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Friday, November 09, 2007

Maybe the State of Washington Has the Right Idea

And, if it does, then it should be celebrating ideas over celebrity and entertainment that sometimes doubles as a sport. Read this and see what I mean.

NBA Commissioner David Stern is becoming dyspeptic in his advanced tenure at the helm of this once venerable league. Who in their right mind would trade Seattle for Oklahoma City except if you're an Oklahoma City native, which is what the Sonics' owner is? But why should the league want to be in the middle of Oklahoma anyway? True, OK City helped the NBA immeasurably when the Hornets moved there after Katrina, the fans were terrific, and, yes, I have cousins there. But so what? There's no really comparing the two.

Unless your the commissioner of a league with a so-so product who seems to be missing the point that legislatures have to deal with many more pressing problems than a home for a group of men playing a kids' game in short pants. What about aging populations and the huge burden that they'll put on public employees' pension funds and entitlement programs? Compared to those issues, who can really think about an arena?

Seriously, I'd rather be known for my good public schools and libraries, community involvement and participatory recreation than building a palace for a league that has way too many teams and that has let quality control go out the window.

Somehow I don't think Seattle residents will miss the Sonics terribly if they leave, and perhaps it's time for municipalities and state governments to take stands like this. Sorry, Mr. Commissioner, but before you pop off next time, improve the overall quality of your product.


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