NBA Seems Headed Toward Expansion, With Seattle And Las Vegas Likely Newcomers

Bring back the SuperSonics?

It’s been a rally cry for more than just basketball fans in Seattle since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder in 2008. The entire NBA has passionately supported the idea of a Sonics return.

Before moving to OKC, the Sonics reached three Finals and won one championship (1979). Along the way, they gave the world such names as “Downtown” Freddie Brown, Xavier “The X-Man” McDaniel, Shawn “The Reign Man” Kemp and Gary “The Glove” Payton. And that’s just a small sample.

Now, they finally may be on their way back, as the league is contemplating expansion into both Seattle and Las Vegas, according to noted Northwest sports reporter John Canzano.

It seems that the league would make the expansion announcement after its media rights deal expires in 2024. So perhaps the Sonics could be back as soon as the 2024-25 season. Or if this is truly the case, 2025-26 at the latest.

While the Sonics moved and became the Thunder, Seattle retained the old green-and-yellow color scheme, and presumably, the logo featuring the Space Needle and a ball.

Vegas, meanwhile, has never had an NBA team, but this won’t be the first time it’s been mentioned as a possible NBA location. With the NFL’s Raiders and NHL’s Golden Knights there today, Las Vegas clearly has developed a big-time-sports feel.

Could the NBA be next? For now, it seems like it’s a possibility. But that’s been the case, again, for a while. Perhaps soon Seattle and Vegas will see their hoops dreams realized.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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  1. Does Las Vegas have the population and corporate support for three professional sports? I know people will point to the many casino’s, but those aren’t bottomless pits of handing out sponsorship money.

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