“Seattle will get an NBA team”

Dec 7, 2010, 2:39 PM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

When Steven Pyeatt was eight years old he wanted a bicycle for Christmas.

He didn’t get one.

Instead, his father handed him a piece of paper that explained he was the new owner of 100 shares in the Seattle SuperSonics.

“I had no idea what it was because we didn’t have an NBA team yet. That was six month before the Sonics started playing here,” he says. “My dad took me to that first game and I was hooked. We were season ticket holders for 41 years. I grew up with every great moment of Sonics history.”

He was also here for the end of Sonics history.

The Sonics played in Seattle from 1967 through 2008. Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz owned the team at the end, and sold it to an investment group headed by Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett. Bennett moved the Sonics to Oklahoma. They’re now the Oklahoma City Thunder.

SOSPyeatt hasn’t stepped one foot inside a Starbucks coffee shop since.

He is co-founder of the failed “Save Our Sonics” effort to keep the team here. Now he’s thrilled with the rumored possibility of getting another NBA team in Seattle.

It’s been widely reported that the NBA is proceeding with a plan to buy the New Orleans Hornets from majority owner George Shinn and minority owner Gary Chouest. The Hornets could have the right to break their lease at the New Orleans Arena after this season. The lease runs through 2014, but the team is allowed to break it if average attendance falls below 14,735 during a two-year period.

Even if the Hornets don’t end up coming to Seattle, Pyeatt says he’s “100 percent confident the area will land another NBA team.” He also believes Steve Ballmer is the man who will bring a team here, but not necessarily to Seattle.

“A guy like Mr. Ballmer is could build a new arena in Bellevue where 60 percent of the Sonics season ticket holders live to start with,” Pyeatt says. The arena could even house a National Hockey League team.

“A guy like Mr. Ballmer could put 50 percent into something that would be his legacy, and he would be a hero,” he adds.

Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, has sold $1.3 billion in stock recently. He is a huge basketball fan. A few years ago Ballmer was part of a prospective ownership group to invest $150 million towards a $300 million renovation of KeyArena in order to keep the Sonics in Seattle. Those factors have lead some people to conclude that Ballmer wants to buy an NBA team and move it to Seattle. His office has not commented on those rumors.

Pyeatt has thought through the business part of this deal for Ballmer. He says now is the time to buy a team because of the tough economy. Local owners would be able to purchase property and build an arena for “a lot less” than before and when things turn around they would have a greater value.

“A smart businessman looks at this environment and says this is the time to buy. And I believe Ballmer is a very smart businessman and if he wants to be an NBA owner I think this is his opportunity, and it’s ours,” Pyeatt says.

He guesses we have a 60 percent chance of bringing the Hornets to Seattle and he’s 100 percent confident that some NBA team will be back in Washington in his lifetime.

“Seattle will get an NBA team,” he says. “It may not be the Hornets, it may be somebody else. It may not be next year, it may be the year after or it may be five or ten years down the road. It will happen.”

Pyeatt isn’t the only person who’s hoping an NBA team will move back to Seattle. A Facebook page called Bring the New Orleans Hornets to Seattle is up. The page fan page with more than 6,000 supporters includes these highlights:

  • Seattle was the first city to average over 20,000 fans a game over an entire NBA season.
  • Seattle led the NBA in total attendance 4 times
  • Seattle had one of the longest sellout streaks in the NBA during the mid to late 90’s despite one of the highest average ticket prices in the league.

The News Chick Blog

The wife of Seattle attorney Danford Grant moved his car away from one of the alleged crime scenes ...
No Author

Equal justice for Seattle lawyer accused of several rapes?

Has accused serial rapist Danford Grant gotten preferential treatment because both he and his wife are Seattle attorneys?
10 years ago
The Seattle-based I Can Has Cheezburger network now includes 60 humor sites. Many of their 90 emplo...
No Author

Seattle humor network, built with funny cat pictures, becomes a reality TV show

A small Internet empire with a funny name has billions of page views on its network of 60 humor websites based in Seattle. Now, I Can Has Cheezburger has a reality TV show too.
10 years ago
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle. Wa...
No Author

Democracy and dollar signs – 2012 campaign spending

Washington initiative campaigns spent $34 million trying to win your vote, while President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle.
10 years ago
Chef Tom Douglas says Seattle’s restaurants are ‘a little homemade’ compared with...
No Author

Chef Tom Douglas says ‘Seattle is a funny restaurant town’

Chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas, with 13 Seattle restaurants and more on the way, says Seattle is a "funny restaurant town."
10 years ago
Investigation continues into why a commander of the Bremerton-based Stennis carrier group was remov...
No Author

New ‘crazy’ conspiracy theory on Stennis Rear Admiral

The Pentagon shoots down theories about why the commander of the USS Stennis Carrier Group was removed from duty and sent back to the homeport in Bremerton.
10 years ago
Seattle photographer Paul Souders captures an adult polar bear up close in Hudson Bay in Churchill,...
No Author

Seattle photographer comes face to face with a polar bear

A wildlife photographer, who lives in Ballard, has taken thousands of stunning shots. None put him on "a razor's edge" more than a series of photos swimming with a polar bear.
10 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
“Seattle will get an NBA team”