We have the best chance to date to bring back the Sonics to Seattle — either in Sodo or at a rebuilt KeyArena.
WHEN are the Sonics coming back to Seattle? It’s a question I get asked almost every day. Believe me, there aren’t many people in this world who want a Seattle team more than I do. This is my home. This is the Sonics’ home. It is time we collaborate to focus on bringing our team back home. Let’s get behind those working hard to make this a reality.
Here is what I know: There is interest. And it is “strong” on all sides — the NBA, the city of Seattle, the mayor’s office, our community, our fans, our next ownership group and the players who call this home.
I’ve been around the world. I’ve coached many players and teams, and Seattle remains such a special place for athletes. We thrive in this environment. Seattle fans in every sport live and die by their teams. And while it has been eight long years since the NBA left, the Sonics brand is strong and viable — and that is why the NBA continues to be interested in our market. It is time, Seattle!
We need to rally behind those trying to get us a new arena and team. Chris Hansen and his ownership group are strong. But the hurdles are big. And I know, in my heart, that the city’s leadership at City Hall is working to find the right solution.
This new proposed KeyArena redo is something that is fueling renewed hope that the city is ready to bring back our Sonics. We are stronger than ever, and there’s proof.
Watching Sonics fans rally around us during our championship season in 1979 is something that will forever be ingrained in my memory. It’s something that we see today in our passionate Seahawks’ 12s fan base. It is something we saw as the Sounders rallied to win our first MLS Cup. And it is something that we saw when the Seattle Storm won its second WNBA championship.
There is no doubt that basketball is in the DNA of our city. Look no further than all the current NBA players who have come out of the area. Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford, Brandon Roy, Jason Terry, Isaiah Thomas … the list goes on and on. The best part about it is that these stars stick close to their roots. They come back, mentor youth and give back to our community.
The past eight yearshave been a mental roller-coaster ride. But it’s clear that we are working toward bringing our team home. We have the best chance to date to bring the Sonics back to Seattle — either in Sodo or a rebuilt KeyArena. For me, I will always share a love of KeyArena. It has a sense of history for the Sonics that can’t be erased — from Slick Watts to Fred Brown and Detlef Schrempf to Gus Williams.
But, at the end of the day, I support one thing — bringing the Sonics home. If that’s the Key or Sodo, let’s get moving!
Bringing an NBA team back to Seattle is another step in creating jobs, supporting business growth and giving our residents and visitors another marvelous entertainment option in the greatest of cities.
To my friends in the NBA: Seattle deserves a team. Fans have proved that for more than 40 years. That passion doubled down when the team moved to Oklahoma City. We deserve a chance to watch the players from that franchise battle it out with our team.
Bringing an NBA team back to Seattle is bigger than sports — and it’s an opportunity that we can’t afford to miss. To Chris Hansen, Mayor Ed Murray, the City Council, community and business leaders, and our fans — I am in. Are you?