For most of Gary Payton's storied NBA career, he enjoyed prosperity with the Seattle SuperSonics. In 13 seasons with the team, he established himself as a star with averages of 18.2 points, 7.4 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game on 46% shooting.
By the time Payton retired in 2007, the Sonics were just a few short years away from leaving Seattle for Oklahoma City, where the team has resided ever since.
As someone with a special connection to the Sonics, Payton (a 9x All-Star) was recently asked to share his thoughts on the move and if the Sonics might ever make a return to basketball.
"I felt like the world ended in Seattle. Because that city and them fans don't deserve that. They don't deserve it. And I've been working very hard to get it back.
We're gonna try and get an expansion team and I think. the expansion team is gonna happen. I think with Adam Silver, he knows that we're gonna add some teams and I think Seattle is one of them teams that he's going to add and I think that they deserve it. As getting a new hockey team there as the Krakens right now and making the arena that they just built there. I think it's something that the NBA has to look at. And then I think at the opening of the Krakens in NHL season that Adam Silver was there and he was in the facility. So I think it's going to happen and when it happens it's gonna be a great thing."
Payton isn't alone in wishing for a Sonics return. Fans and experts all around the country have called for Adam Silver and the NBA office to consider bringing basketball back to Seattle via expansion.
Fortunately, there is already some talk about the league expanding.
Hopefully, over the next few years, we'll get some more information on the emergence of new teams. For now, guys like Payton and others will just have to wait for the resurrection of the SuperSonics.