Nate the Great will inspire hate no matter what he says to Thunder fans.
Like any Seattle-bred hoops fan, Nate Robinson is pissed that the Sonics left. “Seattle deserves its team back… not now, but RIGHT NOW!”, Robinson said in a Seattle Times chat last August. Responding to a question from a guy chatting as “David Stern,” Robinson said: “I’m not gonna answer any questions from David Stern until he brings the Sonics back from (sic) Seattle.” Robinson has even posed holding a t-shirt for the documentary Sonicsgate.
Robinson’s stance was innocuous when he was a Celtic. Innocuous no more, now that he’s on the Zombie Sonics. Current Thunder Nick Collison has gotten crap simply for living in Seattle in the offseason. How will OKC fans react to a player who supports the notion that the team isn’t rightfully theirs?
Robinson stepped into the mess hours after the trade, about something as simple as his jersey number. “Not sure what # I should rock, 2 is gone 4 is gone,” Robinson tweeted. Soon after, the directors of Sonicsgate had a suggestion: “Rock number 41 as a tribute to 41 years the Sonics were in Seattle before they were stolen.” Forty people retweeted the sentiment.
Now, Nate Robinson talks a lot, but you wouldn’t call him controversial. Unlike Steve Nash, he doesn’t sound off on politics. Unlike Shaquille O’Neal, he doesn’t sound off on former teammates. Unlike Stephon Marbury, he doesn’t sound off his rocker. Robinson mostly cracks jokes and shouts out to fans and friends. Mainly, he seems like the kind of guy who likes people, and wants them to like him back. (I’m the same way, but with a 35-inch smaller vertical.)
And now he’s in an impossible spot. Robinson has not yet addressed the issue to his 265,643 Twitter followers. Probably he’s already figured he can’t win. If he continues to call shenanigans about the Sonics’ move, he’s a hero in Seattle — but he dismays his new employers and disgusts his new fan base. If he keeps quiet, some Seattleites will call him a coward.
In other news…
M’s outfielder/dreamboat Franklin Gutierrez has returned to Seattle so doctors can check out his persistent stomach problems. Gutierrez struggled with the as-yet-undescribed issues during the 2nd half of last season, when he hit just .230 with only 4 homers.
Franklin grad Aaron Brooks was traded from Houston to Phoenix. Brooks will back up Steve Nash and might be his replacement — Nash is a free agent at the end of next year.
Another 206er might benefit from yesterday’s trade flurry — the Rockets’ trade of Shane Battier may open up minutes for Beach grad Terrence Williams. “It’s an opportunity that might be his last good one,” writes Basketball Prospectus’ Kevin Pelton (scroll way down).
If you are an obsessive Husky fan, you’ll want to read this Seattle Times chat with Scott Woodward. Vocabulary fans, too: Woodward uses the word “concomitant”!!
Husky softball hasn’t missed a beat despite the departure of Danielle Lawrie. The Dawgs beat their second top 25 opponent of the year yesterday and are 9-0.
The Sounders destroyed the University of Central Florida 7-0 in an exhibition. O’Brian White and Pat Noonan both scored twice (with Noonan’s first goal assisted by the mysterious “Trialist,” according to the Sounders’ website). David Estrada and Mike Fucito scored as well, and, in case you are adding along, the Sounders also got an own goal.
Big upset in the Pac-10 last night as USC beat Arizona. UCLA beat Arizona State, so the Bruins could tie Arizona for first place in the Pac-10 with a win Saturday.
Gonzaga’s streak of 10 consecutive WCC titles isn’t dead yet. The Zags knocked off St. Mary’s in Moraga, in OT, to tie the Gaels for 1st in the WCC.
Check out former USC coach Tim Floyd’s epic on-court meltdown. Floyd, now at UTEP, had to be separated from refs by a cop.
This weekend’s action…
High School Hoops: Boys 3A (pdf) and (4A (pdf) regionals, various sites.
MWC Hoops: #7 BYU @ #6 San Diego State, 11 a.m. (CBS-7)
Pac-10 Hoops: Arizona @ UCLA, 1 p.m. (FSN)
Pac-10 Hoops: Cal @ Oregon St., 3 p.m. (FSN)
Pac-10 Hoops: Stanford @ Oregon, 3 p.m. (CSN)
WCC Hoops: San Diego @ Gonzaga, 6 p.m. (Universal Sports)
NCAA Hoops: Seattle U @ Cal-State Bakersfield, 7 p.m. (ESPN-710)
Baseball: Mariners vs. San Diego, 12:05 p.m. (ESPN-710)
Pac-10 Hoops: Huskies vs. Wazzu, 7 p.m. (FSN)