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Seattle in NBA again (maybe) - The Branding Discussion


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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 did not get confused because you get it at least the way I see it

And that is all that matters. :lol:

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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.

You mean, in the way that when the Washington Senators relocated to Minneapolis for 1961 and was replaced by a second Washington Senators franchise, the new Sens took over the original's legacy and the Twins acted like an expansion team. Oh... wait...

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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.

You mean, in the way that when the Washington Senators relocated to Minneapolis for 1961 and was replaced by a second Washington Senators franchise, the new Sens took over the original's legacy and the Twins acted like an expansion team. Oh... wait...

The mention of the Washington Senators is completely on point: the Senators/Twins and the Senators/Rangers are two separate franchises.

In 1973, the first year that I collected baseball cards, Topps put teams' single-season records on the back of the team picture cards. And, here is how they presented the Twins and the Rangers:

topps1973twinssenatorsl.png

topps1973rangerssenator.png

This is the right way to do it: "Senators & Twins" and "Senators & Rangers". So, in the Twins' franchise's career leaders, Walter Johnson appears as the record holder in many pitching categories; and the list of pennant winners shows the Senators' and the Twins' championships in the same list. And rightfully so, because it's one franchise; and the Senators/Rangers are another.

This is the model that should be followed in the Sonics' case, so that we consider the original Sonics one franchise, and the Royals/Kings/Sonics a different one, just as the NHL is doing with respect to the two Winnipeg Jets teams.

It's important to remember that acknowledging the reality of franchise continuity was the unquestioned norm in all sports. No one would have thought to handle a team's move any differently until the NFL and the Cleveland Browns spit in the eye of history. That set an unfortunate precedent, which allowed the San Jose Earthquakes to dupiicate it. Let's hope that we don't see any more examples of this kind of playing "let's pretend" with the facts of history.

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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.


You mean, in the way that when the Washington Senators relocated to Minneapolis for 1961 and was replaced by a second Washington Senators franchise, the new Sens took over the original's legacy and the Twins acted like an expansion team. Oh... wait...


The mention of the Washington Senators is completely on point: the Senators/Twins and the Senators/Rangers are two separate franchises.

In 1973, the first year that I collected baseball cards, Topps put teams' single-season records on the back of the team picture cards. And, here is how they presented the Twins and the Rangers:



This is the right way to do it: "Senators & Twins" and "Senators & Rangers". So, in the Twins' franchise's career leaders, Walter Johnson appears as the record holder in many pitching categories; and the list of pennant winners shows the Senators' and the Twins' championships in the same list. And rightfully so, because it's one franchise; and the Senators/Rangers are another.

This is the model that should be followed in the Sonics' case, so that we consider the original Sonics one franchise, and the Royals/Kings/Sonics a different one, just as the NHL is doing with respect to the two Winnipeg Jets teams.

It's important to remember that acknowledging the reality of franchise continuity was the unquestioned norm in all sports. No one would have thought to handle a team's move any differently until the NFL and the Cleveland Browns spit in the eye of history. That set an unfortunate precedent, which allowed the San Jose Earthquakes to dupiicate it. Let's hope that we don't see any more examples of this kind of playing "let's pretend" with the facts of history.


This is the gist of what I keep trying to say. Call 'em the Sonics. But don't pretend the move did not happen. That :censored:ing Cleveland Deal is :censored:ing everything up.
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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.

You mean, in the way that when the Washington Senators relocated to Minneapolis for 1961 and was replaced by a second Washington Senators franchise, the new Sens took over the original's legacy and the Twins acted like an expansion team. Oh... wait...

The mention of the Washington Senators is completely on point: the Senators/Twins and the Senators/Rangers are two separate franchises.

In 1973, the first year that I collected baseball cards, Topps put teams' single-season records on the back of the team picture cards. And, here is how they presented the Twins and the Rangers:

This is the right way to do it: "Senators & Twins" and "Senators & Rangers". So, in the Twins' franchise's career leaders, Walter Johnson appears as the record holder in many pitching categories; and the list of pennant winners shows the Senators' and the Twins' championships in the same list. And rightfully so, because it's one franchise; and the Senators/Rangers are another.

This is the model that should be followed in the Sonics' case, so that we consider the original Sonics one franchise, and the Royals/Kings/Sonics a different one, just as the NHL is doing with respect to the two Winnipeg Jets teams.

It's important to remember that acknowledging the reality of franchise continuity was the unquestioned norm in all sports. No one would have thought to handle a team's move any differently until the NFL and the Cleveland Browns spit in the eye of history. That set an unfortunate precedent, which allowed the San Jose Earthquakes to dupiicate it. Let's hope that we don't see any more examples of this kind of playing "let's pretend" with the facts of history.

This is the gist of what I keep trying to say. Call 'em the Sonics. But don't pretend the move did not happen. That :censored:ing Cleveland Deal is :censored:ing everything up.

I'm saying the exact same thing. As far as officIal stats record etc, don't make up stories. Call it as it actually happened. But that fans can decide who to identify with what franchise, what championships to "recognize". The twins and rangers and nationals are of course separate franchises with their own records and stats.. But where does Walter Johnson's legacy live in the fans eyes? Where does Jim Browns , and where does Shawn Kemps?

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All Art Modell did was take the Browns' employees, nothing more. The Ravens began operation with a clean slate, like an expansion team, just with the employees of another team.

This is what should happen with every relocation. No Thunder fan will claim Gary Payton as one of their own, just like no Nationals fan claims Rusty Staub, no Coyotes fan claims Gordie Howe and no Ravens fan claims Jim Brown.

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All Art Modell did was take the Browns' employees, nothing more. The Ravens began operation with a clean slate, like an expansion team, just with the employees of another team.

This is what should happen with every relocation. No Thunder fan will claim Gary Payton as one of their own, just like no Nationals fan claims Rusty Staub, no Coyotes fan claims Gordie Howe and no Ravens fan claims Jim Brown.

Actually, he did more than that, the first couple of days they were actually referring to them as the Baltimore Browns. So he intended (and pulled off) to relocate the Cleveland Browns franchise to Baltimore. It was only after Cleveland raised a stink that the NFL worked with Modell to give up the colors and the history. But make no mistake, the team that moved to Baltimore was the original Cleveland Browns.

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You SuperSonic haters continue to crack me up. Seattle SuperSonics' history is clearly Seattle's history just like anything else that happened in Seattle is. You can't rewrite it to say OKC won the '79 championship. Come on.

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You SuperSonic haters continue to crack me up. Seattle SuperSonics' history is clearly Seattle's history just like anything else that happened in Seattle is. You can't rewrite it to say OKC won the '79 championship. Come on.

Who's a Super Sonics hater? Not me. It belongs to the city of Seattle and to the franchise that actually won it. Which happens to reside in OKC. My issue is assigning that history to the new Sonics team.

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Actually, he did more than that, the first couple of days they were actually referring to them as the Baltimore Browns. So he intended (and pulled off) to relocate the Cleveland Browns franchise to Baltimore. It was only after Cleveland raised a stink that the NFL worked with Modell to give up the colors and the history. But make no mistake, the team that moved to Baltimore was the original Cleveland Browns.

They certainly tried to move the franchise and referred to them as the Baltimore Browns...until Cleveland managed to kill that. The fact is he didn't pull off relocating the franchise. He pulled off creating a spin-off expansion franchise out of the old Browns...and Cleveland salvaged a compromise by keeping the franchise but losing the team for a few years. A unique solution that happened during that offseason - and one that really limits comparison to the after-the-fact renamings we're seeing today.

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They were only referred to as the "Baltimore Browns" for a very short time. It was during the 1995 NFL season if I recall in Baltimore when they had Announced the team was moving and shortly there after. Before long Cleveland and the NFL had come to a compromise.

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You SuperSonic haters continue to crack me up. Seattle SuperSonics' history is clearly Seattle's history just like anything else that happened in Seattle is. You can't rewrite it to say OKC won the '79 championship. Come on.

We're not "SuperSonic haters". Pretending like sports teams are anything more than businesses looking out primarily for themselves is just naive. Nobody is saying that the OKC Thunder won the 1979 championship, but that franchise did. The history books still say the Sonics won, but that will be a different Sonics team than the one that will be playing next year. That original franchise also moved in 2008 from Seattle to OKC and became the Thunder. One day Kevin Durant will break Gary Payton's record for points. If the teams belonged to the cities, then Durant would get shipped back up to Seattle next year since the Sonics drafted him. That's obviously ridiculous, just like the whole situation of renaming teams we have right now. Nobody is trying to take away the memories of people in Seattle about their beloved Sonics, we're just asking that you recognize that these new Sonics aren't the same ones that won the 1979 championship. If you want to see how to do it right, look at Winnipeg. They don't pretend to be the team that Bobby Hull played for, but they've been able to do a great job carving out their spot as the new Jets.

:censored: the Cleveland deal. That thing took something that made sense and was fairly easy to follow and made team histories more twisted than an elementary school history book in a communist dictatorship.

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I've always felt that a team's history is so closely intertwined with the city in which the history was made that it can't just be moved. Ask Gary Payton what it was like to play in the Finals for the "Thunder" and he'll talk about Seattle and the crowds and Key Arena and all the love the team got from the city. And vice versa, ask some OKC fans what Nate McMillian and Detlef Schrempf meant to them and they'll yawn and say "who?" The Seattle SuperSonics (and all pro teams) are more than just "franchises". They are imbedded deep in their city's history and culture.

Sports teams are more than a business. They just are. Any fan can understand it. It might be harder to see if you are in New York or Boston or Chicago or a city that doesn't have to worry about relocation the way other markets do, but trust me that its true. The Sonics (the business) left Seattle and became the Thunder. But the history didn't leave. History stays where it is made. And the Sonics (the team) didn't leave, it died. If and when the Sonics return to Seattle they should open their record books right where they left off.

I agree that its important to awknowlege your team's origins, and respect that, and honor that. The Thunder will ALWAYS be the team that relocated from Seattle. But thats it. The "new" Sonics will have come from Sacramento. But that doesn't mean the city of Seattle will have to be bitter and jaded about the 2001 Western Conference Finals. Its a fine line, I know. But I'm of the mindset that history stays where it is made. And Kevin Durant will never break Gary Payton's franchise record, but he should already own all of the Thunder's franchise records.

That's all fine. But the history as you're alluding to belong to two separate franchises. I don't think anyone's disputing that, it's this notion that the old Kings becoming the new Sonics can just ditch their history and leave it behind without any acknowledgement. The new Sonics are the old Kings whether anyone in Seattle wants to celebrate it or not. And the new Sonics are not the old Sonics. Seattle's history is separate from the franchise's history. Seattle is free to celebrate what they want, but it doesn't change the franchise's history.

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If the Kings Relocate to Seattle, then the Raptors will more than likely end up in either Kansas City, St. Louis, or Louisville.

MLSE is not selling or moving the Raptors.

All Art Modell did was take the Browns' employees, nothing more. The Ravens began operation with a clean slate, like an expansion team, just with the employees of another team.

This is what should happen with every relocation. No Thunder fan will claim Gary Payton as one of their own, just like no Nationals fan claims Rusty Staub, no Coyotes fan claims Gordie Howe and no Ravens fan claims Jim Brown.

He did try to take the name and colors with him. It was a lawsuit that stopped him.

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This situation will definetely let the statistitians have more fun as we are likely to see double records, namely someone will become Thunder franchise all-time leader or Seattle basketball all-time leader. People nowadays have access to such vast quantity of information and it is less than a fart for the computers. We have basically observed it year with Messi's all-time scoring record. Nobody was ever talking about Gerd Muller's record until the end of last year, especially since some of his goals came from semi-friendly league cup. People want to feel that they are a part of the history and the internet will give it to them.

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You SuperSonic haters continue to crack me up. Seattle SuperSonics' history is clearly Seattle's history just like anything else that happened in Seattle is. You can't rewrite it to say OKC won the '79 championship. Come on.

No, but we can say that franchise won it when it was in Seattle.

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