12 September 2008

NBA Training Camp Preview: Oklahoma City Robber Barons

This was my initial attempt at a sports comedy article. While it might not be "good" in a conventional sense, I think it does a decent job of illustrating my long-standing point about committing to the joke (who the hell else writes nearly a full page of of jokes based on the Captains of Industry).

We all know that the Team Formerly Known As The SuperSonics departed for markets far less exploited this summer, but the action and adventure hasn't stopped there. The flurry of activity down at the J.P. Morgandome, in preparation for the tipoff of training camp, far outstrips even that of the Federal Reserve as it examines applications from dozens of businesses, all vying for taxpayer bailout. In a brief interview with one of the team's Senior Basketball Officials, we learned the following:

- Kevin Durant, on recommendation from Coach P.J. Carlesimo, has been pouring over David Nasaw's biography “Andrew Carnegie” all summer. Our source confirmed the longstanding rumor that Carlesimo and assistant Paul Westhead plan to run a “vertically integrated” offense through Durant this year, allowing the former University of Texas star complete control over the production and distribution of points on the floor. Whether Nick Collison and Jeff Green will be able to feed the team's demand is a question that, as of yet, appears to be unaddressed. An interview with Durant is scheduled for next week.

- Rebuffed, but not dissuaded, from his offers to form a “basketball partnership” with Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Robber Barons owner Clay Bennett has put his staff into motion with orders to purchase the businesses that provide essential services to the Nuggets' Pepsi Center and the Mavericks' American Airlines Center (not limited to, but including, custodial and concessional services), in order to place more pressure on his erstwhile allies. Bennett is said to hope that he might be able to force his competition into such an untenable state that they cede their position in the National Basketball Association, departing as sources of athletic competition.

- The explosion in season ticket purchases after the announcement of the team's relocation has not come without cost; the speed at which the sales occurred, and subsequent purchases of tickets to individual games, generated a fear at the highest levels of Professional Basketball Club LLC that demand at reselling services (like StubHub) could “water” the value of the tickets, resulting in a net loss of income for the Robber Barons. Plans to charge upwards of $300 for single-game tickets were quickly reversed when sales to Robber Barons games slowed in concert with their NBADL affiliate club, the Tulsa Strikebreakers, record-breaking surge in ticket purchases.

Extra-special thanks to kaseymoody@yahoo.com for the fantastic Photoshop job.

No comments: