Sonics? Kings? NBA possibly back in Seattle this Fall

Written By:  •  Friday, January 11, 2013

Just a few months after approving a new arena deal, the City of Seattle may be ready to welcome back the National Basketball Association.

The rumour mill is a-buzzin’ with news that the Maloofs, owners of the Sacramento Kings (who reportedly nearly moved the club to Anaheim in 2011, even going as far as registering potential team names) have been in serious talks with Seattle investor Chris Hansen to bring the club up north for 2013-14.

From our perspective we really only care about a few things, if this deal goes down what will the team be called, what will their logo/uniforms look like, and what history will they claim?

If taking the Kings name why not go retro and combine the identities?

They could go one of two directions, a straight revival of the Seattle Supersonics name – which is very likely due to the supposed deal made when the Sonics left for Oklahoma City keeping the name back in Seattle for a future team; or taking the Kings name with them from Sacramento and absorbing their long franchise history.

If they go ahead with the Sonics plan and claim the history of another franchise as their own, this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen this; the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets are the most recent example – taking the nickname of their former club but so far nothing else. A similar story in Washington with their various Senators and Nationals baseball teams, the current Nats have been in town since 2005 after spending 36 seasons in Montreal, but they still claim to be established in 1905.  Cleveland’s Browns are the most extreme example with the NFL actually re-writing history to make it officially one franchise, despite the original club re-locating to Baltimore in 1996.

I’ve flip-flopped my opinion on whether this is a good practice or not; for a long time I’ve been very against it, the case in Winnipeg two summers ago was that their fans said any name but the Jets wouldn’t feel right; Charlotte is still fighting (and winning) to re-claim the Hornets name that left for New Orleans over a decade ago – I’ll admit to missing seeing the teal and purple in that city.

Perhaps this is the way to go from here on out then, eh?  Let’s go ahead and bring back the SuperSonics!  As long as the original Sonics history stays in Oklahoma City, I’m all for it.  Embrace the long, storied history of the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals and the KC/Omaha/Sacramento Kings, one of the oldest franchises in the NBA deserves to continued to be recognized.

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Chris Creamer

Chris Creamer is the founder of SportsLogos.Net and has been maintaining it since June 1997. You can follow him on Twitter at @sportslogosnet or contact him via email at ccreamer@sportslogos.net

  • Joseph Newell

    they will be the SuperSonics. Sacramento had plenty of chances to get a deal done. Time to move on.

    I’m curious if the Kings would have had more success in Anaheim. NBA players love LA and that would have been another option for free agency. Not sure how many players “love” Seattle in general.

    • Jed

      I envision them becoming the Sonics once again and hoping they go back to the old logo and not the newer ones they had as those were awful. Heard from reports that the deal is done for $525 million and the MaGoofs won’t have anything to do with the franchise, once it relocates to Seattle.

      Joseph Newell said it best on these boards…Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sacramento and the MaGoofs had plenty of chances to get an arena deal done and now that this could possibly happen, KJ is just scrambling to save face and coming up with new possible owners to keep the team there..that’s truly an act of desperation at his end and he needs to wise up and admit it’s over and done. He had his chance and he blew it, or shall we say, the MaGoofs screwed him bigtime two years ago after backing out of the arena deal that was originally agreed to at the ASG in orlando.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bobby.mason.90 Bobby Mason

    wasn’t the kings the name of the original proposed NFL franchise for seattle?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.sopp Mike Mark Sopp

    Would this set a record for most moved major professional sports franchise: Cincinnati, KC-Omaha, Sacramento and now Seattle?

    • eazup

      yep. its officially a record, and its actually the sixth location. started in rochester, ny, then cincy, omaha, kc, sacramento and now seattle

  • Brandon Wilson

    Well, Seattle still owns the rights to the Supersonics Name, Records, banners, etc. so why not call them the Supersonics? It makes sense!

  • Taylor

    “As long as the original Sonics history stays in Oklahoma City, I’m all for it. ”

    This is the exact opposite mindset of everyone in Seattle. They want the history back. The current agreement (as I understand it) is that it would be a shared history with OKC. Seattle fans are hoping they can buy it back in full.

    • Chris Creamer

      I know sentimentally it makes sense, but factually it’s just not true… the Supersonics went to Oklahoma City, it stinks for Sonics fans but facts are facts, re-writing history isn’t a good practice to get into.

      • wolfgangII

        If NBA re-write history and the new Seattle Super Sonics get their history, banners, championships (three conferences championships and one Larry O’Brien), retired jerseys and also their draft picks? History tell us that Durant, Westbrook, Collison, Ibaka were drafted by the Seattle Super Sonics and have never been traded or cut, should the play in Seattle in order to respect history?

    • Chris Creamer

      I should have added that I don’t mind them hanging the original Sonics’ championship banners from the rafters, or retiring the original numbers, the city won those titles and they can acknowledge it, but it’s nothing more than an acknowledgement. Officially, the new Sonics franchise will have won one NBA championship and that will have been as the Rochester Royals in 1951.

      • Taylor

        Nope, I don’t buy it. “Officially,” the city of Oklahoma City has won 0 NBA Championships. I think history should always stay with the city. I think all relocation should be treated as contraction/expansion, personally. Sports is the only place where history can be boxed up and shipped. Alabama can’t go buy the Civil War and say “Hey, the South won now!”

      • kodrinsky

        Mmmmm. “Shared History” says the settlement. Banners, trophies, retired numbers, furniture and equipment stay in Seattle, although OKC would be allowed to borrow the first three to put on display periodically and make copies. 200 CDs, a sound-effects machine, a basketball inflater, radios, headphones and a replay monitor were shipped to OKC. Bennett would retain the rights to the SuperSonics’ name and logos, but agreed not to use them after moving to Oklahoma City. If a new NBA team arrives in Seattle, Bennett would turn over the rights to the new team’s owner at no cost, as long as it meets with NBA approval. OKC Thunder will be allowed to use the SuperSonics’ statistical history, although a future Seattle NBA franchise could also stake a claim to share those records.

    • wolfgangII

      Open question: If Seattle new team is named Super Sonics and use the colors and logo, but as Chris point out, they won´t get intitled to the history of the team, as it stays in OKC. Should the Thunder ever will wear a green and yellow throwback jersey? How weird will be Seattle visiting OKC and both wearing a Sonics script across their chest?

  • http://www.facebook.com/hovie.hawk Hovie Hawk

    Has to be the SuperSonics history and all. There is no reason for the Thunder to have anything to do with the Sonics history. Bennet was the owner here for but a few very unmemorable years, all of which he was planning the move. If Bennet had been the owner for 20 or 30 or the 40 year history, maybe a case could be made for him to keep its history. But, in reality, the history is Seattle’s pure and simple.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Dougherty/100000120469251 Dan Dougherty

    @bobby- yes it was

  • Michael Rudolf

    Seattle Kings works also, since Seattle is in King County.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sportslogos.net SportsLogos.Net

    Mike, they were also Rochester and just plain old Kansas City as well… would likely extend a record the franchise *probably* already holds

  • SabresFan

    Great! Now Seattle can get a hockey team!

    • Aaron

      Yes, but it would likely be expansion if they do. Unless Jameison’s deal to keep the Coyotes in the desert fails.

      • SabresFan

        Move the Blue Jackets or Panthers. Would anyone notice?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.sopp Mike Mark Sopp

    & to answer my question: yes. Forgot the franchise started in Rochester. And apparently they were solely in KC before they became KC-Omaha. Wow. What a list.

  • Michael Taylor

    How about the Seattle Kingfish

    • wolfgangII

      Or Seattle SuperKings?

  • john

    For those of you not from Sacramento, don’t hate on the city for “not getting the job done”. The Maloofs were the worst owners in professional sports. The city had some $300M to kick down for an arena and the owners couldn’t even afford $90M (which included a $75M loan from the NBA). They were broker than broke, and now they are going to get $500M, while we are left with nothing. Sacramento had one of the most rabid fan bases in all of pro sports.

    Moving a team from Sacramento to make up for what the NBA did to Seattle doesn’t make it right.

    • Alan Smithee

      “The Maloofs were the worst owners in professional sports.”

      Jeffrey Loria and Charles Wang say thank you.

  • Michael Taylor

    Or Sound Kings

  • Jimmy

    I strongly disagree, I think the NBA needs to do what the NFL did with the Cleveland Browns/ Baltimore Ravens situation. Establish the Oklahoma City Thunder has an expansion team that debut in 2008-09 while establishing the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals and the KC/Omaha/Sacramento Kings as a defunct franchise whose history can be picked up if Rochester/ Cincinnati/ KC/ Sacramento ever gets another NBA team. And last but not least continue the Sonics history from 1967-2008 to the new Seattle Sonics that begin play in 2013-14. Anything less then this will be weird.

    • Chris Creamer

      Or they could just let it be historically accurate. Anything else would be weird.

      • Bill

        I think you’ve got this wrong, Chris.

      • Taylor

        The Oklahoma City Thunder claiming a championship won by the Seattle SuperSonics is historically accurate?

        • Mark

          I believe the OKC franchise won one. The OKC franchise used to be known as the Seattle Supersonics. Whether or not we want to rewrite how it happened, it won’t changed the fact that it did. If we wanted to change the record books and say Nixon was actually never president, we could very well do so.. it doesn’t change that it happened.

          Should the New York (baseball) Giants’ titles be given to the Mets (or New York)? Should the Minneapolis Lakers’ titles be given to the Timberwolves? Should the Colts’ Super Bowl title be given to the Ravens? If you maintain consistency with your idea that a city’s history should be reinstated through a new franchise as opposed to actual history, that’s easier to respect. But I highly doubt people are lobbying for these the way the are/were for the Sonics/Browns.

  • F19

    Bring back the Sonics 110%.

    And if I was commissioner of any sports league I would make it against the rules to move a franchise and keep the name and history. It’s a further slap in the face to the city you’re moving away from, usually for douchey reasons.

    It’s also disrespectful to the place you are moving to, they deserve a new identity that is their own. There is no reason other than laziness that we should have the LA Lakers, Utah Jazz, Indianapolis Colts… even LA Dodgers and SF Giants. But now we are stuck with them. At least from now on owners/leagues should have the decency to count relocations as expansions and leave the history and names behind.

    In MLS the SJ Earthquakes moved to Houston but they counted that as an expansion team and the SJ franchise was “on hiatus” for a few years until it came back, when they reclaimed the name and all the history. That’s the way to do it. Just like the Browns/Ravens situation.

    • Aaron

      I wouldn’t go so far as to do that. If the team name sounds right with the city, by all means use it especially if the name and city mesh together. But I understand where you’re coming from on certain aspects. Names like the Whalers, Nordiques, Expos, Texans wouldn’t really make sense in Carolina, Denver, Washington and Kansas City respectively. You can possibly make the same case for the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers, but those names mesh very well. As far as the Colts and Giants name goes, there are at least several teams with those names in different cities. Memphis Grizzlies? Well, considering there’s a huge bear population in the state of Tennessee, the name fits although they could’ve just renamed them the Bears or perhaps the Smokies. I’ll bet you if Memphis were available for an NBA team with the Kings threatening to leave Sac-town, they would gladly take them and rebrand them as the Memphis Kings. For the Athletics and Dodgers, neither of them were really tied to Philly, KC or Brooklyn. Those names can be used anywhere.

  • Len Kori

    Seattle Starbucks

    • Matt Marczel

      @Len Kori…..right, and have a bag of coffee beans beside a coffee cup with Seattle on it as their logo.

  • Robert Bradley

    The main difference between the Seattle Supersonics and Cleveland Browns situations are that Cleveland was an expansion franchise and the Ravens left the Cleveland legacy with the league.

    The Kings have been around since 1923 when they were founded as the Rochester Seagrams (sponsored by the distillery). They are the oldest team in the league.

  • Aaron

    Like I said before, give the Kings name to either New Orleans or a potential expansion team in Kansas City. History too and logo. Let Seattle have the Sonics back. New Orleans Kings sounds better than New Orleans Pelicans. Don’t you think?

  • Ben in LA

    Very interesting. Closing out the history of one franchise (Royals/Kings) while trying to resurrect another (SuperSonics), albeit shared with another city. Ah, the magic of franchise relocation!

    If an NHL team moves there, they might have to go through all of this again…think Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix (oops, Arizona) Coyotes. At least Calgary didn’t have to deal with that back in the day!

  • Ben in LA

    I should add it would be easier for the Kings to move back to Kansas City…where an arena is already waiting for them (not Kemper)…that would solve the history problem…

    • Southy

      Yeah, KC built the Sprint Center in anticipation of the Pittsburgh Penguins moving. That didn’t happen. But that’s cool, we’ll take the Sonics…yeah, that didn’t happen either. But all in all it’s a great venue. I’ve seen a couple of KU games there. Saw a Big 12 basketball tourney there. Saw Radiohead there. Now I’d like to see a professional team call it home!

  • Matt Marczel

    I hope the name will be Supersonics. I wouldn’t accept anything else if I were a Seattle resident basketball fan. I haven’t followed basketball since my hometown Vancouver Grizzlies left, even then I was a casual fan, but I’ve always loved the Supersonics logo, the green and yellow ones that is, I didn’t like the late ’90′s green, gold, and red one.

  • Matt Marczel

    Kansas City should get an NBA franchise one of these years too. The Sprint Center is sitting and waiting to be used. Also somewhat surprising that a viable market such as St Louis dosn’t have an NBA team. I’m aware that there’s been a few franchises in STL in the past, but I’m certain they can make a franchise work in that market in this day and age.

  • Jeti Mar

    King County Sonics of Seattle….done!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-Beelieve-Charlottetake-back-your-Hornets/110429122320741 John Morgan

    Bummed out for Sacramento, but I’m really happy for our friends in Seattle. Like Charlotte, they never deserved the treatment they got from the powers that be.

    And Chris, thanks for the ‘Hornets’ plug! We’re working hard at painting Charlotte teal and purple again.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-Beelieve-Charlottetake-back-your-Hornets/110429122320741

  • Mathew Chakko

    CLEVEJACKED!

    Cleveland hardly “rewrote” history…they gerrymandered strangely the first time…but there was nothing revisionist about it.

    • Chris Creamer

      As hard as it is to take, the Cleveland Browns franchise moved to Baltimore. That is fact. History was re-written after the move to appease the fans of Cleveland and allow them to maintain the history of the original Browns franchise.

      • Doug

        Sorry Chris. Art Modell left the Browns name and history with the city of Cleveland. It was part of the agreement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/troy.riley.908 Troy Riley

    Does this mean we here in Milwaukee have to find another city to ship our Bucks out to? We were optimistic about getting rid of them to Seattle.

    • Taylor

      You can probably send them to Sacramento in a few years

  • T.J.

    They will be the Sonics. And yes, it is a fact that the team was taken away from the city that loved them by the underhanded Clay Bennet. However, they will and should get to keep the history of their franchise – this is why they got to keep their banners and championship trophy.

    I loved how Kemp and Payton and them refused the invitation OKC sent them to celebrate the “history” of the Thunder. That’s loyalty, much respect to them. The Thunder history began in 2008 thats a fact.

    I’m not from Seattle or even the west coast, but I respect their traditions. This isnt Europe, teams represent a cities, not sponsors and companies. Therefore those histories, championships and the like truly belong to the fans and the city/state. You buy a franchise and move it, the history should remain with the city. Clay Bennett didn’t own the team when they won a championship, did he even have a winning season? Why should he be able to claim any history? The NBA should definitely step in to any further relocations about this topic, its bad enough when you lose your team, don’t take a city or regions history away.

    • wolfgangII

      So what european teams represent? In Europe and Latin America, most teams represents neighborhoods, not just cities. Take London for example: each Premier League team in London is based in a specific neighborhood, the name of the name came from the place you´re at. Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Boca, San Lorenzo.
      In other cases, the teams represents institutions like UNAM, UANL, U de Chile, U Catolíca, LDU Quito, Cruz Azul. You can be proud of the ACME Packing company and the Packers, but you never has seen an University in a professional sports league winning the national championship. Just imagine if the Texans Longhorns beat the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl.
      Sorry for the long post, but I really like and respect the U.S. sports leagues, divisions and systems, so please respect other countries sports leagues.

  • B. A. Smith

    I think the loss of the Supersonics just needs to be accepted. The history was taken to Oklahoma and it is a real sad thing to see happen. At the same time, the Royals/Kings franchise has a very long history with name and all. I hope, even as an old Sonics fan that Seattle, Washington State, all of the fans can accept this historic team including the Kings name. The name works in the Seattle area and can still use some of the Supersonics charater in the team’s look I’m sure. I’d be proud to call the Seattle Kings my team if it turns out that way, and I hope it does. Seattle Kings even sounds good. Something that can’t be said about New Orleans Hornets, or even Utah Jazz at times. Memphis Grizzlies works in certain ways but won’t explain it all right now. The Supersonics will always have they’re place in history. It may be in Oklahoma now but Seattle will always have the memories of that team. It’s a great thing to be able to welcome an historic, pioneer team to Seattle and I hope, and welcome this team name and all. NBA history in Seattle is a great thing and the history of the old Royals/Kings will thrive there, especialy being called the Kings.

    • Aaron

      I guess you’re right. Yeah it would be great to see the Sonics name return to the NBA, but it looks like it may have to be via expansion. If the Kings do move to Seattle, they’ll get the opportunity to expand on their own history give or take six cities with almost the same name. Seattle Kings could work. Even with the current logo in green and gold.

  • Nick

    Im a Kings fan and I hope that they stay in Sacramento. If they do move they should stay the Kings or come up with a new name. The Sonics are in OKC get over it and leave my team alone.

    • John

      The bizarre hypocrisy of this post is hilarious. Apparently, when it comes to the Sonics/Thunder, we live in a dog-eat-dog, businessmen-can-do-what-they-like reality but when it comes to your Kings… we live in a think about the fans nirvana!

      The reality is that, yes, teams should be discouraged from moving. The plutocrats who own professional franchices get so many perks from the public and their fans that they have an obligation to keep teams in their respective cities. However, if there ever was a franchise that was justified in moving, it would be the Kings from small market Sacramento (which is basically in the Bay Area market) moving to basketball crazy, large market Seattle.

      • John

        Nick, I stand corrected. I misinterpreted your post. You were defending the franchise name, not insisting that the Kings shouldn’t move to Seattle.

        Well, the one good thing about the Seattle Kings is that it matches King County. If they decide to keep with the Kings, I think they should use the Sounders/Seahawks color set (which kind of also matches the Mariners colors), not the Yellow and Green of the Sonics.

      • BIGG

        Small Market Sacramento eh? Being as our county (since the city has since divided itself into several smaller communities) has a population of over 1.5 million, and add the nearby surrounding areas and our “small market” is over 2 million people. Over three times that of “big market” Seattle. This entire catastrophe lies solely in the laps of the Maloofs. Anyone who really thinks it’s KJ’s, the city, or the fans fault obviously doesn’t know much more than the news headlines.

  • agege

    Now if only the Warriors would move to San Diego the Bay Area would be rid of basketball.

    • Thomas

      Yeah, because south cal needs another basketball team. **** LA and their big money sports teams. Money can’t buy you crap in sports

      • Edgar

        The Yankees beg to differ lol

  • http://PanthersHockey.deviantART.com FJOJR

    I would pay OKC and the NBA some extra cash to buy the history of the old Sonics and re-write the history books marking the Thunder as a new franchise, the Sonics as being suspended and then revived, and the Royals/Kings as suspended or folded. Betcha the fans in Seattle would really go for that. Doesn’t hurt OKC as it’s only been a few years since they moved and leaves Sacramento the potential to revive their team when expansion comes up or another team needs to move.

  • jboy

    It’s really bittersweet, it’s cool that Seattle gets an NBA team back, but at the cost of Sacramento, a city with great fans.

  • John John

    how about the seattle supersonics and the OKC Kings (or Royals)?

  • Sean Carter

    I think Seattle Supersonics are going reborn if Sacramento Kings move to Seattle

    • Aaron

      Then who would get the Kings nameplate? New Orleans? Kansas City? St.Louis? San Diego? Louisville?

  • Aaron

    Actually the retro styling of the proposed Seattle Kings logo looks cool. In fact, in the green and gold, it looks like a revision of a Sonics logo on its own. As much as the current Kings logo is cool, they should probably go with the retro styling logo, but slightly modernized.

  • Paul

    Trust me. Seattle basketball fans 100% expect the team to be called the Supersonics. There’s no chance it will be anything else. There’s language in the Sonics Arena memorandum of understanding signed by the Seattle City and King County councils that specifically calls out that any NBA franchise that comes back to Seattle will be called the Supersonics.

    • Paul

      Also, Seattle sports fans are big into tradition. Take a look at what happened when the MLS franchise here proposed the names Seattle FC, Seattle Alliance, and Seattle Republic as possible names that fans could vote on. The Sounders name won in a landslide as a write-in.

      • Aaron

        If that were the case, don’t you think the baseball team would be called the Rainiers or Pilots? LOL. Okay, if an NHL team goes to Seattle, three names come to mind based on your comment.

        Metropolitans

        Thunderbirds

        Rainiers or

        Supersonics if they can’t rename the Kings that.

  • Arturo

    I think Seattle fans need to unterstand that the supersonic are in OKC right now, i know that the fans want the history but it doesnt work that way, it shouldnt work that way. Just accept the KINGS and let go of the past i know they dont want to but just embrace the kings history. The sonics franchise has moved its gone. Rewriting history that’s wrong litterally and metaphorically.

    • Arturo

      Im ok with them renaming the franchise back to supersonics but you cant rewrite history that didnt happen. With all those comments about “just pretending that the thunder were an expansion not a relocation”

  • Asa

    How about Memphis as a landing spot for the Kings name and historical elements? If that were to be the case, I can imagine the team having a killer visual brand in which Egypt meets Elvis. [In the right proportions, of course; i.e., as base and accent respectively.]

    The ursine mascot and the triple-blue-and-gold color scheme, though, would stay.

    • Aaron

      I was thinking the same thing. Although where would the Grizzlies nameplate go to? Maybe if they stayed in Vancouver, Memphis no doubt would be all over this.

  • Doug

    I completely hear Chris Creamer’s point about keeping histories in the correct line of franchise. The problem is when a new franchise appears in a city with the same name as a previous one. Winnipeg Jets, Washington Nationals, Cleveland Browns, Seattle SuperSonics, you get the picture.

    The ONLY reason I would be a fan of keeping the previous history in the original city comes to championships.

    OKC is officially a one-time NBA Champion but it was won in 1979 as the Seattle SuperSonics. The new Sonics would be a one-time champion but as the 1951 … Rochester Royals?!

    In this case, if the team is renamed the Sonics, my vote would be to return the history and 1979 title to the city of Seattle, make OKC’s history separate and cease the lineage of the Kings/Royals franchise unless a new “Kings/Royals” team is added to the league, preferably in Sacramento, KC or Cincinnati.

    • Aaron

      Yeah, I can understand that aspect too. And I think if it’s going to be either of those cities, KC might have the upper hand considering the Sprint Center is just sitting there. Memphis would’ve been a perfect scenario but they’ve already got the Grizzlies.

    • http://www.sportchange.wordpress.com sportchange

      When a team moves, it’s really only the players who move.

      The fans stay stuck in their city with a gaping hole. The financial whims of billionaires do not account for the history of a particular team (identity) that represents a city.

      • Aaron

        I’m completely aware of all that. However, you do see a legence of Hartford residents cheering on the Whalers/Hurricanes even though they’ve been based in Carolina for the past 15 years. Same goes with Nets fans in New Jersey! From what we saw in the recent NBA finals, I don’t think many Seattle residents were cheering on the Thunder.

        • Brian Jud

          I see your point, but the segment of Hartford that roots for the Hurricanes is extremely microscopic. Former Whalers fans are basically STILL Whalers fans. The way it is now, you wouldn’t know the Whalers moved away.

          • Aaron

            If you ever heard the goal horn of that franchise in both cities, you’d know right off the bat they’re the same franchise. The Jets, Nordiques and Thrashers never took their goal horns with them to Phoenix, Denver and Winnipeg. The Hurricanes have actually retained other parts of their (Whalers) history in more ways than one.

  • nasarogue

    if and when the Scaramento Kings do come to seattle they will take on the name Seattle Super Sonics the team colors of green gold and white and the team history

  • Aaron

    In fact, the Grizzlies triple blue and gold would’ve been perfect for a team called the Memphis Kings. If the city were still available for an NBA team.

  • Marc

    The city of Seatle have the rights to the Super Sonics name, colors and logo for a future team. How about call the new NBA franchise the Super Sonics and let the history books explain the differences between the Thunder & Kings’ franchises.

  • http://www.sportchange.wordpress.com sportchange

    History should stay with the city! A team name is the team identity and teams take on a new identity when they move. Supersonics is property of Seattle and they should be able to hang their old banners/retired numbers in the new stadium. Why should history be relegated to the whims of traitorous billionaires?

  • Ricco

    Technology there is no History Lost, when the franchise moved to OKC it no longer was the Sonics, makes no sense to keep the lineage unless you using the nice name and colors and then claim the history. but Im sure the Owner(of OKC) wants money off the seattle history. as for the Kings, if they do Go ahead and Move to Seattle just end the Kings Legacy at SacTown. let the legacy of the sonics renew. Military has done it for yrs.

  • Damon Selman

    Actually, I kinda wish the city of Seattle would decline the move of the Kings. I can’t blame Seattle for accepting the Kings, but remember the team Bennett and David Stern stole from you! They stole a team with a brillant GM in Sam Presti and a humble superstar in Kevin Durant, both worth the weight of the entire Seattle metropolitan area in gold in the pathetic NBA, with its WWE rules, worthless star system, and punk players. Without a true superstar, you can’t win jack for years on end. Seattle is getting an awful, dysfunctional team with DeMarcus Cousins on it, with no Durant in sight in the draft. Sacramento fans are getting jobbed too, while “glamour” cities like Miami get the Heat, which they don’t intend Heat games anyway. I probably be happy to get Sonics in I was a Seattle resident, but kinda wish an NHL or even the Sounders would have gone with the Supersonics names to give Stern a well deserved middle finger!

  • http://www.sportchange.wordpress.com sportchange

    It would great if there were a way to put the Kings/Royals identity/history on “hold.” The cities of Rochester, Cincinnati, Kansas City, or Sacramento could all pick up the mantle if they obtain a team through expansion or relocation.

    • Aaron

      Just like the Browns did with Cleveland. Then you could probably make the same case for the Winnipeg Jets and Washington Nationals franchises, eh? Well, you have the Charlotte Bobcats possibly retaining the Hornets name. Maybe once that happens, New Orleans could retain all the Kings history and name instead of naming themselves the Pelicans if the NBA wants a team called the Kings so badly and Seattle can retain the Supersonics name. Everyone wins.

  • Aaron

    In fact, the Canes ECHL franchise bares the colours of the Hartford Whalers. And if you see a Hurricanes from a distance and picture it in the Whaler colours, they don’t look that different from each other.

    • Brian Jud

      Oh I don’t doubt you on similarities and keeping elements of Hartford. I’m just saying there really aren’t many people here in Connecticut that root for the Hurricanes, at all.

  • dex1lsp

    They have to be the Sonics. Period. I went to Seattle this past summer, and when I discussed the possibility of a new Seattle NBA team with the locals, they all stressed the importance of the SuperSonics identity. I guarantee that the people of Seattle absolutely do not want their team to be called the Kings.

    • nasarogue

      actually the way it is stated in the agreement with okc and seattle was that the new seattle team would be called the SuperSonics along with the colors and team history to be restored when a new team in this case the Kings comes to washington state

  • Aaron

    If Seattle gets a team and uses the Sonics nameplate, the logo should be a slight combination of their earlier logos (pre 1995) and their last logo (2004-2008). And definitely use the stripe cross jerseys when they do. With the green and gold of course.

  • James Loewen

    has to be the sonics

  • Mark

    Should the New York (baseball) Giants’ titles be given to the Mets (or New York)? Should the Minneapolis Lakers’ titles be given to the Timberwolves? Should the Colts’ Super Bowl title be given to the Ravens? If you maintain consistency with your idea that a city’s history should be reinstated through a new franchise as opposed to actual history, that’s easier to respect. But I highly doubt people are lobbying for these the way the are/were for the Sonics/Browns.

    I understand sentimental reasoning behind re-writing history.. however, no matter how wronged a city may feel, any franchise they recieve would not be like the one they lost. At worst, they’d have to say that Seattle lost a franchise and all of it’s players to OKC and didn’t have a team for a while… I’m not sure how that’s any better. Does Seattle get to lay claim to OKC’s final appearance as well? (Seeing as though some current OKC players played in both Seattle and OKC)

    • Aaron

      Well, you’ve got a point. But I think it’s a little easier to give a whole new team name when the team name travels and stays with the team like the A’s Giants and Colts. Examples where it’s a little easier are the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers especially if the team name fits the city. And it probably wouldn’t hurt as much if they acheive their own success and/or championships.

  • Rob in Cascadia

    What a lot of this could be solved with is a set of rules to be agreed upon by the major leagues (at least within North America) which can be apply a set of clear rules for when situations like this happen.

    Rule set one- designed for city identity-
    When a team moves completely away from area from its base (to provide an exceptions for teams like the Nets) It must change it’s name, icons and colors to become what is in retrospect a new team.

    Teams (relocating or expansion) entering into a market that has not previously held a team, may refer to the previous teams history for records of current players. It may also refer to the history for marketing purposes for no more that their first 2-5 seasons.

    Teams (relocating or expansion) entering into a market that has previously held a team, will have 2 options:
    A] To identify themselves as the successor to the previous team, inheriting the right to display banners, retired numbers, and accolades held by previous teams.
    B] To create a new identity may refer to previous events from past teams, but will not inherit the aspects of previous teams.

    Rule set two- designed for extended franchise identity.

    Team names are locked by the league. if a team relocates they can keep or change their identity, but if a change is made, the basis of the lost name is taken completely out of circulation.

    Teams (relocating or expansion) entering into a market that has previously held a team, will not have the option to reuse a locked identity. Relocating teams must either retain their current identity or (as expansion teams must) create a brand new identity that must have a distinct difference from any previous club from that areas past.

    In this case any banners, retired numbers, accolades and such are the property of the team, to be recognized and honored by the club regardless if they stay in one home for their entire run, or move multiple times.

    Only by a team folding will their property not carry forward, where they will be appointed the property of the league.

    Obviously there is no way that either of these options would ever be signed off on by any of the major leagues, but it would be nice if the certainty was known, just so the fans knew where they stood in the expansion/re-location/contraction situation before the debate even started.

    • Aaron

      Wouldn’t be a bad idea, although I think it should be up to the owners if they want to use an old nickname for their team or use tbe current nickname in a different city, but only if it fits. I think fans in different markets from the teams from wence they came from should have knowledge of the history of the franchise, regardless of what they’re called. But there are some exceptions though. Any team called anything besides the Cleveland Browns, Quebec Nordiques, Winnipeg Jets, Montreal Allouettes wouldn’t sound proper. Mind you, I’ve gotten used to hearing Houston Texans, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Ravens, St. Louis Rams, Charlotte Bobcats, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks overtime. New Orleans Pelicans, hmmm! Let’s see how the team performs after the name change.

    • Aaron

      Another thing….

      For Rule set one, other than the Nets, the other exceptions ought to be the Giants (NY/SF), A’s (Philadelphia, KC, Oakland), Rams (Cleveland, LA, St.Louis), Raiders (Oakland/LA), Rockets (San Diego/Houston), Colts (Baltimore/Indy), Dodgers (Brooklyn/LA), Braves (Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta), Flames (Atlanta/Calgary), Kings (KC/Omaha/Sacramento), Hawks (Milwaukee, St.Louis, Atlanta). Reason being, regardless of the city, those names fit. Even though there are no lakes in LA, LA Lakers just sounds right.

      • Rob in Cascadia

        The Nets were only mentioned as a recent example of a team that is more transferring to a close local, which is more akin to just changing facilities, but just far enough away that a local change to the name makes sense. Issues like the Coyotes looking to drop Phoenix for Arizona would fall under the same.

        As far as teams who did move great distances but kept their name, while under rule one (which I am more in favor of) past moves would be grandfathered, as I have no interest in forcing a team that has built roots (regardless if they relocated in the past) being forced to change, even thou do so means that if Vancouver got the NBA to come back it would be without the Grizzlies (which is still a bit of a piss off IMO)

        • Aaron

          Well, it would hurt a little not hearing Vancouver Grizzlies if Van City ever got an NBA team again. But then maybe they would have a chance to call themselves something strictly Canadian. Like the Mounties. Hey since the Charlotte Bobcats are supposedly trying to retreive the Hornets nameplate from the Big Easy, perhaps Vancouver Bobcats would sound appropriate. Or if not Bobcats, maybe Lynx with the same logo as the team has right now.

          • Rob in Cascadia

            While there are Bobcats in the region (heck they pretty much cover the continent). There really isn’t enough of a presence here in BC for those names to make sense.

            Should Vancouver become a NBA home again, unless Memphis was to give back the Griz name (highly unlikely after the last few seasons) the name would likely be something more regionally specific. Even the Mounties really don’t work as the City of Vancouver has it’s own police force (VPD) so the team wouldn’t even be playing in a venue protected by the RCMP. (one of the factors in the Grizzlies name originally I believe.)

            No we’ll end up being the Orcas, The Salmons, Beachcombers or something else in that way of thought.

    • Damon Selman

      Probably a statute of limitations on nicknames of relocating franchises would probably be best. If a team is in a new city for more than 15-20 years, the team retains it’s nickname. For instance, there are multiple generations of LA Lakers fans and increasing few people (unfortunately) who remember the Minneapolis Lakers. Heck, there is an couple of generations that only know of the Utah Jazz, a Utah NBA franchise not known as the Jazz would be stranger. Not to mention, how weird it would be now for the Lakers to change their name now!

      • Aaron

        Very weird indeed. Mind you it seems to be a constant in college sports unfortunately. Luckily Florida State hasn’t fallen for the PC backlash like St. John’s or Miami of Ohio. North .Dakota, Ole Miss and Illinois at least get to keep their names but sadly lose a potentially classic logo.

    • http://www.sportchange.wordpress.com sportchange
  • http://ozloya.com oz loya

    ..and why not, the SuperCoffees?

  • nasarogue

    ok y’all to put it out flatly is that the new seattle team is going to be SUPERSONICS and the colors are Green and Gold flat out as for the Super coffees that does not work if you read the official history of the sonics they were named after Boeing was awarded the contract for the B-2707 supersonic transporter airplane.

  • Aaron

    One question though, when you say a relocated or expansion can use the past teams history for no more than 2-5 years, what do you mean by that?

    • Rob in Cascadia

      Simply put, there would be a set time period by the league the team is a member of between 2 to 5 seasons, in which the team can use the history of the franchise from it’s former location to help promote the team.

      Say if the NBA was to set a 2 year term, In the case of (for example) the Thunder when they moved to the Chesapeake Energy Arena for the 2008-09 season, would have been able to use details from the teams history in Seattle to market themselves in the Oklahoma area for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons only. From 2010-11 onward, any official marketing or promotion of the team would be restricted to the 2008-09 season onward. Again, personal records of current players however would be treated as personal & franchise based so the club would still be able to claim and promote Kevin Durant as their draft pick and his team records from 2007. Once a player retires thou, his records and achievements stay with the city so Lenny Wilkens or Gus Williams numbers would be kept in Seattle.

      • Aaron

        Thanks for clarifying that. However you still see the Winnipeg Jets retired numbers in both Winnipeg and Arizona. Both whom currently house separate Winnipeg Jets franchises. I wonder if the Quebec Nordiques return to the NHL, you’d see Sakic’s number 19 and Forsberg’s # 21 hung from the rafters of Le Colisee or whatever the arena would be called. Or if Charlotte does retain the Hornets name, Bobby Phils number would be brought over. Although, Pistol Pete’s number 7 is retired in both New Orleans and Utah. Or is it just NOLA?

        • Rob in Cascadia

          Again should anything like this to happen, anything that had been previously done would likely be grandfathered.

          As far as the Jets go, and I may be wrong on this, but they are not showing the retired numbers from the (WHA-NHL) Jets. Even Kane is wearing Bobby Hull’s 9 jersey. Certain numbers may be treated as taboo, I doubt anyone will wear 10 or 25 there soon, those are not hung above the rink in ‘peg. That all said they aren’t showing Snyder’s 37 that Atlanta retired either.

          If a team does move and respects taboo number number than that’s great, heck even teams that don’t move treat some numbers as taboo, the Canucks are not likely to ever retire Maki’s 11, Rypien’s 37 or Bourdon’s 28 but with the exception of the years Messier played for them those numbers aren’t used. Should the ‘Nucks ever need to move, should a future team need to respect those taboo’s? No, but it would be nice, and i digress.

          Obviously, no matter what rulings if any would be put in place there would always be loopholes or considerations that would need to be looked at, and your pick of the Nords with Sakic and Forsburg are great examples of that. I would think if in their cases it would be looked at that seeing significant parts of their careers were in a Nords jersey and as that franchise (as the Av’s) did honour those accomplishments that there would be enough for both cities to share their legacies.

  • Paul

    Proof straight from the SonicsArena MOU: http://seattle.gov/arena/docs/120516PR-MOU.pdf

    “Item 20b: Team Name. Subject to NBA approval and applicable rules, regulations and requirements of the NBA, and subject to the ability of ArenaCo or an affiliate of ArenaCo to obtain the rights to the name and trademarks under from the current owner thereof, any NBA Team domiciled in Seattle, Washington and operated by ArenaCo or an affiliate of ArenaCo that owns such NBA team will use the name “Seattle Supersonics.”

    I don’t think it can be spelled out any clearer.

  • http://www.sportchange.wordpress.com sportchange

    Sounds like this is a done deal. Here’s my two cents on the bigger questions of team relocation:

    http://sportchange.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/rules-of-relocation/

  • nasarogue

    well its not a done deal yet as Mayor Johnson has started to come back

  • ingmar66

    Put the Kings history on hold until Sacramento or another city is ready and willing and able to claim it (again). The new SuperSonics should start from scratch (be it in green and gold) and build a new history, like they are an expansion team. Kemp, Payton and other former Sonics declining an invitation to celebrate in OKC is praiseworthy, let them come to the new Sonics and root for them as often as possible and ignore the claims to history from OKC. The Thunder should try to build a nice history of their own (last year’s run looked promising). As for the Kings, I’m sad for the SacTown fans. I wish them a new franchise with a solid ownership in the near future, one that could, maybe, take up the very storied Kings mantle once again.