Last Friday night I had the pleasure of spending some time with the crew from Blazer's Edge sister site Sonics Rising. We talked shop a little. I recalled that when the Sonics move to Oklahoma City happened, no fan base was more up in arms (outside of Seattle) than were the Portland faithful. Somebody opined that we were cousins, maybe brothers in arms. I said, "Only until you get a team back." I also regaled them with memories of the Drexler era, before Payton and Kemp ascended, when Portland fans half filled Key Arena and totally blew away Seattle fans with noise. Somebody brought up the old saw in Portland that had Walton been healthy, the Sonics wouldn't have won the '78 championship. He chuckled. I didn't. That's true, barely even debatable.
On the one hand, this conversation made me nostalgic for the four extra rivalry games that once dotted the Blazers schedule. On the other hand, standing in the midst of so many Seattle fans made me itch. I mean, do we really want to feel sympathy for these guys? You know that's going to come back to haunt you. The whole thing left me wondering how prevalent the Seattle sympathy is in Portland nowadays. We are entering the 6th season without basketball in the Emerald City. The Oklahoma City Thunder are now spoken of without a hint of disappointment or sarcasm...nary an eye roll to be seen. People in Seattle still care about this. How do Portlanders feel?
Are you missing the Pacific Northwest rivalry or is this old news now? Would having a team back in Seattle change your NBA experience? Let us know. If you care to propose a solution for Seattle getting a team, feel free to do that as well.