The Seattle SuperSonics may return to the Emerald City someday. They just won’t be coming from Atlanta.
These days, any team that has some sort of crisis or problem turns into a target of rumors. Hey, everyone! The Atlanta Hawks are for sale! Maybe Chris Hansen will buy them and move them across the country!
Whoa, there. Sadly, this is not happening. Nor will it in the future.
Frankly, the city of Atlanta does not exactly deserve the Hawks. Despite the fact that the team made the playoffs last season, the Hawks ranked 28th in attendance. The city has not supported or appreciated the team particularly well for a number of seasons. But, the NBA is not going to give up that market. Period.
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Now, we won’t go back and review how badly the NBA has treated the city of Seattle. That much has been established, but unfortunately the past cannot be changed. The NBA owes Seattle, but they frankly do not care.
In this case, the sticking point will be the new NBA broadcasting deal. The league is going to avoid any relocations that aren’t absolutely necessary. Maintaining the brand will be a key part of selling the overall product, which is why the Hawks will stay put.
Sadly, it seems as if the only way that the SuperSonics are going to return is through expansion. Until the NBA signs a new deal, there may be no opportunity for Seattle fans to celebrate.
The Atlanta Hawks will be sold, but the NBA will make sure that it is a local person or group. Seattle fans can hope for a better outcome, but that is highly unlikely. The Hawks aren’t going anywhere.