The NBA left Seattle almost a decade ago, but commissioner Adam Silver is opening the door for a return.
After the Seattle SuperSonics drafted Kevin Durant No. 2 overall in 2007, somewhat luckily, local NBA fans got to enjoy one of the league’s best players for just one season before their team became the Oklahoma City Thunder.
There was some talk of trying to get a new arena built in Seattle to help bring an NBA team back to town a few years ago, as the Sacramento Kings had some ownership and arena issues. But that relocation ship has sailed, with new ownership and a brand new arena built to keep the Kings in California’s capital city.
Seattle has also been floated as an option for NHL expansion or relocation, but its safe to say it’s an NBA city first and foremost.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver sat down with Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum for The Players’ Tribune before the NBA Draft in June. McCollum asked Silver about multiple topics, including the possibility of a team returning to Seattle.
Silver considers expansion to Seattle to be inevitable, and he’s obviously in the lead position to know. A new arena build has been proposed in Seattle, which Silver and the league office is surely watching closely to see if it comes to fruition. Local hedge fund manager Chris Hansen was at the front of the ownership group that was in line to buy the Kings in 2013, before the NBA Board of Governors voted against the sale and subsequent relocation of that franchise, and all indications are he’s leading the charge for a new arena.
The NBA could be in line for something similar to what the NFL did with the Cleveland Browns in 1999. An expansion team with the same name as a relocated team, with a transfer of the original franchise’s history upon its resumption with the same name. A fresh nickname could be chosen, in part for new marketing purposes, but let’s hope common sense prevails and the Seattle SuperSonics are back in the NBA when the time comes.