The Sonics are used to having opponents light up the scoreboard this season (they're 3–15), but it got ridiculous on December 2. Five minutes into the first quarter of the Sonics game against the Golden State Warriors—Sonics down 17–8—the JumboTron caught on fire.
Smoke billowed from the top of the scoreboard and sparks flew onto the court. To protect the basketball court, venue workers laid a plastic tarp on the floor. And the team mascot, Squatch, donned coveralls and a hard hat and joined the firefighting efforts. The flaming JumboTron was lowered so firemen could stand inside the structure and extinguish the fire, which, according to a Sonics PR release, was caused by a "faulty cyberlight."
Following the 15-minute delay, the Sonics resumed some of their most uninspired play of the season, losing 109–96. The Supes now have just one victory at KeyArena.
Sonics owner Clay Bennett's application to relocate the team to Oklahoma City remains on file with the NBA. Bennett believes that "the region is still in need of a modern building, not just for the Sonics and Storm, but also for the broad commercial and quality-of-life benefits such facilities provide."
The exact cause of the lighting malfunction remains unknown. ANGELA GARBES
It rained. A lot. NANCY DREW
Washington Tax Fairness Coalition Codirector Juan Martinez, 37, plans to run in next year's Democratic primary for the 11th District state senate seat (which includes parts of South and West Seattle as well as Renton, Tukwila, Kent, Burien, and Skyway). The incumbent is the powerful chair of the senate Ways and Means Committee, Democratic senator Margarita Prentice.
Martinez, a former legislative aide to U.S. Representative Jim McDermott (D-7), said Prentice's heavy-handed approach to pushing millions in subsidies for the Sonics and her refusal to look at reforming the payday-loan industry "caused a lot of unhappiness" in the district. Martinez also said there were environmental concerns in South Park and Georgetown that needed more attention. JOSH FEIT