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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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July 2, 2008 5:23 PM

Will Sonics move help Huskies?

Posted by Bob Condotta

In case you haven't heard, the Sonics are gone.

That leaves the Huskies as the highest-level men's basketball attraction in the city of Seattle and the question before you today is whether there is any positive in that for UW.

You won't hear anyone at the school say that, certainly not publicly anyway, though I know some there think it could help. "There is some advantage to being the only game in town,'' one person close to the program told me once.

I kind of have the belief that just about anything can be perceived to be good for a program if things are going well, and just about anything can be perceived as bad if things aren't going well. In other words, if the coaches recruit the right players and coach them well, I'm not sure it matters much if there is an NBA team here or not. The Huskies went to their lone Final Four in 1953 back before Seattle was a pro town in any way, and have alternately had some of their best and worst seasons since the arrival of the Sonics in 1967.

The most notable impact could be some added media attention on the team, which often played second fiddle on night when the Sonics also were in action. I'm not sure how much it will help ticket sales as most around UW generally think the audiences for the Huskies and the pro teams are pretty different --- and that UW's crowds are impacted most by winning, just like anyone else's.

But in the short term, there could be a bump as fans who need a fix for their Basketball Jones won't have a lot of other options (although don't forget that Seattle University is now going Division-I and certainly the timing for that move looks pretty fortuitous now).

But I'm curious to know what you think.

Mostly, I just feel sad that the first pro team I ever really followed is now just memories. Even if they bring another team here and call it the Sonics, it won't be the same --- I think there's some value in the whole six degrees of separation thing, that you can trace Kevin Durant back to Bob Rule.

I'm glad, however, I took the whole family to the last home game against Dallas in April. We'd never done that before mostly because I have two young boys and it just hadn't seemed time yet. They really enjoyed it and wanted to go back to games next year, a chance they won't have now. They've already asked me who's to blame and I just told them what I really feel ---- everybody involved. They all blew it --- Stern, Schultz, Bennett, Gregoire, Nickels. Anything they say today rings hallow to me.

It does, however, point out the one big advantage to selling your athletic fandom soul to a college team --- for better or worse, they aren't ever going to pack up and move to another city.

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Posted by Scott

6:01 PM, Jul 02, 2008

I'm a 10 year season ticket holder, but ever since Mac 10 left, my heart hasn't been in to it. Mostly because the brand of hoops they brought to the court stunk.

As for it will never be thew same, I disagree. Bring back a Kemp/Payton type duo and I'm back. I felt no attachment to the current crew of Sonics.

Posted by mattysimone

6:02 PM, Jul 02, 2008

I thought it was interesting that the mayor kept sayin there gonna put seattle U in there as much as possible. good for sea U! Id love to see that program rise again

Posted by Scott

6:04 PM, Jul 02, 2008

Oh... and I think it will have no net impact on the Dawgs. Some kids may loose interest in the town and choose to go to other areas to play ball. But the program may get more attention having them gone. I'm sure we could bring in some economists to argue both sides.

Posted by GU fan in AZ

6:32 PM, Jul 02, 2008

Does anyone know what conference Seattle U is going to join?

Posted by CG

6:58 PM, Jul 02, 2008

Bob - normally I agree with you, but your comment on a "new sonics" not being the same is groundless. There are no players on the current roster that the fan base is unequivocally attached to. Whatever reincarnation of the Sonics comes will have the same colors, the same logos, the same names in the rafters, etc. Look at Cleveland - the Browns were much more of a religion to that fan base and, when they returned, it was like they never left.

Posted by AZ Dawg

7:40 PM, Jul 02, 2008

If players like Brockman and Pondexter got an opportunity to play pick up games with some of the Sonic players in the offseason I see that as a benefit to the program that is now lost - but that's it.

Posted by keego27

7:44 PM, Jul 02, 2008

What about Seattle U becoming D1? I heard they will be playing their games at Key and if they bring in some good competition and a few big name schools i think it could help them more than the huskies.

Posted by Beabschmeav

9:05 PM, Jul 02, 2008

"It does, however, point out the one big advantage to selling your athletic fandom soul to a college team --- for better or worse, they aren't ever going to pack up and move to another city."

For better or worse? How can it possibly be worse than the NBA?

Posted by fipsy

9:28 PM, Jul 02, 2008

Bob- what is going to happen to all the empty slots on fsn that were for sonics games? are they gonna show blazers games or more college games? or just re-runs of northwest top 10?

Posted by ByeByeClay

9:38 PM, Jul 02, 2008

No impact. Basketball junkies already follow both. Good riddance to the NBA, why would we ever get back in bed with them?
Upgrade KeyArena for NHL hockey.

Posted by action

9:58 PM, Jul 02, 2008

Great post Bob. The last two paragraphs really resonated in my heart. I think that having a pro team in the area helps a basketball program. After all it was the efforts of George Carl that spawned a greater interest in hoops that led to some of the FOH stars such as Spencer Hawes, Martell Webster, Jon Brockman etc. Local pro teams generate greater interest in hoops overall, which benefits a college program by enriching the local talent base. Plus when folks fall in love with basketball, they tend to gravitate to college hoops as well as pro hoops. I worry that when the Sonics leave Seattle will become apathetic to basketball in general, which would be bad for the Huskies.

Posted by Huskiebob

10:05 PM, Jul 02, 2008

I have just become a Trailblazer fan and that is easy to do with Brandon and Martell there. The Blazers are the biggest winner now being the only NBA team in the Northwest.

I will vote against Gregoire for ducking this issue and doing nothing and do not live in Seattle so I can't vote out Nickles, Licata, etc who should all be looking for employment after their next election.

As for the Huskies, go Dawgs. They are still the best game in town and the fans there care.

Posted by Menelaus

10:06 PM, Jul 02, 2008

Bob, I think that's sweet that you took your kids to the Key for the final game, but I think that if the last four years have taught me anything about Seattle sports, it's that I don't wish this kind of pain on anyone.... let alone a defenseless child. Why can't we WANT to raise our kids to be Seattle fans instead of being afraid to introduce them to a life of misery?

Posted by Ken

10:21 PM, Jul 02, 2008


Will you be splitting the UW gig with Percy? He's good a basketball coverage.

Posted by UWHuskytskeet

11:07 PM, Jul 02, 2008

Disgusting to even discuss right now Bob. Have a little sympathy.

Posted by bob789

11:25 PM, Jul 02, 2008

Call Mr. David Stern and tell him what you feel! 212-407-8300. And if you actually call the number, post your comments here that you did so that other people will do it also!

Posted by pheel

12:19 AM, Jul 03, 2008

As a season ticket holder who has been moved as far back as possible and into the corner, I would rather all the big money be spent on Sonic tickets.

Posted by MT Husky

6:47 AM, Jul 03, 2008

Really related to, agreed with and enjoyed your comments Bob. Well done.

Posted by patience

8:14 AM, Jul 03, 2008

its going to good for the huskies especially if they are winning. expect the tyee reps to be out there hustling corporate ticket sales as some businesses around the area will undoubtabley buy some season seats. not to mention aome of the hard core fans in the general public will probably step up as well. all in all i expect a rather large influx of season ticket sales.

as a season ticket holder, i'm not happy that the big dollar corporate sponsers will push many long term fans seats (including myself) up towards the rafters as the tyee point system rewards monetary donations.

this is a seating reallocation year and ticket renewals are deadlined in 12 days so good chance its not going to impact as much this year as it will later.

when the dawgs start winning again the bandwagon is going to get very full! look for all the sports columnists to start writing about the joy in "discovering" husky basketball

Posted by Stern - The ass end of a vessel

8:22 AM, Jul 03, 2008

I would hardly call Bob's comment about a new Sonic team 'not being the same' groundless. It might be groundless for some. But not for me. I would not support the NBA after getting kicked in the teeth by them. Their business practices have been exposed as absolutely shoddy. I don't go back to the restaurant that gave me food poisoning. I don't go back to the contractor who screwed up the addition on my house. And I don't go back to the NBA.

Posted by StumpDawg

8:23 AM, Jul 03, 2008

There were three steps taken by the Sonics that lost me - trading GP, pushing away Nate, and selling to Bennett.

Around the same time, the Blazers did three things that won me - hiring Nate, dumping Whitsett, and trading for BRoy. I haven't followed the NBA this close since the 90s.

Bob - your second to last sentence absolutely nails it. That's why it will never be the same.

Posted by old timer

9:05 AM, Jul 03, 2008

I've always thought that a college recruit with pro potential would like to play ball in a town with a pro team. Who wouldn't want to watch the pros play in person, & maybe work out with them as well. I think having a good coach is way more important though. Big money is really changing the pro game. Big salaries, high ticket prices, the drive to build humongous state of the art arenas. It's just not the same.

Posted by gohuskies898

9:20 AM, Jul 03, 2008

I think it will have little impact. I can't see a Coug or a Duck that have been long time Sonic supports suddenly supporting the Huskies because they need a fix.

You might see a little more flow in Corporate funds but I can't see anything else. I don't think it will change recruiting etc. As for the person who said recruits probably want to go to towns that have Pro teams, I'll point out Duke, NC, UConn, Syracuse and a lot of other great teams that don't have Pro teams in their towns.

Posted by kr

10:59 AM, Jul 03, 2008

As a Husky and as a Blazer fan here in Portland, all I can say is that I'm incredibly disappointed in the NBA and sad for Seattle and all Sonics fans. Seattle vs Portland games were always great (well, when the Blazers won.)

Sorry Sonics fans - you were robbed.

Posted by patience's an A$$

11:25 AM, Jul 03, 2008

Oh my God, patience--UNDOUBTABLEY? Do you ay SUPPOSABLY as well.

Grammar and spelling errors on a blog are one thing, but malaprops by someone who comes across so educated is totally unacceptable!

Posted by MT Husky

12:05 PM, Jul 03, 2008

Professor Linguistics, how about misuse of the word 'malaprops', is that acceptable?

If you're going to start hammering other contributors then at least criticize appropriately .

If it isn't an actual word (i.e. undoutabley), then it isn't actually a malapropism - it is just an invented word.

I sure don't get the point or benefit of personally attacking someone's spelling, grammar or vocabulary creativity.

I'm sure 99% of the readers appropriately did not give the misspelling of 'undoubtedly' a 2nd thought.

Posted by rob

1:19 PM, Jul 03, 2008

I think it's a negative. I'm pretty sure they use the Sonics as a recruiting tool saying you will be able to interact at times with NBA players.

Posted by patience's an A$$

1:30 PM, Jul 03, 2008

MT: Actually it is according to my linguistics proferssor. When words become part of the vernacular or the lexicon, even if misused, they become malaprops because they are not the correct word.

So, why do I attack? because patience is a pompous, uneducated, know-it-all who attacks others. I don't paticularly enjoy it, but some deserve it. I would never attack you because I actaully have respect for what you say,your passion for Husky athletics, and what I perceive as a general respect for others and their opnions.

Hope that explains it!

Posted by patience's an A$$

1:36 PM, Jul 03, 2008

MT: And I love my spelling of professor LOL

Posted by Andy H

1:44 PM, Jul 03, 2008

Good comments Bob. I agree with you perfectly on who is to blame.

I'm jealous that your boys got to enjoy a Sonics game. My son is only 21 months so we haven't taken him to any sporting events yet, and he won't know the joy of Sonics basketball.

Posted by mattysimone

2:13 PM, Jul 03, 2008

I dont think not having a nba team here will affect the huskies or recruiting in anyway. Seattle has enough big name people that live here that kids still can interact with and not be hurt by the nba not being here. think how many former and current players are here in the summer hoopin at local venues. beside like someone else stated there are plenty of big name successful schools with no nbs teams near. gainsville is 2 hours from orlando.......didnt they just win to titles?

Posted by patience

2:43 PM, Jul 03, 2008

i have in the past attacked others: meathead, geno and cougfan.

i wonder why?

perhaps its because they are trolls, and they've spent the last two years here ON THE HUSKY board talking trash.

as a result, i've had to put each of them in their place and, of course, now all three of you are nowhere to be found. that's surprising and not surprising all at the same time. not surprising because, after all, trolls do eventually simply disappear (especially when their own teams nosedive like the mildcats and cougars). on the other hand its surprising because we all know meathead, geno, cougfan all share one secret desire:

they wish they were huskies!

meathead isn't around because of the jennings controversy. if jennings goes to UA after all, he'll start posting again.

don't expect to hear much from cougfan and geno this year as their team is going to stink!

Posted by KD is a sonic forever

2:52 PM, Jul 03, 2008

I think the success of the sonics in the mid 1990s has had a great impact in Seattle and the surrounding areas. It is evident by the sudden talent of players from the area especially the class of 2005. None of this would have been possible with George Karl setting up the AAU.

Posted by MT Husky

3:05 PM, Jul 03, 2008

patience, I think it is awfully unfair to lump Geno w/ Cougfan and Meathead...I enjoy Cougfan and Meathead's comments. They know their b-ball.

And Meathead doesn't need Jenning's to pass his SAT to talk trash, I'm surprised he hasn't lauded the verbal commits from Greg Smith and Mike Moser - both players Romar wanted...and I think Moser had narrowed it down to UW and UA before choosing UA. sounds like he would have been a terrific fit.

Posted by patience

3:32 PM, Jul 03, 2008

meatball, doesn't know basketball. he is simply a very well informed lute lemming.

remember this is the same meathead that was willing to wager ANYTHING that the huskies couldn't win 4 pac 10 games last season.

not that he pays when he loses...

as to cougfan, he's a cougar. that's all anybody needs to know!

Posted by Cougfan

4:13 PM, Jul 03, 2008

patience: you are absolutely correct. I am a Coug so I know nothing. That's why at the beginning of the season I predicted the Cougs would be anywhere between 10 and 15 and gee look where they ended up! I also predicted Stanford ahead of WSU and I predicted the UW EXACTLY where they ended up! I also said TB was not going anywhere. God, I know nothing!

Please enlighten me on the "nosedive" the Cougars have taken. First, they have yet to play a game; second, they just procured the best recruiting class in the school's history; third they kept their coach despite the fact he was courted by programs one of which is probably one of the top 10 in the country and LSU which has been pretty strong over the last 20 or so years. I think you predicted he would be gone, but I could be wrong.

Meatball can defend himself quite easily!

Next, enlighten me on the UofA nosedive! They have been to the tourney 20-some straight years and they could possibly be a top 10 team this year.

Your lack of knowledge and your continual insults on this board are sophomoric (and I don't mean college, but rather HS). I guarantee Meatball will be back win or lose as will I.

One of the reasons I don't post much is because there has not been much to say. I look every couple of days to see what people are thinking. Mattysimone, MT, and others. I certainly don't regard what you say wth any sense of enlightenment.

Whoever is calling you an ass is spot on. Nothing you say has added anything to this blog.

Posted by patience

5:41 PM, Jul 03, 2008


thanks for taking the time to post all the new info on the cougs basketball program. bennett is great, the recruiting class is great, blah, blah, blah ....

---rolling eyes---

this is the husky forum. get it? nobody but you and your brother geno come to this board to talk cougar bb.

i know that you cougs are sooooooo desperate for a husky to notice you that you feel compelled to hang around hoping for some form, any form of, acknowledgment. its okay. we understand. its the natural order of things, little guy.

however, since i've obviously hurt your feelings let me end by saying tb is a great young coach. the last couple of years he got stellar results from a team with very limited athletic ability. his teams play a disciplined (boring) but effective game. the run is over, however. its back to the back of the pac this season.

Posted by naterob4

7:39 PM, Jul 03, 2008

Here is my dream scenerio, with the first pick of the 2013 NBA draft the new Seattle Supersonics select G Tony Wroten Jr. University of Washington....that would be a dream come true!!!!!!!

Posted by FFFF

8:00 PM, Jul 03, 2008

Seattle always has the gay arts to follow. Don't be ashamed. It's OK. Embrace your cities strengths. You let a NBA team get away...

Follow UDUB basketball and football...both projected to be in the bottom of the PAC...Well, what's left? Mariners? Well, they are at the bottom too. Oh well, guess you should support "diversity".
What a pathetic bunch of self righteous elite idiots. Enjoy the memories mutha fuckas!

Posted by mattysimone

8:03 PM, Jul 03, 2008

dream is right....were not even in his top 5 right now...thats a quote from him.. The ville and maryland are in front. Id give anything to hear that though!

Posted by Stone

10:59 AM, Jul 04, 2008

Bob, you are right on about who's to blame for this fiasco.

As much as I HATE to see the Sonics go, I buy into your notion about more focus on the Husky Program. Without the media having to divide attention between the two biggest basketball attractions in town, the Husky stage becomes that much bigger.

I wonder if the Husky Athletic Department may occasionally try to use the Key Arena to showcase some big time games in attempting to attract more fans?

Posted by mattysimone

12:48 PM, Jul 04, 2008

bob do you think maybe we will start scheduling seattle u now that they are D1....that would be a nice short drive :)

Posted by fred

1:15 PM, Jul 04, 2008

women are already playing su next year.

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