By Mike Sherman
The Sonics’ lottery luck couldn’t have been better. They are guaranteed to get either Greg Oden or former Texas star Kevin Durant. And with the No. 2 pick instead of No. 1, they will never be second-guessed for who they take. Perfect.
Our columnist Berry Tramel says NBA fans in OKC will remember this day. I think he’s right, but what none of us — not Berry, Lenny Wilkens, not Clay Bennett, not David Stern, Bill Gates or Mick Cornett — know for sure is exactly how it will be remembered.
Is this the day Oklahoma City fell in love with a Longhorn who will make all its NBA dreams come true? Or is this the day that Durant saved the Sonics for Seattle?
Who knows? We really can’t even be sure when we’ll know.
A couple weeks ago I thought there was a slight chance Sonics chairman Clay Bennett and his OKC-based partners could still move the team to the Ford Center in time for the start of the 2007-08 season. Now I say fat chance.
Getting the No. 2 pick and Durant — Portland takes Oden at No. 1; bank on it — almost guarantees that the lobbying effort for a new arena in the Puget Sound goes into overtime.
It’s the first positive news story for that franchise since the Sonics made the playoffs in the 2005-2006 season. It gives Bennett something to talk about other than an arena. Durant will sell some tickets. He’ll generate some excitement and revenue. Why wouldn’t the Sonics stay in Seattle at least one more season and see where all this leads?