PDX feels for Seattle…and Sacramento
In case you’ve been under a rock, in a cave or otherwise absent of news this week, you’ve probably heard that the city of Seattle will not be getting an NBA team in 2014. This is awful news for the people of Seattle, but as members of the Great Northwest, Portlanders can commiserate.
If you’re a Portlander, you’ve been stuck in the middle—geographically speaking—of this ongoing saga. Sacramento and Seattle have been duking it out, and while you may not have a dog in the fight, you have to put yourself in each city’s shoes.
Sympathy for Seattle
When the Seattle Supersonics were ripped away from their original town, it was easy for fans in Portland to watch with sadness. Obviously, the sorrow never turned to anger as it did in the state of Washington, but nobody wants to lose a team that has meant so much to a city and its people.
Watching a player like Kevin Durant slip away is always hard—then again, Portland’s actually experienced that as well.
So while the people of Portlandia may have never watched an owner take their team and move away, it’s easy to put our feet in your shoes. Portland is a one-sport town—for the most part—and if the Trail Blazers ever leave, it’s going to be a ruthless fight to gain the return of what’s rightfully ours.
Empathy for Sacramento
As much as Portlanders feel for their neighbors to the north, watching Sacramento fight for its team is beyond noble. Seattleites can relate to that, and you have to feel for the people in the city that want nothing more than to preserve their franchise.
The truth is that Portland has been in similar situations before, but to less extremes. No, the team has never been sold to an owner who wants to move the organization, but every time owner Paul Allen gets antsy with the direction of the team, fans begin to worry.
Would he sell? Would he move the squadto Seattle, where he does business and owns the Seahawks?
Nobody wants to lose their team, and on that front, Portland feels for Sacramento.
What a team in Seattle would mean for PDX
If the NBA were to return to Seattle, the city of Portland would rejoice. Yes, the celebration would be far more noteworthy in Seattle itself, but fans of the Trail Blazers would be ready to embrace a new team in a familiar location.
The Blazers have lacked a rival for quite some time. A team in Seattle could give them just that.
They also have to travel more than any team in the NBA because of the geographical makeup of the league. A team in Seattle would cut down on time spent jetlagged, and possibly even spark a movement to get the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder out of their division.
So by all means, David Stern; bring a team back to Seattle. If you won’t, the great Northwest will wait for Adam Silver to take over, and then the city of Portland can help Seattle celebrate its new team.
So long as it’s not the Trail Blazers. Don’t get any ideas, Paul Allen.