NBA expansion team possibilties

Could the NBA get up to 36-total teams?

On+the+left%3A+the+city+of+Seattle.+On+the+right%3A+the+city+of+Las+Vegas.

On the left: the city of Seattle. On the right: the city of Las Vegas.

Maddox Greenberg, Staff Writer

Earlier this week, I was looming over my phone (as any other teenager would) and looked at one of my over a dozen sports apps, Bleacher Report.  One of the articles on the app read, “Vegas Targeted for NBA Expansion Team,” which got me thinking: What are other cities in dire need of an NBA team, along with Las Vegas?  So, I created a list starting with an obvious favorite.

 

Seattle

The Seattle SuperSonics are one of the most well-known basketball teams that are no longer in existence.  And here’s why: according to Wikipedia, the SuperSonics weren’t able to get a deal to build a new arena in the Seattle area.  This resulted in a relocation of the front office and the players to Oklahoma City, becoming the Oklahoma City Thunder.  This current franchise has housed some daunting figures in NBA history, including 12-time NBA All Star and two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant, nine-time NBA All Star Russell Westbrook, 10-time NBA All Star James Harden, two-time NBA All Star Victor Oladipo, and seven-time NBA All Star Paul George.  The SuperSonics lasted from 1967 to the 2008 season.  The SuperSonics had star players on the team like Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Ray Allen, Detlef Schrempf, and Patrick Ewing.  If you ask any NBA fan or Seattle sports fan born between 1967 and 2008, they will easily say to revive the six-time division champions and the 1979 NBA champions and to become the NBA’s 31st team.

 

Las Vegas

I could see Las Vegas as a contender.  They just recently got a hockey team (the Golden Knights) and a football team (the Raiders).  Both are great organizations.  The Golden Knights making it to every playoff game since their inaugural season in 2017, and the Raiders being one of the most storied franchises in football and sports history.  Vegas does have a women’s basketball team, like Seattle, and both the Seattle Storm and the Las Vegas Aces are top teams in the WNBA.  I could see an NBA team playing in T-Mobile Arena when the Golden Knights are away.  Soon, maybe, Vegas could be going “home.” That’s a “safe” bet.  It would be a “grand-slam.”  (O.K. the last one had to have got you).

 

Tampa Bay

During the 2020-2021 NBA season, the NBA just returned out of its successful bubble in Orlando and all 28 out of 30 NBA teams returned to their cities and arenas, except for two: the Orlando Magic, because the bubble was in their city, and the Toronto Raptors.  A little geography and history lesson for you: the city of Toronto is in Canada and during this time we were still in a global pandemic with no end in sight and certain countries had rules and Toronto wouldn’t allow back the Raptors, mainly because of the other 29 American teams flooding into the country and all these protocols and stuff.  So, the Raptors played in Tampa Bay for most of the season until Canada reopened the country.  I think Tampa Bay deserves a basketball team.  They have a great sports city (Boston is still number 1).  The Buccaneers recently won its second Super Bowl trophy of the century and the Lightning won back-to-back Stanley Cup trophies and the Rays—well, my ‘Sox owned ya during that series, and the Rays want out of Tampa (so I’ve heard).  Other than that, though, some historic stuff has been happening to Tampa Bay recently (sports-wise).  I know some of you may be wondering about the distance between Tampa Bay and Orlando and if the region can handle two teams so close together.  Well, Tampa is 84 miles from Orlando, and the Knicks—who play in New York—play only eight miles from the Brooklyn Nets.  To answer your possible question on that, yes, it can happen.  So, put Tampa Bay on your list of NBA expansion teams.  Lastly…

 

Pittsburgh

Yes, Pittsburgh.  It is one of the few cities to have a team in almost every major four sports league out there (NHL’s Penguins, MLB’s Pirates, and NFL’s Steelers).  Pittsburgh will have another team in the new spring football league, the USFL, coming this April (however, I heard they are facing a lawsuit against the old USFL because the new USFL wrongfully used the old USFL team names and logos without permission and said they will not be connected to the old USFL).  Pittsburgh is a very blue-collar, devoted fan base.  They all love the Penguins and Sidney Crosby, the Pirates and that rookie (I don’t know the dude’s name), and the Steelers and whoever is remaining.  Pittsburgh is a big city and, as I’ve noted earlier, are a devoted fan base who love their sports teams.  That’s why I think Pittsburgh should also be on that NBA expansion team list.

 

If I were to guess the names of all the team, it would be the Seattle SuperSonics 2.0, the Las Vegas Wait-I’ve-Been-Playing-Slots-for-One-Minute-How-Did-I-Lose-$1,000-and-What-It-Has-Been-Two-Hours?, the Tampa Bay Stingers or the Tampa Bay Bradies (yet, he only played for you guys for a total of two years, got you a ring while he played 20 years with us and got us six rings and he doesn’t have the decency to do a full essay thanking the Patriots? MLA and all?), and the Pittsburgh SteelWorkers Union.

 

Those are my picks for the possible NBA expansion teams.  What city do you have in mind?  Do you agree with any of my choices?  We’ll find out in the future.  Let’s first see if the Fenway Sports Group that just bought the Penguins will sign onto Las Vegas to be the new NBA expansion team.