By Adam Roberts – 12/22/2020
Back in 2015, the future of the Milwaukee Bucks in the Milwaukee area was in jeopardy with the aging Bradley Center the third oldest arena in the NBA and the league demanding an upgrade. If that did not happen, it was very possible the team would relocate to Seattle or possibly Las Vegas. Thankfully for fans of Wisconsin pro basketball, the state senate voted to allocate funds for what would become the Fiserv Forum.
Still, I think it’s safe to say most basketball fans want to see the Supersonics, or some new Seattle NBA team, once again. Now it appears that could be a possibility in the near future.
In a press availability Monday, league commissioner Adam Silver described the league as having a sense of “manifest destiny.” This is a change of tone from the head man in the Association, who has said the league has not been considering expansion over the past few years. The NBA hasn’t added teams since it expanded to 30 in 2002 with a team returning to Charlotte (originally the Bobcats before the Hornets name became available once again). The most likely destination of this new expansion would be Seattle, which nearly landed the Sacramento Kings in 2013 and then the Bucks as mentioned above, but Las Vegas could also be a popular choice.
Hell, maybe the league would shrug its collective shoulders and go “Why not both?”. Two new teams with expansion fees paid off to the league would certainly help the league handle revenue losses from a lack of fans during the pandemic, and new two teams in the West could push Memphis and New Orleans to the East, helping balance competitiveness.
Silver has said that plenty of conversations need to be had still, but on the otherside of COVID-19, basketball back in Seattle could be very much in the picture.