May 19, 2013 in Sports

Stern treatment from NBA boss

A Grip On Sports
 
Associated Press photo

NBA commissioner David Stern got the last laugh regarding franchise relocation.
(Full-size photo)

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Vince Grippi has an opinion about everything local, especially sports. Every Sunday we provide samples of his daily riffs. Read him daily at spokesman.com/sportslink.

Thursday: You are walking down the street. You come across David Stern’s limo, which has a flat tire. He is standing outside the car, holding a dead phone in his hand. No one else is around.

Do you:

A) pull out your phone and call for help;

B) ignore him and walk away; or

C) tell him exactly how you feel concerning his treatment of Seattle over the years?

I would choose D.

What’s D, you ask? Simple. Tell him you need a few bucks to make the call, then pretend to call AAA. While waiting for the nonexistent tow truck, stand next to him and continually tell him help is on the way. There’s a shot it will show up soon, you tell him. Just have patience – and hope.

Make another fake call. Ask for more money. Make another fake call. Then tell him, sorry, someone else needs your help more and walk away.

You know what. I couldn’t do that. I’m not that type of guy. It’s not fair to treat someone with such disrespect, even if they deserve it. Using others, using people, using communities, that’s just not right no matter who it is. So I guess I would choose C.

And I would hope that I could articulate all the feelings I have pent up inside. The thrust of my comments would emphasize how easy it would have been to make Washington state NBA fans feel better by just promising one thing: First shot at the next available  expansion franchise. That’s all. Simple.

Really, no one from here to Gig Harbor really wanted to steal another city’s franchise. We know how much that hurts. All the area wanted was to  get its Sonics back.

An expansion team would fill the bill nicely, assuming all the old records, putting up the banner, taking its spot in the hearts of the area’s pro basketball fans. Simple.

Chris Hansen has the money. He has the will. He has the support. Could you just have thrown us a bone?

We would go away, start planning and begin watching the NBA again, not feeling so stepped on anymore. But no, you can’t even do that.

So, I’m sorry. I won’t make a call. You’re on your own. Maybe I’ll pass this way in a couple hours. If I do, then maybe I’ll feel differently. Maybe I’ll make a call then. I hope that’s enough, because it’s all I’ve got.

Now sit quietly and wait.

Friday: It is the middle of May, right? Not September or October? Good. After reading about the atmosphere in the Mariners’ clubhouse yesterday, I was afraid I had fallen asleep and awoken three or four months in the future.

You know, that fall-asleep-and-wake-in-the-future idea might be a good one for a short story, though it sounds familiar. Anyway, back to the Mariners’ clubhouse. After the M’s defeated New York 3-2 and took two of three games in the series, the clubhouse had a “playoff” atmosphere according to the Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker.

Really?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Yes, it was a good win. Yes, it came at Yankee Stadium in front of a large crowd and all that entails (including dealing with the umpire problem again as Eric Wedge was tossed early on). And, yes, the bullpen threw well, including emergency starter Hector Noesi, who filled in for a  stiff Aaron Harang. But the M’s are still a game under .500. They haven’t even reached the break-even point yet some 41 games into the season.

And, yes, they are in second place in the American League West, but are still seven games behind the Rangers.

No, I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade. I know M’s fans need their little victories. Heck, last night’s hold-on-and-pray victory had me on the edge of my car seat as I drove around, listening to the final outs. And getting to second place is a big deal for a team mired in the cellar the past few years.

I’m willing to admit the Mariners are playing better. Much better. But let’s be realistic here. It is May. There is a long way until the postseason. Good things can happen, sure. But so can bad things.

So let’s call yesterday’s win what it was. A good victory over a strong team in a tough place to play. Nothing more, nothing less.


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