After the pain of the Sonics exit, when is Seattle back in the NBA again? | NBA

It was pandemonium. Unlike any moment the city has seen in over a decade. When Kevin Durant, who was playing for the current Golden State Warriors champ, steps out on the hardwoods at KeyArena in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle On October 5, 2018, you couldn’t hear yourself screaming in trance. You could just hear the roar of the entire crowd, which included several Seattle stars, from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to rapper Macklemore, all at once deafening and rowdy.

why? Because Durant He walked out before the pre-season NBA game in jungle green Sean Kemp jersey40. It was a reminder that the city had not had an NBA team since the SuperSonics left town for Oklahoma City (where they became Thunder) in 2008.

KD rocked the Shawn Kemp Sonics jersey as he was introduced in Seattle! 👀🔥

— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 6, 2018


“It was just a great moment,” Kenny Mayne, the host for the Northwest-born ESPN SportsCenter who was present that night, told The Guardian. “To acknowledge the Seattle basketball game, and the fact that so many of us missed it.”

So far, Seattle hasn’t hosted an NBA game in 14 years—except for the Durant/Shawn Kemp jersey night in 2018. That match pitted the Warriors and Durant, who was also the Sonics’ last-ever first-round pick. You play in the city against the kings of Sacramento. It was a proper contest considering the Kings were inches away moving in to Seattle in 2010.

In truth, the 2018 pre-season game was almost tough for Seattle basketball fans. At least, it would have been if the city wasn’t so happy, excited, and thirsty for it NBA Attention. “It’s a basketball city,” Durant said after that competition. But Durant’s statement may have surprised some. Basketball City? Seattle?

Tech city for sure. Coffee and grunge music, yes. Sir Mix a lot and space needle, of course. But basketball? This is a specialty New York City, truly? Well, not quite.

On October 3 of this year, the NBA will return to Seattle to play another pre-season game. It will feature the Los Angeles Clippers (owned by ex-Seattlers, billionaire Steve Ballmer) and the Portland Trail Blazers (the only current team in the Pacific Northwest), and are likely to be sold. Portland star Damian Lillard may come out with the No. 20 shirt for Gary Payton Sonics! Either way, the locals will be happy.

The match will take place at the newly renovated Climate Pledge Arena (formerly KeyArena), a 17,500-seat venue perfect for hoops. When Sonic left for OKC, the argument was that the city’s facilities weren’t modern enough. Now, as Mayne said, “[the NBA] Certainly can’t complain about the facilitation at this point.”

Seattle, which is home to approximately 750,000 people (and 4 million in the surrounding area), is well positioned to support professional sports. This year saw the NHL expand and bring in Kraken. Although Kraken is new to the league, it was 14 no (of 32) in attendance, with an average of 17,151 fans per home match. Plus, since the Seahawks and “Legion of Boom” won the Super Bowl in 2014, football has felt like a religion in town. The Sounders, the MLS team in Seattle, won the titles and group Attendance records. The Mariners, the local Major League Baseball team, recently enjoyed 14 consecutive matches. In fact, Seattle is a sports city too.

And as rumors keep circulating, Possible expansion in the NBAwith Seattle and Las Vegas on insider tips (like that of the NBA blogger and author, Bill Simmons), it is worth remembering the size of the basketball city in Seattle. While NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Throw cold water on those rumors, perhaps for simple negotiating purposes, but it still stands. (Seattle participated in many compromise Rumors Before.)

While Seattle today may not be a city in the NBA, it is a city Basketball city. That reality starts first and foremost with WNBA’s Seattle Storm. The franchise, which was left with OKC’s Sonics thanks to their hometown owners, Force 10 Hoops, won four WNBA titles (2004, 2010, 2018, 2020), with Sue Bird legend running point. The squad includes three of the top 25 players in the league, according to ESPNFrom Byrd to Joel Lloyd to Brenna Stewart’s former best player. The team is also one of – if not The bone Socially conscious in professional sports. Although Bird recently announced her next date the retirementIts presence will be felt in Seattle and beyond for years.

Along with Baird on the list of Seattle Hobbs envoys Jamal Crawford. Crawford didn’t just have a distinguished career in the NBA (and now after profession), who is the Seattle Basketball Ambassador. Crawford runs the annual Local Professional Program, crawlingwhich brings together local talent with local legends, and even Hall of Fame players like the late copy print, to play games in the summer for fans. Crawford, who captained a pro-team from another region, Doug Christie, helped guide the city’s best and brightest during his 20-year NBA career, which included three Sixth Man of the Year awards. Local NBA stars (and alumni crossovers) such as Michael Porter Jr., Dejaunt Murray, Isaiah Thomas, Brandon Roy and Nate Robinson owe it to Crawford’s leadership.

“A lot of this was bred locally by people like Jamal throwing his supporter,” says Mayne, who remembers going to Sonics games in the late 1960s and seeing visitors like Wilt Chamberlain and then Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. “Part of it, with the loss of Sonics, I think everyone has taken on a bit of a responsibility to raise your hand and say, ‘Look at us, we’re playing good football here. “

But Crawford owes a lot to the people before him as well, from Christie to 2011 NBA champion Jason Terry, to SuperSonics stars like Kemp, Payton and Detlev Schrempf. and later, Ray Allen, Richard Lewis and 2001 NBA Slam Dunk Competition Winner, Desmond Mason. Speaking of Sonics, the band has a famous pedigree of hoops. The NBA team, which began its first season 55 years ago in 1967, won the NBA title in 1979 and later played in the NBA Finals against Michael Jordan in 1996, losing in six tough games. Sadly, for locals, the team was sold in 2006, by then-owner and co-founder of Starbucks Howard Schultz to Clay Bennett of Oklahoma, who transferred the team to OKC in 2008. Schultz later described it as one of the biggest teams Errors in his life.

“Sonics were my childhood,” Huber-heart-musician or instrumentalist, Cedric Walker, tells the Guardian. “Watching your childhood being shipped to another city, it’s miserable.”

For the Seattle-born Walker, 33, whose mother Jenelle, a retired public school teacher, introduced the game in elementary school, Sonks was an inspiration. When he was a teenager, he was starred At Summit High School. Walker and his mother would go to the Sonics games during the week, occasionally sit nosebleeds, and catch a glimpse of the Payton/Kemp team. He remembers attending the playoffs against the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz, the “electric” fans.

Walker remembers protests In town as news spreads about Sonics’ possible departure, fans are hoping to keep their dear team alive. “Seattle is one of the best basketball cities in the country,” Walker says. “We just got the first pick in the NBA draft [Paolo Banchero]. We have a rich history in basketball going back to the 1970s. Even though the team isn’t around anymore, I’m sure we have more games in the playoff than some of the others in the league.”

Perhaps the biggest feather in the Seattle basketball cap, though, is its association with the great Bill Russell, who died on sunday. The hub of the original Boston Celtic dynasty, Russell boasted more championship rings than his fingers (11) and after his stint as a C team player/coach in the late 1960s, Russell emigrated to the Pacific Northwest to lead the young SuperSonics. Coach 1973-1977. Russell, his namesake for the NBA Finals MVP Cup, lived in the area until his death.

But it’s not just about professionals. In Seattle, the game’s roots run deeper, from high school to college. Christie, Crawford, and Murray are alumni of Rainier Beach High School, a Washington state permanent champion located at the southern end of town. Smack-dab In the middle of town, there is Garfield High School, from which Roy graduated. There is O’Dea High School, which produced the first selection in the 2022 project, Banchero (Currently Also CrawsOver album).

Even prominent local musicians got into the mix. Pearl Jam originally named Mookie Blaylock after the former New Jersey Nets All-Star point guard. In 2009, Seattle-based rock group Band of Horses released a popular song, Detlev Schrempf. Macylor’s latest music video Features of Crawford and Thomas Hopping. and Grammy Award-winning rapper (and Garfield High School spoiler) Ismael Butler He was a first-class football player under the brilliant coach John Calipari in UMass.

Maybe too, given Kevin Durant’s talk Trade order To get rid of his commitments with the Brooklyn Nets, “Slim Reaper” will once again become the face of the Seattle SuperSonics and the rapid expansion (maybe one day he’ll commit against LeBron James led Vegas Team). Now, this would truly be cause for unabashed applause.