SEATTLE – Some Seattle businesses are going to the extreme to show their support for the former Seattle SuperSonics – the team that existed before moving to Oklahoma City to become the Thunder. In fact, one Seattle barber shop recently kicked out a customer after he declared he was a Thunder fan.
The Sonics moved in 2008, two years after the team was sold to an Oklahoma City-based ownership group led by Clay Bennett. The Thunder are now in the NBA Finals and have a 1-0 series lead against the Miami Heat with Game 2 Thursday night.
The better the Thunder play, the more difficult it is for die hard Sonics fans to take.
“We were here talking about some poll that we heard on ESPN about the Thunder,” said John Song, a barber at The Roosevelt Barber Shop. "One of Niko's clients over there he was waiting for a haircut and he jumped in and said ‘I’m a Thunder fan. What's wrong with Kevin Durant winning a ring?'
“The only thing I could think of is, ‘There is the door. Leave.’"
A sign on the wall reads, “This is not a joke. If you are rooting for the Thunder, you will be kicked out. If you ask why this sign exists, you will also be kicked out.”
"As you can see by the sign we put up there, it’s evident. This is no nonsense. We don't tolerate that. No Thunder fans in here,” said Song. "If you are going to be a Seattle SuperSonics fan or say you were, there is no reason why you should ever want Clay Bennett to hoist that championship trophy with that team. That is just absurd.”
"I am the owner of the business and I was born and raised in Seattle. I put these gentlemen in here and it’s just the way we feel. We're very passionate about our Sonics,” said Rex Alcantara.
"It made us look good, plain and simple,” said Song.
"We don't tolerate that. I’m sorry," said Alcantara. "Actually, I’m not sorry."
The customer who was kicked out said he thought talking sports in a barber shop was fair game, but there were no hard feelings. He’s taken his business elsewhere.
A rally to drum up support for a new Seattle basketball arena and to bring the NBA back to the city is being held Thursday at 4 p.m. at Occidental Park in downtown Seattle.