Kansas City Destined For NBA Franchise?

Kansas City is on the short list of cities to get an NBA franchise, a league executive told NBA scout Jarrett Sutton (Twitter link). The unnamed executive cited multiple sources in his conversation with Sutton.

“Kansas City will get an NBA team at some point. … Just a matter of time. Seattle and KC, to me, are most valuable markets for league expansion when it makes sense.”

Seattle has long been considered as the likely landing spot should an NBA franchise move or if the league decides to expand. There’s been talk of Seattle getting back a franchise virtually since the SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008.

The league even plans to hold an exhibition game there next season. The city has already filed for an NHL franchise.

There hasn’t been much buzz about Kansas City becoming an NBA city, even though it has a 19,000-seat arena, the Sprint Center, which was built in 2007.

It’s been more than three decades since the city had an NBA team. The Kings bolted for Sacramento in 1985 after the franchise relocated from Cincinnati in 1972. The Kings played a majority of those seasons at Kemper Arena. Mike D’Antoni, Mike Woodson, Nate Archibald and Ernie Grunfeld were among the players to don a Kings uniform.

The Kansas City Knights of the American Basketball Association were the last pro basketball team in the city, as Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports notes. That league shut down operations in 2005.

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16 thoughts on “Kansas City Destined For NBA Franchise?

  1. afsooner02

    Seattle needs a new arena badly if they’re gonna have a team again…not just renovate key arena.

    Which….expand nhl and nba to Seattle and have them build a dual use arena.

    Problem is no one up there wants to pay for it….which is why they left the first time around. Gotta hope for a rich owner to foot most the bill.

  2. hiflew

    I’d rather see two cities that have never had a chance at an NBA franchise (or at least haven’t had one in 50 years or so) get a team if there are two expansion franchises at some point. Several places come to mind like St. Louis, Las Vegas, Baltimore. You could also have entire states represent a team like with Minnesota and Utah. I’m sure there are fans in Kansas and Kentucky that would love to support a pro team almost as much as their college team. I’m not completely against KC and/or Seattle getting a team, but there are plenty of other places that could support a team as well.

    • Michael Chaney

      I think Seattle is obviously the best option, and Kansas City is a good one that I hadn’t really thought much about. But I really want to see Louisville have a team, and they can bring back the Kentucky Colonels.

      • hiflew

        I agree. Both the Colonels and the Spirits of St.Louis got screwed during the NBA/ABA merger through back deals and other such nonsense. Although the owners of the Spirits made out like bandits with their financial settlement with the league.

      • hiflew

        Why not? You got one in Brooklyn when you had one in NY. You got two in LA. Washington and Baltimore are not even the same city.

        • gmail.com

          Washington and Baltimore are not really big market cities like LA and New York, Baltimore would Lilley struggle if included.

          If you added a new team so close to another it would be hard to grow a fan base especially a brand new team.
          Not many people are going say stuff Washington and change to Baltimore.

    • Sheldon Bowen

      I agree on giving a new city a go. However if st. Louis can’t keep the Rams then I would say most likely not them. Los Angeles clippers needs it’s own city they are always going to be second fiddle to the Lakers, possibly Anaheim keep the market and gets them down a little more to cut out there own niche. Kansas City I wouldn’t mind. Seattle needs to build where the Mariners and sehawks are. Key arena is in a super weird location in Seattle and would benefit a lot if in a better spot.

  3. Absolutely love Seattle, one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to, always liked the hustle ball they played in the 90’s with Payton, kemp & Co, under George karl, they marked an era, so… I would totally love that Seattle had again an NBA team, they are really passionate about sports & know how to create an atmosphere, enjoyed been in the old King Dome watching the Seahawks, I always felt hard done as a basketball fan when they moved the franchise to Oklahoma?!?!? seriously!!!!

  4. hiflew, St. Louis (Bombers), and Baltimore (Bullets), both had NBA teams previously.

    Seattle makes the most sense. Fan support was not an issue, and there is plenty of corporate money in the Emerald City to pick up the high ticket items (boxes, sponsorship, etc.).

    I do like Vegas for the second franchise for a couple of reasons.

    1) Both Memphis and New Orleans would be better suited geographically to be in the Eastern conference. Two western teams allow them to move and balance at 16 teams per conference.

    2) There is no denying the success of the Knights, both on the ice and off. Vegas has proven very quickly that it can be a professional sports team town. With the Raiders coming as well, taking advantage of the market while it’s hot makes sense for the league.

    • hiflew

      St. Louis also had the Hawks at one time, but I did have a qualifier for cities that hadn’t had a team in 50 or so years. I’m sure there are still some fans that vividly remember going to St. Louis Hawks or Baltimore Bullets games, but they are rapidly aging and dying off. Those cities are big enough to build a plausible fanbase of young people that have never had an NBA franchise. Plus those two cities could form natural rivalries with two teams that don’t really have a geographic rival at the moment, the Wizards/Baltimore and the Grizzlies/St.Louis.

      That being said, I really do feel for Sonics fans. They got royally screwed. I think the ideal solution would be to move the Clippers there. The Clippers have always been the #2 team in LA since they moved there and always will be. Plus, on a personal note, one of my bigger pet peeves is a city having two franchises, no matter how big it is.

      As far as Vegas goes, I highly anticipate the Kings moving there eventually. The Kings owners are part owners of the Knights and own quite a bit of Vegas real estate. My guess is that it will happen sooner rather than later, especially after the gambling news earlier this week which should remove the stigma of Vegas.

      • hiflew

        Ignore that last part. I forgot the Maloofs don’t own the Kings anymore.

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