In NBA struggle, bitter taste returns | Reporter's notebook

As the struggle over the Sacramento Kings continued Wednesday, sports fans around Seattle had to be asking themselves one question.

What the hell did we ever do to you, NBA?

The league's board of governors was set to vote on possible relocation of the franchise to Seattle and its purchase by a group of investors led by would-be hometown hero Chris Hansen, Steve Ballmer and the Nordstrom brothers, among others.

Reports leading up to the meetings has made either of those seem increasingly unlikely, meaning our city's wait for the return of the NBA will likely extend years, rather than months, and we will receive no formal assurance of any return at all.

We will get nothing, and like it.

That fact, as it has since the team packed up and moved to Oklahoma City, stings.

Since the Hansen-led group emerged and continued to cultivate its plan to bring the NBA back to Seattle, the emotion of choice has beenfrustration, coupled at times with infuriating helplessness (sometimes masquerading as indifference).

In many ways, when the board of governors votes to keep the team in Sacramento, the process leading up to it will have done just as much to peel back old wounds as offer a salvo for our hoops-starved city.

Fans from the two cities and even media have more frequently taken the low-road at each turn, both impassioned by the idea of losing or regaining something they truly value and believe they deserve. Seattleites in search of a return to the fast-break, magic-carpet riding days of the 90s and 70s have been reduced to vultures, circling over franchises with an unbalanced ledger and hoping for a quick demise.

Even Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, whom Sonics fans remember from his time as a sinewy guard with Western Conference rival Phoenix, has been put in the position of defending with offense, questioning the history of fan support for our departed team and reminding us of how we ended up in this position.

By the time the Supersonics were stolen, faded into a public's indifference or given away by a greedy coffee miser - depending on who you ask - one indisputable truth is most in Seattle had become disillusioned to the on-court product. The Supersonics brand, at that time the longest tenured in the city among professional sports franchises and the only one with a championship, was still strong among the loyal and followers of the league.

That wasn't nearly enough to save them the first time or bring them back in the years since, even as Hansen's group tried to play the same game as Clay Bennett did with our green and gold.

All we can do now is hope sometime soon, something changes.

Josh Suman: jsuman@bellevuereporter.com; 425-453-5045.

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