According to Mike Zarren, the assistant general manager of the Boston Celtics, Seattle is in for a longer wait than any of us had hoped for in the pursuit of an NBA franchise.
Participating in a forum at the Sports Lawyer Association conference, Zarren was asked by panelist and sports law expert Mike McCann about the possibility of expansion to Seattle. An article at lawinsports.com, which you can read here, describes the exchange:
McCann asked about NBA expansion, and specifically, whether the NBA will expand to Seattle. Zarren believes that Europe will be the next frontier. Domestically, he thinks that Seattle will remain the top candidate for expansion, but noted a specific team's destination is usually up to the team's owners, rather than to the league as a whole. Zarren cautioned, however, that he does not envision NBA expansion within the next five years. He thought the possibility of NBA expansion was somewhat higher within the next 10 years, but had no specific information on any expansion. Zarren reasoned that in the short term, it would be more likely for a team to relocate to Seattle than it would be for the NBA to add a team there.
That doesn't feel good to read, but we promised to cover the good and the bad in the quest to get our team back.
Let me address a couple things.
"A specific team's destination is usually up to the team's owners?" Don't make me laugh. The Kings saga taught us that a team's destination is completely up to the league. The fact that he even said that makes me shake my head.
When he says that relocation is more likely in the next five years, what team might that be? The Bucks situation will take years to play out to a point where relocation might not even be an option. I still think expansion is the most likely and best option.
Also consider that this is one guy talking and that others, such as Mark Cuban, have seemed more open to expansion in recent statements. Owners tend to know more than assistant general managers in my experience.
So let's converse. Let the Eeyore's say the sky is falling and let the sunshine and rainbowers tsk tsk their pessimism. Let the rest of you sort this out in your own way. Share your thoughts with us!
UPDATE: Mike Zarren was kind enough to drop by the site and offer up a little clarity on his comments. Here's what he had to say;
No news here.