The city of Seattle just isn’t the same city without an NBA team.
The sports rich metropolitan hosts a thriving NFL team with the Seattle Seahawks, a rising MLS team with the Seattle Sounders, a struggling MLB team with the Seattle Mariners, and a WNBA team with the Seattle Storm. But one thing is missing, an NBA team. Modern-day sports in Seattle began with the NBA expansion in 1967 bringing the Seattle SuperSonics, the first pro sports team in the Pacific Northwest to Seattle. Without an NBA team, the city isn’t whole. Fans understand this, the city understands this, but bringing a team back to Seattle has proven difficult. Here is a look at three reasons the NBA needs to return to Seattle.
1. The History
The Seattle SuperSonics paved the way for the city of Seattle. Seattle proved successful in making a home for the NBA and the fans and city embraced the team. This opened the door for the professional teams now calling Seattle home. To add to the misery, the Sonics were the first team since 1917 (hockey) to bring a championship to Seattle. In 1979, the Sonics won the NBA title. Since then, the WNBA team, the Seattle Storm has brought home two Championship titles to the city. Basketball thrives in the Emerald City.
2. The Talent
Few cities can boast the level of talent for one sport like Seattle can. Kids grew up idolizing the Sonics and dreaming of playing in the NBA. Seeing stars like Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and Ray Allen in a Sonics jersey helped develop a hotbed of talent in Washington State. Without a team to admire and mold them, Seattle may not have fostered the likes of NBA players Brandon Roy, Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, Spencer Hawes, Terrence Williams, or Tony Wroten.
“I’ve always been a Sonics fan,” Crawford said in Sonicsgate.”They helped mold me. I looked at all those guys. I used to hang with Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp and those guys, and they took me under their wing, to work out with ’em, just to see how professionals acted. How they were in the community. I was like, ‘Wow, I want to be like that one day.'”
3. City Support
Where would a team be without the support of the city? Fans loved and supported the Sonics. Then there is the Chris Hansen group. Few cities would have investors willing to spend nearly $1 billion to bring a franchise back to their hometown. The city is moving forward with a new arena, without a new team. That shows the continued desire of the city.
Add to all that, former Sonics players support the team to this day. Payton continuously advocates for the return of an NBA team to Seattle and Kevin Durant wore a Sonics hat to an Oklahoma City Thunder game in May. Seattle just isn’t the same without an NBA team and the city won’t stop until they can bring the game back.
Photo Credit: Ibrahim Rustamov
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