Russell Wilson is backing up Chris Hansen's vision of bringing the Sonics back to Seattle. Offering to be an investor, the Seahawks star would help build the planned NBA/NHL arena in the SoDo area of the city.
Wilson, who plays quarterback for the Seahawks, started his relationship with the Sonics while playing NBA Jam for the Super Nintendo with his brother.
According to The Players Tribune, he shared that he usually picks the Sonics, with his combo of Shawn Kemp and Detlef Schrempf against his brother's Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant from the Chicago Bulls. He would update himself with the team through ESPN's SportsCenter and NBA Inside Stuff, and loved everything about the team, even if he was living in Virginia.
In a statement, Wilson states that the positive impact of sports on kids and how it brings people together, regardless of race or culture, is what inspires him. This echoes the sentiments of Hansen, who, in a separate statement, expressed his excitement in the offer, noting that their continued efforts to regain the Sonics (now playing as the Oklahoma City Thunder) and the Thunderbirds (Seattle's NHL team) back in the city to "positively influence our youth" and "bring communities together."
While the level of investment Wilson will bring has yet to be disclosed, NBA.com points out that it would certainly bring the energy that it needs to get the five-year-old project moving. In the previous month, Hansen has announced his intent to privately finance the project, in exchange for tax breaks. The city government, in response, acknowledged his intent while also looking into possible renovations to the former home of the Sonics, the KeyArena.
Seattle lost the Supersonics in 2006 after the Basketball Club of Seattle LLP, led by Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz, sold the team, along with the Seattle Storm of the WNBA, to Oklahoma City-based Professional Club LLC for $350 million. The franchise was then moved to Oklahoma City on 2008, after its lease with KeyArena expired, where the team name was changed to its current iteration, the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Sonics' team name, logo, and colors remained in Seattle for any future franchise, albeit still owned by Oklahoma City.© 2019 Mstars News, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.