“Thank You Seattle” Shirts for OKC Thunder Pulled After Death Threats
Apparently, folks in Seattle are a bit testy over losing the Super Sonics a few years ago. Too bad they saved their passion for after the team left.
An Oklahoma City screenprinting company has been selling (like hotcakes) a new shirt that says "Thank You Seattle", in reference to the Western Conference Finals bound Thunder relocating from the Emerald City in 2008. War Paint Clothing Company featured the shirt on their website, showing what looked like the old Sonic city skyline emblem, the Space Needle removed, blue instead of green and gold, and the words "thank you Seattle" on the back. KING5 television in Seattle was the first to cover the new shirts.
War Paint released a statement indicating they were pulling the shirts from their lineup after alledgedly receiving death threats! KING5 nor War Paint had any details about what the threats said or where they were from, but as of Tuesday, the shirts were still available on the War Paint website according to the Seattle NBC TV Affiliate.
The Seattle SuperSonics left in 2008 when the ownership group bought out (through a settlement) the rest of their lease, and relocated to Oklahoma City. After a rocky start, the team has flourished. Led by former #1 draft pick and NBA Scoring Champ Kevin Durant, OKC tested the 2011 champ Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, and now are headed there again vs. San Antonio. Many NBA experts are picking the eventual NBA champ to come out of that Spurs-Thunder series.
It's ironic that War Paint would be receiving death threats over the shirt; part of the reason the Sonics left Seattle was due to fan apathy. They were also one of-if not THE most-poorly marketed teams in professional sports. It wasn't until the 11th hour (when the paint was all but dry on their lease buy-out) that any kind of fan support or rally took place when several thousand fans gathered downtown to protest their leaving. By then it was already too late.
Radio listeners may recall in the several years prior to their depature, you could not even get Sonic games on the radio in the Tri-Cities. Since relocating to OKC, the Thunder have sold out nearly every single home game, regular season and playoffs, the franchise is thriving, and becoming one of the new powerhouses in professional sports. Seattle fans, your anger is a little too late, and looking rather stupid!