NBA commissioner Adam Silver made some of his most favorable comments yet about expansion to Seattle in an interview with the Blazers' C.J. McCollum for The Players' Tribune.
For years since taking over as NBA commissioner, Adam Silver has largely ducked questions regarding league expansion — specifically to Seattle. Just this past November, Silver said he wasn’t sure expansion was “necessarily the right direction to go.”
But in his fourth annual interview with Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum, for The Players’ Tribune, Silver offered possibly his most optimistic on-the-record answer yet.
McCollum prefaced his question by noting that each year, as a member of the NBA’s lone team in the Pacific Northwest, he “gets tweets all the time … ‘Is anything going to happen in Seattle? Are we ever going to get a team back in Seattle?’ ”
“I think it’s just a question of when the right time is to seriously start thinking about expansion,” Silver said. “Think about the state we are at in the league right now. It’s amazing to me we have fans coming out after these finals saying there’s only one good team in the league. If people really believe that, even though we have 450 of the best players in the world, and 450 can only form one really good team, it probably doesn’t make sense to expand in terms of dilution of talent.
“Now, I don’t really believe that, and I think these things correct themselves. And I don’t want to put a precise timeline on it, but it’s inevitable at some point we’ll start looking at growth of franchises. That’s always been the case in this league, and Seattle will no doubt be on a short list of cities we look at.”
The City of Seattle has yet to agree on an official arena plan, whether it be Chris Hansen’s Sodo project or the Oak View Group’s KeyArena renovation. Hansen still has a Memorandum of Understanding with the city, and Mayor Ed Murray said he wants to have one signed with the Oak View Group by the time he leaves office Dec. 31. Most recently, the city put together a 13-person advisory group for KeyArena and hired outside counsel to negotiate on its behalf with OVG.
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