The people of Seattle will go to great lengths to honor their former team. They will heckle billionaires. They will refuse free, courtside seats to the NBA playoffs. And they will shave an outline of the Seattle Space Needle into the backs of their heads.
Spencer Hawes, a big man for the 76ers, played at Seattle Prep and then attended the University of Washington. He played three seasons with the Kings and was traded to Philadelphia last summer. But he made clear a few months ago, and then again at a charity basketball game in KeyArena on Saturday, that his real allegiance is back home, with a team that no longer exists:
"I just want to leave y'all with one last thing," Hawes shouted. "Come home, Sonics! Come home, Sonics!"
The chant echoed around the building for a few seconds, but it remains to be seen if state politicians in Olympia or NBA executives in the league office in New York — the power brokers who could make Hawes' demand a reality — were listening.
"I sure hope those people could see what I saw today and feel what I felt," Hawes said. "It was real. It felt important."
The tingle of fresh razor burn might have been getting to him. But with a Seattle crowd, it was probably for the best that he chose to stick to local politics.
NBA hoops returns for a day at KeyArena [Seattle Times]
H/T Ball Don't Lie.