STARBUCKS CHAIRMAN Howard Schultz will need some of his much-vaunted marketing genius to turn around his lethargic new franchise. Fortunately, as the lead investor in the January 11th $200 million purchase of the Sonics, the King of Caffeine has already got some early ideas for reinvigorating the squad:
To keep All-Star Gary Payton from fighting with his lame teammates and prevent further suspensions, switch the Glove to decaf and change his nickname to "Mellow Roast."
Replace Vin Baker's daily dose of Prozac with double espressos during each time-out. While we're at it, give Sonic President Wally Walker a caffeine boost too. Our last unleaded manager, Paul Westphal, is one of the reasons we're in this mess.
Rename KeyArena "KeyAroma," with free refills available—and perhaps necessary!--for anyone willing to sit through an entire game.
Replace hoary, stinking, flea-bitten Squatch with friendly new hyperactive bean mascot "Jumpin' Java Jiveman," who shoots free Starbucks merchandise into the crowd. (No tipping, please.)
Supply pre-game national anthem and halftime entertainment by Schultz's friend and favorite musician: Kenny G!
No free company pastries for Vin Baker! If he doesn't lose some weight, repackage the fat-ass forward with the moniker "Special Brew" and sell him at a discount to any team foolish enough to swallow his $87 million contract.
To promote competition within the region, put up another taxpayer-funded stadium right next to KeyArena; label it "Seattle's Best Arena" to house an NBA expansion team (the Seattle Home Brews?), then let the two organizations duke it out.
Seattle Center International Fountain will now spout jets of—yes, you guessed it—piping hot House Blend.
Tre-motion: Each time a Sonic sharpshooter nails a three-pointer, free triple shots delivered courtside.
Have Schultz convince his buddy Magic Johnson to come out of retirement for one last Demitasse Denouement tour.
Inspired by caf頡u lait, introduce the ferocious new French Press defense.
As a management perk, have publicly owned Seattle Center green space turned into Howard Schultz's personal driveway.
Promote eco-friendly image for Nigerian rookie center Olumide Oyedeji—he's shade-grown!
Package best Kevin Calabro play-by-play calls on CDs to be sold at Starbucks Hear Music listening kiosks, replacing tepid jazz and tired folk discs. (Yes, Lyle, that means you.)
Teach elder statesman Patrick Ewing how to pour a half-caf triple-tall mocha—he'll need another job next season when his knees, ankles, back, and legs go.
KeyArena Drive-Up Coffee Window—staffed by topless Sonic dancers! (Your tipping is appreciated; lap dances extra.)