Adam Silver said the NBA “dusted off” expansion plans, and everyone’s mind went to the same place. Bring back the Sonics!!! We covered why Seattle was the favorite to get the Sonics back, and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan made us feel more optimistic after a conversation with commissioner Adam Silver.
“Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has spoken with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and is “pretty optimistic” the city is moving toward landing an expansion franchise to replace the SuperSonics.”Brian Windhorst, ESPN
Mayor Durkan reiterated the city’s passion for the Sonics and let the Commissioner know Seattle is where “a team should be.” Still, Durkan also said they would respect the league and understand this is a process that’s measured in years. If the NBA theoretically decided to expand during this season, it wouldn’t be realistic to expect them to play games before ’22/’23.
As we reported, league officials floated the expansion price around $2.5 billion. If there’s a city with a basketball pedigree and enough deep pockets, it is Seattle. Chris Hansen is a Seattle native hedge fund manager who attempted to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle in 2012. Private equity investor David Bonderman is a minority owner in the Celtics and will soon launch the latest NHL – Seattle Kraken. By the way, the Kraken will play in the newly renovated Climate Pledge Arena, the site of the old KeyArena, after a $900 million investment.
Then we have the guy everyone thinks of right away. If he chose to, Jeff Bezos would have to lie his couch pillows and probably find the $2.5 billion for an expansion team. Given his recent PR struggles, buying an NBA team could be an easy way for Bezos to increase his Q rating.
The fact Commissioner Silver talked to Mayor Durkan is an important indicator of how serious the NBA is about expansion and the priority Seattle would have if (when) the decision to expand happens.