I want to break into REI and tear down the climbing wall. Or dig deep ditches every 10 feet along the Burke-Gilman Trail. Or fill all the golf holes with cement. Or pretend I have biblical powers and fill Safeco Field and Qwest Field with poisonous frogs and carnivorous locusts.

I want to take away their sports because mine is being taken from me.

I want to kidnap a basketball hater. I want to drive him to a high-school gym in Reardan or Wellpinit, my hometowns. I want to sit my hostage in the bleachers and point out the grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins, and townspeople who have gathered to cheer for their team, for their families.

I want my hostage to understand that when I cheer for the Sonics, I am cheering for the city of Seattle. I'm a small-town kid who, through his basketball love, has changed this metropolis into my community. You are my family.

This is a love story, damn it.

Once, in KeyArena, after a big Sonics win, I hugged a stranger and he hugged me back. We were men crying in each other's arms.

Can't you see the beauty in that? recommended