Could Seattle Sonics 2.0 be on the horizon?

Jun 6, 2023, 11:39 AM

Seattle Sonics...

"Downtown" Freddy Brown drives towards the paint against the New York Knicks. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

With the NBA Finals in full swing, Commissioner Adam Silver indirectly talked about a possible revival of the Seattle Sonics.

The team called Seattle home from 1967-2008, and won an NBA championship and three conference titles. The “Reign Man” Shawn Kemp, the “Glove” Gary Peyton, and player/coach Lenny Wilkens are all etched into the city’s memories.

The organization left for Oklahoma City in 2008 to become the Thunder, but their name and history belong to Seattle. Finally, after more than 15 years since they left home, a glimmer of hope.

“We had the Collective Bargaining Agreement to get through,” Silver said. “We have to finalize a media distribution deal. Then we can get to expansion.”

No mention of Seattle by name, no acknowledgment of the history of NBA basketball in Seattle, but a glimmer of hope for basketball to return to the Emerald City.

A new home awaits, Climate Pledge Arena, even built with an NBA locker room.

Mayor Harrell latest to pick up the torch on years-long effort to bring back the Sonics

It seems destined that Seattle and NBA would enter into a second marriage. One in which the bride and groom will be much happier.

“It’s exciting that it’s on the forefront,” Mike Lefko of Seattle Sports Radio said. “They certainly designed Climate Pledge with the NBA in mind.”

It was the lack of a first-class facility that the new owners used to take the Sonics and re-plant them in their hometown of Oklahoma City.

Then-Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz became the villain in the departure story. Many accused him of selling to out-of-town owners because he didn’t get enough help from the powers-that-be in building a new stadium.

They tinkered with a re-design of KeyArena. They had drawings of a new stadium in Renton. None of the plans came together, and it seemed inevitable that the Sonics would be toast.

After they left, the city didn’t want to support the newly re-branded franchise called the Thunder. They also wouldn’t adopt their neighbor and rival to the south, the Portland Trailblazers.

Seattle sports fans are a stubborn bunch. They would rather sit and wait for a new team.

A team that will be called the Sonics and plays in a state-of-the-art facility.

With any luck, they won’t have to wait much longer.

Bill Kaczaraba is a Digital Content Editor at MyNorthwest and a former Sonics season ticket holder.


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