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Sonics Fans Upset, But Still Hopeful

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

The Sacramento Kings will stay in Sacramento. NBA owners met in Dallas Wednesday and overwhelmingly rejected an effort by investor Chris Hansen to move the team to Seattle.

NBA Commissioner David Stern spoke before reporters and said that this was not an anti-Seattle vote. “We look forward to continuing a dialog of some type with the citizens and potential owners in Seattle, but we don’t have anything concrete to support with respect to an NBA franchise in Seattle at this time,” said Stern.

This did not placate Seattle fans, many of whom were angered with Stern and the owners’ decision. Many had held out hope that, despite the odds, hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and his team of investors could somehow pull off a deal.

“When I heard the news I was just like crushed. I was just like how, how can that be?” said Ahkeena Musa, who calls himself a life-long Sonics fan.

But some didn’t like the idea of taking a team away from another city and putting those fans through the same pain that Sonics fans know all too well here. Sonics fan Koby Lines still holds out hope that Seattle will get an expansion team.

“At the end of the day, you know, we just want a team, and we want to be able to compete,” said Lines. “I think that if it were to happen in an expansion sense, I think that it would make a lot of people happier.”

Seattle’s mayor Mike McGinn issued a statement reminding people that Chris Hansen and his investors have five years in which to secure a team before public funding for an arena expires. “We are in this for the long haul,” said McGinn.

Ben Adler of Capital Public Radio in Sacramento and David Chong of KERA Dallas contributed to this report.