In addition to the reflections of the 1990s Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls that the widely acclaimed ESPN/Netflix documentary “The Last Dance” has produced, it has also led to its fair share of WNBA cameos.
Those have ranged from Gatorade’s updated “Be Like Mike” spot that included reigning league MVP Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics) to a Sue Bird sighting in episode six.
Speaking of Long Island’s very own, she plays for the Seattle Storm, a WNBA franchise that throughout its history has experienced a bevy of success. Episode 8 of the Jordan documentary highlighted the 1995-96 Seattle Supersonics, a great team that included Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton at its helm and was coached by George Karl.
That Sonics team lost in six games to Jordan’s Bulls after losing the first three games before Seattle rallied to claim Games 4 and 5 prior to Chicago returning to the top of the NBA’s mountain in Game 6.
While it continues to hurt for NBA fans in the Emerald City that the Sonics continue to be the subject of, arguably, the most controversial relocation of a professional sports franchise in NBA history, it must be known that Seattle still does have a professional basketball team – and a very successful one a that.
But in some circles, this is forgotten. Hence, hot takes like this one tweeted when the Sonics got mention during the documentary.
Seattle deserves a basketball team.
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) May 11, 2020
This is why so many on Twitter pine for an edit button. If Joe Budden tweeted “Seattle deserves an NBA team,” he would have been fine. The word “basketball” is what got him in hot water with the social media community just as Adam Schefter’s tweet prior to the NFL draft got him in hot water as well.
Nonetheless, when Budden had his “delete your account” moment, WNBA Twitter was not having it.
i have great news for you
— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) May 11, 2020
🏆🏆🏆 @seattlestorm. Come see for yourself , I dare you to come practice with us. I want that match up
— Jewell B Loyd (@jewellloyd) May 11, 2020
— Khristina Williams (@Khristina2334) May 11, 2020
And among those who called him out … the 2018 regular season and Finals MVP Breanna Stewart … oh, and the W’s own Twitter account itself.
We have one. https://t.co/ZCkds0TvhU
— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) May 11, 2020
— WNBA (@WNBA) May 11, 2020
Here is a bit of history that the SonicsGate documentary (the definitive piece of record into the relocation of the Sonics to Oklahoma City) mentioned. The Storm, like most WNBA teams at the time, were under the same ownership as its NBA brethren in the Sonics. Howard Schultz owned both teams and both the Storm and Sonics played at KeyArena (which is now being renovated into a new stadium that will host the Storm, a yet-to-be named NHL franchise, and a potential returned Sonics NBA team).
When it was announced that the Sonics and Storm would potentially be sold (and moved), a grassroots movement rose throughout Seattle to save its beloved basketball teams. Luckily for WNBA fans throughout the city, the Storm was not included in the sale to the Clay Bennett-led Oklahoma investment group that despite its public comments that the Sonics would remain in Seattle, everyone knew it was the worst kept secret that Bennett’s master plan was to move the NBA franchise to Oklahoma City.
An irony is that around the time of the Sonics relocation is Oklahoma was on the verge of getting a WNBA franchise of its own when the Detroit Shock moved to Tulsa prior to moving to Dallas (Wings) in 2015.
The Storm, that had already won the 2004 WNBA championship, was sold to its current ownership group – Force 10 Hoops, LLC around the time of the Sonics sale to Bennett. Since then, the Storm have won two more WNBA championships – in 2010 and 2018 (not to mention remaining as KeyArena’s primary tenant) and have more than admirably filled the pro hoops void that the Sonics move left on Seattle.
Look … we all want the Sonics to return to Seattle. The Emerald City is a basketball city through and through and its robust support of the Storm only makes Seattle’s case to be the site of a new NBA team all the more stronger. But Budden and others that lament that pro hoops are all but gone in Seattle may want to watch some Storm highlights over the past several years – particularly from their championship-winning seasons of 2010 and 2018.
How ya feel about this one, Seattle? pic.twitter.com/6MjbakkhLY
— BreakingT (@BreakingT) May 12, 2020