Will There Be Betting on NBA Games in Seattle Again?

Posted by: Charlie Smith

Betting on NBA games involving a Seattle-based team could become a reality for the first time since 2008. The Seattle SuperSonics existed since 1967 but like the phenomenon for which the city is best known for, their short-lived heyday occurred during the best decade in the history of the world – the 90s. The Year of Our Lord 1989 was a great one to be a Seattleite; Nirvana’s Bleach and Soundgarden’s Louder Than Love came out, and the Sonics selected power forward Shawn Kemp as the 17th overall pick in the first round of the 1989 NBA draft. The following year Oregon State point guard Gary Payton was drafted by the Sonics as the 2nd overall pick in the first round of the draft. The last piece of the puzzle was head coach George Karl’s arrival in 1992.

Sure, the SuperSonics became the first No. 1 seed to lose a postseason series to an 8th seed and were eliminated in the first round two years straight in 1993–94 and 1994–95. But they also won four division championships (1994, 1996, 1997, and 1998), one conference title (1996) and made a trip to the 1996 NBA Finals, which they lost 2-4 to the Chicago Bulls. All in all it was a great albeit brief run during which people betting on NBA games could always count on Seattle. However, and like grunge, the Sonics’ success would not live to see the 2000s.

The arrival of Kevin Durant in 2007 fanned the dying flames of the Sonics’ NBA games betting odds, but it was a flash in the pan. To continue the musical analogy and to quote Alan Rickman-as-Hilly Kristal, “I opened CBGB because I thought country music was gonna become the next big thing. And it did… in Nashville.” Similarly, the Sonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder not long after Durant joined the team. And that gets us up to speed with the present day. “I think it’s just a question of when the right time is to seriously start thinking about expansion,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a Players’ Tribune video. “I don’t want to put a precise timeline on it, but it’s inevitable at some point we’ll start looking at growth of franchises.”

The commish added that Seattle is “on a shortlist of cities we’ll look at.” This being Judge Doom, that shortlist probably also includes Toontown. Well, if someone can put a stop to the Monstars, err, the Golden State Warriors, that’s the Tune Squad. Right, Seattle. City mayor Ed Murray introduced the Oak View Group (OVG) last month; a conglomerate of sports and entertainment figures – including Hollywood film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer and billionaire investment banker David Bonderman – whose goal is to renovate KeyArena in order to attract not only the NBA but the NHL as well. “We’re going to get you a team,” OVG CEO Tim Leiweke promised the unwashed masses (though this being Seattle, the masses are likely washed). “We’re going to get you at least one team.” Will it be a team that also for betting on NBA games? Time will tell.