It has been over a decade since the Seattle Sonics were relocated to Oklahoma City by Thunder owner Clay Bennett.
“We made it,” Bennett said after stepping to an Oklahoma City podium featuring the NBA logo and the letters OKC. “The NBA will be in Oklahoma City next season.”
Clay Bennett and his professional basketball club LLC agreed to pay up to 75 million dollars to the city in return for the Key Arena lease agreement to be terminated immediately.
Since then, the Hansen-Ballmer group attempted to purchase the Sacramento Kings in 2013. The group consisted of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and the Nordstrom family.
However, members of the Sacremento Kings community were able to secure the necessary funding to keep the Kings in town.
About a year later, Steve Ballmer decided to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for a then record $2 billion. Following a scandal involving former owner Donald Sterling. Unfortunately, for the city of Seattle, there was a purchasing clause that didn’t allow Ballmer to relocate the team to Seattle.
Over the last couple of years, there has been some chatter about the possibility of NBA expansion. If it does happen, Seattle is at the top of the list, according to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, which he shared with me a couple of years ago.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reiterated Cuban’s comments back in December as a guest on the Renaissance Man podcast.
“I was in this league for many years while Seattle still had a team, and we were all sad … And it still remains a great market. I know I hear from fans of the old Sonics, fans in Seattle all of the time … there is no doubt that when we do turn back to expansion, which we invariably will one day, that Seattle will be at the top of the list.” Silver told Jalen Rose.
The NBA players have always enjoyed the trip to Seattle during the season. Steve Kerr, Devin Harris, Joe Johnson, and Brendan Haywood were no different.
“The city was always great, great food, great atmosphere, great fans. “It was always a city you look forward to going to. I hope they get a team back because the NBA is missing out,” said Harris.
Kerr shared that not having the Sonics in Seattle is like not having the Warriors in Oakland or the Bay Area.
“To me it is like not having the Warriors in Oakland or the Bay Area. To me those two franchises were like mirror images for a long time,” said Kerr.
“I thought it was a travesty when the Sonics left Seattle, and I hope at a point sometime soon Seattle will get that team back.”
Last week, Brendan Haywood was on Instagram Live with Ryan Hollins and was asked what he missed about the NBA not being in Seattle.
“I miss the fans in Seattle. They were great. They had a great atmosphere, and their mascot looked like Chewbacca from Star Wars,” said Haywood.
He also shared that the Seattle fans, “had the energy in that building.
Former NBA veteran Joe Johnson was a recent guest on the NR Hour Podcast and was asked the same question.
‘Seattle was great, I enjoyed playing there. Hopefully, they come back they have a bunch of great hoopers, that come from that area. I sure those guys would love for Seattle to have a pro team back as well,” said Johnson.