NBA to Explore Expansion in Seattle and Louisville

By Bradley Sturgeon
Seattle Sonics
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The NBA is constantly searching for ways to expand its brand and marketability. There have been numerous rumors about the league’s desire to award Seattle with another pro basketball team, and possibly Louisville as well. This proposal may happen more quickly than most assume.

Seattle was the home of the SuperSonics from 1967-2008 before the team relocated to Oklahoma City. There is an extensive fan base already established and a great basketball culture in the Pacific Northwest state of Oregon. Chris Hanson has been searching for buyouts of teams like the Sacramento Kings in attempt to relocate them to Seattle. Obviously those efforts have not been successful.

Kentucky has long been known as a college basketball stronghold. They live, breath, and bleed for the sport. If any city deserves a team, then it is Louisville. This region has done so much to advance the sport and the dedication is endless. Louisville also possesses one thing that Seattle does not: a world class arena in the KFC Center. The city of Louisville is primed and ready for a pro-team.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has constantly denied any possibility of expansions at this time. It completely makes sense, for he and the league are embattled with the Donald Sterling situation. Once the dust settles from that distraction, then the focus can be placed back on expanding the league. For now though, the NBA has clearly shown that they are very happy with the markets of current teams and do not want to see any relocations. Therefore, an expansion is the only option.

In order to make the expansion feasible, one team must be in the Western Conference and the other in the Eastern Conference to maintain balance. Seattle and Louisville absolutely make geographical sense in this area. Many critics of expansion claim that 32 teams would be too many for the league to be competitive. Simply take a gander at the NFL. There are 32 teams and the league’s influence and power grows expansively ever year. Additionally the NBA admits more than half of its contenders into the playoffs. How does that help the competitive nature of the sport if over half of the teams ‘earn’ a playoff spot?

The NBA will have to seriously consider the possibility of expanding the league. The opportunities created by reaching into these markets will greatly bolster the wealth and power of the NBA through sponsorships and television contracts. After the record sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, it is clearly evident that numerous investors will pay big money for an NBA team. Sources say that the league will most likely look into these cities as legit contenders for expansion in 2016, so rest assured Seattle and Louisville basketball fans; the league has its eyes on you.

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