Community Shootaround: Bring Back The SuperSonics?

Jack Sikma dedicated part of his Hall of Fame induction speech Friday night to campaigning for a return of the SuperSonics. Sikma was one of Seattle’s most recognizable players and part of its only NBA championship team in 1979. His number 43 is among seven that have been retired by the franchise.

“To all the diehard Sonic fans who proudly sport the green and gold … there’s a hole in Seattle that needs to be filled,” Sikma said in comments relayed by Anthony Olivieri of ESPN The Magazine“Speaking for all Sonics fans, it’s our great hope that the NBA will soon find a pathway to bring a franchise back to Seattle. It’s time.”

The Sonics were a beloved part of the Pacific Northwest from their creation in 1967 until Clay Bennett moved them to Oklahoma City in 2008. Although it has since been broken, the team set a league attendance record by averaging 21,725 fans per night during the 1979/80 season.

Hope for a return was reignited by a new $900MM facility that will serve as home to Seattle’s expansion NHL team, which begins play in 2021. The building sits on the site of the former KeyArena, and fans in the area hope it will eventually house the Sonics as well.

Although Seattle has been rumored to be atop the NBA’s expansion list ever since the original team left, there’s no indication that the league plans to add teams any time soon. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has repeatedly thrown cold water on the idea.

“There’s no doubt there are a number of cities in the United States that could host NBA basketball, but we analogize it to selling equity,” he said in July. “I think we would want to make sure at the time we expanded we felt it would help grow the entire league and not just support the NBA in that particular city.”

What do you think? Does it make sense for the NBA to add another team or two right now? Or is it smarter to wait, regardless of the emotional attachment that many have to the Sonics?

Head to our comment section below to share your feedback.

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42 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Bring Back The SuperSonics?

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    OKC has made a joke out of the team after they drafted THREE active MVP’s only to give two of them to the Rockets and let the 3rd one go to Golden State. Maybe they could move back to Seattle and save themselves further embarrassment in Oklahoma.

    • amk3510

      At least they made the finals once this decade unlike the team that calls themselves “clutch city” but can’t come up when it matters most

  2. ChiSoxCity

    League is already watered down and starved for talent in a number of NBA cities right now. They should relocate an existing team like the Pelicans, Kings or Magic to Seattle.

  3. Simple Fan

    Their fans’ emotion attachment I think already moved to OKC. A practical question might be do people in Seattle really miss KD? And how badly. Would it be worth the investment in your city to try again? Players would have to fly farther to compete than if it was in, say, Vegas. They were lucky enough to have Payton and Kemp. But playing in Seattle that team must have flown so many more miles than a team in Memphis, New Orleans, OKC. Philly only has to visit Portland(the farthest team) once or twice. Going to Washington State on top of that would suck big. Save them the money then upstart in Las Vegas or St. Louis, much better

    • x%sure

      America is large, millionaire players can get used to it. I hope that is not what is holding back the league from expanding. If they do, Vegas is a terrible option.

    • Connorsoxfan

      Most Sonics fans disowned the team completely following the move. They rarely even acknowledge their existence currently. There was an article on the Athletic on this not too long ago. I’m not sure where you’re getting that from…

    • jump shot

      Seattle won’t get a team anytime soon but it certainly won’t be because of any travel concers. Eastern teams wouldn’t fly into Seattle and back east in a one and done. They’d fly into Seattle as part of a western swing where they’d play at least one or two other Western Conference teams. You didn’t think the Lakers flew out to DC to play the Wizards and then jetted back to LA, did you? And, if you did, that was okay, but a team flying from Atlanta to Seattle was just toooo much travel….

  4. greg1

    Sonics were always one of the best supported teams in the league, and belong back in the League.

    Orlando is a bit of a mystery city to me for an NBA team. Moving them to Seattle and bringing the Pels or Grizz into the East would make some sense.

  5. afsooner02

    Not without a new arena

    Key is a dump, in an impossible to find parking area. They could play there a few years while the new arena is built I guess.

    Otherwise, yeah give them their team back and their history with it. Okc will never embrace the Sonics history.

  6. Tazza

    Seattle would be cool to have back and would be a well supported team but…. I don’t think there is currently enough talent to make that happen. Of all the players out of the league by adding a new team you adding 20 players into the league. As for players not currently contracted I would only a handful of them are actually NBA level players. Obviously Melo and Jeremy Lin are good enough to play in the NBA but aren’t currently in the league but there really isn’t enough talent to stretch that far.

    Think a bigger issue to the NBA right now is the failing college system and growing the Gleague.

  7. JonnyLucas

    Duh, of course they need to come back. Memphis and OKC are irrelevant.

    • Chris

      Memphis was in the playoffs 7 seasons in a row before this recent rebuild. Cheapest tickets in the nba and constant fan support

  8. yoyo137

    The Sonics never should have moved. Sam Presti has the Thunder in a holding pattern of drafting and developing MVPs and never winning anything because he’s always worried about 4 years into the future. He might as well just start getting prepared for Seattle.

  9. kenly0

    I’m not for expanding. But, I wouldn’t mind if Charlotte, Orlando, or Memphis relocated there. No, not the Pels. I think they’re going to build something nice in the next 4-5 years.

  10. x%sure

    Silver is talking rubbish– You grow the league by growing the league.
    Apparently the owners don’t want more owners, but that is not what is to be said.

  11. Rrwrayiii

    Not a fan of relocation, but Grizz and Pels are not succeeding in their respective cities. They are and have been money losers for a long time, subsidized by the leagues revenue sharing. They’ll also be challenged in their markets, one needs to be relocated to Seattle. It only makes sense.

    • richard1-2

      link to espn.com states the Grizz are 25th; Pels are 26th. Suns and Nets are bottom, but don’t see them leaving their cities any time soon, if ever. I’d vouch for the Pels, as I’ve read the team has very little interest in NOLA. Saints are the big draw. But NOW that Zion is there, and bringing over the young ex-Lakers guys, who knows?

  12. hiflew

    I think the league could handle two more teams. Then you could have half the teams make the playoffs and half not make them. A big problem with the NBA has always been that way too many teams make the playoffs. This won’t lower the number, but at least it will mean you have to be in the 50th percentile of the league to have a chance at a championship.

  13. Tazza

    If they did relocate a team from the east to Seattle would like to see the Pelicans move into the Eastern Conference. They are building to be a long term force .

  14. IslandFlava

    Seattle must have a team back ASAP! I will always remember the atmosphere in the old Kingdome when the Seahawks played there, absolutely rocking the place… Seattle is an awesome place to live & visit, sooo very passionate about their sports. It was a total disgrace when the Sonics were allowed to move away. One of the biggest mistakes in league history. Time to put it right. Expand or relocate OKC.

  15. crazylarry

    Adam Silver is CLUELESS. The All Star Game , the Draft, not giving Seattle an opportunity. Cities that could care less about basketball having teams.

  16. nentwigs

    Should they return, at least the new team in Seattle would have the opportunity to reclaim and reuse the ORIGINAL TEAM NAME OF THE FRANCHISE !!

    NOW, strip the team names, Lakers and Jazz and restore them to their ORIGINAL cities as neither name has ANY RELEVANCE OR VALIDITY to their current cities.

    • richard1-2

      History wouldn’t allow. TOO ENTRENCHED to remove the names, although I agree with you. Not many “Lakes” around L.A. OCEAN. IDK about “Jazz” in Utah/SLC. NOLA JAZZ. Maybe it gets sent back and Utah can call themselves the “Utah Peaks” or something. NOLA Pelicans? HAHA!! Makes no sense…

    • hiflew

      It’s been almost 40 years since the Utah Jazz became a thing and even longer for the LA Lakers. I’m sure there is someone in Utah that listens to jazz music and I’m sure there is a lake somewhere near Los Angeles. It is really time for people to let go of this argument.

  17. richard1-2

    I am old enough to remember when the Sonics were one of the best teams in the NBA. In the 90’s. And I remember them winning the Chip in 1979. The Sonics were a great team for the NBA. Location nonwithstanding. People don’t want to read this, but Clay Bennett and his cronies were deceitful in the handling of the situation in 2008. Paid off the then mayor of Seattle, presented a scenario that would result in the allowing of the team to be moved, plus CROOKED DAVID STERN allowing it. NEVER want to read again where he was “the BEST SPORTS COMMISIONER”; he was a vile, crooked thug. Whatever crawled up his hoo-ha regarding Seattle vs. his “demands” for a new arena left him w/ a sore arse and a grudge to settle. It doesn’t matter 10 years on, but look @ how bungled OKC has become. Presti won Exec of the Yr or something? HAHA!! That’d be like Wally Walker winning-BOTH are INEPT. Sell the team back to Seattle investors, Bennett and co, and maybe it’ll create good karma for you.

  18. richard1-2

    link to espn.com states the Grizz are 25th; Pels are 26th. Suns and Nets are bottom, but don’t see them leaving their cities any time soon, if ever. I’d vouch for the Pels, as I’ve read the team has very little interest in NOLA. Saints are the big draw. But NOW that Zion is there, and bringing over the young ex-Lakers guys, who knows?

  19. richard1-2

    Perhaps the NBA should review yearly what teams are not doing well, and maybe should have the discussion arise for re-location. NFL and NHL have 32 teams (In 2021, Seattle will their own team, thus making it 32). MLB 30 teams. NBA should approach this if they are concerned about revenue.

  20. fezzik

    Why are people so quick to want to strip another city if their team? Seattle fans are angry (rightfully so) that their team moved so now they want to do that to another city. It was gross to see Seattle supporters wishing for the demise of Sacramento, Milwaukee, and such so they could poach their team.

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