Go Prudents!

Oklahoma City will soon be home to an N.B.A. team, the former Seattle SuperSonics. The new team will probably be called the Thunder, but other name candidates include the Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshalls, and Wind. (Thank goodness the team is being renamed; I still laugh every time I hear the “Utah Jazz.”)

I had the good fortune to visit Oklahoma City not long ago. The city and surrounding area are doing very well — in part, to be sure, because of the oil-and-gas resurgence. But there were some other significant upsides. The city used a very successful bond issue to prudently raise and spend money for a lot of infrastructure and downtown development. And the housing market is still solid. I was told this was for two reasons:

1. Housing prices hadn’t gone up much when they were spiking in many other parts of the country.

2. The local banking and mortgage industries were more prudent and conservative than many others in keeping risky loans to a minimum.

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So while the Thunder is a fine name for the old SuperSonics, if the city really wanted to give the team a name that means something — like the Steelers or Packers used to — maybe they should be the Oklahoma City Prudents?


Julian

Sorry Silvanus,

Seattle fans will not ever really recover from losing their SuperSonics.

Forty-one years and a championship does not get replaced by any expansion team, if they eventually get one. David Stern is a very vindictive man and will not bend easily. He is a friend of Clay Bennett, which has a lot to do with all the help he got in getting the team out of town. Bennett and company lied under oath and it should shame the NBA for years to come.

Seattle is a far too lenient and liberal city to stand up for loyal fans. It's the same old story, all about saving money and quelling the storm.

I know Seattle doesn't get too much exposure beyond a 100-mile radius, but they got royally screwed in every way.

Chances are that the trial verdict would've favored the city had they not reached a settlement. However, that would have meant two more years of basketball to honor the lease agreement, and then what? Maybe Steve Ballmer steps in, maybe he doesn't.

Why all the hubbub? Well, I'm a Sonics fan, or I was. Moreover, I'm a basketball fan, not an NBA fan.

For now, I hang up my fandom and move on, slightly bittered.

I hope all of you understand that.

Oklahoma City, you got a basketball team. Good for you. Be proud of that fact. Just don't get too giddy over how you hustled it.

Wait, I got it! Hustlers.

Yeah, that'll work just fine.

Read more...

John

"If you’re making jokes about the OKC bombing, you’re a despicable person."

Too soon?

John

JayT #14: "There isn’t anything in Oklahoma that has anything to do with airplanes..."

Well, both airports in Oklahoma City are named after guys who died by airplane crash: Will Rogers and Wiley Post.

Same airplane.

So how about "The Oklahoma City Crash".

Harry

"what’s wrong with the supersonics?- guess loyalty is low on the list of branding"

They can't use the name "SuperSonics" because part of the settlement with the city of Seattle to get out of their lease was that Seattle would get to keep the name Sonics in case they ever get another team.

Another part of the settlement was that Seattle also gets to keep the Sonics' colors, so that fake "Prudents" jersey certainly wouldn't look like that.

I like the name "Outlaws" best for the new OKC team, but it's not gonna happen. "Robber Barons" is also catchy, though we may be stuck with the OKC Thunder in the end.

CGHill

Oklahoma City has no problem selling its bonds: the city's credit is sterling. (This "Thou Shalt Not Run a Budget Deficit" business is, shall we say, highly prudent.) What's more, they structured the issuance so that mere property owners, like me, aren't stuck with huge tax increases.

You could argue that we didn't do anything here that can't be done anywhere else, and you'd be correct. But then you'd have to explain why everywhere else isn't doing it.

www.joepryor.com/blog

Thank you for having the insight to see that Oklahoma City has been more than prudent, it has made progressive decisions that include the MAPS projects, the expansion of Will Rogers World Airport, and a major league franchise. The business community and government understand what it takes to bring more business and jobs to Oklahoma City. I wasn't an NBA fan but I am now. Good luck Seattle on getting a new franchise. Even if you don't your a great city with a lot more than sports going for it.

Marc

I can see the headline now: PRUDS WIN SERIES.

Silvanus

I'm in the OKC area- people are still affected by McVeigh and Nichol's mass murder of 168 innocents, twenty something of whom were children. If you're making jokes about the OKC bombing, you're a despicable person.

OKC is an expanding city of over 1 million people. The midwest for the most part was safe from the Housing bubble, simply because it takes a while for practices made popular on the coasts to reach here, and luckily so. Besides, I know the owners of my bank in Nebraska; they're nice people and sincerely believe they have a stake in the community (and they do). So they don't go in for shady practices or get rich quick schemes that take Wall Street by storm. As W said recently, "Wall street got drunk."

As for the team, kudos to OKC. Seattle will recover.

G Lazman

The first thing I thought of when I heard the name "Outlaws" was Timothy McVeigh. I would guess they would steer clear of a name like that.

JohnO

I used to live in OKC ... it typically has one of the lowest housing costs in the US. Thus, no speculation because the markets is typically really flat (not unlike the state).

My name suggestion is the "fly-overs." Ahem.

PR

I'm confused by this:

"The city used a very successful bond issue to prudently raise and spend money for a lot of infrastructure and downtown development."

How was it successful? How was it prudent? Don't all cities, states and other municipalities use the market to raise money? What makes them so special? Did they get an exceptionally good rate?

Doesn't seem as if the bonds have necessarily come to market, just that they have been voted on. Isn't that something that state and local governments do all the time?

PJ

In honor of their owner, Clay Bennett, and they way in which he procured the team - they should be called the Ok City Swindlers.

whoawait

you've almost got tddoog...but actually tattoos were legalized last year...better late than never--kind of like getting an NBA franchise in 2008.

Scott

If they were called the outlaws, they would definitely need to trade for Travis Outlaw. That'd be awesome.

Z

I think Bill Simmons has already christened them the Oklahoma City Expiring Contracts.

JayT

The Super Sonics were named that because Boeing was the most well known corporation in Seattle. New Orleans is known for its jazz music, and Utah is not. Minnesota is known for its lakes and LA is not. The Rams, Giants, and Colts are all fairly nondescript names, so when they moved it didn't really affect anything. The Dodgers though is a shortened version of their original name, the Trolley Dodgers because Brooklyn had a trolley system the inhabitants had to dodge, so the Dodgers aren't any better then the Jazz.

There isn't anything in Oklahoma that has anything to do with airplanes, so I think that it’s the right choice to change the name.

Shay

They can't be the Barons - that's reserved for Kansas City's team ... if we ever get one.

Think about it - the Chiefs, Royals, Monarchs (from the Negro League teams, which we're still quite proud of) - Barons would be perfect.

Red

"SuperSonics" is a name tied to Seattle - the team was named after Boeing won a competition to develop an American supersonic transport to be developed at its Seattle facilities. (The transport was never built.)

frankenduf

what's wrong with the supersonics?- guess loyalty is low on the list of branding

OKCity

How about the Oklahoma City Perjury?