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Seattle Sonics Fans Swallow Bitter Pill As Oklahoma City Thunder Thrive


The eternal question of whether it is better to have loved and lost or never loved at all is on the mind of some basketball fans this week - in particular, Seattle Sonics fans who are wondering what happens when your love moves to Oklahoma City and thrives against the Golden State Warriors.

All Right, here's the 10-second history. The Seattle Sonics were sold 10 years ago. It wasn't pretty. It was litigious. It was heartbreaking. And then in 2008, they became the Oklahoma City Thunder, and now the Thunder are phenomenal.

Joining us to talk about all this is Paul Rogers. He is editor and senior writer for Sonics Rising, an SB Nation Blog. We reached him in Yakima, Washington. Welcome to the show.

PAUL ROGERS: Thanks for having me on.

MCEVERS: So first, how long were you a Sonics fan?

ROGERS: Well, it's really as long as I've been a sports fan, honestly. I'm 47 years old, and so I started following the team in the late-70's...


ROGERS: ...When I was a kid, and I lived in the Seattle area at the time when they won the title. So for me, it's kind of a lifelong venture.

MCEVERS: Can you describe the painful experience of losing your team?

ROGERS: Oh, gosh, it really hurt. It's not as bad today as it was then, but when we lost the team, it was - well, it's a piece of my childhood. And so it hurt immensely, and I still miss being able to turn the team on TV if I want to. I still miss looking at the green and gold. It hurts. It really does.

MCEVERS: So now, you know, your team has become the Oklahoma City Thunder, and they're killing it against what was supposed to be the greatest team of all time - the Golden State Warriors.

ROGERS: Right.

MCEVERS: What is it like to watch that happen?

ROGERS: I'll put it this way. Every Seattle Supersonics fan right now is a Golden State Warriors fan. I mean, I can tell you that definitively.


ROGERS: And just to give you an example, as a Sonics fan, we hated the Lakers, and we hated the Blazers. And we hated the Utah Jazz.


ROGERS: But yeah, we'll root for any of those teams against the Thunder.

MCEVERS: (Laughter) So you're a part of Sonics Rising. That is a blog that focuses on getting an NBA team back to Seattle. What is the status of that fight?

ROGERS: The status is, we're trying to get an arena approved. And we - we're trying to get one done in downtown Seattle. We have a memorandum of understanding to get that done, but the city council is fighting us on it right now. They recently blocked a land-use proposal on the project, and everyone's kind of reeling from that. And so, you know, we're just trying to get an arena - any arena approved that the league would want to come to. So that's the main fight right now.

MCEVERS: And so in the meantime it's all about the Seahawks and the Mariners, I guess.

ROGERS: Yeah, it's all about the Seahawks and Mariners, and the Sounders are pretty popular here in town. But we got that big gap from the time NFL season closes to the time baseball season starts.

MCEVERS: That's Paul Rogers from the Sonics Rising blog. Paul, thanks so much.

ROGERS: Thank You. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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