02 March 2008

Howard Schultz...Evil Incarnate

I dont talk about basketball much. Of the big four, it is my third favorite to watch on tv (above baseball) and third to watch in person (before football but after baseball because of baseball's beers and hotdogs and ability to sit in the sun).

Needless to say, I am the last person who should be bitching about the Sonics situation in Seattle. And yet....see if you can stop me!

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, used to own the Sonics. He sold them in July of 2006 to businessmen in Oklahoma City. Already as a Sonics fan you have to be nervous right? But everyone, including Stern, said all the right things. Then, Clay Barrett, one of the new owners tells the city of Seattle that in order for their team to remain, the fans would need to build a $500 million dollar stadium. Seattle citizens, being the intelligent lot that they are, said...um what?! Now it looks like, surprise surprise, the team will be moving to Oklahoma City.

Now, Clay Barrett should have just come out and said, "Hey, they're movin to MY town." Everybody who is a fan of basketball (or any other major league sport) wants a team in their town. I wouldnt begrudge OKC their own team. They did a great job when the hornets were there...good folks who love the sport. The problem, as i see it, is Schultz. He bought the team with the idea of "saving" them. Keeping them local. A local businessman does good for the town that has done so much for him. Heartwarming.

However, now it looks like Schultzy wasnt happy owning a team, working on it, staying in the red until you create a solid team that can go deep into the playoffs. He wanted to be Mark Cuban. He wanted to have a good time and make a bunch of money and have it happen fast and easy.

This guy, who owns a "$35 million dollar townhouse in New York City," who's fortune is estimated at $1.1 billion dollars, is whinning about how the team isnt making money hand over fist. This guy, who charges you 4 bucks for a cup of coffee sold the hometown team to out of towners. He knew they would move them. He knew it because everyone knew it. To sell out your team, your fans, and the history of the Sonics is just disgusting. Sure there are cases for why Barrett and Stern are bigger jerks...but for me, Schultz is the guy I think is most responsible.

So, in light of that, I am going to ban starbucks until the situation is resolved. Does it mean anything? Oh no of course not. The company wont even notice when the 4bucks i spend once a month at the local joint stops coming in, but I will know...and that makes all the difference.

much love to you sonics fans...


ps I couldnt post about the sonics without mentioning...Jesus Shuttlesworth

No comments: