Skip to content

Seattle officials are moving on bringing an NBA team back to Seattle by fall. And the Kings are being discussed.

Feb 5, 2012, 1:06 AM EDT


There have been better separations of cities from teams. But the move of the Seattle Supersonics from Seattle to become the Oklahoma City Thunder remains the worst in the history of the NBA. It’s not just the forty years of history, the success of the franchise, the passion of the fans, it’s the way the entire thing went down. Fans not just in Seattle but across the country are still angry over a perceived plot by David Stern alongside Clay Bennett to rob the city of its franchise.

Since then, there’s been a lot of talk about Seattle getting a team back, but nothing seemed substantive. But that may be about to change. The Seattle Times reports that a buyer is in place for a team… and there are plans to move forward with building a new arena, while bringing in a team to play in old Key Arena while the new facility is built. The timeline for all this could start as soon as this fall. From the Seattle Times:

A wealthy San Francisco hedge-fund manager and officials in the Seattle mayor’s office have been working behind the scenes for eight months to bring an NBA team back to the city as early as next fall and build a new arena, according to emails and documents that reveal a far more concerted effort than previously known.

A Dec. 13 agenda for a meeting between the parties shows they were talking about details such as a “Review of Basic Deal Structure,” “Financing Issues,” including “City Debt Capacity,” and “Security for Public Financing.”

The documents, released Friday to The Seattle Times under a public-disclosure request, also provide the first glimpse of how the largely unknown hedge-fund manager, 44-year-old Seattle native Christopher Hansen, approached the city about his desire to buy an NBA team and build an arena south of Safeco Field.

In an initial email laying out his vision, Hansen told city officials an arena could be built with minimal impact on taxpayers.

via Local News | Seattle sports-arena talks well under way, documents show | Seattle Times Newspaper.

OK, there are about a million parts to this, and the article lays out many of them so I suggest you head on over to that link to read the full thing. Among the items you’ll read there are things that involve how the city has to come up with a plan that profits the city thanks to a voter-approved initiative in recent years, and… the Sacramento Kings. Apparently the owners that are looking to steal back a team to replace the one that was stolen from them are looking at the Kings, who of course are involved in their own highly complex situation regarding a new arena to keep them in Sacramento.

In order for that to happen there would have be a decision on the part of the Maloofs to sell, something they have not indicated they are willing to do at this point. Their last initiative to move to Anaheim was blocked by the board of governors, and they may wind up getting a new arena, which paired with the new CBA and revenue sharing could stabilize their finances. But if Hansen and company get rolling with a big offer, you never know how things will work out.

It would be interesting to see public reaction to such a move. Everyone freaked out over Seattle losing its team while many feel small markets don’t deserve their teams. Sacramento Kings fans were supportive of the Sonics fans’ efforts to keep the team. But they could wind up losing theirs to Seattle if a number of things fall through. From here, though, it seems like there are too many obstacles that would have to befall Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson’s efforts to get concerned.

But one thing’s certain. The movement to return the Sonics is underway. It’s no longer just talk anymore.

  1. tcclark - Feb 5, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    The Hornets make the most sense for a lot of reasons. One, they already don’t have an owner. Two, they don’t have a major superstar that Hornets fans will cling too (Eric Gordon hasn’t played much in a hornets uni). And three, they don’t have a long, rich history like the Kings do. What makes me most angry about the Sonics’ move was that Clay Bennett has the rights to the history of the Sonics (the banners, etc). Seattle wouldn’t be stealing much from New Orleans. They didn’t have a rich history in Charlotte, and they’ve done nothing in New Orleans. Please move them to Seattle. I want the Sonics back!

    • tcclark - Feb 5, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      oh and then they could switch them and OKC so OKC isn’t playing in the north west division anymore

  2. law1orde - Feb 5, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    No way, OKC needs to be playing Seattle in the Northwest Division. It would be a blood rivalry. If Seattle ever decides you can’t play in the NBA for free and helps build a decent facility instead of trying to foist off the old Key Center on the NBA it might happen, but I doubt it. Seattle is too cheap.

  3. AlohaMrHand - Feb 6, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    doesn’t Safeco have a retractable roof?Couldnt they closethe roof and set up a court and play there until the new arena is built?

  4. gmsalpha - Feb 6, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    A city can lose a team and then years later get one again and restore the team name, colors, etc. It depends on whether or not the team that leaves keeps the identity of the old franchise or goes forward with their own.

    If you ever stopped to wonder why the heck they’re the Utah Jazz when there’s not a whole lot of jazz in Salt Lake City, it’s because they kept the name from when they were in New Orleans. If you ever wondered why they’re called the Los Angeles Lakers when there aren’t a whole lot of lakes in L.A, it’s because they moved from Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes.

    Then again, the Cleveland Browns became the Baltimore Ravens and not the Baltimore Browns, so when Cleveland got a new franchise, the Browns were available. Had the Baltimore Colts become the Indianapolis Brickyards, the old Cleveland Browns could have moved to Baltimore as the Baltimore Colts.

    Just sayin

  5. cecishero22 - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Don’t forget the ravens did not get to keep the history from the browns, it will be very unfortunate if OCT get to have two names and history they never performed.. What is the good in letting them keep Seattles basketball name?!!

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2030)
  2. K. Irving (1641)
  3. A. Davis (1528)
  4. L. James (1433)
  5. K. Durant (1419)
  1. K. Bryant (1369)
  2. R. Rubio (1361)
  3. T. Thompson (1220)
  4. J. Clarkson (1151)
  5. A. Aminu (1127)