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.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.
"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."
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."