Hopeful City on the Verge of Regaining NBA Franchise
February 15, 2013 by Nathan Gengler
Seattle looks to provide a new home for the struggling Sacramento Kings.
Seattle Washington had been home to a major professional basketball team since 1967. The Seattle Supersonics were one of the NBA’s most beloved franchises but after numerous failed attempts to upgrade the team’s home at the KeyArena, the Sonics were sold to Oklahoma City in 2008, where they were reincarnated as the Thunder. The entire city of Seattle has subsequently mourned the loss of their beloved Sonics, but in January of 2013 a glimmer of hope arrived as it was reported that the Sacramento Kings were the verge of relocating to Seattle.
The Kings have been a staple of the NBA since 1948, but over the last five years, the team has endured an eerily similar fate to that of the old Sonics. The Kings are in desperate need of a new facility to replace the outdated Sleep Train Arena. The team has stated that unless the City of Sacramento can provide a new arena before the 2012-13 season ends, they will move to Seattle. In January, a deal was reached to move the team, but this relocation still requires NBA approval, which is expected in April. Meanwhile Sacramento is still fighting to keep the team and is currently looking for new ownership to bail the team out of this situation. But for the time being, it looks like the Sacramento Kings will be moving to the Great Northwest.
Assuming that this move will be approved, questions have surfaced regarding the name of the team once it settles in at it’s new home. A movement is rapidly picking up steam to rename the team to the Supersonics as an homage to the old franchise that captured the heart of the city. Unfortunately, it is possible that the team could retain their current name. This would be a travesty of epic proportions, as it would waste a golden opportunity to reinvent a struggling franchise and add publicity by creating a new set of jerseys and logos to go along with the new name. If the team were to remain the Kings, they would also fall into the shameful category of teams who’s names don’t make sense for the city they play in. Look at the Grizzlies, Lakers, and Jazz. The Grizzlies relocated from Vancouver a region riddled with fearsome bears to Memphis, where it would be difficult to find a bear outside the city’s zoo. The Lakers originated in Minnesota-a state famed as the Land’o’Lakes to L.A. where freshwater is so scarce that officials had to construct a massive aqueduct to use water from a lake 400 miles from the city. And in Utah, a state with virtually no connections to Jazz music, they still retain the name they inherited from New Orleans.
The relocation, if approved, would surely benefit the Association. Seattle has always been a notoriously fanatical Basketball city. Even when the Sonics were bad the team would consistently sell out home games. The old team was famed for its longevity by maintaining prominence for a solid five decades.