Friday, May 11, 2012

NOPE: Hey, did I just read a Grantland article written as a letter from an Oklahoma City basketball fan to the City of Seattle where the author burned about ten thousand words alternating between humblebrags (my team is so awesome! OMG Seattle you have no idea how awesome this is! such good luck by me!), moaning about how awful it was to grow up in a city without professional basketball (wonder who else is ever going to know what that feels like!), and strenuously patting himself on his back for finally being willing to acknowledge that, as he knew all along, Seattle got really screwed over ("I'm not going to try to forget you anymore, Seattle"; "only a Thunder fan can know how very much it sucks, because we're the ones who do get to enjoy it"*), all in support of the thesis that "that's what we owe each other -- to see it that way, to sympathize with one another"? No I fucking did not just read that article. Because it would be impossible for anything with a brain capable of supporting the motor functions necessary to type words in English to be so unbelievably fucking stupid as to think that people in Seattle should have basketball-related sympathy for Oklahoma City.

If I ever meet Brian Phillips, and I really mean this, literally,** I am going to kick him right in the balls.  Why?  Because only a person who has not just been kicked in Brian Phillips's balls can know how very much it sucks, because we're the ones who do get to enjoy it.

*Worst argument in the history of logic.

**To clarify, not literally.


  1. Benner4:05 PM

    You know what probably really sucks?  Portland gets to keep its NBA team.

    Seriously, though, would you prefer people from OKC not root for Durant/Westbrook/Harden?  And if they do, that they not acknowledge how they came to get such a team or only acknowledge this quietly?  I'm not sure that argument is illogical, based on the ferocity of your reaction.  I didn't interpret this as asking for sympathy, just an argument that Seattlites or other NBA fans shouldn't act as though the Thunder or its fans are somehow unworthy or non-existent because of the sins of Clay Bennett and David Stern.  The only other villians are people like me who are either from a city with an NBA team, living in a city with an NBA team, but don't actually give a shit about either.  Is an enthusiastic OKC fan, who appreciates what he has, any worse than someone who'd rather watch the NHL, from a Seattle perspective?  Or even better, an indifferent Kings/Clippers/Jazz/ Cavaliers/Hawks/Bobcats/Hornets/Bucks/Blazers/Warriors/Magic/Bullets fan, i.e., teams that would be better off relocating to Em City?

  2. isaac_spaceman5:27 PM

    Who said that OKC people shouldn't root for the Thunder?  Not me.  I said that you have to be an idiot moron asshole douchebag to write an article that said, literally -- and this time I mean literally -- "that's what we owe each other -- to see it that way, to sympathize with one another."  Brian Phillips's argument, once you dig past all of the self-congratulatory bullshit and the weird logic is that Lord Brian Phillips is benevolently gifting Seattle the unasked-for present of his precious empathy (his word, on his Twitter), and all that Seattle owes him for that gift (confused yet? but "owe" is his word, not mine) is an equal amount of sympathy (his word, not mine) in return, though who knows what he thinks OKC needs sympathy for.  I mean, I really can't tell.  Is it sympathy for not having had a team until this awesome team that just fell out of the sky for him (his words)?  Or sympathy because some day in the distant future it's possible that somebody else will steal his team?  Or just a generalized sympathy that all fans are common pawns in an NBA corporate game that just happened to favor him to the detriment of Seattle fans?   

    I think I've made this clear before -- I know that there were a handful of slimy douchebags in OKC who had something to do with the Sonics fiasco, and everybody else in OKC had absolutely zero to do with it, and I don't begrudge that majority their happiness (not that they should or do care what anybody in Seattle thinks about what they should feel).  But you have to be a particular kind of asshole to go out of your way, as an OKC fan, to say "hey, Seattle, we're really just the same, and we should both feel sympathy for each other."  Say, do we both have the Sonics?   Then STFU.  If you were madly in love with somebody who cheated on you, and then she married the guy she cheated with, and then he came to you a couple of years later and said, "you know, I have just recently come to realize that it kind of sucked that you got cheated on, but before that it sucked that you were dating this girl and I wasn't, so you and I should both have mutual sympathy for each other, and incidentally here are some factoids about how AWESOME the sex is that I'm having with my wife, your ex, now please congratulate me for being so empathetic," I think that it is well within the realm of possibility that you could both accept that he and your ex have moved on together and at the same time be completely amazed that he had the balls to have this conversation with you. 

    And, again, I repeat the single dumbest thing I have ever read a journalist write:  "only a Thunder fan can know how very much it sucks [to lose the Sonics], because we're the ones who do get to enjoy it."  I mean, really. That's empathy (again, his words)?  Give me a fucking break. 

  3. Benner6:06 PM

    i think i agree with it -- i don't experience not watching the Sonics/Thunder as my own as a bad thing, because that's the orindary state of affairs, not wathcing this team, or really any other.  Seattle fans see it as a bad thing they don't have a team to watch, especially insofar as it has the best player in the game; Thunder fans would so experience it.  I took his understanding of sympathy to be the absence of blame, but I think he has a point about people needing to stop talking about the "Zombie Sonics."  Because OKC fans know what it's like not to have a team, and because they team has established roots (we'll see how true that is when they suck in 10 years), let it go and enjoy that they enjoy it.  But that does answer the question -- OKC fans should just be quiet about the whole Seattle issue.  Fair enough, though both the article in question and the sex metaphor are really more functions about guilt than anything else.  If Phillips is to be criticized, it's that he's asking for absolution poorly by seeming to ask for more.

  4. isaac_spaceman6:48 PM

    Why should people stop talking about the Zombie Sonics?  The corollary to how I have no right to tell him how to feel about the Thunder is that he has no right to tell me how to feel about the Thunder.  And I don't even agree that OKC fans should just be quiet about Seattle.  Midwest Andrew has quite capably and reasonably said, around here, "the way that the team left Seattle sucks, but I'm still going to root for the team."  No disagreement there.  He didn't tell me I owed him anything, much less his sympathy, he didn't suggest that he understood exactly how it felt to lose a team you grew up with because he's the one who has the team now, he didn't suggest that I should give him a merit badge for recognizing that the Sonics move was shitty for Seattle.  MA's argument made sense. Phillips's article didn't make any sense and was gratuitously insulting and self-congratulatory.  Midwest Andrew, if you're reading this, I definitely do not want to kick you in the balls.  Just Phillips. 

  5. lauri7:49 PM


    Isaac - if you need help with the kicking, count me in.

  6. bill.8:42 PM

    Did you see this earlier story at Deadspin: Witness to the Suicide of the Seattle Sonics?

    So here he was. The man whom Fortune magazine now calls the sixth-greatest entrepreneur of our time had shown up to tell us something we already knew but never expected to come out of his mouth. With shoulders sagging and with the same querulous tone he used when he complained that city officials had given the Mariners and Seahawks new stadiums but not the Sonics, he told us he was a failure as an owner; he didn't change the NBA's economic system as he had hoped.

    The way he said it didn't sit right. Immediately after the speech, a member of the PR staff told me he was glad to have Schultz gone, even though the Okies might move the Sonics out. I felt much the same. The outward humility and self-effacement didn't change the underlying arrogance of the corporate titan. I wasn't the only one rolling my eyes in the speech's aftermath. Schultz spoke as if he wanted us to disagree, as if he wanted us to say, "No, no, Howard," and comfort him and let him know he was being too hard on himself. He wanted absolution for being the guy who sold the Sonics away. We weren't having any of it. He was the woman asking, "Does this outfit make me look fat?" and instead of offering reassurance, I could only think: "You? You look like a fucking whale."

  7. Anonymous9:52 PM

    Yeah, I saw it.  But as much of an idiot as Schultz was, you can't blame him for the Sonics moving.  That was Stern's fault, or Stern's plan.  Stern was the one who changed the NBA from an enterprise engaged in the sale and marketing of professional basketball to an enterprise for whom the sale and marketing of professional basketball is secondary to the the sale and marketing of professional basketball franchises, the chief tool for which is the securing of direct and indirect taxpayer subsidies that increase franchise value. 

  8. Midwest Andrew10:14 AM

    There is no greater feeling than knowing my balls are secure, Isaac. However, I think you and I can agree even further on something: you should be able to kick Phillips in the balls. I can't even make it all the way through without wanting to kick Phillips in the balls myself for making Thunder fans look like dicks and for picking at a scab unnecessarily. So that's the lesson you, Sonic fan, and I, Thunder fan, can take from this: There are still jerks like Phillips out there, and we have the right to feel that they should be kicked in the balls.