The lower bowl of Key Arena was rocking as it rarely has the past seven years for NBA players past and present who reminded everyone what they’ve been missing.

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The lower bowl of Key Arena was rocking as it rarely has the past seven years for NBA players past and present who reminded everyone what they’ve been missing.

A Friday night doubleheader of a Seattle Storm WNBA contest, followed by a Pro-Am event featuring NBA players Jamal Crawford, Martell Webster, Isaiah Thomas, Justin Holiday, Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley, drew an announced crowd of 9,686 to the reduced-capacity venue. Those numbers were generated despite the Pro-Am’s 10 p.m. start time and some NBA restrictions limiting advance marketing.

“I think this shows the NBA and everybody around the country how real Seattle basketball is and that people want to come out and see it,’’ said Los Angeles Clippers point guard Jamal Crawford, the former Rainier Beach standout. “They know the game and appreciate it.’’

The star-studded exhibition, in which Sonics legends Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and Lenny Wilkens served as coaches while Slick Watts, Detlef Schrempf, Spencer Hawes and others lent moral support, was a prelude to a huge upcoming week for Seattle’s NBA and NHL efforts.

A Wisconsin senate vote could take place as early as midweek on approving a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. If it passes and the Wisconsin legislature later ratifies the arena deal, it would end Seattle’s final chance of landing a relocating NBA franchise near-term.

And that will leave Sodo District arena builder Chris Hansen, who attended Friday’s event after buying and distributing 2,000 tickets, with a clear choice on what to do next. An NHL expansion deadline looms July 20 and Hansen’s would-be hockey partner, Victor Coleman, is expected to submit a $10 million application fee for that — $2 million of it non-refundable.

Ray Bartoszek and his Tukwila arena group are also expected to apply by next week’s deadline.

After applying, if no NBA team is imminent, Coleman and Hansen would have to present a “hockey first” financial plan to the NHL by Aug. 10. That type of financial deal — if only an NHL team is coming for now — is also paramount if Hansen wants his arena project to survive a Seattle City Council vote later this year.

The only way around that is if the Milwaukee deal collapses and the NBA makes good on last week’s threat by Bucks president Peter Feigin to relocate to Las Vegas or Seattle if no new arena is approved.

A relocated Bucks squad would play at KeyArena while Hansen finalizes Sodo plans. Having an NBA team in-pocket would trigger a Memorandum of Understanding between Hansen, the city and county and garner up to $200 million in bond funding for a Sodo arena.

But as things stand, the Pro-Am event might be the last Seattle fans see of NBA players on the KeyArena court for some time.

Storm president and general manager Alisha Valavanis said the idea to partner with the launch of the summer’s Pro-Am league, typically held at Seattle Pacific University, was to create a unique event.

“For us, it seemed like a unique opportunity to create some buzz and excitement around Seattle basketball,’’ she said. “We know there still is an incredible affinity for basketball in this city. The Seattle Pro-Am is strong. They’ve got incredible talent on the NBA side. So, yeah, it helps create more awareness for the Storm, but it just seemed like a great event that we could put together for basketball fans.’’

For now, those fans can only hope Hansen’s fading NBA efforts somehow stage a fourth quarter turnaround. Or, that he or other arena builders get approved for an NHL team and attract an NBA expansion team down the line.

Charlotte Hornets center Hawes, who grew up a Sonics supporter in Seattle and attended Friday’s contest decked out in a flashy gold suit and a gold and green tie with a Space Needle on it, has long been outspoken about the void left by the Sonics’ departure.

“It’s terrible,’’ he said.

“It’s terrible for the country, terrible for the city. That’s why we’re going to keep working to get the NBA back here. Any time you can come back and get a crowd like this, it helps.’’

That was echoed by Sonics legend Payton, who wasn’t surprised so many fans attended via word-of-mouth and a late social media barrage.

“Once you get it out to them, a lot of people know their basketball and you know they’ll show up,’’ he said.

“It’s good for the city. They’re showing the love and respect for basketball that they have.’’

That’s really all they can do.

To their credit, most Seattle fans didn’t take the bait when Bucks president Feigin became the latest NBA official to use our city as leverage. Whether on the popular Sonics Rising website or other basketball-boosting blogs and message boards, fans here largely saw Feigin’s “move to Seattle” threat as calculated hyperbole designed to sway senate votes. They avoided online trash talk with Bucks supporters about stealing their team.

After all, we were in the same situation as Bucks fans seven years ago. If empathy is a sign of maturity, we looked good as a sports town by clamming up and letting our wallets do any talking Friday, turning out in droves for the best pro basketball is offering for now.

And if nothing else happens this week, we at least gave the NBA a tiny glimpse of what it’s been missing as well.