Count Gary Payton among the supporters for keeping the Sonics in Seattle -- even if it's for slightly selfish reasons. From Percy Allen of the Seattle Times (via TrueHoop):
"I sure don't want to get my jersey retired in Oklahoma City," he said. "I don't think that would work for me. That ain't where I played. Oklahoma City fans didn't get to really, really see me. They saw me on TV, but that was it.Payton may still get to see his No. 20 raised to the KeyArena rafters -- the legal battle between the Sonics and the city of Seattle won't be resolved until some point this summer, meaning (for better or worse) the city will get at least one more season with the team.
"My fans are here in Seattle. It would be nice for me to come back and raise my jersey in Seattle here and let everybody appreciate it and my family can appreciate it."
But assuming the Sonics do eventually move, should Payton's No. 20 stay retired in Oklahoma City? Or should Clay Bennett be forced to forfeit his claims to Seattle's basketball history, much like Art Modell did when his old Cleveland Browns became the new Baltimore Ravens?
I hope it's the latter. Even if David Stern is serious about not putting another team in Seattle, it's preposterous to think the citizens of OKC have any emotional attachment to the likes of Payton or other legends like Gus Williams, Jack Sikma or Shawn Kemp.