Seattle Mayor “Pretty Optimistic” About Eventual Return Of NBA

Following a recent conversation with league commissioner Adam Silver, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is feeling “pretty optimistic” about the eventual return of the NBA to her city, she tells Chris Daniels of KING 5. According to Durkan, her phone conversation with Silver occurred just before Christmas, shortly after the commissioner discussed the possibility of expansion during a press conference.

“It is very good news for the city of Seattle that they are thinking of an expansion team,” Durkan said. “And I was honest with him. He knows Seattle wants to be at the front of the line. We’re where the team should be. But we will be respecting them as they move forward to their ownership because the (owners), you know, (have) to approve it.”

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who recently reported that some NBA officials have floated the idea of a potential $2.5 billion expansion fee, says that league officials have also stressed the fact that expansion is still likely years away, if it happens at all.

However, Seattle is an intriguing option for the NBA for several reasons. The city is set to open a newly-renovated arena, Climate Pledge Arena, which will be the home of the Kraken, Seattle’s NHL expansion team. There are also multiple deep-pocketed bidders in the city who have expressed interest in being part of an NBA ownership group, including Kraken majority owner David Bonderman and Seattle native Chris Hansen, Windhorst notes.

Of course, the NBA’s history in Seattle is also a factor — the SuperSonics were part of the league for over four decades until the franchise moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. Bringing the Sonics back to Seattle would go a long way toward healing old wounds in the Pacific Northwest.

Over the years, Silver has downplayed the possibility of expansion. Even last month, he said the concept wasn’t on “the front burner” for the league. However, many team owners are facing new financial challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, which could increase their interest in the hefty expansion fee that would accompany a new franchise or two. Durkan told Daniels that she believes those financial considerations could help open the door for Seattle.

“I think it’s real,” she said. “But I think again, the commissioner is going to, you know, consult the ownership, and the ownership for the first time itself is being very public that they think it is probably a good idea for basketball. Part of that is the COVID economics. Part of it is the economics of sports.

“But look, there’s no city that I think is better positioned to be successful. We’re going to have the best arena in the country. I’m not just saying that when people walk in that building, they will be amazed. We are a city that even with COVID, when we come out of COVID, we have so much upside here.”

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43 thoughts on “Seattle Mayor “Pretty Optimistic” About Eventual Return Of NBA

    • Luckylefty2

      This is literally the most skill(1-5) the league has EVER seen, yet you believe we should have less teams? You couch commissioners crack me up.

      • ChiSoxCity

        Most skill my @$$. What are you, like 20 years old? 98% of the teams in the NBA are terrible.

        • Luckylefty2

          Do you even watch the nba bro?? In every decade 3-4 teams win an championship, so don’t come with this 98% crap. Sorry to break it to you though but EVERY position in this era can shoot 3s. It may look like these guys can’t play defense either, but the floor is way more spread out. You’re just a casual so I dont expect you to know anything.

    • wagner13

      I don’t think it’s really a question of enough talent. I believe the NBA is more concerned about lost revenue and believes expansion could pay off. While you could argue the addition of another team decreases the revenue distribution pie (since you’re dividing among more teams), if you find a profitable enough market, you could offset that loss a bit. The hope is that the temporary “loan” paid forth by the additional team lasts long enough for the NBA to re-establish profits to he point where this is no longer a concern

        • x%sure

          Not a Ponzie scheme… those require more parties, more levels, than basically, two… new teams and existing teams.

          There’s no loan. Cuban used the word in an attempt to sell his viewpoint. It’s just a buy-in… the pie gets bigger but has more divisions… there is a hurdle number that can be figured without too much trouble if one has the basic figures.

          • wagner13


            Agree about this not being a ponzie scheme. That’s way more complex and ongoing than what we would see in this scenario. I used the word “loan” very loosely, as there would be no need to diminish revenue on a team-by-team basis if the new market proves to be fruitful enough

  1. mcmillankmm

    I would like to see the NBA back in Seattle, but I somewhat agree with the comment above, I’m not sure there’s a need for another team given the talent disparity across the league.

    • hiflew

      There isn’t a talent disparity, there is talent hoarding among the teams. Free agency and guys wanting to team together have a lot to do with it. But if the talent were more equally spread, the NBA could easily support another team or two. Anthony Davis should not be the #2 guy on a team. Neither should Kyrie Irving. Neither should Paul George. In a league with 30 teams and 24 All Stars, there should never be a team with more than 2, let alone 3 or 4. We just need to get rid of the mentality that it is better to join them than beat them. Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley didn’t want to team with Jordan, they wanted to beat him. Talent is not the problem, lack of competitive spirit is.

      • siggers84

        I think the talent is pretty well spread now compared to recent years.

        Barkley teamed up with Olajawon and Drexler at Houston at one point. Absolute superteam. Any players going to take the opportunity to win if its there.

        • DeathbyDeathwest

          Charles, Hakeem, and Clyde were at the ends of their careers when they came together.

          Kawhi and PG13 are in their prime. KD was in his prime when he jumped on to GSW. While LBJ is nearing his end, having AD want to team up with him rather than knock him out is the issue.

          At least Charles and Clyde had already lost to Jordan on their own before they teamed up.

          • Magnificent with Sensational style 416

            I’m aware, I have seen it myself. I don’t disagree with you. In a previous comment I did say guys like Giannis,Dame,Beal are in their primes and they chose to remain with the team that drafted them…not everyone wants to team up. Heck even CP3 had a chance to be traded to the lakers and he didn’t want to ring chase, hence why he got to the suns and he’s past his prime…

      • Magnificent with Sensational style 416

        Giannis chose not to team up aswell, so did Lillard & Beal…

  2. siggers84

    Would be amazing to see the Sonics back. They were the most fun team in my childhood. Kemp and Payton. You know they still have tons of fans. Who would join the East though?

  3. bumpy93

    when I first started really following basketball was the early nineties and I still remember the Sonic being a big deal I still remember I believe it was 94 when the first round of the playoffs was the best of five and they beat Denver the first two games to playoffs but then the nuggets came back and won the last three last one in Seattle with the can be my tombow laying on the grant laying on his back crying with the ball but his head you know Seattle fans are loyal they should have never lost that team you know I know they might have wanted a new stadium or whatever but that was a great fan base they deserve a team back there and if they get the right people that could be a popular destination with some players that’d be great to see Seattle back in the NBA

  4. El Don

    There is too much talent in the league, it needs more teams as a matter of fact.
    When you have superteams with a number of stars in the roster, it means there is too much talent around, you need more teams to spread the top dogs around.
    I agree with hiflew that AD, which is one of the top players ever in the league & should have won a couple MVP’s by now is a #2 in his team is a crime, also Kyrie should be a #1 & so many more… easiest solution bring in a couple more teams!

    • The Howler

      Probably need to change the salary structure to make it difficult to have 2 or 3 superstars on a team at one time especially if they are veterans.

  5. The Howler

    If NBA wants to sell more jerseys and other merch internationally it needs more slots for players coming from other countries.

  6. x%sure

    Talent. I don’t get the angle that there’s not enough for 32 teams.
    There are players I would like to see more of. Maybe a couple more teams gives room for Alex Caruso to start.

    Off-topic. Sometimes I miss who entered a game because the TV announcers think they’re too good to keep track and I’m following elsewhere. I would like more effort made by broadcasters, possibly by using superimposed graphics, to indicate the players on the floor and the last shooter and even what the heck they’re going on about instead of the game. I can go to a HS game and be better informed by the scoreboards.
    Won’t happen, but 32 teams would be better.

    • Cap & Crunch

      I would like a button from Elon Musk as well to shoot Marc Jackson into space every time he opens his mouth – Espn is just the worst at everything these days

      League pass worth its weight in gold just being able to explore the different NBA announcers around the league-
      Tech advances will catch up for us in less than 5 yrs.
      I too, think theres a lotta subtle gadgets sans the blabbering that could truly give the viewer a much better exp….They’ll get there

    • The Howler

      I often watch games on TNT overtime rather than the TV. No announcers just a fan in the digital stands.

  7. Cap & Crunch

    Great {eventual} spot but Sea needs to clean up that downtown District first before trying to lure the Nba there

    Gonna need a hard year of police work before your going to want to showcase that scene to the suits

    • The Howler

      DC has a team and the DC police aided and abetted a government takeover attempt. Should DC lose the Wizards?

      • Cap & Crunch

        No def not ,but thats a whole different scenario than bringing in a brand new team now isnt it?

        Im all for Sea getting the next team and hope they do, I just think that Mayors got a lot on her plate she needs to deal with first rather than getting an NBA team.
        Just got back from Sea for the holidays, it was a 180 degree difference from when I went 3 years ago. I know Covid has extrapolated a lot of the problems but its not a pretty scene Rn in downtown

        • The Howler

          Politicians like their distractions, though. What events have shown us is the veneer of civility is easily peeled away under the right conditions. Seattle just happens to be further along in trying to rebuild it. Other cities could easy succumb to the cracking of the veneer.

    • myaccount

      First off: if you live in Seattle, you know it isn’t as bad as it was being portrayed in the media. Besides, the neighborhood where everything was going down (Capitol Hill) is not the Seattle Center where the new Climate Pledge Arena is. Secondly, Hansen wants to build a basketball-specific stadium on a plot of land he owns in the SoDo district and, while that’s not the cleanest area, it’s not awful compared to some cities.

      • Cap & Crunch

        Was just there for 10 days-

        Its night and day from 3 yrs ago. Imagining the NBA suits taking the tour down Pike would be pretty funny

        Cap Hill is pretty damn close but I WAS talking SoDo district – The streets of Downtown Sea at night look more like ” The Walking Dead” than a place that needs a new arena

        Sea is a beautiful place, but anyone arguing its in good shape today is talking out the wrong hole

        This all before acknowledging thats theres probably 3-6 different groups/minorities who protest every single day in the city, stop the freeways in protest and creat utter havoc just footsteps away from this new planned site

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