SEATTLE ( Associated Press) — The NBA President’s Game may not seem like a pivotal moment even in a basketball-hungry city like Seattle, but Jamal Crawford believes an exhibition has its value, too.
“It reigns over a whole new generation of kids,” said Crawford, a Seattle native who has been a sports ambassador for the city during a 20-year career in the NBA and now with a semi-professional league. Every summer the NBA hosts players. “They should be able to dream and know that it is real.”
The NBA will return briefly to the Emerald City on Monday night, when the Los Angeles Clippers take on the Portland Trail Blazers. It will be the first NBA game in Seattle since 2018, when the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings met in a preseason matchup, which became the final sporting event at KeyArena, before it was disbanded and covered in gleaming Climate Pledge sand. as reconstructed.
A sellout house was recorded for that NBA game, the first in Seattle, when its beloved SuperSonics departed for Oklahoma City in 2008 after 41 years in the Pacific Northwest.
“Ever since I’ve been in the NBA, the Sonics haven’t been a team, so it’s great to play in Seattle,” Blazers star Damien Lillard said.
Someday, perhaps soon, there is hope that Seattle will regain its place as an NBA city.
Speculation is rife as to when the NBA will decide to extend. Thanks to the resolution of its area situation, Seattle is likely to be at the forefront of those expansion talks, likely just behind Las Vegas.
But NBA commissioner Adam Silver hasn’t committed to a potential extension timeline, and it looks like those talks won’t accelerate until the league deals with the new collective bargaining agreement and the television deals that come with it. Horizon.
The commitment of the community has never been in doubt. Seattle fans’ appetites haven’t waned in the years since the Sonics left, and the area has become a hotbed for NBA talent, whether it’s Crawford city banner, Zach Lavine of Renton, Washington, another Seattle native. Continue to drive to resident Paolo Banchero. Who was selected as the first overall pick in this year’s draft.
As if some reinforcements were needed, the summer provided a perfect example when fans camped overnight outside Crawford’s summer league headquarters and saw LeBron James step onto the court for the first time in more than a decade. . ,
Associated Press writers Beth Harris and Anne M. Peterson contributed to this report.