That Nate Robinson was traded on Thursday shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. After all, the Boston Celtics had been dangling him leading up to the trade deadline, determined to make some kind of move as they rebuilt the team's roster. But where he was traded -- to the Oklahoma City Thunder; formerly our Seattle Sonics -- came as a surprise, and a punch in the gut for Seattle basketball fans.
Think about which players are associated with Seattle basketball -- the guys that grew up playing in the city, carrying that pride everywhere they go. Nate Robinson and Brandon Roy immediately come to mind, but it's Robinson's personality and larger-than-life persona that shines through, endearing him to fans. He is, in many ways, Seattle basketball.
So how do we reconcile the fact that Robinson, the face of the city, is playing for the team that was taken away from Seattle? The short answer is we can't. Sure, time has passed since the Sonics were shuttled off to Oklahoma City, but fans haven't forgot. Seattle hasn't forgiven the NBA, David Stern or Clay Bennett and likely never will. It's an open wound that continues to sting.
And with the addition of Robinson, salt has been poured in the wound now. Yes, it was a business decision to bring Robinson into the fold, and an understandable one at that. But it doesn't change the fact that the name most associate with Seattle basketball is wearing a uniform the city can't support.
We can all root Robinson performs well for himself while Oklahoma City loses every game, right? Let's just hope he's only in Oklahoma City a short time, signing a contract elsewhere this offseason.