By Jim Moore
I first heard the news about Chris Hansen’s purchase of the Sacramento Kings via text from Jessamyn McIntyre Sunday night.
I went straight to our home computer to read the ESPN.com story about the transaction and printed it out. I took the printout upstairs to show my 8-year-old kids that the NBA was indeed coming back to Seattle.
The Go 2 Guy can’t wait for his twin sons to switch allegiances when the Kings become the Sonics. (AP)
I loved seeing the looks on their faces Sunday night and Monday morning when I showed them the headlines in The Seattle Times.
We all have our own reasons why we’re excited about the rebirth of the Sonics this fall when the green and gold plays home games again at KeyArena.
It’s been a weird deal for me. I was 10 years old and thrilled to death when the Sonics came to town in 1967. As I’ve mentioned before, I dreamed of growing up and covering the Sonics as a sportswriter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
To be able to do that from 1990-96 was the highlight of my career. But in the last five or six years that the Sonics were here, my love for the NBA waned. I’m not sure why I got burned out on the Sonics and the NBA, but I did. I became more interested in college basketball.
Personally, I admit to not really missing the Sonics at first. But then my 8-year-olds got into the NBA by playing Xbox video games. They know all of the players on all of the teams. It reminded me of me at their age and it rekindled my passion for the NBA.
They have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook Fathead posters on their bedroom wall. They absolutely love the OKC stars, and it kills me to think that Durant and Westbrook could be playing here. Their hero worship would be off the charts if that were the case.
I took them to Portland to see the Thunder play the Blazers a week and a half ago. They wore their Thunder jerseys and cheered all night long for Durant and Westbrook. They were mini-me’s, taking me back 45 years to a time when I worshiped Bob Rule and Bob Weiss and Plummer Lott and Tommy Kron and Tom Meschery and Walt Hazzard and Henry Akin on the first Sonics team.
Thanks to my kids, I’ve gone full circle. Now I can’t wait for the Kings to get here. We’ve talked about it a lot. I told Mikey and Stevie that pretty soon, they’re going to like DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas more than Durant and Westbrook. They don’t think that’s possible, but I know that it is.
They’ll be wearing their Sonics jerseys, their Sonics caps and their Sonics shorts. They’ll be wearing Sonics headbands and trying to imitate Cousins’ moves in the paint and Thomas’ moves on the perimeter, just like I used to pretend I was Spencer Haywood and Lenny Wilkens in my gravel driveway in Redmond.
As it is right now, Mikey comes downstairs every morning and tells me who beat who in the NBA the night before and that so-and-so scored 35 points and that Klay Thompson had 18 for the Warriors. To my kids’ credit, Thompson is their third-favorite NBA player because of their Cougness.
This fall we’ll be watching and talking about the Sonics. We’ll be going to games at KeyArena. We’ll be sharing dad-and-kid moments, discussing and dissecting whatever happened in the latest Sonics game.
That’s all I’ve got. I didn’t plan to get sappy about the return of a pro basketball team. Some of you will understand my feelings, some of you won’t, and that’s fine – if I didn’t have kids, it might not be that big of a deal to me either.
But for everyone who is jacked up about the return of the Sonics, I get it. I’m right there with you.
Opening night will be unlike anything we’ve seen in Seattle in a long time.