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Old 06-23-2008, 10:11 AM   #1
RainierBeachPoet
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Arrow The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

By RainierBeachPoet


The author and Sonic season ticket holder Sherman Alexie likened NBA players to the Greek gods and added, "I want two more years of the Greek gods."


The current court case between the Sonics and the City of Seattle was spiced up this week by Alexie's fan perspective. He has followed the Sonics since his childhood and has been a season ticket holder for twelve years. The city called him to the stand in order to demonstrate part of the intangible benefits that the Sonics bring to the Seattle area. By showing that these intangible factors cannot be quantified by a dollar amount, the city could satisfy the “specific performance” clause of the lease and the Sonics would have to honor the last two years of the agreement. At least that is what we hope the ruling from Judge Pechman will be.


Alexie's kids would then get to see these Greek gods for two more years.


Kevin Durant as Zeus. Chris Wilcox as Ares. Luke Ridnour as Apollo. And this was the WORST team in Sonic history! The 1996 Sonic Greek gods would wipe the floor with these currant deities.


Like Alexie, I am a die hard Seattle Supersonic fan. Like Alexie, I grew up in awe of these Greek gods who were power and grace personified on the hardwood. Like Alexie, I want the Sonics to be in Seattle for AT LEAST two more years. Preferably more.


How different a person I would be if I had not seen “Downtown” Freddie Brown score 28 points in the first half against the Warriors? I remember jumping around the living room in exuberant joy yelling at the TV only to frighten my mother. “Freddie's already scored 28 and it is only halftime!!” I excaimed to her to try to help her understand the significance of this momentous event. She smiled more at my happiness, but I was feeling the mystical union with Freddie who is one of our all time great Sonic Greek gods. For an 11 year old, that night made me feel unadulterated happiness.


He went on to score another 30 in the second half to set the all time record for a Sonic in one game: 58 points. If there was a three point line in 1974, it probably would have been closer to 70 points.


How different would I be had I not seen Kareem Abdul Jabbar completely manhandle John Hummer? Or Slick Watts stealing the ball from Pistol Pete after successive behind-the-back dribbles? Or Doctor J swooping down like an eagle to power slam dunk the ball like I had never seen before? I was simply amazed at these giants, excuse me, these Greek gods, who did magic with the basketball that it often left me with starry eyes as I left the Seattle Coliseum, not knowing how to interpret it all.


Thirty plus years later, I can at least attempt to interpret the meaning that these Greek gods have had and still do have in my life. It is about “feeling fully alive”.


Fully alive because for a moment, we touch eternity-- a place out of time and space-- when we share in the success of our team. Whether it was Spencer Haywood with a statuesque slam dunk or Gary Payton throwing a perfect lob to a “magic carpet riding” Shawn Kemp for a violent jam. The crowd goes wild and thousands of strangers become one in ecstatic bliss. Or the success of the battle of a playoff series where we believe that OUR guys have a chance to win it all.


Fully alive because for a moment, we share a common humanity. When the Sonics beat the Bullets for the NBA title in 1979, I and others went downtown for a spontaneous celebration with countless strangers who felt like my best of friends because of Gus, Dennis, Jack and OUR Sonics were World Champs. Honking car horns and smiles and wild cheering made us momentarily forget everything else. It was a communal moment for us in Seattle and it did not matter if you were white, black, brown-- we all wore green and gold. The Sonic Greek gods were greater than Dionysus, Hades and Poseidon and all the rest.


Even fully alive in our disappointing moments-- especially when the Bullets beat us in the finals in 1978 after we took a 3-2 series lead and losing game seven at home; losing against the mega star MJ (one of the ultimate Greek gods) and his 72 winBulls in 1996 after two great wins at home. Broken hearts are part of life and something we do not ordinarily choose for ourselves.


Being fully alive when we are in the pits makes us appreciate ordinary times and helps us savor the times we are riding high.


So the prospect of the Sonics leaving Seattle is the latest part of this mythic drama. Who threatens our ability to be fully alive with pro basketball? Who dares be greater than the gods? NBA Owners and in our case: Clay Bennett


If I have learned one thing in life it is this: do not tempt the gods. Bennett not only overpaid to obtain the Sonics ($350 million) but his intent was self-serving (or Oklahoma-serving). He was not alone in provoking fate of these gods-- Howard Shultz and Washington politicians are complicit as well. But on the stand, Bennett is the one who promised to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.


If he was a “man possessed” to keep the Sonics in Seattle and only six days later was checking with NBA officials what it would take to move this year to Oklahoma, ultimately, the gods will not be pleased. And when the gods are not pleased, neither will the mere mortals who look up to them.


In keeping with the Greek god theme, Bennett is like the Hydra. With multiple heads, the Hydra grew two back when one of the heads was cut off; only one head was vulnerable. To mere mortals, this would be sure death but Hercules had special help. Hercules' nephew, Iolaus, who was his charioteer and could no longer watch the lethal heads, aided Hercules in the epic battle. While Herc lopped the Hydra's heads off, Iolaus cauterized the neck before another head could emerge. When Hercules cut off the real head, a poisonous blood trickled out and Herc dipped HIS arrows in this blood to make his own weapon more lethal.


Who will be our Hercules and Iolaus in the fight against the Hydra? As the fight in court continues, I suspect more ugly fake heads to emerge but in the end, the gods ultimately will win out. And when the dust settles, the arrows of the Herc will be more lethal than before because of the fight.


I hope that Alexie's kids will see at least two more years of these Super(Sonic) Greek gods. I hope that these and other children will form lasting memories of touching immortality with the likes of Iverson, King James and Dwight Howard-- along with our local heroes in Sonic uniforms-- Seattle SuperSonics that is. In these god-like encounters I hope that we all, for couple of hours, be transported into different hoops realms to be fully alive with hardwood Greek gods.


We, in Seattle, still desire to be fully alive and stay close to these Sonic gods who have been at our side for 41 years.


RainierBeachPoet is a Seattle resident and a lifelong fan of NBA basketball-- especially the SEATTLE SuperSonics

Last edited by RainierBeachPoet : 06-30-2008 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

After seeing you posting and keeping us up to date with the Sonics drama, I was hoping you'd make an article like this.

And my hopes came true! Very well written and thought up

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Old 06-23-2008, 01:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

Nice post RBP... I love it
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

Great read RPB, which isn't shocking at all coming from you.

I really hope the Sonics stay in Seattle.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

This was dope, praise Seattle!
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

get a job at espn
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:54 AM   #7
RainierBeachPoet
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Default Re: The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywalker
get a job at espn

i am not sure that i would want that on me resume:)
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

That was a very cool article. I really hope the Sonics can work things out and stay in Seattle permanently. Seattle is one of the best basketball cities in the nation and it deserves its own pro team.
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Old 07-01-2008, 01:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

Just read this, and I sincerely applaud and thank you for the great read.


RBP, are you into writing or something? I'm used to reading articles with less quality on regular magazines. Then again, I understand this was the article you were meant to write, given your devotion to the Sonics, which becomes evident and even contagious through the article.


Superb article, and sincerely hope you get much more people to read it. Things of this quality deserve a much larger audience -and that's not a hit on ISH-.
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Old 07-01-2008, 01:49 PM   #10
RainierBeachPoet
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Default Re: The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

Quote:
Originally Posted by artificial
Just read this, and I sincerely applaud and thank you for the great read.


RBP, are you into writing or something? I'm used to reading articles with less quality on regular magazines. Then again, I understand this was the article you were meant to write, given your devotion to the Sonics, which becomes evident and even contagious through the article.


Superb article, and sincerely hope you get much more people to read it. Things of this quality deserve a much larger audience -and that's not a hit on ISH-.

thanks arti-f

my nic is "poet" because i beleive in the power of words

we will see what the verdict is on wed re: the sonics and maybe i will write another reflection

peace
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: The SuperSonic Greek Gods: Memories and Future

Great Article, it would really kill me to see this young team with much potential to be playing in anything but a Seattle Supersonics jersey.
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