The Supersonic thesis: A new Washington team
There has been much speculation and rumor regarding the possible return of the Supersonics to Seattle, who originally left town in 2008 to become the “Western” Conference powerhouse known as the Oklahoma City Thunder. Seattle is such a large, growing city; it is a wonder why there is no team for Washington.
The current debate is whether or not the Sacramento Kings will move to Seattle into a new Supersonics stadium. The new Supersonics arena already has blueprints and City Council approval and would be built in the Seattle SoDo area. However, Seattle is requiring the investors of the stadium to purchase both an NHL team in addition to the Supersonics. The concern of the city is that it does not want to fund the creation of a grantd new stadium without the guarantee that there will be multiple games and multiple ticket sales and therefore a return on their investment.
Venture capitalist Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer want to initiate this move as soon as next season. The issue will be voted on this month by the NBA Board of Governors.
The Kings are one of four teams in California, and are the most underappreciated and lowest performing of the four, despite the Lakers’ horrific season. The Clippers and Warriors are both guaranteed playoff contenders, while the Kings struggle to maintain home attendance.
I believe that this would be a smart move, as it has become glaringly apparent how much Seattle misses the Supersonics and its glorious days of Shawn Kemp and the rookie—now superstar—Kevin Durant.
There are some promising players that would potentially come to Seattle from Sacramento, but there is a lot that is up in the air, given their lack of team unity due to the dubbed “lost season.”
Although there is a lot of support now that the team’s location is threatened, it is seemingly eminent that the Kings are done. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson wants to keep the Kings in his city and has currently amped up efforts to keep the team in California.
Some player profiles: Starting guard Isaiah Thomas is a 5’9” ball-handler with exceptional skills. Elected to Rookie All-Star and sophomore All-Star games, his skills as a guard are evident, and he will likely remain with the Kings.
Up in the air is their hot-tempered dominant center named Demarcus Cousins. Cousins has multiple flagrant fouls and 14 technical fouls this season, which is in the top five in the NBA right now. He is immensely skilled, but perhaps not fit for the franchise, as he is a free-agent this summer (he can be traded). There is speculation that the Kings-Supersonics would acquire Center Pau Gasol who might be traded from the Lakers in hopes of concentrating on keeping Dwight Howard and offering him a better, longer contract.
The off-season will have many twists and developing plot lines concerning the possible Supersonics and the four—maybe three—California NBA teams, and it will be interesting to see who joins which franchise and who becomes dominant in the Western Conference in the 2013-2014 season.