TNT's Hughes gets it with column

My buddy Mike, who works for the Sonics, commented on this post that Seattle was the only place where the Ray Allen trade wasn't being hailed as a success -- that it was roundly being praised around the country.

In my response, I tried to make the argument that it's just not that simple. That people "around the country" aren't worried about losing this team the way we are, and that colors how we see everything. Frank Hughes at The News Tribune gets it.

"(S)adly, nothing can be taken in the context of 'purely basketball' with this organization, not now and probably not for the next nine months to a year.

"There is an overarching fog of uncertainty about the team’s future that never seems to dissipate, infusing itself into any discussion about the team and choking the excitement and optimism out of even the smallest scintilla of hope."
He goes on to tell of why he believes the Allen trade was a smart basketball deal -- a stance I'm beginning to agree with -- and explains that the consensus among NBA writers was that the Sonics got the best of that one.

But that doesn't mean we get the freedom to look at the move independent of the larger issues of the arena and the team potentially leaving town.
"It’s a good start to the reshaping of a roster that doesn’t need to be completely razed to achieve success. ... But how can an increasingly apathetic and alienated fan base generate the type of fervor that usually accompanies such dramatic decisions with the sneaking suspicion that it is intended for the benefit of another community? ...

"It’s a shame, really. These should be the best of times for this organization. New GM. Fresh perspectives. Innovative ideas.

"But there is one idea that never can be forgotten: In its current state, nothing with this franchise is purely basketball."


AJH said...

Agree with you (and Hughes) but, at the same time, I really like the move for the long-terms health of the franchise. The last 2 years of Allen's deal were going to be ridiculous. This may be the last good chance to move that contract for something of value. Plus, this team really needs more defense and toughness. If Jeff Green can add that, I think it's a great pickup. On the other hand, he may be playing in Oklahoma.

Mike said...

It seems like the Seattle community is warming to the deal. After looking at the cap numbers, yeah- we really couldn't afford to have both Rashard and Chauncey unless there were a sign-and-trade that included Wally, which could never happen unless Presti is THAT GOOD!

Beyond that, I stand behind my points on the trade. No disrespect for Ray Allen, but you have to be willing to part ways at the right time.

To me the biggest risk in the deal is Wally's contract. Not only having that much money tied up for two years, but more importantly his brash personality. I am surprised that no one has talked about Wally and Dwayne Casey's relationship when they were in Minnesota. I would think that would be an indicator of the Sonics' new head coach. I know he clashed with Garnett, but how did he do with Casey? Can Casey "reel him in"?

I do understand Hughes and Nuss' feeling in regards to keeping the team here; but I just disagree in the fact that Ray is an instrumental piece in that equation. And obviously disagree that moves should be based on the location or potential location of a franchise; especially when Presti is hired to only make basketball decisions.

It seems that some REALLY (I mean- REALLY!) think that Clay Bennett is strategizing ways to lower the interest level of Seattle fans. Presti is just his little puppet, who although he was the most talked about young executive, is willingly sacrificing his career for good ol' Bennett.

Lastly, for all who feel that there will not be as much interest behind this team because of this deal- look at the players Seattle fans rally behind. We appreciate players who play the game hard, who aren't scared to show some emotion, and play beyond themselves.

There is a reason why the Coug's basketball team received so much support- they played hard, played as a team (which did result in quite a bit of wins in the process!).

I guess I give our fans more credit than some might. I feel they will appreciate hard work, and will be creative enough to see where its headed.

Mike said...


I think this Steve Kelley article illustrates my points.

Nuss said...

I don't think that Ray necessarily needed to be a part of that, either; I just felt like this team would have a better chance to be good next year with Ray.

But, as I've said before, I'll wait to see all of Presti's move. If he can land Rip Hamilton, I'll feel pretty darn good.

I just hope this team can win some games. Too many losses won't give us the buzz we need to keep this team. And if you don't think buzz is all that important ... well, just ask the M's how important buzz is.

mike said...

no I agree fully- buzz is number one in keeping this team here. I would LOVE to have Rip join the "doldrums".