Think the Seattle SuperSonics and you might conjure up memories of Hall of Fame coach Lenny Wilkens leading them to the NBA championshipin 1979. Or maybe you think of “The Glove” Gary Payton locking down point guards defensively and finding the “Reign Man” Shawn Kemp for thunderous dunks on offense. And who could ever forget the brilliant, sweet shooting stroke of Ray Allen, who was an All-Star four times with the Sonics? The team also infamously selected none other than two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant with the second pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, before the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City the following season.
Now, the question is will the Seattle SuperSonics ever return to the league and create new memories that add to their lore? Well, despite Seattle not having an NBA franchise for over a decade, the city’s love and hunger for hoops has remained feverish.
Need proof? When tickets for the Golden State Warriors-Sacramento Kings preseason game at Seattle’s KeyArena on October 5 went on sale earlier this week, the city’s hoop fans responded by purchasing 12,000 tickets … within the first hour, as reported by SonicRising.com.
From the Warriors:
“The Golden State Warriors vs Sacramento Kings preseason game scheduled for October 5 at KeyArena sold over 12,000 tickets in the first hour this morning. There are still tickets still remaining, but don’t wait. Go get your tickets now!”
— Kevin Shockey (@KevinShockey) August 7, 2018
About three hours later Tuesday and KeyArena was close to being sold out.
Update from @Warriors——
It is scheduled to be the last public event at the Key before demolition.
— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) August 7, 2018
SonicRising.com additionally reported that the city is trying to land an NHL franchise with a new arena that would demolish KeyArena and build a bigger venue. To that goal of bringing hockey to the Emerald City, the NHL had a preliminary season ticket drive this past March to determine whether there was a genuine interest in the sport. Seattle fans wound up making 25,000 deposits within the first hour and tallied 33,000 deposits in total for the day with 4,000 more on a waiting list. That’s significant for basketball and the possible return of the SuperSonics, considering Seattle’s hockey and hoops teams could share the same new arena.
In addition to fans wanting to see the Sonics make a comeback, so does the NBA. Last July, league commissioner Adam Silver said an expansion of teams is “inevitable” and named Seattle in particular. “I don’t want to put a precise timeline on it,” Silver said at the time, as reported by NBA.com. “But it’s inevitable at some point we’ll start looking at growth of franchises. That’s always been the case in this league, and Seattle will no doubt be on a short list of cities we’ll look at.”
That being said, there isn’t a current timetable for that inevitable expansion, meaning frenzied basketball fans may be sleepless in Seattle for a bit longer. How much longer, though, remains to be seen. Do you think the Sonics will eventually make their return to Seattle?