SEATTLE – A day to celebrate what Seattle has produced on the basketball court also became a green and gold reminder of what the area lost with no solid idea of when the NBA might return.
Saturday’s H206 Charity Basketball Classic brought NBA players back to KeyArena for the first league-sanctioned event since the messy departure of the SuperSonics for Oklahoma City following the 2008 season.
Fans have remained loyal to the Sonics name with thousands of old jerseys being pulled out from closets for Saturday’s game that featured the likes of Jamal Crawford, Martell Webster, Aaron Brooks and Spencer Hawes, all Seattle-area products. Brandon Roy was a late scratch from playing in the game.
Earlier in the day, the discussion centered on when and if an NBA team would return. Former Sonics star Jack Sikma perhaps summed up the desire to get a team back to Seattle saying, “It’s hard to put it all together. That puzzle is tough. I think there is a will, but the way is not clear yet.”
The final score was of little interest, even though team “Seattle” beat the “League” team 140-122. Hawes led the Seattle team with 27 points and started a chant of “Come home, Sonics!” in the moments after the final buzzer. MVP Terrence Williams scored 25 points.
About the only disappointment on this afternoon for the 5,000 or so that showed up was the decision by Roy and Rodney Stuckey (Detroit Pistons/Eastern Washington University) to sit out the event. Roy, who was used in the promotion of the event, said he was concerned about his surgically repaired knees and that his final doctor’s recommendation before the lockout was that he avoid playing in these type of events.
Still, the day was a celebration of Roy and all his Seattle brethren with the SuperSonics on everyone’s mind.