Hard to believe it’s been almost three years now since we’ve been without our Seattle Supersonics. Sometimes it feels longer, sometimes when I’m reminiscing it seems like yesterday.
What is for sure is that my winters are a little colder, a little harsher and left with a hole without the basketball team that I call mine.
That’s what the Blue Scholars and the producers of Sonicsgate tried to portray with their latest project, the ‘Slick Watt’s short film.
It combines two things that I love, the almost exclusive and purely Northwest culture that is Seattle Hip hop, and the love, hope and emotions that we still have for our Seattle Supersonics.
To those who believe the Sonics have no cultural value to the city are quite frankly wrong.
This video is a stark reminder of where we stand today as a basketball community, where we’ve been in the past and even touches on the hope that we have for our future.
The video features the Blue Scholars, prominent figures in the Seattle hip hop community, and current Seattle Supersonic Slick Watts living the life of a Seattle Supersonics fan…..without the Seattle Supersonics.
They stand in front of a cold, dark, empty Key Arena in disbelief about the events that went down. They lament the fact that Clay Bennett and the Thunder still own the 1979 Championship trophy.
The stark reality of where we are today as Sonic fans. This is the present.
But what also is the present is who we are as a community in the city of Seattle and what the sport of basketball means to us whether we have a team or not.
The heart of the video is when Slick, his son and the Scholars square off in hoops against Neema, J.Pinder and other prominent members of Seattle’s hip hop culture. To the background music of the ‘Slick Watts’ song listing off former Sonic greats.
This is what the Sonics have inspired in our city for 41 years. There is absolutely no denying that the Sonics have had a huge influence on the city and it’s people over their four decades here. When you look at the great basketball players that we’ve produced in recent history and at High school basketball in this state as it stands today, you cannot tell me that Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp didn’t have anything to do with it.
An NBA basketball team is not essential for this city to live or survive. But because it has been a part of our community for 41 years it’s been ingrained into the DNA of our city, we’ve embraced it, and it’s become a part of who we are. This isn’t going to change anytime soon, even without the Sonics. The only thing the Sonics leaving has done is increased our resolve and make us appreciate what the sport means in Seattle even more.
Besides, it rains 290 days a year here, what else is there to do than go inside and shoot around?
This is also our present. Still a basketball hungry community. And why we will have a team back in Seattle soon, because we care.
My favorite part of the short film is the end, sitting around the poker table and reminiscing light heartedly about their Supes. Even if it’s momentary we should all at least sometimes relive the joy we had when he had the Sonics in town. 41 years was not for nothing.
This is our past. This is our pride, this is what nobody will ever be able to take away from us. No matter what David Stern says about shared history.
This is where everybody can relate. I can’t count the amount of times I walk around town and get shout outs from complete strangers because I’m wearing Sonics gear. I return the love to others I see walking around in ‘Robbed’, ‘Sonicsgate’ or their Ray Allen jerseys. Believe it or not, the Sonics are not dead.
And seriously, big ups to Steve Kelley for the Robert Swift mention.
At the end when Slick Watts gets up and leaves Big Lo turns to him and asks when we’re going to get a team back here.
‘Real soon,’ Slick says. ‘Real soon.’
This is our future. This is our hope.