The chances of the Sacramento Kings moving to Seattle are worse — much worse — than Los Angeles Laker Dwight Howard hitting a free throw. Very slim.
It is disappointing the NBA’s Relocation Committee voted unanimously this week to keep the Kings in Sacramento. The NBA owners simply don’t overrule committee recommendations that lopsided.
But the quest to bring back the Seattle SuperSonics (now playing in Oklahoma City as the Thunder) is far from over. And the outcome could very well be much better for Sonic fans in the Northwest.
Perhaps another franchise wanting or needing to relocate becomes available in a community ambivalent about its team or, better yet, a new franchise is awarded to Seattle.
Seattle Sonic basketball fans could then be guilt-free in rooting for the new team knowing Seattle didn’t steal the franchise. Seattle was the victim of the team owner, Clay Bennett, lying and conniving to move his franchise to Oklahoma City, his hometown. (And for some in the Pacific Northwest it still hurts a little more than 40 years later that the MLB Seattle Pilots were moved to Milwaukee to become the Brewers. Getting the expansion Mariners in 1977 has helped heal that wound.)
Now, to be clear, the way in which Chris Hanson has gone about trying to buy the Kings and relocate the team to Seattle was on the table rather than under it. The owners of the team needed to sell, Hanson and his investor group offered a fair price that was accepted. It was made clear from the start Seattle would be the team’s home.
Still, people in Sacramento did not want to lose their team and their passion energized a movement — led by Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former three-time NBA All-Star — to battle for their team.
“I still think Seattle is deserving of an NBA team,” Johnson said. “Just not ours.”
That’s something Seattle fans, who have been there, truly understand and appreciate.