuperSonics and the OKC Thunder are the OKC Thunder. Basically the old Sonics were a chapter and the new Sonics are a new chapter in the history of the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team.

I lost my train of though 2 or 3 times while writing that, so it's probably confusing.

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History, at the end of the day, is a very simple concept. It's the story of what happened. You don't get to skip the years 1866-1917 in an American history class just because it's not as monumental compared to the Civil War or WWI. You have to take it all, learn it all. It all happened, the good and bad, the significant and insignificant. It's all worthy. Same with the Kings' history. It's not illustrious, but it did happen. Saying "well it happened but it was underwhelming" is, again, missing the point. It happened, and it should be recognized. Having the Kings suddenly pretend to be the Sonics would lead to that history no longer being recognized.

That's about as plain as it gets. History tells us what happened. The franchise is sold and moves to another city. You just don't shed history off of your back and leave it from where you came. Historically, the Sonics 1.0 moved to OKC and became the Thunder. There was no expansion team that came out of nowhere and picked up a bunch of free-agents that were disbanded from the Sonics, the franchise moved from here to there. Same thing with the Kings - they are moving from Sacramento to Seattle. They are the same franchise. There is no disconnect that one disbanded and the other materialized, they are one and the same. What they choose to call themselves is something else, but to me it's dishonest and illogical to just take a franchise's history (meaning the banners, who played for them, etc.) like it was a commodity and just assign it elsewhere. OKC may not give a flip about Spencer Hayward, but Spencer Hayward is a piece of their franchise's fabric. Sure, he's a part of the city of Seattle's fabric too, but his historical legacy as it relates to the NBA resides with the Thunder franchise. I realize Seattle will celebrate Spencer Hayward, but only as a member of the team that existed in Seattle back then - Spencer Hayward is a jewel of Seattle but has nothing to do with this new Sonics franchise.

You're way, way overthinking things. A team/franchise is about the players and the city...haywood will be linked whichever nba team plays in seattle as the sonics. The Sonics, Browns, etc. are just reincarnated. Thats the way to look at it. A few moving fans full of stuff doesn't change that.

I don't know, does anyone associate Johnny Unitas to the Ravens? The city of Baltimore, yes, but not the Ravens.

The issue with this is the identity. No one should (although some do) associate Jackie Robinson with the New York Mets, even if they are in essense the Dodgers' replacement. But... had the Colts changed their name to the Indianapolis Fighting Ears of Corn when they moved, and then the new Baltimore team was called the Baltimore Colts, then you would associate Unitas to that team. Its all about the identity of the franchise. NFL's made up history or not, people still associate Jim Brown with the current Cleveland Browns team, in the same way people will associate Shawn Kemp with the new Sonics, BUT they don't think about Larry Johnson with the Bobcats, but will if they rebrand to the Hornets. In my opinion the VISUAL and FAN history belongs with the branding of the team, although the official record books should reflect what really happened.
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This response was over in the Pelicans thread, it sums it up quite nicely.

It's all well and good to remember all the championships from your city, and for one team to acknowledge the championships of its predecesor. But franchise continuity is important; and it's just wrong to ignore this. I can't imagine how a fan of a team can be completely uninterested in the team's history. The fact that the Nationals came from Montreal is part of your team's history; it should indeed mean something to you.

Over the weekend I was watching some baseball stuff on YouTube. I stumbled onto this clip from the 1972 World Series, which was the first Series that I saw.

That clip has the opening of the NBC telecast and the player intros from Game 1 at Oakland. Check out what happens at 11:10 -- they have Lefty Grove throw out the first ball. Grove is introduced with a reference to 1931, which the stadium announcer says is the last year that the A's were in the World Series.

I had this thread in mind when I watched the clip, and was happy to see the acknowledgement of franchise continuity. I was also reminded of Roy Campanella Day, which took place at the LA Coliseum (where Campanella never played) in 1959, and which held the mark of the highest attendance at a baseball game until the recent Dodger-Red Sox exhibition game there that drew over 100,000.

These things represent the right attitude towards franchise continuity, as does the Warren Spahn statue in Atlanta, the games in which the Orioles wore St. Louis Browns uniforms, the games in which the Texas Rangers wore Washington Senators uniforms, the games in which the LA Clippers wore Buffalo Braves uniforms, the games in which the Kansas City Chiefs wore Dallas Texans uniforms, and so on. To a sports fan, games are not ephemeral; they represent chapters in a decades-long story. If we don't acknowledge and respect history, then we lose much of what we perceive as the meaning of sports.

In short: history matters.

I agree. Which is why in this case, when we've got a book with over 70 chapters potentially moving to Seattle, the Seattle chapters should be added to that book, not replaced with someone else's book. Just like they did in Winnipeg. Sure Winnipeg is named the Jets, but the Jets in Winnipeg are just chapters in the book that started in Atlanta, not the old Jets book which continues in Phoenix.

The only exceptions that work are the very narrow one in the Brown and Earthquakes case where they knew the team's history is going to be continuing in the very near future (as both Cleveland and San Jose were promised expansion teams when the existing teams moved) so pressing the pause button and leaving the history behind made sense. Those "books" weren't ending, so the moved teams started new books in Baltimore and Houston.

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I don't think Seattle would accept anything other than SuperSonics.

I miss this guy...

seattle-supersonics.jpg

This is easily the most life-like mascot in sports. You could throw this guy in the middle of the wilderness and someone would believe it's bigfoot. I mean, if you put the Pistons' Hooper in a farmyard, no one is going to mistake him for a horse.

San Jose is a long commute.

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My votes:

Name - SuperSonics

Colors - Kelly Green and Yellow

Logo - Slightly updated/refined version of the basketball/skyline

Uniforms - Slightly updated/refined version of the '79 championship era look

Please DO NOT USE the Shultz era logo or look as that is a chapter we all want to forget.

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History, at the end of the day, is a very simple concept. It's the story of what happened. You don't get to skip the years 1866-1917 in an American history class just because it's not as monumental compared to the Civil War or WWI. You have to take it all, learn it all. It all happened, the good and bad, the significant and insignificant. It's all worthy. Same with the Kings' history. It's not illustrious, but it did happen. Saying "well it happened but it was underwhelming" is, again, missing the point. It happened, and it should be recognized. Having the Kings suddenly pretend to be the Sonics would lead to that history no longer being recognized.

That's about as plain as it gets. History tells us what happened. The franchise is sold and moves to another city. You just don't shed history off of your back and leave it from where you came. Historically, the Sonics 1.0 moved to OKC and became the Thunder. There was no expansion team that came out of nowhere and picked up a bunch of free-agents that were disbanded from the Sonics, the franchise moved from here to there. Same thing with the Kings - they are moving from Sacramento to Seattle. They are the same franchise. There is no disconnect that one disbanded and the other materialized, they are one and the same. What they choose to call themselves is something else, but to me it's dishonest and illogical to just take a franchise's history (meaning the banners, who played for them, etc.) like it was a commodity and just assign it elsewhere. OKC may not give a flip about Spencer Hayward, but Spencer Hayward is a piece of their franchise's fabric. Sure, he's a part of the city of Seattle's fabric too, but his historical legacy as it relates to the NBA resides with the Thunder franchise. I realize Seattle will celebrate Spencer Hayward, but only as a member of the team that existed in Seattle back then - Spencer Hayward is a jewel of Seattle but has nothing to do with this new Sonics franchise.

History also tells us that the Seattle SuperSonics won the 1979 NBA Championship, not the Oklahoma City Thunder. History tells us that Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton played for the Seattle SuperSonics, not the Oklahoma City Thunder. Basically saying everything transferred to OKC with the current team while only being a technicality in the history of Seattle sports would also be going against history. All those things that happened with the team, happened in Seattle as the SuperSonics, not in OKC as the Thunder. Otherwise you're rewriting history with the Thunder in place of the Sonics. History is when and where and who it happened to at the time. And at the time, they were the Seattle SuperSonics. And now, these guys are gonna be the Seattle SuperSonics. You can say its not the same team (but other than "lineage" what is the same about the Thunder and the entirity past Sonics?) and that they're another "edition" of the Sonics, but it still remains that they're the Seattle SuperSonics and the OKC Thunder are the OKC Thunder. Basically the old Sonics were a chapter and the new Sonics are a new chapter in the history of the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team.

I lost my train of though 2 or 3 times while writing that, so it's probably confusing.

I hear what you're saying but Seattle sports history and the history of the OKC franchise are two separate things. Seattle sports history celebrates the 1979 NBA Championship of the franchise that now resides in OKC - it was won in Seattle by the then-Super Sonics. Doesn't mean you're a fan of the OKC Thunder, but that franchise holds the lineage as it pertains to the team that won it all in 79. Seattle, and rightfully so, continues to celebrate their 1979 NBA Championship.

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Did Jim Brown play for the Ravens?

Well not according to the NFL. If we look at what happened, though, he played for a team called the Cleveland Browns which is now operating as the Baltimore Ravens. The current Browns, despite what the NFL says, began play in 1999. Jim Brown never played for that organization.

History also tells us that the Seattle SuperSonics won the 1979 NBA Championship, not the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It's the same thing with the Jim Brown example. The Thunder won the 1979 NBA Championship. They were just operating as the Seattle SuperSonics at the time. Same team, different location and name.

As confusing as all this stuff is, at least it represents a populist spirit. "That team's history belongs to the owner!" is like the wikipedia editor's version of "they assume all the risk!"

How, exactly? I think you're really stretching for an allusion that's not there.

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