Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Roundtable: Introducing the Seattle ___________

Just some Pearl Jam shoes in Supersonics colors. (

BDD's Friday Roundtable is a weekly discussion among three of our writers on a trending NBA or college basketball topic.

This week's question: With this week's revelation that the Kings franchise will relocate to Seattle after a long-overdue sale by the Maloof ownership, what will the team be named as the NBA returns to Washington state? Kings, Supersonics or something else?

Kyle Davis: 
The right thing to do for the city of Seattle would be to return the Sonics (or go old-school with Supersonics) nickname and logo to the new team. That way, maybe the last four years will just seem like a bad nightmare for that fan base. Owner Clay Bennett, who took the Sonics from Seattle to Oklahoma City, left the brand, name and logo behind to start fresh, so Seattle might as well reclaim what is synonymous with Seattle and start a new chapter with an already recognizable name.

I get it. Maybe Seattle fans don't want to be reminded of their franchise being uprooted every time they watch a game. The simple solution would be to take the Kings' name. Sacramento kept it when the team moved there from Kansas City. It would just be carrying on the tradition.

Starting fresh is always an option, too. That's the route Oklahoma City took, and the Thunder name is quickly building its own legacy (that's what having Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on a team can do). It would never happen, but if Seattle fans wanted to have some fun, play off the "Zombie Sonics" name they lovingly gave to the Thunder. Call themselves the "Zombie Kings." The name is actually pretty bad ass. It's not only culturally relevant with America's love for zombie movies and shows, but sounds intimidating, which is what you strive for in a nickname. And think of the mascot potential. Who wouldn't want a zombie with a crown and sword standing on the baseline celebrating a 3-pointer? You're right, no one.

My final option may sound a bit strange, but let it soak in, because it actually fits Seattle perfectly. The new team name could be the Seattle Nirvana. Just hear me out. Not only do teams strive for a cultural relevance to their city (the Lakers were named in Minnesota, the Jazz in New Orleans) but Nirvana is the perfect way to encapsulate the mood and feeling of the fan base surrounding this team. For cultural relevance, you've got the reference to the most famous grunge band to come out of the city in Kurt Cobain's Nirvana. And not to get nerdy on you but Merriam-Webster says Nirvana also means a place that "transcends suffering" and is "a goal hoped for but apparently unattainable." You mean like how Seattle fans have felt for the past four years? They hoped a team would return to the city, but after losing the Sonics, the dream was still very far away. Plus, this new team will bring an end to the Seattle fan's suffering. Key Arena will again be a place of joy and love instead of pain and what used to be. It will be Nirvana.
Alex Skov:
Alliteration sounds good to the ears and Seattle Supersonics sounds swell (maybe not in this particular sentence, but it's generally nice). "Seattle Kings" is more of an ear drum rupturing scream. That could be due to unfamiliarity or knowing that, when settling the Western world, European royalty tended to focus on land east of the Mississippi River. It was tough to play an 82-game schedule before the advent of the internal combustion engine, after all.

Seattle's former NBA team had an all-time classic logo and it would be foolish to think that Chris Hansen, the primary proponent behind the new arena and acquiring a franchise, would not want to immediately connect the new franchise to its new home. Being that Hansen is both a businessman and a Seattle native, he will have to at least consider incorporating a portrayal of the Space Needle in the team's graphics, and some portion of him must wonder if a new visage would stack up to the one Seattle already knows.

Let me be abrupt: it won't. There is no chance. Money has been put up for the construction of a new arena and a very fast acquisition of a professional sports franchise. Compared to that, the cost of obtaining the Supersonics name will be minimal. They should go the extra inch and let fans air out the old green duds that have been collecting dust in a closet or pushed to the back of drawers. Or, yes, flecked with white face paint used to protest the relocation of a team they loved.

The name of a city's professional sports team usual has something to do with the town’s culture. The city of Seattle has a long and rich history that spans more than a hundred years that has spawned many traditions…or at least I assume they do. I really couldn’t tell you much about Seattle so I decided to just make some names up and then write the pro’s and cons about them.
The Microsofties
Pro: A great way to celebrate Bill Gates, the richest person from Seattle, and formerly of the world itself.  
Con: Not as hip as Apple anymore.
The Pearl Jammers
Pro: Seattle is known for its alternative music, so just like the Jazz (before they moved to Utah where there is probably little Jazz) it makes sense to name a team after it.
Con: I think Eddie Vedder is a Chicago Bulls fan.
The Double Lattes
Pro: Celebrate Starbucks, another famous franchise started in Seattle.
Con: Getting fans hyped up on caffeine for four quarters might have mixed results.
The Vampires
Pro: A great way to cash in on the Twilight books, which were set in Washington, and the nation’s obsession with vampires.
Con: Too many 14-year-old girls at games.

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