Commentary: The NHL, Seattle are star-crossed lovers, yet the NBA shouldn't be the villain anymore
Valentine’s Day Weekend is the perfect time to revisit the story of star-crossed lovers, whose marriage continues to be thwarted by external forces.
Not Romeo and Juliet; but instead, this region – and the NHL.
There’s no question that the love affair continues to gain momentum, thanks to recent comments from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who acknowledged the intriguing possibility of a Seattle franchise and who also met with Mayor Ed Murray. Reports of alternate locations in Tukwila and Bellevue have been floated in the last week, given the delays with the Environmental Impact Survey for a SODO Arena – and the fleeting feasibility of amending the current Memorandum of Understanding to make SODO an NHL-first complex.
Thanks to the villain in this case – which continues to be the NBA, now led by commissioner Adam Silver – this process is painstakingly longer and more complex than it ever should have been.
How simple could it have been? The NBA gets a new television contract with more revenue, it then awards Seattle a team it deserves, the arena is built – and the NHL follows.
Instead, Silver remains committed to continuing the David Stern tradition of turning his back on this city, even going so far as to say to Eldridge Recasner this weekend that he’s surprised Seattle hadn’t built a new arena yet. Really? Build an arena without the guarantee of a new team? Hey Adam – that’s like investing your life savings in a bottle of Rogaine and hoping your hair follicles come to life. Give me a break. You should know better than that.
That being said, all that hope we once gave a Silver-led NBA has fallen by the wayside, and it’s time to officially cut ties.
Until the NBA begins respecting us again, there’s no place for us to pander and beg. It’s pathetic. It’s like being dumped, and then pleading for a reconciliation by offering your retirement fund.
For now, we go forward by focusing on the girl who wants to go with us to the dance – the NHL - and our efforts to make it happen. If a SODO arena isn’t viable with NHL first, then we look elsewhere. We commend private investment groups reportedly looking at alternate sites to try to make it happen.
The evil villain of the NBA no longer has to factor in. Let the love affair between the NHL and this region continue and culminate with an arena and an expansion team.
And when that happens – and the NBA one day comes around and wants a piece of the pie – let THEM beg US to take them back instead.