The NHL approved Seattle’s bid to host the league’s 32nd NHL team this week, something the city has been working toward for years.
Naturally, talk of bringing the SuperSonics back to Seattle has come with it.
The SuperSonics played in Seattle from 1967-2008, when it was sold and moved to Oklahoma City to become the Thunder. Ever since, Seattle residents have enthusiastically advocated for the Sonics to return.
While expansion isn’t something on the NBA’s immediate to-do list, it’s certainly in the picture down the road. Now with a NHL team coming to the city in a renovated KeyArena — which will also house the WNBA’s Seattle Storm — the city hopes that it has done enough for the NBA to look its way when it’s time to actually talk expansion.
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant, who has long talked about how he wants to move to the front office side of basketball and even own a team when he’s done playing, said on Wednesday that he would love to help run any team brought back to Seattle.
“Hell yeah,” Durant told ESPN on Wednesday. “Of course I would. No matter if it’s Seattle or any team, just to help young men grow. Or help men in the next phase of their lives as basketball players. Why not? Especially somebody who’s gone through it and been through just about everything as an NBA player, outside of getting traded, I’ve been through pretty much everything.
“I would love to give back to an organization, the knowledge that I’ve gained. So hell yeah I’d be interested.”
Durant was drafted by the Sonics with the second pick in the 2007 NBA draft. He spent his rookie season there before the team moved to Oklahoma City, and has long been the face of the team since it was shut down. The Warriors even played a preseason game in Seattle this year, where Durant rocked an old Sonics Shawn Kemp jersey.
While he’s not from Seattle or even the Pacific Northwest, Durant knows how great of a story it would be for him to help lead a team back to Seattle.
He isn’t, though, planning to wait around for it to happen.
“It’s just the fact that I played there and I get so much love there,” Durant told ESPN. “More than any city in the league probably. Look, it would be a great story. But it would be a lot of hard work, it won’t be easy because it’s Seattle. After the press release and the first couple of weeks it’s straight to work.
“I know people want to tie me into Seattle a lot, and I love being part of that, but I’m not just waiting for that opportunity. Any opportunity that comes around where I could become [part of] an ownership group or a front office or anywhere I could just help the team as of right now in my life I would go for it, but who knows what will happen at the end of my career.”
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