Adam Silver Comments on Seattle and Potential NBA Expansion

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2016

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 21: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the media after the Board of Governors meetings on October 21, 2016 at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Dow/Getty Images

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver downplayed the idea of expansion beyond the current 30 franchises this week and stated his focus is making sure there's a level playing field for every team.

SiriusXM NBA Radio passed along comments Thursday from the league's chief executive, who admitted he wasn't sure adding more organizations "is necessarily the right direction to go" at this stage. He expanded on issues like superteams, which make it difficult to have an even balance of talent:

SiriusXM NBA Radio @SiriusXMNBA

Sorry Seattle, Adam Silver says he isn't sure expansion "is the right direction to go" Listen here ---> https://t.co/nQFqFzibyP

Silver directly mentioned Seattle, which has been without an NBA franchise since the SuperSonics moved south to become the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. He called it a "first-class market," but he reiterated the city's need for a new arena to house a potential team.

He didn't rule out expansion, though. He told SiriusXM NBA Radio the issue will likely receive additional consideration after more pressing issues are handled.

"Once we ultimately get this new collective bargaining done, I'm sure a committee of owners and people at the league office will turn back to it and do a very sophisticated analysis about whether expansion does make sense," Silver concluded.

It's an issue that's returned to the forefront over the past week with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson announcing a partnership with the Sonics Arena Group:

Russell Wilson @DangeRussWilson

I'm excited to announce I've partnered w/ the Sonics Arena Group to help bring the @NBA & @NHL to the best fan base in the world. Seattle.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times provided further details about the decision Thursday, with the NFL superstar stating it's part of his "longtime dream" to own a sports franchise. For now, his involvement with the Arena Group is expected to include a financial stake.

"I will, for sure," Wilson said of his having a monetary interest. "It's going to be an exciting thing. I think it's not just the financial part, too, but the passion behind it and the passion behind the people of the city and trying to bring people together."

In a piece for The Players' Tribune, Wilson explained he became a SuperSonics fan in part due to the classic video game NBA Jam. He added: "The NBA needs that green and gold back. Seattle needs basketball back. And hockey, too."

Silver's comments make it sound like the possibility of adding more teams could at least land on the league's radar. Until then, the waiting game continues in Seattle.



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