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Gary Payton: “The city of Seattle deserves a NBA team”

gary payton

The city of Seattle was last the home to an NBA team just over a decade ago, and they have been pushing hard to bring back another franchise.

Hall of Famer point guard Gary Payton, who spent the first 12 1/2 years of his career with the Seattle Supersonics, stated that he believes the city deserves another team.

“As you know, I am involved and done a lot. I know about everything that’s going on. It’s not that easy. You guys keep hearing about talks. We have been talking about that for years. There is a lot more going on in Seattle than you think. We can’t put a team in there without an arena. It’s not going to work, so we got to get those issues resolved. I’m going to stick with it. I know Rashard is going to want to stick with it. Rashard was drafted there by us when I was there and he was my rookie.

“We want a team back there. We are just going to keep hoping. Seattle deserves a team and the fans do. I’m glad that everyone is keeping them in mind, but we have to do stuff in Seattle too. We got to get an arena there. Big arenas make a lot of difference with a lot of people. It’s like what Vegas is doing and it’s like what LA is doing. Once you get them arenas and guarantee them that, it’s easy to get a team in there. I think they are going to get one.”

Over the last couple of years, there has been a growing push to get a team back in Seattle. Former commissioner David Stern stated about a month ago that an NBA franchise should move to the city. Current commissioner Adam Silver echoed those sentiments when discussing possible expansion.

It also comes a few month after Oak View Group CEO and founder Tim Leiweke voiced that his group is hoping to renovate Seattle’s KeyArena, with eyes toward landing another team.

At the same time, Payton does provide a valid point that Seattle must have a stadium or the funds to build one to lure in another NBA team. It would give off a sense of stability and potential for something promising. The city still has a highly passionate fan base that would back any incoming franchise.

There are plenty of hurdles to get past first, but it’s clear that there is a growing push in and around the league for Seattle to once again be home to an NBA team.