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It’s Time for the NBA to Bring Back the Supersonics: Lakers’ Fan Commentary
Most of my favorite teams are rivals with Seattle's clubs. I'm a huge Los Angeles Galaxy fan, and I can tell you that the Sounders are one of MLS's most supported clubs. I'll never forget how they filled up CenturyLink Field for last year's opening match between the two teams. In fact, selling out Sounders games has been the trend since the team joined MLS. The Sounders have led the league in attendance every year since 2009.
I've seen the Los Angeles Angels make multiple road trips to Safeco Field, but even though the Mariners have been awful for years, the fans continue to show up at the ball park. Finally, I'll never forget how my St. Louis Rams had a chance to make the playoffs when they visited the Seahawks in the last game of the 2010 season. Their year ended in front of one of the loudest outdoor NFL crowds I've ever heard on TV. Seattle fans are rabid supporters of their teams regardless of the situation.
I understand Seattle wasn't innocent during the process that led to the Sonics being moved to Oklahoma City, but that doesn't mean the league should stay away from the Great Northwest. Even in a lame-duck year, the Sonics drew over 13,000 fans to Key Arena, which is amazing when you consider the empty stadiums other clubs have played in front of prior to leaving their old cities.
Since the news broke last weekend that Seattle is trying to build a new arena to draw an NBA and possibly an NHL team, I've been giving the idea some serious thought. I miss watching the Sonics play the Lakers. Those two clubs had some great games against each other, and I long to see them face off again. The NBA just doesn't feel right without the Sonics, and I think it's time to bring them back. I'm not talking about Seattle stealing another city's team; instead, the NBA should just expand. If the league put a club there, I believe the franchise would be successful.
If the NBA wants proof that a team in Seattle could be successful, then all it needs to do is take a look at the Feb. 6 game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Seattle fans made their presence known throughout the arena with signs written in the familiar green and gold of the Supersonics. Actually, it seemed like there was nothing NBATV could do to avoid showing Sonics fans in the stands because they were everywhere. The league may think that Seattle has forgotten about their beloved Sonics, but it's clear that the city still dreams of professional basketball.
Hopefully, there will be a day when I have the privilege of watching the Lakers play the Sonics again. The city and the team belong in the NBA. With multiple Facebook groups like "Bring Back Our Sonics" and Gary Payton's "Bring it Back to Seattle," drumming up support for a team, I think there's enough proof that basketball is still going strong in the Pacific Northwest. Now it's time for the league to make it happen. The Sonics belong in the NBA.
Derek Ciapala has been a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers since childhood. His favorite Lakers' moment is when they beat the Detroit Pistons 108-105 in Game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala.
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