Hoop hoop hooray — the NBA came back to Seattle this week, baby. And our beloved SuperSonics were front and center. 🎉
Okay, fine, we knowwww. The Sonics aren’t returning just yet. There was a preseason game between two NBA teams on Monday — and several former Sonics players were there like Shawn Kemp + Gary Payton. But rumors that the league would announce a Seattle expansion franchise at the Rain City Showcase didn’t end up coming to fruition.
We can still dream the dream, people. Momentum appears to be building — yes, for real this time — and it’s totally fine to get excited again. Let’s check the score.
Why did the Sonics leave in the first place? 🏀
Look, it’s nothing you did — they still love you very much. While the nitty gritty behind the team leaving is complicated, the main gist was that former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sold the Sonics to Oklahoma owners in 2006 after failing to secure a brand new arena for the team.
There were unkept promises of keeping the Sonics in Seattle, and the new owners relocated the franchise to Oklahoma City in 2008, renaming it the Thunder. FWIW, Howard has since apologized for selling the team, calling it a “mistake.”
Gotta believe 🏀
The NBA currently has 30 teams, but it hasn’t brought a new franchise into the fold in nearly 20 years. League Commissioner Adam Silver said he recognizes Seattle as a top contender for possible expansion — after all, it’s the largest market without an NBA team.
Other comeback hints 🏀
- Climate Pledge Arena has impressed NBA big shots like Shaq, who said the Sonics “need to come back.”
- LA Clippers owner + Seattle native Steve Ballmer gave a fiery speech Monday at the Rain City Showcase about this being a “basketball city.”
- LeBron James recently visited Seattle for a pro-am event.
- Mascot Squatch has come out of hiding.
Moving the needle 🏀
We’ve heard this chatter before, and we will again. But the noise has grown loud enough now that it’s worth checking on our official Sonics comeback buzz-o-meter. Stay tuned.
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