Legendary Sonics coach George Karl never hides his love of Seattle and disappointment of the NBA for allowing the Sonics to leave the Emerald City.
Twelve years after the Sonics left for OKC, could things be changing? On Monday the NBA made a slight ripple in the expansion waters, giving Sonics' fans a very small spark of hope.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver hinted that league could change course and consider expansion.
Via ESPN, Silver met with the media on Monday before the season began on Tuesday. "I think I've always said that it's sort of the manifest destiny of the league that you expand at some point," Silver said. "I'd say it's caused us to maybe dust off some of the analyses on the economic and competitive impacts of expansion. We've been putting a little bit more time into it than we were pre-pandemic. But certainly not to the point that expansion is on the front burner."
With the news, Karl lit up Twitter like a Christmas tree tweeting "Sonics return talk is getting warmer. What do you need next from me Tim Leiweke?!"
Leiweke is the CEO of OVG. The group that's rebuilding KeyArena/Climate Pledge Arena. His brother is Tod, CEO and part owner of the Kraken. Tim replied to Karl on Tuesday.
He tweeted they've made progress for what's needed, if or when the NBA decides to expand. The OVG CEO writes "First, we need certainty of an NBA Arena. Check. Second, we need an ownership group capable of writing a check for expansion. Check. Then we need NBA to lay out timeline and process. That’s Adam."
Leiweke is referencing NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
Just 18 months ago, Silver said the league was "not in expansion mode."
But obviously, things have changed. Expansion could provide a financial windfall for owners losing money during the pandemic.
If they were to charge two billion dollars for an expansion fee, teams would get around 66.7 million for one team. If the league brings in two expansion teams, that gives 133 million per team in expansion fees.