Commentary: It’s time to believe it, the return of the Sonics is closer than ever (2024)

Commentary: It’s time to believe it, the return of the Sonics is closer than ever

The latest rumblings likely pack a lot of punch. Guys, this is NOT a drill.

I know there’s a ton of skepticism out there when it comes to the NBA and the eventual return of the Seattle Sonics – and rightfully so.

But make no mistake: The latest rumblings likely pack a lot of punch. Guys, this is NOT a drill.

According to the Sports Business Journal, the NBA is closing in on new broadcasting agreements that would pay the league around $76 billion over 11 years, which is three times the amount of their current deal. It likely includes deals with Disney and Amazon and a third package currently being pursued by multiple parties, including NBC.

That this is a boon for the league is an understatement. But crossing the finish line and finalizing those deals will be an even bigger boon for Seattle’s quest to bring the Sonics back.

Listen to the amplified rhetoric from commissioner Adam Silver in July last year: "We will turn to expansion once those new media deals are done… There’s no doubt there’s enormous interest in Seattle. That’s not a secret."

Then, in December on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Silver said: "We’ll see what the timing is on those national television agreements… once (they’re done) we’ll turn back to expansion, or turn to expansion."

Silver has also said he believes they could add two more teams without diluting the product. And, frankly, with 76 BILLION dollars on the table, I can’t see even the greediest owner griping about a further split of the pie. Especially when the price of each new team will be upwards of $3 billion more dollars, split among current teams.

By all indications, Seattle has simply been, and continues to be on the NBA’s timeline. That’s much different than more than five years ago when there was no suitable venue to house an NBA team. But everything we’ve heard and seen from Seattle’s side is that we’re now ready.

"Our focus (for the building) was on fan experience, not just for the Kraken, but for the Storm, for basketball games, for someday the NBA," Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke told Fox 13 last year."The building was built for it. The locker rooms are ready to go. The economics are built for it. The ownership is committed to it. And I'm one that believes that it is coming back - and it's going to be a glorious day of redemption when it happens."

Which means this TV deal is the final hurdle before the real fun for us begins.

Earlier this week, in a letter to Seattle Kraken season ticket holders, team co-owner Samantha Holloway wrote, "Later this summer, you will hear more about our future Seattle Ambitions as we roll out a parent brand that will umbrella the Kraken brand and prepare for other big opportunities."

There is little doubt, in my mind at least, that one of those big opportunities is the NBA. It’s basically a continuation of what Leiweke et al have been saying all along: That they’re following the NBA’s lead and not getting ahead of themselves. But once the NBA is ready, we’ll be ready too.

As we approach the 16 year mark of the darkest day in Seattle Sports – the official move of the Sonics to Oklahoma City – I realize many out there have taken the stance, "I’ll believe it when I see it." I also understand some might have been so heartbroken and put off by the NBA’s stance toward Seattle that they take the extreme view that the league doesn’t deserve to have this city back.

But when all is said and done, whether it’s 16 years too late or should never have happened at all, once they’re back, they’re back, and they’ll be staying for good.

And in deference to those who continued to push for the Sonics return and especially the group bringing them back, I’d argue it will finally be time to let go of any grudge, and simply embrace our team coming home.

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Commentary: It’s time to believe it, the return of the Sonics is closer than ever (2024)

FAQs

Commentary: It’s time to believe it, the return of the Sonics is closer than ever? ›

Commentary: It's time to believe it, the return of the Sonics is closer than ever. The latest rumblings likely pack a lot of punch. Guys, this is NOT a drill. I know there's a ton of skepticism out there when it comes to the NBA and the eventual return of the Seattle Sonics – and rightfully so.

What is the new name for the Seattle SuperSonics? ›

After the 2007–08 season ended, the team relocated to Oklahoma City, where they now play as the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Did the SuperSonics win the championship? ›

On June 1, 1979, the Seattle Supersonics won their first and only NBA Championship. A year earlier, the Sonics lost Game 7 of the NBA Finals at the Seattle Center Coliseum. They returned to the finals the following year, lost Game 1, then won the next four to beat the Washington Bullets.

Who played for the SuperSonics? ›

PlayerNationalityYears
Zaid Abdul-AzizUnited States1970–1972 1975–1976
Henry AkinUnited States1967–1968
Lucius AllenUnited States1969–1970
* Ray AllenUnited States2003–2007
4 more rows

Why did Seattle lose the Sonics? ›

After failing to persuade local governments to pay for a new $500 million arena complex, Bennett's group notified the NBA that it intended to move the team to Oklahoma City and requested arbitration with the city of Seattle to be released from its lease with KeyArena.

Why was Seattle called the Sonics? ›

The SuperSonics name, submitted by a school-age boy and selected by original owner Sam Schulman, pays homage to the Boeing 2707, a state-of-the-art supersonic transport designed to fly at Mach 2.7 (2.7 times the speed of sound).

What NBA team never won a championship? ›

Which teams have never won an NBA championship? There are 10 active NBA teams that have not yet won an NBA championship: Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz.

Who is the owner of the Sonics? ›

'” It's not quite that simple, as Karl himself acknowledges. The CliffsNotes of the CliffsNotes version is that Sonics owner Howard Schultz sold the team to Oklahoma City tycoon Clay Bennett, who moved the team to his native town after two years of drama that drained the emotions of Sonics die-hards.

Why did the SuperSonics change their name? ›

When the Seattle Supersonics were moved to Oklahoma City following the 2007-08 season, fans voted on the team's new name from a set list of possibilities. The name Thunder was chosen over others like the Bison, Wind, Energy, Marshalls and Barons (per Mentalfloss.com's Scott Allen).

Who was the best Sonics player? ›

Share All sharing options for: The Ten Greatest Players in Supersonics History - #1. 1. Gary Payton. As if it could be anyone else.

What was the SuperSonics old mascot? ›

From 1978 through 1985 the Wheedle was the official mascot of the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics, and was part of the organization when they won their only NBA Championship to date (in 1979). It would not be until 1993 that the Sonics would debut a new mascot, Squatch, who was the team's mascot until 2008.

Which NBA players broke the backboard? ›

Darryl Dawkins and Shaquille O'Neal gained notoriety for shattering backboards during their careers; Dawkins's incidents are credited for being the impetus for the research and introduction of breakaway rims throughout the sport, while O'Neal slam dunked with enough force to break the supports holding two backboards ...

What was the last year the Sonics were in Seattle? ›

The team played their final home game at KeyArena on April 13, 2008. After the end of the 2007–08 season, the Sonics were relocated by its new ownership group to Oklahoma City.

Does Sonic take place in Seattle? ›

In Seattle, Sonic the Hedgehog, on top of a building, warms up for a car chase in progress, which he decides to halt going by the superhero name 'Blue Justice'. Sonic disarms robbers, who held a man captive and wielded bombs. Taking over the truck, Sonic struggles to get it to stop, dismantling it with a drill.

What NBA teams no longer exist? ›

Defunct teams
TeamCityYears active in NBA
Baltimore Bullets*Baltimore, Maryland1947–1954
BuffaloBuffalo, New YorkNever played
Chicago StagsChicago, Illinois1946–1950
Cleveland RebelsCleveland, Ohio1946–1947
13 more rows

Who owns the rights to the Seattle SuperSonics? ›

The new owner, Clay Bennett, moved the team to Oklahoma City in 2008. Seattle has longed hope to get their team back, if/when the NBA returns the team will be called the Supersonics, as the city still owns the rights to the name.

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