If you follow the NBA, by now you should be well aware of the Sonicsgate movement and resulting film. Sonicsgate came together in an attempt to stop the Seattle Supersonics from being ripped away from the fans who held them so dear. Anyone who has had their team torn away from them by the forces of greed will understand the plight of the basketball fans of Seattle — as a Sydney Kings fan who grew up in Australia, I certainly do. (Thankfully for me, the Kings have been resurrected this year to return in the 2010/11 NBL season.)
Recently the Sonicsgate team have been intensifying their efforts to return the Sonics to Seattle. Sonicsgate Director, Jason Reid and Producer, Adam Brown were kind enough to take some questions about their current efforts and progress. The responses to the interview below come from Adam, with the support of Jason.
For those unfamiliar with the Sonicsgate film and movement, could you both briefly describe your involvement with both the film and the team?
“Sonicsgate: Requiem For A Team” is a feature documentary that exposes the truth behind the Seattle SuperSonics tragic relocation to Oklahoma in 2008 after 41 years of playing in the Emerald City. As five hardcore fans who had our team stolen from us, we had to fight back and expose the lies and corruption that caused this to happen.
I was the volunteer Media Director for the Save Our Sonics group as we fought to save the team those last two years, and Jason Reid was also an SOS volunteer as he would produce short videos on the topic. After the team left, we were both furious and, through a series of coincidences, met up and decided to produce this film. My title is “Producer and Media Director”, Jason’s is “Director and Producer”.
We started shooting interviews in June 2009 and premiered the film in October 2009, which is a ridiculously short schedule for a feature film from start to finish. Lots of 20-hour days in there to get it done, and we had an amazing team of people helping out along the way.
How would you describe the current status of the fight to restore the Sonics to Seattle?
What feedback, if any, have you had from David Stern and the league office on the film and your efforts for recognition of the wrong-doings towards the fans of Seattle?
Absolutely none. The NBA refused to interview with us and have ignored our film completely, most likely for PR reasons. We love NBA basketball, but we are obviously not happy with the way David Stern and the league have treated a loyal fanbase that supported their product for 41 years.
I’ve noticed that the recent “We Want Your Team” campaign sparked some cries of distaste from fans of other teams. I understand that this shock-reaction was somewhat intended. How do you feel that the overall reaction to this set of “Stern Warnings” (a phrase which I’m happy to have inspired) to the other teams of the league has been?
What plans do you have next?
We have plans to screen Sonicsgate in New York, Salt Lake City, Sacramento and maybe even Oklahoma. We are also rallying people and using this educational film as a tool to create political action here in Washington, since our elected officials really let us down throughout this whole process. The film has also been adopted as part of the educational curriculum in colleges and high schools across the nation including the University of Louisville, Illinios State University and the University of Washington.
Many thanks to Adam for his responses. I can not recommend highly enough that you watch the Sonicsgate film (it truly is compelling viewing) and navigate the Sonicsgate.org website to educate yourself on the situation. As Adam points out, this could be you one day. Losing a team you have poured your love into can be soul-destroying.
If you are in the vicinity of New York City on April 30th and May 1st, you can book yourself a ticket to see the film in all it’s glory at the People’s Improv Theater (second floor of 154 W. 29th Street) in Manhattan at 3pm on both days. Advanced tickets online via Brown Paper Tickets: Event ID 105518.