Steamboat Springs It wasn’t hard to know what to expect.
When the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs to advance to the NBA finals, my phone showed a text message from my only friend that is a devout Seattle fan.
He simply wrote, “I hate my life.”
I’m not exactly sure why my friend grew up a Seattle fan. But he loved the Supersonics. He had an obsession with Gary Payton and wore that god awful green and yellow No. 20 jersey every single day.
But when the Thunder made the finals, he was inconsolable.
This was suppose to be his team. Russell Westbrook was supposed to be his new Payton.
That all changed when the Supersonics up and left in 2008. They had spent 41 years in Seattle.
Now the Thunder are the it team. They’re young, they’re exciting, and they do it the right way.
Kevin Durant is the anti-LeBron James.
But there is no way we should be happy. Not with Seattle wondering what might have been.
It’s our human nature to attach ourselves to things. For a lot of us, it’s sports. It can often be an unhealthy obsession. A lot of times memories are based on sports. One of my best days was when the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres in Game 163 to go to the playoffs. Or when the the Buffalo Bills beat the Raiders in the 1990 AFC Championship game.
Those are still the best two sporting events I’ve ever been to.
Some of my worst days include all four Buffalo Bills Super Bowl losses — I missed two days of school after Scott Norwood went wide right — and Brett Hull’s foot in the crease, which should have been a no goal in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals.
My friend hated the NBA, hated the Thunder, really hated new owner Clay Bennett and said it was the end of his basketball watching days.
I can’t totally relate to it, but many can. Lots of people have had their teams up and move away. The list is endless. The reasons are plentiful.
I fear that day could be coming for my Bills. Their lease with the city runs up after this season. The stadium is archaic. The owner, Ralph Wilson, is 93 and already has said his family will sell the team to the highest bidder after his death.
And that’s the stark reality of sports. As much as we love them, as much as my friend still relives Payton to Shawn Kemp, sometimes they suck.
So before you start rooting for the new fun team in Oklahoma City, make sure to pour one out for the lost souls — the ones still repping Payton jerseys — of Seattle.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com