I'm going to be on the road back to New England most of the day tomorrow and won't check into my place until this one is well underway. Still I wanted to throw up an open game thread. I don't quite have enough time for a preview (for some reason the folks at Starbucks are looking at me funny) so that will have to wait until the Jazz game. But I did want to sound off on the Sonics. As someone who thoroughly enjoyed the Shawn Kemp era it bums me out. Granted I loved his entire catalog of work - Seattle, Cleveland, parenthood, Portland, even Orlando. But his time with the Sonics stands out, as it should. I still count Seattle's finals against the Bulls as one of those times that I just enjoyed basketball even with the state of the Celtics. For the record Spurs/Cavs was not one of those times, even though I'm a big Tim Duncan fan. But back to Seattle. I watched David Stern's press conference from All Star weekend when he coldly laid out the facts of the Sonics' future, or lack thereof, in Seattle. It was tough to watch, partly because it made me realize my fear of the man is not unjustified. But more importantly I thought, "Man Seattle is screwed." I just want to point out that I don't think a city should ever pay for a stadium. I love sports, probably too much. I wish I cared about more important aspects of life - politics or whatever - even half as much. But I don't. And even I don't think that cities should pay for teams. It's ludicrous. I've actually reached the point where I've begun thinking of ways to subtly ignore the Oklahoma City Sonics. Like in my open game threads I could say something like "Game #63 - Open Game Thread: Celtics vs. Team X". And I could only refer to the players by their numbers. Of course the big issue with this current team, which is awful by the way but probably has a bright future from a personnel stand point, is that Kevin Durant is in the mix. And they have the management, draft picks and contracts to make the right moves. Still the whole thing seems wrong. Sorry Oklahoma.
Anyways I want to see how Durant looks. I've watched him a bit this year but have heard a lot about his constant chucking and low shooting percentage. Basketball fans are rightly wondering if the mess that is the Sonics is stunting his growth as an NBA player. That's an interesting debate. If we've learned anything from the Kevin Garnett trade is that good players need to play with good players. We also learned that we're kind of slow because that is a pretty basic lesson. Regardless I wonder what would have happened had Durant wound up in Portland where they are young but have a great deal of camaraderie and do a lot of things the right way. This is not a knock on the Sonics coaching staff. The Blazers are just further along on the path than Seattle is right now. Hopefully it makes Durant better. Why? Well I realized the other night during the Celtics/Bulls game how much I hate it when potential goes unrealized. Granted I care about the Celtics first and foremost. But I like the NBA as a whole and want the league to do well. That's it for now. Go Celtics.