Generic

Seattle in NBA again (maybe) - The Branding Discussion

Recommended Posts

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.

You're taking this personally, and missing the point entirely. If you think my position rests on any sort of "hatred" for the SuperSonics, their fans, or the city of Seattle you're dead wrong. Even if you were right about my motives (you're not) my supposed venom would be directed at the team, not you.

Then again you think you "own" something simply because you're a fan, so I shouldn't be surprised you're taking a perceived slight against a team as a personal insult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

I would disagree. When the new Sonics show up they should have the old Sonics history. They record book should read as if the franchise took a 5 year vacation, because that is essentially what they did. "They" being Seattle professional basketball. The new Sonics ARE the old Sonics. They are Seattle's team. What happens to Sacramento's franchise history? It is still history. It stays in the league record books. And it stays in the memories of the fans and players and coaches that spent time as a part of the Sacramento Kings. And should professional basketball ever return to Sacramento, their history and records pick up where they left off.

The "franchise" you're referring to is nothing more than a business office and some employees. They can do what they have to do. But that isn't what anyone cares about. As far as sports record keeping is concerned, the Thunder ought to be treated as an expansion team. The fact that they came from Seattle or that Kevin Durant played a year in Seattle should be nothing more than a footnote and a fun fact in 20 years. And the new Sonics are the old Sonics. And the Kings are dead until Sacramento is able to revive them.

At least that is how I think it should be done.

And few, if any, of the new Sonics are local to Seattle. Same could be said for the old. The concept of local fan ownership and sharing of the accomplishment accomplishment falls flat on its face when you assemble a team of mercenaries from across the world to play a sport to entertain you. This isn't the neighborhood club team of yesteryear and it never was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!"

In a lot of ways its true though. This isn't Europe; most of the teams were born after we started grabbing players from wherever to stock rosters. This isn't the neighborhood team clawing its way into the big leagues. It's a diversion that was set up for profit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!"

In a lot of ways its true though. This isn't Europe; most of the teams were born after we started grabbing players from wherever to stock rosters. This isn't the neighborhood team clawing its way into the big leagues. It's a diversion that was set up for profit.

But people still root for them because they don't have the other alternative. The same goes for the college teams. They might pretend that they are amateurs. But apart from the fact that the players not getting salaries, they are mercenaries as well.

Being a sport fan is a great experience. Gives you more dissapointemnt than joy but you've got something to discuss about in the pub or over the internet nowadays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being a sport fan is a great experience. Gives you more dissapointemnt than joy but you've got something to discuss about in the pub or over the internet nowadays.

I agree. It's a great experience. Let's not let it distort reality though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never been talking about distorting reality. Thunder can keep Sonics 1.0 records on Wikipedia but people of Seattle want green-gold Sonics so the owner will give it to them. Moreover, in my opinion the old Sonics numbers should be retired as well. It would feel ankward to see someone wearing #43 for example. The fans will always connect it with the big white guy who contributed to the championship run so it belongs to him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Chicago has actually seen it happen. Granted, it's a little different situation since there were still the Bears but there was still a relocation. The only difference was that after the Cardinals left their fans had a team still in their hometown to cheer against. All but one of the Packers fans I know from the Chicago area like the Packers because their grandparents used to be Cardinals fans before they moved. And I actually just found an article documenting how there are still people in Chicago that are still Cardinals fans to this day.

And Baltimore fans have warmed up nicely to the Ravens even though the Colts are wearing the exact same uniforms today in St. Louis as they did in Baltimore. Wild fans got to see the Stars lift the Cup in Dallas but have still embraced the Wild franchise well. There will always be people that wish their old team was back, but fans can always embrace a new team and should to keep from further muddying the histories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

You made some good points, but I just have to be a jerk: New York is home to the two most famous relocations of all time. And Boston and Chicago have had their share too. Although they have not been very recent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooklyn_Dodgers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Baseball_Giants

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

stuff

This guy gets it.

The Royals/Kings history doesn't have special ties to one city the way the Sonics or other franchises do. It's spread out over 4 cities across the country. Just leave that brand and lineage in limbo for some other team to claim next time the league expands or somebody moves. No need to make it Sacramento specific (especially considering the odds of the NBA going back there aren't great).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

stuff

This guy gets it.

The Royals/Kings history doesn't have special ties to one city the way the Sonics or other franchises do. It's spread out over 4 cities across the country. Just leave that brand and lineage in limbo for some other team to claim next time the league expands or somebody moves. No need to make it Sacramento specific (especially considering the odds of the NBA going back there aren't great).

Agree with this in terms of brand and fan-recognized history... but not official stats and record ala Browns. Maybe mot Sacramention, but a team might show up in Cincinnatti or Kansas City one day. So maybe they pick up the Kings/Royas legacy. And again this is only in a Nationals-style way, not in a Browns-style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

You're taking this personally, and missing the point entirely. If you think my position rests on any sort of "hatred" for the SuperSonics, their fans, or the city of Seattle you're dead wrong. Even if you were right about my motives (you're not) my supposed venom would be directed at the team, not you.

Then again you think you "own" something simply because you're a fan, so I shouldn't be surprised you're taking a perceived slight against a team as a personal insult.

Nothing personal on my part. I didn't even grow up in Seattle, I just happen to live here now.

I just find it difficult to comprehend why people can't understand that a team's history is tied forever to the city where that history was made. Likewise, I can't understand why people think a city where a team moves to would want anything to do with what that team did when they played in a different city.

Even in the most extreme scenario, let's say if the Boston Celtics relocated to Seattle, I wouldn't think anyone in Seattle would honestly think of those great old Celtic teams as "theirs". The franchise may technically be the same, but all that happened in Boston is Boston's alone. It would have nothing to do at all with Seattle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This got annoying very quickly. I guess pigs will need to fly before we can actually stick to what the title of a thread suggests. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So -- to those who don't want the Kings to take the Sonics name... what should they be called? Let's for example say "Kings" wasn't such a generic name that would work in Seattle. What if it were the Spurs that was moving to Seattle. What would you name the team then?

I guess my question is, are you saying that once the Sonics name is gone, its gone forever? No team can ever call themselves the Sonics. Not talking abou re-writing the record books, just talking about the Branding of the franchise.

Are you saying that the Baltimore Orioles never should have named their team that? Or Washington Nationals, Baltimore Bullets, Milwaukee Brewers.

Because it just seems to me the issue with that line of thinking is time. The Sonics and Hornets haven't been gone long enough to say "ok, we are naming a team AFTER a former team" it seems like people are saying "We need to replace our former team with this new team" And to me, even if that is the case, it should't prevent the team from doing it. Whats the difference if the Sonics have been gone 5 or 50 years?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This old argument again.

I'll state my case succinctly as a Nationals fan. MLB forcing DC fans to honor Gary Carter, Rusty Staub and Andre Dawson as if they ever played for a Washington team was ludicrous and insulting to the history of baseball that DID happen in Washington, DC. These were great players, but they were never Washington baseball players. Meanwhile, our stolen legacy had Walter Johnson - quite possibly the best pitcher of all-time - being recognized as if he had ever played an inning of major league ball in the Twin Cities. It made absolutely no sense.

Fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed and allowed the Nationals to place a focus on the Senators/Nationals of the past, not a group of players that never played a game in Washington and mean virtually nothing to the people who live there. The Expos' history is still in the record books, where it belongs, but if Montreal gets its team back, I would have ZERO problem with them taking all their history back - all the records, all the stats, and the claim to all the players who played in THEIR uniform. It would be insulting to Montreal for me to say otherwise.

I think the same thing here. If the Kings go to Seattle, let them honor the Sonics who played in their city before. Don't pretend that the Kings have anything to do with Seattle other than a tenuous connection through a bunch of business paperwork. And if Sacramento gets its team back, let the good fans of that city have their history back, or at least the ability to honor the players who played in their city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Thats it in a nutshell great job

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed and allowed the Nationals to place a focus on the Senators/Nationals of the past, not a group of players that never played a game in Washington and mean virtually nothing to the people who live there. The Expos' history is still in the record books, where it belongs, but if Montreal gets its team back, I would have ZERO problem with them taking all their history back - all the records, all the stats, and the claim to all the players who played in THEIR uniform. It would be insulting to Montreal for me to say otherwise.

Except now you pretend that this organization is a century old despite being actually founded in 1969 and playing in a completely different league as the other one. You also use a nickname nobody used for the bulk of said team you are ape-ing's existence except on the stationary. Which is actually kind of pitiful in a way.

Even in the most extreme scenario, let's say if the Boston Celtics relocated to Seattle, I wouldn't think anyone in Seattle would honestly think of those great old Celtic teams as "theirs". The franchise may technically be the same, but all that happened in Boston is Boston's alone. It would have nothing to do at all with Seattle.

As a Rams fan, I take great pride in the accomplishments and history of the Cleveland and Los Angeles Rams. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even in the most extreme scenario, let's say if the Boston Celtics relocated to Seattle, I wouldn't think anyone in Seattle would honestly think of those great old Celtic teams as "theirs". The franchise may technically be the same, but all that happened in Boston is Boston's alone. It would have nothing to do at all with Seattle.

As a Rams fan, I take great pride in the accomplishments and history of the Cleveland and Los Angeles Rams. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

e240217-1.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed and allowed the Nationals to place a focus on the Senators/Nationals of the past, not a group of players that never played a game in Washington and mean virtually nothing to the people who live there. The Expos' history is still in the record books, where it belongs, but if Montreal gets its team back, I would have ZERO problem with them taking all their history back - all the records, all the stats, and the claim to all the players who played in THEIR uniform. It would be insulting to Montreal for me to say otherwise.

Except now you pretend that this organization is a century old despite being actually founded in 1969 and playing in a completely different league as the other one. You also use a nickname nobody used for the bulk of said team you are ape-ing's existence except on the stationary. Which is actually kind of pitiful in a way.

Even in the most extreme scenario, let's say if the Boston Celtics relocated to Seattle, I wouldn't think anyone in Seattle would honestly think of those great old Celtic teams as "theirs". The franchise may technically be the same, but all that happened in Boston is Boston's alone. It would have nothing to do at all with Seattle.

As a Rams fan, I take great pride in the accomplishments and history of the Cleveland and Los Angeles Rams. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

You don't speak for all Rams fans, so please don't act like you do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even in the most extreme scenario, let's say if the Boston Celtics relocated to Seattle, I wouldn't think anyone in Seattle would honestly think of those great old Celtic teams as "theirs". The franchise may technically be the same, but all that happened in Boston is Boston's alone. It would have nothing to do at all with Seattle.

As a Rams fan, I take great pride in the accomplishments and history of the Cleveland and Los Angeles Rams. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

You don't speak for all Rams fans, so please don't act like you do.

1) hawk36 is speaking in broad terms with words like "anyone." The fact that rams80, a St. Louis Rams fan, cares about the team's history in previous markets shoots holes through his "fans don't care about what happened elsewhere" theory. I'd even say that hawk36's take on it is rather provincial and closed minded, while rams80's approach is more comprehensive.

2) I don't mean any offence, really, but do you speak for the Rams' fanbase as a whole? I mean what makes rams80's version of Rams fandom any less valid then yours? Further, how can you be positive that his feelings on the matter aren't held by the majority of the fandom?

3) If we assume that you're right, and St. Louis Rams fans by and large don't care about the team's accomplishments prior to St. Louis then why even bother with the Rams name, the blue and gold colour scheme, or the lineage at all? Just leave all of that in Cleveland if we're going by the idea that teams shouldn't take their histories and identities with them if they move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been an interesting discussion, and it's made me think. It seems like it should be a simple issue, but when you start examining the particulars, it can get complicated! As someone who grew up cheering for the Supersonics, it seemed cut and dried to me - the relocated team should be renamed the to the Supersonics, wear green and gold uniforms, and honor the history and records of the original Supersonics.

The way I look at it, if a team relocates and rebrands itself, the thread of the original team ends. I know the Minnesota franchise originated as the Washington Senators, but in my mind that iteration of the Senators ended in 1960, and the Twins began life in 1961. If a team moves and does not rebrand itself, it can claim all of its history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.