In his lengthy piece, Repanich delves into the end of Seattle's SuperSonics--from Howard Schultz's purchasing of the team, to his rampant mismanagement, to the final emergence of Okie Clay Bennett and the team's last game in Seattle. It's a heartfelt piece, and one with too many curse-word-inspiring moments to recount.
Still, one sticks out--and it's no wonder the piece was titled after it.
According to Repanich's piece, when Barry Ackerley sold the team to the investment group led by Schultz, apparently the longtime Ackerley tradition of giving holiday gifts to Sonics employees disappeared along with the former owner. Sensing unhappiness, one of the members of the Sonics' new ownership group, Richard Tait, the co-creator of the board game Cranium, tried to make things right by giving out his game.
Not to be outdone, Schultz followed suit. He gave each employee a Starbucks gift card. One member of the staff--who wasn't a Starbucks regular--decided to use his card to get some snacks. When he went to pay for his roughly five dollars' worth of food, he asked how much money remained on the card.
"Well, you owe me money," the cashier said.
The Sonics employee asked how much had been on the card to begin with.
"$3.50," the barista replied.
At the time, we would later learn, ordinary customers couldn't buy a Starbucks card with a value of less than $5. These were custom $3.50 gift cards.