They may be in Oklahoma City and Memphis now, but time was that the Thunder was in Seattle and the Grizzlies in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Griz were in the Pacific Northwest from 1995 to 2001 and never won more than 23 games in a season. Interestingly, current Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins was with the team for a season in Canada winning just 18 games in the 1999-2000 season, the only season that former Wichita State star Antione Carr played in Vancouver. Sharref Abdur-Rahim was the Grizzlies leading scorer during their six years in Vancouver.
The Sonics were a part of the Seattle scene from 1967 until 2008; it’s where the franchise won its only NBA Championship in 1979. Shocker fans will remember the Sonics as the team that drafted former Wichita State All-American Xavier McDaniel.
Interesting about the NBA---
Something I’ve always liked about the NBA is their willingness to go into atypical markets. Seattle had nothing else when the Sonics first came in, Sacramento is a one team town and so are Portland, Oklahoma City and Memphis. Orlando, Salt Lake City and San Antonio are also markets where the NBA is the only pro game in town. The NFL has only two stand-alone markets—Green Bay and Jacksonville (Buffalo has the NHL’s Sabres). Major League Baseball has none.
I really pull for Andy Dirks, in part because he’s a Shocker but more so because he’s a good dude. Slowed by an injury to start the season, the pride of Haven is back at it for the Tigers, going three for four with a homer and four driven in from the leadoff spot last night.
The conventional wisdom has Andrew Wiggins, the nation’s top recruit, going to Florida State with an announcement expected just after 11:00am. There are Shocker fans, including my son, who are hopeful that he’ll do something shocking like go to Wichita State to play for a year with his brother Nick before heading to the NBA. Never mind that there hasn’t been even a hint of that happening save for a cryptic tweet from WSU’s Nick towards the end of the season.
LA LA Lame---
Between them the Los Angeles Dodgers and LA Angels are spending $347,000,000 in salaries this season. What have they got for their investment so far? Between them the two teams are sixteen games under .500, further proof that you don’t always have to spend the most to spend the best.
Is it just me?
Does it bother you that the city, apparently, didn’t know it wasn’t getting its lease payments from the Wichita Wingnuts for the last two years? That’s just one of the disturbing issues to come out of an internal audit of the National Baseball Congress’ books. For too long the great tradition of the NBC has been allowed to slide to the point where I wonder if it can be recovered. The city has already said that they can’t be in the business of subsidizing baseball and I get that. But, if there is to be an effort at restoring this event to its former luster—just who will run point?