No Heat hate in Seattle, where spurned SuperSonics fans openly root for Miami
But it should not go without saying that most NBA fans outside Miami hate the Heat. It's not true. In Seattle, for instance, that endangered species called Seattle Supersonics fans are openly rooting for the defeat of the team that brusquely relocated on them in 2008, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
SuperSonics fans -- is that what you prefer to be called? Or would be prefer to be called "Sonics fans"? Please realize, I'm just trying to be respectful and properly retro here.
The animosity is directed mostly towards Thunder owner Clay Bennett. Bennett bought the Sonics in 2006, did not get his free $500 million arena in Seattle, and promptly moved the franchise to Oklahoma City. Now Bennett has that franchise in the NBA Finals, and the city of Seattle seems like they will collectively throw up in their mouth a little should Bennett win a trophy with their dearly departed basketball team.
Seattle's hatred of the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise is both understandable and charmingly hilarious. "If I saw Thunder owner/Sonic hijacker Clayton Bennett approaching on foot, I would cold-cock him, consequences be damned," writes Mike Seely in the Seattle Weekly.
You can publish a threat of physical violence toward Clay Bennett in Seattle, and nothing bad will happen to you! That is just awesome.
Danny O'Neil writes in the Seattle Times, "My favorite team in this year's NBA playoffs has been anyone playing the Thunder, but even that doesn't quite capture the emotional desperation of my fear that the franchise formerly known as the Sonics is going to win the title this year."
"I couldn't care less about all the artificial ingredients that have been superglued together in Miami because I can't stomach the alternative that has grown organically in Oklahoma," O'Neil says, capturing the mood among Sonics Nation.
The comments in that article are some of the most delightful animus you will read today. "I'm rooting that the NBA collapses into ruin," says one, "Other than that, I guess I'd rather see the Heat win than the Thunder."
Another vents, "Now after a few years I have to watch a bunch of mouth-breathing, woven belt wearing, light baby blue jean having, melon heads celebrate a championship in their Stripmall USA city?"
Many fans sympathize with Cleveland Cavaliers fans, whom LeBron James spurned to take his you-know-whats to you-know-where. Adam Brown, a Seattle filmmaker who co-produced the documentary "SonicsGate" argues that Sonics fans were given a far more raw deal.
"In 'The Decision', (Cleveland) lost one superstar player,” Brown told ESPN's J.A. Adande. “In Seattle, we lost an equal superstar player in Kevin Durant and our entire franchise with a 41-year history."
To be fair, there is a move afoot to put an NBA franchise in Seattle. Seattle mayor Mike McGinn met with NBA commissioner David Stern for that very reason earlier this week.
Seattle certainly ought to have an NBA franchise. The Sonics played in Seattle for 41 years, winning one title. Seattle fans are notoriously noise-making and rowdy. And they even show up for the beginning of the first quarter of a game.