Room for one more at Encore Beach Club? I’ll buy dinner at the Wynn…
The NBA may be coming to a city near you (especially if you live in Seattle or Las Vegas) as commissioner Adam Silver confirmed the latest NBA rumors that the league is considering adding teams.
Adam Silver mentions Seattle and Las Vegas as possible destinations for future expansion teams.
“It’s not a sure thing but, as I’ve said before, I think it’s natural that organizations grow over time.” (Via @mikevorkunov)
Which city do you want to see get an NBA team? pic.twitter.com/57ppBLD9GO
— SleeperNBA (@SleeperNBA) July 11, 2023
During an interview with The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov, Silver revealed that the NBA will consider expansion once the league’s current media deal ends after the 2024-25 season. Silver admitted that both Seattle and Las Vegas are viable options to potentially push the league to 32 teams.
But wait, didn’t Seattle already have a team? I’m glad you asked.
Supersonics Turned Thunder
The stealing of the Sonics (RIP) deserves its own 30 for 30 (“Sonicsgate” is a great substitute) but the quick summary is that Thunder owner Clay Bennett is public enemy No. 1 in Seattle. The TL;DR version of the story is that Starbucks owner Howard Schultz sold the Sonics to Bennett and an entire ownership group based in Oklahoma City despite plenty of evidence that the newest NBA posse was packing up Key Arena before the ink dried on the sale agreement.
It was the equivalent of believing your partner who says they have no break-up plans all while updating their Tinder profile in front of you. This made those adorable Starbucks cups public enemy No. 2 in Seattle. Also, why would you want to drink burnt coffee with 50 better options in walking distance at any Seattle area Starbucks?
According to NBA news, Bennett cited issues with Key Arena before the team’s eventual move to Oklahoma City, but he could have just as easily listed aliens, rain in the Pacific Northwest, or a bad game of Candy Crush as the inciting incident. The group wanted to move the Sonics to Oklahoma City, and if Schultz had access to the internet and 30 spare seconds he could have figured this out.
Sonics fans went through years of bad basketball before the team drafted Kevin Durant (yay) who spent one lone year in Seattle (boo) before the move. The team then drafted Russell Westbrook as the Thunder emerged as one of the best young teams in the NBA. Commence the printing of the “F the Thunder” shirts that can still be found around Seattle.
Today is the type of day I really miss the Seattle Supersonics.
Draft Day & Free Agency Day. Those two hit the most. Seattle deserves a team back. Bring back our Sonics. pic.twitter.com/EazcFMdUW8
— Sami ON Tap (@SamiOnTap) July 1, 2023
Please Welcome Las Vegas NBA Owner LeBron James
Okay, you get it, Seattle deserves to get its team back with the SuperSonics name which has one of the best logos in sports history. But what’s this thing about an NBA team in Vegas?
After decades without a pro sports franchise, the NHL broke the seal with the Golden Knights expansion franchise in 2017 followed by the WNBA’s Aces moving from San Antonio one year later. Raiders owner Mark Davis said, “Hey, let’s become neighbors” in 2020.
Now, the A’s are asking Davis if their MLB team can be his +1 as they battle the city of Oakland (stop me if you’ve heard this before). After years of quasi-denial of the Vegas rumors, now Silver is essentially saying, “Room for one more at Encore Beach Club? I’ll buy dinner at the Wynn.”
But wait, it gets better because you may remember LeBron James already called dibs on Las Vegas ownership even while Silver was downplaying the expansion rumors.
“I want the team in Vegas,” James said during a June 10, 2022 episode of The Shop.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) June 9, 2022
Can Bronny, Bryce, and the whole James gang come too? A dream come true for those who like to bet on basketball. Let’s put the opening line at +500.