Exclusive: Sonics Alum Gary Payton Vows To Bring NBA Back To The Emerald City!

Angie MeyerContributor IIJuly 19, 2010

LAS VEGAS - JULY 24:  Gary Payton (L) interviews Kobe Bryant #10 of the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team on the 'Best Damn Sports Show Period' after a practice at Valley High School June 24, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Image: http://media.giantbomb.com

Seattle. A gorgeous growing metropolis that sits along a fabulous bank of crystal blue water. A city known for it's rainy weather patterns, beautiful landscapes, and new age architecture. Its the perfect local for the sporting elite.
Seattle is a town devoted to the franchise of professional sports. The city is home to the Seahawks, the Sounders (Seattle's brand new major league soccer team), and of course, the Mariners... a major league baseball franchise housing the jerseys of Ichiro Suzuki, and the recently retired Ken Griffey Jr.
Something, however, is missing from the athletic landscape of the emerald city. An NBA team.
Just two years removed, the city mourns the loss of their beloved Supersonics. One of the two professional franchises from the Northwest to win a national championship.
The Sonics colonized in Seattle during the swinging 60's - 1967, to be exact.
A team that carried the legacy to several of the best athletes to ever meet the hardwood, the Sonics reincarnated Seattle fanfare to its fullest potential.
Ownership changes were a prevalent part of the teams history. One of the team owners, Starbucks Chairman, Howard Schultz, kept the team thriving. Schultz, along with partner Barry Ackerley sold the franchise to Clay Bennett, an Oklahoma City businessman in 2008.
After a failed attempt by city planners to build a new arena for the team, Bennett moved the team to his hometown. Thus, the inception of Oklahoma City Thunder. The Sonics faithful remain absolutely devastated.
The city lives in an omni-present NBA void, and it's patrons aren't giving up hope of a professional basketball future in the city.
Seattle still owns the nickname, logo, and color scheme for the team as part of the trade negotiations.
The most intriguing aspect of these circumstances, are the past Sonics players who've come forward in support of Seattle's NBA cause.
One such superstar, is ex-Sonics frontman, Gary Payton. Glam Girls caught up with Seattle Superstar at the ESPY Awards, where he told us his top priority is bringing the team back to Seattle.
Gary Payton, known to his fans as "the glove" played for the Sonics for thirteen years, and according to the ex-baller, the emerald city still holds his heart, and he'll do anything to pay-it-forward, to a town who embraced both him for over a decade.
Here's what "Mister Glove" had to say...


GG: Gary, I've heard that you've been busy trying to bring an NBA team back to Seattle. Can you tell more about this ?
GP: "I am. We are doing a lot of things. Hope we can get a good mayor so that we can get something going. We need to get some people with money, who want to be a part of this. It's a great city. Then, we need to figure out how to get a good arena there. We are working hard to get a proposal together. I think this is going to happen."


GG: What would be the location of the arena? There's not much room downtown.
GP: "I think taking Key Arena down, and making a bigger stadium. We don't want it in Bellevue. It's not going to be called the "Bellevue Whatever"... it has to be in Seattle."


GG: So when the team comes back to Seattle, do they remain the Supersonics?
GP: "Got to. That's part of the agreement from when the team went to Oklahoma City. We keep our future, name, we keep our colors, and all things like that, all that comes along with that"


GG: Are you living in Seattle currently?
GP: "I am living in Vegas. But go up to Seattle all the time, I still have my restaurants, my agent, and manager out there. I was the 12th man for the Seahawks at one point."


It's absolutely remarkable to witness the devotion that players, fans, and the city has embraced to bring the team back to to Seattle. With big names on board, the certainty of the future of NBA in Seattle, looks awesomely bright, even on a rainy day.


Stay Fabulous,