Adam Silver Says NBA Expansion Is 'Inevitable,' Seattle Has 'Enormous Support'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 25, 2020

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attends Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The NBA hasn't expanded ever since the Charlotte Bobcats first took the court for the 2004-05 season, but league commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that expansion is "inevitable" and that "there's no doubt there's enormous support" in Seattle for a team.

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

Seattle, perk up your ears - I asked Adam Silver more about the NBA's plans for expansion in the near future: https://t.co/smGfPQpRAk

Seattle was home to the NBA's SuperSonics from 1967-2008, but the team moved to Oklahoma City and become the Thunder soon after a group of OKC-based investors led by Clay Bennett purchased the team.

Seattle is a logical home for the NBA's 31st franchise. The city has a redeveloped stadium ready and waiting in Climate Pledge Arena (formerly known as the Key Arena), which will host the NHL's Seattle Kraken when the expansion franchise begins play in 2021-22.

In addition, Seattle has shown great support for its sports teams.

Most recently, Sounders FC welcomed over 40,000 fans per game in 2019, and that mark was good enough for second in MLS. The Seahawks were one of seven NFL teams to sell out 100 percent (or more) of their tickets for the 2019 season.

The Seattle Mariners finished 20th of 30 MLB teams in 2019 attendance, although it was a respectable figure considering that their 68-94 record played a part.

The NBA hasn't featured much movement at all since the league expanded from 27 to 29 teams with the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies in 1995-96. The Bobcats were the last team to join, and the Sonics were the last team to move cities. However, adding Seattle seems like a prudent move for the league sometime post-pandemic.


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