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NBA to announce Seattle, Las Vegas expansion during preseason

James Foglio profile picture
Sports Editor
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NBA to announce Seattle, Las Vegas expansion during preseason
USA Today Network

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is prepared to announce league expansion to Seattle and Las Vegas during the upcoming 2022-23 preseason.

According to Willie Ramriez of AP Sports, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 3, the league will announce expansion to those cities during the Los Angeles Clippers’ two preseason games at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena.

The Los Angeles Lakers also play two preseason games in Vegas on Oct. 5 and 6.

Of course, from 1967 until 2008, the Seattle SuperSonics competed as an NBA team. Then, following the 2007-08 season, the team relocated to Oklahoma City and became known as the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The SuperSonics played in a number of different arenas, including the Seattle Center Coliseum/Key Arena at Seattle Center (1967–78, 1985–94, 1995–08), King Dome (1978–1985), and Tacoma Dome (1994–95).

For 33 of the team’s 41 seasons, the SuperSonics played their home games inside Key Arena. The franchise won Western Conference titles in 1978, 1979, and 1996.

NBA to announce Seattle, Las Vegas expansion during the 2022-23 preseason

Seattle won its only NBA championship during the 1978-79 season. In the 1979 NBA Finals, under head coach Lenny Wilkens, the SuperSonics defeated the Washington Bullets in five games.

Gus Williams led the team in scoring, averaging 28.6 points per game. And Dennis Johnson was named Finals MVP. Johnson averaged 22.6 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists per game.

Plus, Sam Schulman owned the SuperSonics until 1983.

Prior to Basketball Club of Seattle took over ownership, Barry Ackerley owned the team until 2001. During the summer of 2006, Basketball Club of Seattle sold WNBA team Seattle Storm and the SuperSonics to Professional Basketball Club LLC.

As of right now, billionaires have shown interest in owning the new Seattle expansion team. Though, a final sale has not been processed. Per ESPN, the estimated cost to own either expansion team is $2.5 billion.

Not to mention, four-time MVP LeBron James wants to own an NBA team. In one episode of “The Shop,” James mentioned, “I wanna own a team. Yeah, I wanna buy a team, for sure. I want a team in Vegas.”

Silver is also excited to see the league expand to Sin City. “Las Vegas, where we will be at our Summer League in July, has shown itself to be a great sports market as well,” the commissioner explained.

“Currently, the city is the home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, the NHL’s Golden Knights and, perhaps most significantly for the future of the NBA in the city, the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.”

New teams can have a positive outlook for professional sports leagues. But let’s hope the expansion teams are here to stay. SuperSonics fans were devastated long ago after finding out about ownership’s relocation plans.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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